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Articles Home » 1979 Articles » Airborne - 1979 Airborne
Airborne - 1979 Airborne

ARTIST: Airborne
ALBUM: Airborne
LABEL: Columbia
SERIAL: JC 36076
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 2001, Song Haus Music, 55019-2 * 2013, Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY204


LINEUP: Larry Stewart - vocals, guitars * Beau Hill - guitar, keyboards * David Zychek - guitars * John Pierce - bass * Mike Baird - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Lady Knows Best * 02 Feel Like Lovin' * 03 Ghost Of Love * 04 Wastin' My Time * 05 No Exception To The Rule * 06 Soldier Of Fortune * 07 That's Where My Love Goes * 08 Life In The City * 09 Stand Up * 10 Optimystical

It appears as if this lot were seen mulling around various Los Angeles recording studios, all doing different gigs at different times during the seventies. Perhaps their get-together came about because one of them knew someone else, who then knew someone who might be interested in hooking up in a band, then someone else joined in and so on and so on. And the rest is history right? Well sort of. But you can bet your bottom dollar that Airborne the band was hatched out of recording sessions during 1978/79, as all of these guys have a pedigree, before and after. The talents of these gentlemen brings together a solid melodic convergence. Though they are from LA, the multitracked guitar sound/tone is very similar to the Scholz/Goudreau twin attack from Boston, while the vocal harmonies could be the Nelson twins, albeit ten years earlier. Airborne's sound is quite unique, and I'm finding it difficult to describe it as the songs are unique in themselves. One thing is for sure, they know how to rock, and they know how to harmonize. I suppose that's what makes this album so endearing after twenty one years.

The Songs
Surprisingly enough, the production from Keith Olsen is heavier than one would expect from him. Normally associated with pop oriented artists, this time around he ups the sliders and levers to a level more akin with a rock band. Supreme moments on the album include the epic 6.38 'No Exception To The Rule' notwithstanding the effortless class of 'Soldier Of Fortune'. We get great AOR in the shape of 'Wastin' My Time', 'Stand Up' and 'Thats Where My Love Goes', all three are lovely tunes ideal for radio. Some of the harder tracks include 'Feel Like Lovin' and 'Optimystical' but lets be clear about all of this, the whole album is very ear-friendly.

In Summary
Why this band didn't climb to dizzying heights dumbfounds me. What sort of drugs were the Execs at CBS on at the time of this release? Anyhow, history has said this album shall remain a collectors item forever more. Most of these guys moved onto bigger and better things: Hill of course ended up as a top flight producer (and became Mr Fiona Flanagan), while Pierce and Baird have appeared on many lineups and albums including Pablo Cruise, Rick Springfield, and Journey. During 2001, the album finally saw the light of day, as a remastered CD on the Song Haus Music label (thanks Eric!!). Collectors, I'm sure you know what to do, and where to get it from.

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#1 | The Clone Ranger on September 05 2006 09:23:30
...and let's not forget that Larry Stewart later on made a big career under the New Country banner as the lead singer of Restless Heart.
If you've never heard of them, give them a try!
Their melodic and harmonic craftsmanship should appeal to most of us old school AOR fans...
#2 | gdazegod on September 05 2006 20:18:40
No.. that is a different Larry Stewart. I researched this at the time I wrote this review and they are definitely different guys.
#3 | Jez on January 27 2007 11:45:32
One of THE great albums of the Pomp/AOR genre, with all the tracks on here still sounding a million dollars (Even better with the great Remastering). A Class band of musos aswell!Another 'Should have been huge' outfit that disappeared after one album proper. At least they left this seminal album for posterity.
#4 | dangerzone on December 10 2007 05:13:44
Can't stop listening to this one. One of the best of the 70's AOR legacy.
#5 | richardb on June 13 2008 10:03:07
One of my favourite Pomp albums. Some great guitar riffs, heavenly harmonies, and tasteful keyboards plus one of the most OTT ballads of all time 'No exception to the rule'. Still can't get over why the mighty Paul Suter branded this as 'largely unspectacular' when writing for 'Kerrang'. What was the great man on at the time? - did some Motorhead fans doctor his notes?!
#6 | rkbluez on February 28 2009 22:31:30
One of the greatest pomp albums ever released hands down...totally agree with George's comments about the execs at CBS what the hell were thinking at the a perfect just world these guys would of hit it big with this album and made many more which I'm sure would of delighted their loyal fans.

By the way Song Haus's reissue of this sounds amazing as did all of their re reissues...unfortunetly it might be very hard to track down a copy of this amazing disc now...very sad that they had to stop doing reissues...their quality was amazing.
#7 | swazi on November 22 2011 15:43:04
I still haven't found this one at a reasonable price. Sad I want it! Shock
#8 | swazi on February 24 2012 16:44:36
Finally I am the proud owner of this awesome CD! Smile It only took me a couple of years ..
#9 | AOR Lee on February 26 2012 06:19:00
One of the top 5 AOR classics of the late 70's this Airborne debut, several of these tracks should have been inescapable on radio. Seems that label staff reshuffling saw this album drop off the priority list, ridiculous - this was worth a few million sales at least
#10 | gdazegod on July 25 2013 13:40:45
Now this is out on Rock Candy, there should be no excuse. Buy now!
#11 | rostoned on February 02 2017 09:03:21
Airborne guitarist David Zychek unfortunately passed away last year at 64 due to a cancer.

Retrospect in 2005 (or 2006) released an EP titled 'Cause An Effect' by Zychek, apparently recorded in 1988 but which I don't know if it was unreleased or got a release at the time. Among other things he was a member of Night Ranger in 1993-1995, playing some parts on their 'Feeding Off The Mojo' opus and being a member of their live line up too in this time, on keyboards and guitar.
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