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Caldwell, Bobby - 1983 August Moon




ARTIST: Caldwell, Bobby
ALBUM: August Moon
LABEL: Sin Drome
SERIAL: SD 8892
YEAR: 1983

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Bobby Caldwell - vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards * Jim Berhringer - guitar * David Hungate, Jimmy Haslip - bass * Jeff Porcaro, Larry Londin - drums * Shane Keister - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Sherry * 02 She Loves My Car * 03 Fraulein * 04 She Does It Better * 05 Cover Girl * 06 Loaded Gun * 07 Class Of 69 * 08 Saying Goodnight * 09 Once You Give In * 10 Never Loved Before

WEBLINKS: www.bobbycaldwell.com


Background
A much acclaimed artist who scored a huge hit in 1978 with his single 'What You Won't Do For Love', which apparently fooled many people into believing Caldwell was a black artist such was the massive soulful element evident in his vocal work. Caldwell looked to build on this success with a pair of excellent West Coast influenced albums, 1980's 'Cat In The Hat' and 1982's 'Carry On', but instead found dwindling response in the U.S. but large interest in Japan, where Caldwell became a legitimate superstar. This 1983 effort wasn't released in the U.S. until the 90's, an unfortunate affair, as this is the most convincing of Caldwell's vintage AOR era recordings, with a far heavier sound more which still retains West Coast accessibility. Caldwell's vocals are stunning and if the planets had been aligned properly this would have become an instant classic 25 years ago, not the rather forgotten piece of vinyl it appears to have become.


The Songs
Caldwell one upped Steve Perry with 'Sherry' and in fine fashion. Keyboards swirl endlessly, very impassioned vocals from Caldwell and naturally a hook that rises to the occasion. Impressive opener, West Coast mastery right up there with David Roberts. Adopting a harder rock stance, 'She Loves My Car' is a Michael Sembello style rocker with a killer bridge two minutes in, the melodic highpoint of the track and what most of us expect from 1983 AOR recordings. 'Fraulein' is another perfect West Coast workout and more than matched by 'She Does It Better', especially the sweeping melodic guitar solo. There's an offbeat pattern of keyboards found on 'Loaded Gun', again very similar to Sembello and his 'Bossa Nova Hotel' album from 1983. Caldwell adds some Steely Dan inspired harmonies to 'Class of 69's infectious chorus and those parping synths are hard to ignore also. There isn't a bad track on offer, the best of the rest 'Saying Goodnight', yet another flawless melodic triumph which will delight any AOR fan.


In Summary
This is on CD to the best of my knowledge and well worth investing in through any means. Due to Caldwell's Japanese exploits he seems to have been all but forgotten in the U.S., save for his 1978 hit, but all four albums from 1978 - 83 are all deserving of investigation if you hadn't previously been aware of Caldwell's existence, which admittedly I hadn't been. Caldwell is out there still making music, even reverting to the now stale trend of recording old pop standards ala Rod Stewart. However a consummate solo artist who more than added to the early 80's AOR legacy.


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Comments

#1 | jeffduran on September 22 2008 04:03:04
Agree Alun, a stunning set of WestCoast/AOR classics! Thanks for the review!

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