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Missouri - 1979 Welcome Two Missouri

ARTIST: Missouri
ALBUM: Welcome Two Missouri
LABEL: Polydor
SERIAL: PD-1-6206
YEAR: 1979


LINEUP: Ron West - vocals, guitars * Webb Waterman - guitars * Randall Platt - keyboards * Alan Cohen - bass * Dan Billings - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Sunshine Girl * 02 Movin' On * 03 Walk Like A Man * 04 Hangin' On * 05 Got Me Goin' * 06 I Really Love You * 07 So Far Away * 08 Gotta Be Me * 09 Love On The Run * 10 Can't Stop


This Kansas City band shares a similar lineage to that other well known outfit from the same city - Shooting Star. Ron West is the brother of Gary West, and shared the stage together in a band long before both their separate bands took on a new life. That band was The Chesmann, and they were as much an institution of Kansas City as George W Bush is to the people who live in the city of Baghdad! During the early 70's, Ron struck out on his own, and put together a swag of material that would later end up on the first Missouri album. At the time, Ron was very good friends with a chap called Chris Fritz, who would soon head up the Panama Records label. That label was interesting, due to their signing of fellow Kansas City band pomp rockers Granmax. Upon completion of putting the building blocks of Missouri together, the band had very little time before venturing into the studio. The album did very well during 1977, and saw the band tour and support many top bands on arena gigs throughout the midwest. The next phase was to progress the band beyond regional popularity. A Showcase gig to Polydor Execs saw them signed to a 3 album deal. Their next album 'Welcome Two Missouri' was recorded down in Macon Georgia, with a bigger budget and better production. This album was released in 1979.

The Songs
Because of the southern influence during the production, it is easy to hear the Macon 'sound' infiltrate these tracks. We're not exactly talking a carbon-copy of Macon's finest sons the Allman Brothers here, but more like a raucous cross of early Johnny Van Zant Band and Atlanta Rhythm Section; both bands getting a heap of attention on this website. The band don't deviate away from the commercial southern sound being applied here. Listen to harmonious efforts such as 'So Far Away' and the breezy opener 'Sunshine Girl' for prime examples. 'Love On The Run' is slightly different, the use of keyboards more prominent, while 'Walk Like A Man' is aptly named with its tough-guy riffs in abundance. 'Movin' On' is one of their more commercial tracks while 'Gotta Be Me' takes a stab at Bob Seger flavoured good-time rock.

In Summary
A very likeable album, despite the HM Encyclopedia saying it lacked dynamics versus it's debut predecessor. The band continued on well into the 80's, while Ron's brother Gary West continued on even further with Shooting Star. They broke up in 1984 but reformed in 1994/95 for a further extended two year run with a new line up. Ron currently runs his own studio and has threatened to lift the veils off Missouri once again so long as the motivation is there and the time is right. Hey Ron, if Shooting Star can make a comeback so can Missouri. Fans of commercial southern rock should seek this out.

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#1 | MNWild87 on April 17 2013 02:24:41
Not as good as their first album but still really good. Moving On is just a fantastic southern rock classic

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