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America - 1984 Perspective



ARTIST: America
ALBUM: Perspective
LABEL: Capitol
SERIAL: ST-12370
YEAR: 1984
CD REISSUE: 1998, One Way, 19357

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

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

Guests: Michael Landau, Dean Parks, Paul Jackson Jr, Marty Walsh, Richie Zito - guitars * Nathan East, Dean Parks, Arthur Barrow, Marcus Ryle - bass * James Newton Howard, Craig Huxley, Michael Boddicker, Randy Kerber, Paul Fox, Bill Elliott, Gary Chang, Richard James Burgess, Arthur Barrow, Matthew McCauley, Marcus Ryle, Richie Zito - keyboards, synthesizers, programming * Richard James Burgess, Matthew McCauley, Richie Zito, Marcus Ryle - drums, drum programming * Richard James Burgess, Paulinho Da Costa, David Kemper - percussion * Phil Kenzie - saxophone * Steve Perry, Mike Boddicker, Matthew McCauley, Timothy B. Schmit - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 We Got All Night * 02 See How The Love Goes * 03 Can't Fall Asleep To A Lullaby * 04 Special Girl * 05 5th Avenue * 06 (It's Like You) Never Left At All * 07 Stereo * 08 Lady With A Bluebird * 09 Cinderella * 10 Unconditional Love * 11 Fallin' Off The World

WEBLINKS: www.venturahighway.com


Background
The duo of Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell traversed the somewhat unfriendly waters of 1980's radio commercialism with this 1984 set 'Perspective'. After reaching major success with their excellent 1982 album 'View From The Ground', the pair dived even more so into AOR territory. While a boon for die-hard AORsters, it severely alienated their long time fans, horrified by their abandonment of all things acoustic - the very music that made them household names during the 70's. Without doubt, this is their most AOR effort yet, and one can think of Stephen Bishop's 'Bowling In Paris' as a suitable comparison. As one can see from the lineup, no expense was spared, as the pair hooked up over separate production sessions to dish up these eleven tracks.


The Songs
The material on the album features a few outside contributions; Sue Shifrin, David Tyson, Eddie Schwartz, Randy Goodrum and Journey's Steve Perry to name a few. The music is radio-friendly, sugar coated and contains everything a GLORY-DAZE reader could want from this genre. From the opening friendly strains of 'We Got All Night' to the AOR-tastic 'See How the Love Goes', we are only two tracks in and things are great! The lush ballad 'Can't Fall Asleep to a Lullabye' is tearjerker stuff, and in it you can hear the Steve Perry influence wafting through. ' Special Girl' is another AOR pearler, though the vocals has a slight Meatloaf tinge to it. '5th Avenue' reverts back to a hi-tech west coast sound heard previously on 'View From The Ground', the song very much in the Stephen Bishop mould, as are the pair of 'Stereo' and the ballad 'Cinderella'. There is an inherent sense of drama on '(It's Like You) Never Left at All' while the bubbly 'Lady With a Bluebird' fuses a reggae sound which is at odds with the rest of the album. The final two tracks are AOR blueprints: 'Unconditional Love' is more mid-tempo bounciness while we even get to hear Mike Landau blaze away on 'Fallin' Off The World'.


In Summary
'Perspective' was written off by critics and fans alike, the album perhaps seeing the bands slide out of popular music consciousness, just as the climate was beginning to change. Though they changed styles, it wasn't as blatant an attempt when compared to the poorly misdirected 'Modern Medicine' album by southern rockers Doc Holliday the year before. America released a live album in 1985, and went into a hiatus for a few years. However, they never did quite go away, the duo still hard at it with many CD releases and they are a regular attraction on the classic rock circuit. However, for sheer AOR indulgence with a ton of synths/keys and multiple harmony vocals, 'Perspective' should be a contender for your back catalog collection.


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Comments
#1 | englandashes on January 01 1970 01:00:00
Hi George, funny you should mention the Meat Loaf tinge to the tune Special Girl, as Meat Loaf also recorded a version of this on his Blind Before I Stop album. However the best version by miles is Eddie's Schwartz own version on his great AOR album, Public Life, which can't be said of his own version of another of his songs, Hit Me With Your Best Shot!
 
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