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Bush, Stan - 1983 Stan Bush



ARTIST: Bush, Stan
ALBUM: Stan Bush
LABEL: Scotti Bros
SERIAL: BFC 38798
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 1999, Sony, REWIND 50003-2 * 2011, Rock Candy Records, CANDY103
SPONSOR: Rock Candy Records

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Stan Bush - vocals, guitar * David White, Leland Sklar, Dennis Belfield - bass * Mike Baird, Gary Mallaber - drums * Alan Pasqua, Rick Seratte - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 It's Hot * 02 Fire In My Heart * 03 Can't Live Without Love * 04 Don't Accuse Her * 05 Love Has Taken Me Away * 06 All American Boy * 07 Say The Word * 08 Time Isn't Changing You * 09 Round And Round * 10 Keep Your Love Alive

WEBLINKS: www.stanbush.com


Background
It's somewhat of a personal shame that it's taken me this long to finally hear Stan Bush's debut, especially after the years of reading and hearing about its merits in the 80's AOR hierarchy. Better late than never perhaps as this is a debut which ranks among the finest on vinyl, as even from this early vantage point, Stan Bush was an immediate AOR force. Most are well aware of Bush's origins, he played in late seventies rocker's Boulder, who released one album in 1979, which according to our editor wasn't so grand (it was ok actually, after I sat down and listened to it properly. Ed). Bush must have made an impact as he was given a solo deal by Columbia. who perhaps were looking for their own Rick Springfield, which they duly found in Bush, who had the looks, charisma and above all, talent to carry such a load. He wasn't as successful commercially off the bat, but for AOR purity this album can barely be bettered.


The Songs
The Springfield comparisons are immediate from the opening bars of 'It's Hot', which recalls Springfield's 'Working Class Dog' era. This is a classic in its own right, the track thrilling from start to finish with a hook I found myself stuck with for days mentally. The style is heavy AOR , and hardly the power pop nonsense I've read in the past. The drums and riffs are too heavy to be saddled with 'pop' accusations. Highlights are plenty, including the brooding and serious 'Don't Accuse Her' and the (again) Springfield like 'Fire In My Heart', which ripple with melodic enthusiasm. 'All American Boy' was later covered by Van Stephenson and Y&T of course, but this track's never moved me, perhaps 'too' American. 'Can't Live Without Love' makes the ballad grade easily, while 'Say The Word' threatens to burst from the speakers in its AOR glory. Further delights are found in the incredible 'Love Has Taken Me Away' and 'Keep Your Love Alive', which have to be heard, the type of AOR which makes a grown man shake his head in disbelief! The keyboards are set to stun during 'Round And Round', a jaunty rocker which captures a sense of vitality, a man on top of his game.


In Summary
While I wouldn't compare this to the debut 'Michael Bolton' album in terms of all round quality, it's pretty close all the same. It must have been refreshing to have artists crop up like this during the early 80's, knowing the genre was in good hands. And while Bush's 1987 'Stan Bush And Barrage' is recognised by most as his essential work I'd have to go for this. It has that aura, that feeling you know you're listening to something magical. Bush has made a habit of that during his career. Inevitably 'Stan Bush' is a product of its era, when melodic rock was dominated by solo male artists who specialised in crafting three minute songs with great hooks. But that's all we ever really wanted isn't it? Suddenly the future has never seemed so bleak (too right.. Ed).


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Comments
#1 | super80boy on December 13 2014 16:47:39
An all around must have for early 80's AOR collectors. The passionate 'Don't Accuse Her' with its killer guitar solo is just one of many outstanding cuts that line this album. Journey immediately comes to mind on 'Love Has Taken Me Away', and yes another stout guitar solo is showcased…The backing keyboards in 'Round And Round' are a nice touch. All the necessary ingredients are in place on this debut…Highly Recommended.
#2 | jeffrey343 on December 13 2014 17:49:10
I'm surprised I never heard this in '83 or '84, as I did manage to hear many of the similar artists. This one escaped both me and my buddy who seemed to find all sorts of off-the-radar stuff. Definitely a nice album that measures up well with the other great 1983 releases that got a lot more attention.
 
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