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Larsen Feiten Band - 1980 Larsen Feiten Band



ARTIST: Larsen Feiten Band
ALBUM: Larsen Feiten Band
LABEL: Warner Bros
SERIAL: BSK-3468
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: 2005, Wounded Bird, WOU-3468 (2 on 1 with 'Full Moon')

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Neil Larsen - keyboards * Howard 'Buzz' Feiten - guitar, vocals * Willie Weeks - bass * Art Rodriguez - drums * Lenny Castro - percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Who'll Be The Fool Tonight * 02 Danger Zone * 03 Further Notice * 04 Over * 05 She's Not In Love * 06 Morning Star * 07 Make It * 08 Aztec Legend


Background
Given the magnitude of this West Coast classic I'm surprised it hasn't made an appearance at Glory Daze yet, but you can't get them all at once. Regardless, this is vintage West Coast material from a band who had a lengthy history before this release. The band dates back to The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, whom Larsen and Feiten had been involved with before they split from Butterfield. They formed the Full Moon Band with the above lineup and released three albums, before going the AOR route and reappeared as a duo, even thought the same band remained as backup. Whatever the case, this is realistically as pure and brilliant as West Coast ever got.


The Songs
If Nielsen-Pearson is your cup of tea, then this is nirvana. Jazzy and laid back, with a huge helping of horns, opener 'Who'll Be The Fool Tonight' is a dead ringer for the NP album of 1980, and this track in particular was a big hit for Larsen and Feiten in 1980. Dead class. 'Danger Zone' has a swagger in its delivery and will please fans of Airplay, Pages or the DFK Band, especially with Feiten's jazzy guitar interludes and a smooth hook that suits the title. Check it out. One of the highlight's is 'One', which opens with gentle piano notes before kicking into West Coast overload, with the vocals close to Daryl Hall and another big hook. If anybody wondered why Feiten is such a highly regarded AOR guitarist, this is the proof. The Nielsen-Pearson comparison is hard to ignore on 'She's Not In Love', which has a bouncy funk groove and some lush harmonies. 'Morning Star' is laid back radio material, but 'Make It' ups the ante in terms of hard rock, Castro banging away on the conga's, horns blaring and Feiten cutting loose....it's West Coast in all its glory. 'Aztec Legend' is one of two instrumentals, almost a TV theme for 1980, but one upped by 'Far From Over' which throws in a host of keyboards and funk.


In Summary
Wounded Bird released this on CD along with 1982's follow up 'Full Moon featuring Larsen-Feiten', allowing those who may not have been aware of this fine band, to see what all the fuss was about. Feiten played on scores of AOR luminaries albums over the decade, but would go onto to record success with his 'Buzz Feiten Tuning System', built for tuning guitars. He recorded a solo album in 1999, 'Whirlies', forming a band of the same name. Larsen has recorded several albums of his own, but this is what both will be remembered for, and why not, this is the reason why people love 80's AOR.


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Comments
#1 | gdazegod on December 30 2007 22:04:41
I caught 'Who'll Be The Fool Tonight' on YouTube, thanks to a 1980 appearance on Solid Gold. Good stuff!
#2 | DEMONAOR on January 12 2008 08:45:04
Who'll Be The Fool Tonight catchy song indeedmusic
#3 | Eric on January 12 2008 16:46:55
'Who will Be the fool...' got a lot of radio airplay back in 1980 and I believe, although I could be wrong, the song did land in the top 40 somewhere...
#4 | rostoned on May 01 2008 10:41:07
Eric you are right, 'Who'll be the fool...' reached #29 on the US Billboard HOT 100. Not bad.
#5 | dangerzone on July 11 2008 01:49:04
Great album cover. There seemed to be a lot of these back in the heyday of West Coast. It's not quite as good as the 'Blind Luck' cover with Nielsen-Pearson however. I just wonder what he's doing pointing his finger at Larsen, who looks suitably harrassed.
#6 | sir lord baltimore on April 23 2009 12:17:32
Can only agree. Great westcoast with a touch of fusion. Perfect record. Thumbs Up
#7 | jeffrey343 on November 16 2011 23:09:46
I can't say I've gotten into the West Coast scene, although I do listen to a lot of smooth jazz. I did find the "Full Moon" album way back in the early 80s for $1 at a salvage store, and I got it because David Sanborn was on it. Didn't play it much then, and eventually sold it at a used record store. But I found it a couple of years ago on Rhapsody, and it is excellent stuff. That's the only one on Rhapsody so far; this one hasn't made it up there yet. But I may very well seek it out, as y'all make it sound worth getting.
#8 | swazi on November 17 2011 09:03:40
Hmmm .., this one has been sitting on my shelf for quite some time. I guess I need to pull it out one of these days.
 
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