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Articles Home » 1982 Articles » Night Plane - 1982 Night Plane
Night Plane - 1982 Night Plane

ARTIST: Night Plane
ALBUM: Night Plane
LABEL: Handshake
SERIAL: FW 38139
YEAR: 1982


LINEUP: Haden Gregg - vocals, guitars * Jim Dykann - vocals, guitars

Guests: Steve Lukather, Danny Kortchmar, Kenny Edwards - guitars * Craig Doerge - keyboards * Bob Glaub - bass * Russ Kunkel - drums, percussion * Bryan Savage - saxophone * Rosemary Butler - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Night Plane * 02 Slow Down * 03 Out Of Control * 04 Tried To Hard * 05 Cheated * 06 Don't Be Fooled * 07 Illusions * 08 Line Of Fire * 09 Another Hotel * 10 Who Knows

The history of the two leading lights of this outfit Night Plane go back long before this album came out in 1982. Essentially a duo, Night Plane's Haden Gregg and Jimmy Dykann collaborated on this project in California, though both are heavily committed to their home-state of Colorado. Dykann has played for many years, and has been based throughout the western US, plus the southwest. he met Gregg in Colorado during the early 70's, but it wasn't until he left Texas in the late 70's and returned to California that they teamed up together. Night Plane as a body of music is well-versed in that late 60's singer/songwriter vibe, plus it melds the heartfelt Colorado soft rock tradition of Firefall, China (the US version), fellow Handshake labelmates Sneaker and Los Angeles' best kept 'west-coast/AOR secret': being Venice. Signed to CBS subsidiary Handshake, the duo recruited a heavyweight session crew (refer names above) to help them out on their one-off offering.

The Songs
Overall, the album carries a smooth mid-tempo vibe - and you really do need to be in the right frame of mind and mood to play this. A warm summers day by the beach, or perhaps a late evening latte session with the headphones! The opening cut and title track 'Night Plane' unfortunately didn't set the hearts a flutter. They probably should've used a different track. Much better is the second effort 'Slow Down' - a fun workout typical of that Californian west-coast era and reminiscent of Player circa their 'Danger Zone' period. Cruising out with 'Out Of Control' - the band have that melodic mid-tempo thing happening.. this one is so similar to Ambrosia even David Pack and co should be demanding an explanation! 'Tried To Hard' is the odd song out: a reggae workout, at least it shows the diversity of the duo - if that! The saxophone takes center-stage on 'Don't Be Fooled', the tunes takes on quasi-disco type beat. Unlike 'Illusions' - which gallops along with Firefall like similarity - the acoustic guitar, upbeat percussion and flute lines a dead giveaway. The album ends with a very AOR oriented tune.. thankfully 'Who Knows' completes affairs with an electric burst courtesy of Steve Lukather.

In Summary
Despite the big name guitarists, 'Night Plane' is not an album that 'rocks out'. And though it was released in the 80's, it really sits much better as a 70's styled release. Like the proverbial 'ships in the night', Night Plane came and went without so much as a raised eyebrow - unless of course you were a Japanese west-coast/AOR fan, where this album has achieved cult status. The album was supposed to have received a CD release from the defunct Melody BLVD label, but I'm not utterly sure this happened - because the label folded at the time of its intended release date. This was back in 2003. Meantime, the whereabouts of Messrs Gregg and Dykann can be traced back to the hallowed mountain region of Colorado. Dykann has released some solo material which you can find CD Baby, while Gregg's best-known moment in AOR-dom (if you could call it that) was co-writing the tune 'Hold On Blue Eyes' sung by Lamarca on the 1986 soundtrack 'The Wraith'.

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#1 | Eric on April 22 2007 23:27:29
Haden Gregg played in a group called Starwood in 1975-1976 releasing one album on Epic in 76. Music was rather country-ish in the Marshall Tucker Band/ Poco style. Cool cover art with a hand opening like a tree with a starry background.
#2 | rostoned on June 02 2008 22:29:35
apparently, as G says, planned and announced but never released on CD. Nowhere to be seen and found on the net whereas the other 4 Melody Blvd/AORchives releases (DAKOTA first two - JERRY KELLY - LE ROUX second) are all quite easy to find - well except 'Runaway' which sold out almost immediately and is worth top $$$ - and for relatively cheap prices, that means there are plenty of those around! Even the LP version is very scarce, same destiny as label mates Alliance and Berlin Airlift which means the almost invisible label didn't print that many LPs at the time. Doomed guys or what?
#3 | Eric on June 03 2008 00:07:55
Me bad. Actually the pre-Nightplane group Starwood recorded two albums- 'Homebrew 'in 1976 and 'Starwood' in 1977.
#4 | super80boy on December 04 2016 19:42:53
Night Plane was based in Santa Barbara, CA. Their LP is a satisfying West-coast offering with varied helpings of AOR melodies, there's Saxophone, Flute, Bongos, Organ, Electric / Acoustic Guitar and Piano. They even manage to somewhat successfully insert a Reggae and Funk cut into the mix. The opening title song is by the numbers pop rock, but from there the duo branch out. 'Cheated' provides a mid-tempo'd West-coast arrangement with above par guitar soloing by the Toto man Steve Lukather and Saxophone work via Bryan Savage. More solid Westcoast rhythms are found in the Saxophone tinged 'Don't Be Fooled' and thankfully Lukather comes back for more riffing in closer 'Who Knows?'. They also issued a 'single for 'Don't Be Fooled'.
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