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Articles Home » 1982 Articles » America - 1982 View From The Ground
 
America - 1982 View From The Ground



ARTIST: America
ALBUM: View From The Ground
LABEL: Capitol
SERIAL: ST-12209
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 1995, Connoisseur Collection, NSP CD 509 * 1996, One Way Records, S21-18497

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Gerry Beckley - vocals, guitars * Dewey Bunnell - vocals, guitars

Guests: Mark Isham, Christopher Cross, Russ Ballard, Carl Wilson, Bill Mumy, Chuck Kirkpatrick, Hadley Hockensmith, Tom Kelly, Willie Leacox, Steve Lukather, Rick Neigher, Brad Palmer, Jeff Porcaro, Dean Parks, Mike Porcaro, Timothy B. Schmit, Alvin Taylor, Sarah Taylor, Tom Walsh, Michael Woods, Chris Cote, Mike Mirage, Jai Winding

TRACK LISTING: 01 You Can Do Magic * 02 Never Be Lonely * 03 You Girl * 04 Inspector Mills * 05 Love On The Vine * 06 Desperate Love * 07 Right Before Your Eyes * 08 Jody * 09 Sometimes Lovers * 10 Even The Score

WEBLINKS: www.venturahighway.com


Background
A comeback album of sorts for perennial soft-rockers America. By 1982, the band had been reduced to a duo, with the departure of long-time cohort Dan Peek three years earlier.. a departure to become a contemporary christian artist in fact. The late 70's saw the band's star diminish slightly, with declining sales and popularity. The early 70's of course was a different story, the band peaking with tracks such as 'Horse With No Name' and 'Sister Golden Hair'. For this effort, the band tried a new approach, embracing a radio-friendly tack, which as it turns out, proved to be their saving grace. The album was a mixture of sessions by the looks of things. Russ Ballard produced two tracks as did Bobby Colomby, while Beckley and Bunnell did the rest. The songs are helped with a heavyweight roster of talent at Beckley and Bunnell's disposal. 'View From The Ground' is not really AOR as such, more soft rock, a trait they've become adept at. Other bands playing in a similar style are Steely Dan, Pages and latterday Eagles. The only similarity with those bands are their trademark melodies and beautiful flowing vocal harmonies.


The Songs
Of course the album contains their smash hit 'You Can Do Magic', a Ballard co-write, and a track that is the staple of Classic Rock radio today. The other best known track is their wimpish ballad 'Right Before Your Eyes', a track written by another GDAZE favourite - Canadian rocker Ian Thomas. You know the track and lyrics.. where Rudolph Valentino and Greta Garbo get mentioned in the space of one chorus! Despite these two tracks, there are other highights, including the primo 'Desperate Love', this one deserves to be mentioned alongside the great cult AOR acts of the era. A throwback to their great 70's era is the lovely 'You Girl', the harmony vocals so familiar. The guys in Toto get to shine on the melodramatic 'Inspector Mills', Steve Lukather even getting an opportunity to let loose a solo at the end. 'Jody' is another track with AOR traits, easily a contender for radio, with a sugary like chorus, while 'Sometimes Lovers' has that Christopher Cross like style applied to it.. and for a bonafide melodic rocker, that is like a red-rag to a bull!


In Summary
The band weren't able to kick on with successive albums, and only had one Top 40 hit beyond this - 1983' s 'The Border'. However, the band are still a very successful drawcard as a live act, and tour the world over, even venturing down to Australia and New Zealand in 2004 for a series of well attended gigs. A band with selective discography for the melodic rocker, but 'View From The Ground', 'Alibi', 'Perspective' and 'Your Move' I feel are well worth picking up on.


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Comments
#1 | JuniorNB on October 23 2008 17:36:33
I recently have been listening to America's eighties albums and they are much better than I had imagined. They strayed quite a bit from their folk, acoustic sound of their mid-seventies hits and that's never good for keeping old fans or gaining a lot of new ones (Heart and Starship are other examples of this).

I think that, if America had never released an album before Alibi (1980), their four albums from '80-'84 would be considered AOR/WESTCOAST heavyweights. Nice, easy-going melodic stuff to be found.

Inspector Mills, Jody, and Sometimes Lovers are all great tunes from this particular album.

EDIT: Would love to see Alibi (1980) and/or Your Move(1983) reviewed her if anyone gets a chance.
#2 | gdazegod on October 23 2008 20:50:51
'Your Move' has been reviewed. Sorry, I previously had not displayed/updated the review link under 'Related Articles'. My bad!
 
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