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Articles Home » 1987 Articles » Joe Bruce And 2nd Avenue - 1987 Joe Bruce And 2nd Avenue
Joe Bruce And 2nd Avenue - 1987 Joe Bruce And 2nd Avenue

ARTIST: Joe Bruce And 2nd Avenue
ALBUM: Joe Bruce And 2nd Avenue
LABEL: EMI America
SERIAL: CDP 7 46874 2
YEAR: 1987


LINEUP: Joe 'Bean' Esposito - vocals * Bruce Sudano - vocals * Dann Huff - guitars * Nathan East, Joe Chemay - bass * Michael Omartian - keyboards * Erich Bulling, Marcus Ryle - synthesizer programming * John Robinson - drums * Bob Conti - percussion * Gary Herbig, Kim Hutchcroft - saxophones * Jerry Hey - trumpets * Bill Reichenbach - trombone * Donna Summer, Dara Bernard, Mary Ellen Bernard, Portia Griffin - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 We Can Have It All * 02 Something Tells Me (Into Something Good) * 03 No Way To Win * 04 Save The Love * 05 Some Things Never Change * 06 The Terms Of Love * 07 The Message Is Clear * 08 Powerful Girl * 09 America (What's The Price You Pay) * 10 I Found Love

Looking at the album title, you'd be thinking we were dealing with one guy: a chap called Joe Bruce. But no, as facts would have it, we are dealing with two guys. Joe Esposito and Bruce Sudano. Trainspotters will know that these two guys were part of a vocal group/trio called Brooklyn Dreams, who released two albums ('Brooklyn Dreams' and 'Sleepless Nights') on Casablanca Records during the 1977-1978 period. Bruce Sudano, who is also the husband of disco superstar Donna Summer, also released a solo album in 1981 called 'Fugitive Kind'. Joe Esposito on the other hand, was best friends with Elvis Presley - and was also best man at his wedding and pallbearer at his funeral.. among other things. Brooklyn Dreams also supplied backing vocals on the classic debut Franke And The Knockouts album. However, nearly all AOR trainspotters would have been none-the-wiser as to this 1987 release featuring these two guys yet again. With a line-up straight out of West Coast heaven, the duo supply us with an accomplished set of songs that toggle the AOR and west coast genres with ease. That's obvious considering the talent that turned up to play.

The Songs
Immediately you can get a feel for the album with 'We Can Have It All'. A track borne of the studio, full of joyous melodies and an exquisite Dann Huff solo to boot! Moving on to some other highlights, check out the early 80's styled AOR of 'The Terms Of Love' - reminding you of past heroes such as John O'Banion and David Roberts, whereas the delivery is harder and urgent on 'Powerful Girl', like a beefed up Frank Stallone. 'Some Things Never Change' moves in that hi-tech Gino Vanelli territory, a merger of funky rhythms and melodic ideals. Things are similar on 'The Message Is Clear', but the whole song takes on a CCM vibe like Michael W Smith - but it's super melodic, especially that gorgeous chorus. Joe and Bruce tackle a couple of ballads: 'Save The Love', which is a delicate piano based affair, unlike 'I Found Love' which displays a gospel flavour and some big vocal harmonies.

In Summary
By all accounts, this album was scarce in terms of its availability. This was released during that crossover period between vinyl and CD, and it appears that no vinyl copies of this album exist - though I do stand to be corrected. Nothing surprises me with the EMI America label, but it does seem they gave Joe Bruce And 2nd Avenue next to no promotion, and shelved the distribution and output of the album more-or-less straight after it was released. Nearly twenty years later it holds its head high as a classy AOR/west coast release. For fans of Tim Feehan, Michael Gleason and Kevin McCourt and some of those other yesteryear heroes mentioned above - I would suggest.

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#1 | DEMONAOR on January 01 1970 01:00:00
Another great Pop/Rock Lite AOR albumThumbs Up
#2 | englandashes on February 07 2012 22:53:06
As George points out EMI America version impossible to find, I picked up the LORD version, via an Amazon Trader, does anyone have any knowledge on this version. It comes complete, fold out sleeve, lyrics, OBI etc, seems pretty good to me, price I paid, well £17, ok, no doubt not official, but professionally put together, I'm happy,
#3 | code4 on September 17 2015 12:55:30
Blue desert say that it was an unofficial release 'possibly by the band themselves'. Not sure where they got this idea (sounds sort of unlikely to me) but in any case it probably only added allure to the cd as did a newstand melodic magazine in Europe a few years ago apparently when they did a run down of the rarest melodic and aor cd's and listed the Lord Joe Bruce near the top.. or at least that is what i was told.
Anyhow, given if you rewind back a few years this very Lord version you picked up for 17 pounds was going for 3 figure amounts with ravenous bidding wars (in fact usually close to 200 dollars, occasionally over) on ebay every other week it's clear that some people were falling under the illusion that it was nearly as much of a commodity as the original EMI version. Then just about 1-2 years ago a seller in Greece turns up on ebay selling it for $29.99 buy-it-now still sealed with the obi. Needless to say this probably left a lot of those people who bid through the roof for it feeling pretty annoyed.
Most sellers who managed to flip it for those horrific high amounts did so without the obi (even if i bet most had it!) and listed condition as less than perfect (even though i bet it was in most cases perfect!) probably in an effort to make it out to look older and more vintage than it likely is.

I have no idea where the cd was made or when (though i suppose one would guess it was around 5 or so years back when it first seemed to pop up?). You got a great deal at 17 pounds in any case! Cheers
#4 | gdazegod on September 17 2015 23:06:36
This surely must be a contender for a label like Rock Candy?
#5 | richardb on November 04 2015 20:39:48
It sounds pleasant enough, though call me jaded and cynical but I feel that's it's reputation has been somewhat elevated by it's status as a rarity.

I wouldn't be prepared to pay top dollar for it but if the price was right I might be tempted - I'm an accountant too, so I also watch the pennies..
#6 | gdazegod on November 04 2015 22:10:34
I'd go no higher than $30. But if Rock Candy could release it, then I'd probably get it as a promo.. Smile
#7 | code4 on November 06 2015 04:20:40
It's status has certainly been elevated by it's supposed obscurity, though it sold in mint condition for $13.50 with bids on ebay the other day so it's days as a rarity may be numbered for the time being (could be a good time to buy it). While not quite stellar i rank it as very good. Some other sites out there have comments saying it's useless past the first song. I suspect these comments come from people who have paid a lot for it. Personally i paid 30 and i am happy. Even if i paid more i would not be upset. I don't often pay big amounts for cds and once a cd hits home it's worth it (I think of the good deals i've got instead). I think this is in between good and brilliant. I continue to furtherly enjoy it from time to time after years owning it.
#8 | rostoned on November 06 2015 10:44:32
Code4 the cheap copies sold on ebay and other outlets are counterfeits. hence the low price
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