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Davis, Paul - 1981 Cool Night

ARTIST: Davis, Paul
ALBUM: Cool Night
LABEL: Arista
YEAR: 1981
CD REISSUE: 1991, BMG (Japan), BVCA-2009 * 1995, Restless Records/K-Tel, 5016


LINEUP: Paul Davis - vocals, keyboards * Drums - Benny Rappa, Gene Chrisman, Jean T MacHine * Bass - Ed Seay, Barry Dunaway, Steve Tischer * Keyboards - Tommy Cooper, Vance Taylor, Ed Seay, Doug Bare * Guitars - Steve Hardwick, Rick Hinkle * Backing Vocals - Ed Seay, Benny Rappa, Carol Veto

TRACK LISTING: 01 Cool Night * 02 You Came To Me * 03 One More Time For The Lonely * 04 Nathan Jones * 05 Oriental Eyes * 06 '65 Love Affair * 07 Somebody's Gettin' To You * 08 Love Or Let Me Be Lonely * 09 What You Got To Say About Love * 10 We're Still Together

Atlanta resident Paul Davis by 1981, had decided on a move to Clive Davis' Arista label, after spending a few years cutting his teeth with CBS/Epic. A soft rocker at heart, Paul struck some success with the track 'I Go Crazy', a high profile crooning sort of ballad from about 1976 which I remember quite well. A gentle voice, quite at odds with his image really. Coming across as a Grizzly Adams visually, his dulcet tones are right at home in the soft rock/pop come West Coast arena, at times bordering on mesmerising! With this effort, Paul reaches out for a dash of commercialism, and decides to energize his approach somewhat. And the results work astoundingly well. The members of the Atlanta based band Whiteface provide most of the musical backing to this album. These guys include Steve Hardwick, Doug Bare, Barry Dunaway and Benny Rappa. The only guy missing from the band was Kyle Henderson, who had run off to another Atlanta project happening at the time called The Producers!

The Songs
Many of you will remember the title track 'Cool Nights' with distinct ease. The song itself as breezy as the title suggests, and one that hung around the charts for a wee while too. The other track of note which did some mileage was '65 Love Affair', the follow up single - which was sounded ideal for the FM radio charts, a bonafide cranky tune a la Huey Lewis And The News. Both songs are very representative of the early 80's pop/rock scene. Elsewhere, there are scattered highlights throughout the album. 'You Came To Me' is a perfect slice of lite AOR, and for me, is the absolute highlight of the album. Though written by Davis, it's the guys from Whiteface who provide the musical gloss. You know, they did release one 'so-so' album way back when, but why couldn't they do anything as good as this? Damn. As our very own GDAZE reviewer Lee Bradfield would say, ideal for late night listening, and a strong coffee is in order!! lol! 'One More Time for The Lonely' though a lyrical tear-jerker, has an abundance of synths throughout and a steady rhythm. It's offset by the upbeat tune 'Nathan Jones', another that has a similar vibe to '65 Love Affair'. On the flipside, 'Somebody's Gettin' To You' could be Toto's 'Rockmaker' part 2, though I have to say, the lyrics for this one are pretty bad. Keeping up the good work so far, we continue with the Russell Hitchcock sounding 'Love Or Let Me Be Lonely'. Great vocals here, and the way the chorus steps up into a poppy/dance-oriented style is kinda cool. 'What You Got to Say About Love?' is very AOR, more so than we've ever heard Paul do before. It has a tight arrangement all around, not unlike Toto yet again. The closer 'We're Still Together' drifts off on a West-Coast lilo of sweet melodies, similar to the band Pages.

In Summary
All in all, this is an album that needs to find a place in your melodic collection. It got a CD release in 1995 and is relatively easy to find. Honestly, if you listen to that one track 'You Came To Me' you'll be hooked. The fact that there are a brace of other wonderful songs onboard should be more the reason to hunt this down. Davis stepped away from public view during the 80's, having survived a shooting incident in Nashville during 1986, plus he helped co-write a couple of successful country hits as well. At the relatively early age of 60, Paul Davis died from a heart attack on April 22, 2008. A man who departed earth's musical plane for a higher calling at far too early an age. Despite that, Paul Davis comes highly recommended from the GLORY-DAZE team.

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#1 | jeffduran on October 13 2008 03:48:28
Classic stuff.
#2 | JuniorNB on October 23 2008 18:30:42
I actually only gave this a chance because of gdazegod's review. I'm glad I did. This is a terrific, feel-good album. He's right about 'You Came To Me'. It's definitely a tune that'll have you singing along to the chorus on the very first listen. I always liked 65 Love Affair, even though it wasn't typical of what I was listening to in high school.

This album isn't going to make you marvel at the instrumentation or put Davis up there with Bob Dylan as a lyricist (Sample line- 'Saw somebody's books in your locker.....girl, it really came as a shocker' ) but it is a collection of crafty pop songs that will make you feel good. Vey enjoyable.
#3 | dangerzone on October 24 2008 01:19:10
The song you quote, 'Somebody's Gettin' To You', is melodically the best song on the album.
#4 | JuniorNB on October 24 2008 01:41:05
I know, DZ, it is. It's a great tune. I was listening to it in my car the other day and my wife was making fun of the corny lyrics, though. I pointed out that they're no cornier than "Acted like a dum-dum" from 65 Love Affair. LOL
#5 | gdazegod on October 24 2008 02:43:59
Earlier this year, not long before Paul passed away, I raised this very issue about those corny lyrics - the very ones that JuniorNB mentioned in his earlier post, on the Paul Davis Yahoogroups Forum. I am a member there (or was). I remember Steve McAtee (Lec Zorn) and I had a discussion on the merits of those particular lyrics. Shocker indeed! Shock
#6 | jeffduran on October 28 2008 19:21:51
silly lyrics or not-just a great slab of melodic bliss!
#7 | Eric on October 28 2008 19:57:43
Couldn't agree more!
#8 | gdazegod on October 29 2008 22:00:00
YouTube Video:
#9 | kim_hp on August 04 2012 19:02:42
Wow this is actually very good. Westcoast pop of the highest order. Great voice, great melodies, and what a song "Somebody's Gettin' To You" is! Total Huey Lewis-styled AOR. 9/10!
#10 | gdazegod on October 04 2013 16:16:55
YouTube Video:

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