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Articles Home » 1981 Articles » Dirt Band (The) - 1981 Jealousy
Dirt Band (The) - 1981 Jealousy

ARTIST: Dirt Band
ALBUM: Jealousy
LABEL: Liberty
YEAR: 1981


LINEUP: Jeff Hanna - guitars, vocals * Jimmie Fadden - harmonica, vocals * John McEuen - guitars, lap steel guitar, banjo * Bob Carpenter - keyboards, guitars, vocals * Richard Hathaway - bass * Al Garth - saxophone, violin * Steve Lukather - guitar * M.L. Benoit - congas, percussion * John Macy - pedal steel guitar * Bryan Savage - saxophone * Kenny Loggins, Rosemary Butler, David Holster - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Jealousy * 02 Too Close For Comfort * 03 Fire In The Sky * 04 Love Is The Last Thing * 05 Crossfire * 06 Circular Man * 07 Catch The Next Dream * 08 So You Run * 09 Forget It! * 10 Easy Slow


Many of you will remember Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's cover of the Jerry Jeff Walker tune 'Mr. Bojangles', a sweet country jewel and the groups only big hit for quite a while. Personally other than that particular single, I never bought into the band's early folksy style, but in the late '70s they made a welcome one eighty turn into the world of pop rock beginning with the album 'An American Dream'. Shortening their name to the far more serviceable Dirt Band, the title track featuring Linda Ronstadt was a top twenty hit with further commercial progress providing backing for Steve Martin's novelty hit 'King Tut', which was a reciprocal pairing as Martin often opened Nitty Gritty shows in his early days. Capitalizing on their new found success, 1980 found the band teaming up with the late Nicolette Larson which gave The Dirt Band their last pop hit 'Make A Little Magic'. The follow-up 'Jealousy' yielded a minor hit with 'Fire In The Sky', but the album unexplainably fell by the wayside and into cut-out bins in mass quantities.

The Songs
Surprising since the title track was certainly made for radio with many FM stations picking it up. A good pop rocker sounding like Little River Band with a dash of Canada's Cooper Brothers, it was the reason I bought the album in the first place. The aforementioned 'Fire In The Sky' includes signature vocals from Kenny Loggins and it should have been a bigger hit than it was. 'Love Is The Last Thing' reminds me of John Cougar and Huey Lewis & The News early work and yes, 'Circular Man' is just a little too much like parrot-head Jimmy Buffett, but it has a nice melody with special mention for harmonica player Jimmie Faden whose work throughout 'Jealousy' adds a nice dimension to The Dirt Band sound without ever sounding hokey. 'Catch The Next Dream' and 'So You Run' are outstanding west coast styled gems that deserved wider exposure, while I'm not so thrilled with 'Forget It!' which is a little too Nitty Gritty of old for my tastes. The final cut 'Easy Slow' is much better with lazy down by the river banjo work from John McEuen and will appeal to fans of the first couple Louisiana's LeRoux albums.

In Summary
This would be last hurrah for The Dirt Band going back to their old country rock ways and name for the follow-up 'Let's Go' although the album did contain some good moments. If interested, 'Jealousy' has been reissued as a double back with 'Make A Little Magic' and is a great introduction to The Dirt Band's music.

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