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Wagner, Jack - 1984 All I Need

ARTIST: Wagner, Jack
ALBUM: All I Need
LABEL: Qwest
SERIAL: 1-25214
YEAR: 1984
CD REISSUE: 1999, Warner Bros (Japan), WPCR-10481 * 2007, Friday Music, FRM 1052


LINEUP: Jack Wagner - lead and backing vocals * Clif Magness, Michael Thompson - guitars * Davey Faragher - bass * Tom Keane , John Van Tongeren, Sam Bryant, Bill Elliott, Mark Vieha - keyboards * Pat Mastelotto - drums * Jerry Peterson - sax * Clif Magness , Siedah Garrett, Edie Lehmann, Rosemary Butler, Debbie Pearl - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Premonition * 02 What You Don't Know * 03 Whenever Hearts Collide * 04 Fighting The Nights * 05 All I Need * 06 Make Me Believe It * 07 Sneak Attack * 08 After The Fact * 09 Tell Me (That You Won't Go) * 10 Lady Of My Heart


Soap opera idol Wagner initially made his name acting as 'Frisco Jones' on 'General Hospital' during the early 80's and apparently his singing skills helped him land the role which he put to use by performing on the show occasionally. Luckily for Wagner he was able to further his vocal skills when he was afforded a record deal and given the chance to work with Quincy Jones on this accomplished AOR driven debut. For many miserbale souls Wagner's musical exploits are probably cast aside much like Don Johnson's and Bruce Willis' due to his teen idol status, bolstered by the huge success of the title track, which reached number 2 and is still heard daily on soft rock stations around the nation.

The Songs
Names like David Foster, Glen Ballard and Jay Graydon are scattered through the song writing credits, which ensured the quality of product. They didn't let Wagner down. The album is steeped in the best AOR traditions, immediately reflected in the opening synthesizer notes of 'Premonition', which is a close companion to Michael Sembello's 'Maniac' in overall sound and features Tom Keane as writer. 'What You Don't Know' adds more guitar into the mix and Wagner sounds slightly like Dennis DeYoung during Styx's 'Kilroy Was Here' era, complete with the keyboard splashes and highly infectious chorus. 'Whenever Hearts Collide' borders on classic territory, a ton of melody throughout and Wagner delivering some superb vocals. 'Fighting The Nights' is a tough piece of AOR gold, racing with thrilling chord changes and again a hook for the ages. The title track was co-written by David Pack and for years I believed this to be an Elton John track such was the smiliarity! It's been heard by just about everyone I think, but still a fine song which holds up well today. The short and effective 'Make Me Believe It' is another tremendous AOR workout and 'Sneak Attack' is nothing short of a masterpiece, packed with enough melody to put John Parr to shame! No track is wasted, with more gems unearthed in the form of 'After The Fact' and 'Tell Him (You Won't Go)', the latter heavily synthesized but utterly captivating.

In Summary
The first time I heard this I had my suspicions admittedly but I'm of the opinion this is truly essential for the AOR fanatic. I think that can be said of any album where every track has genuine melody and is easily repeated, which sometimes isn't even true of some of the supposedly essential albums of our genre. Wagner followed this up with 1985's 'Lighting Up The Night', a more hi-tech affair, and 1987's 'Don't Give Up Your Day Job', both of which fell short of the impact of the debut. Wagner's still at it on the concert circuit and acting in 'The Bold And The Beautiful' and no doubt enamoring another generation with his trademark hit.

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#1 | gdazegod on February 22 2009 22:48:20
YouTube Video:
#2 | Carl Noonan on February 22 2009 22:49:47
Just watched the embedded video and have to say it was absolutely dreadful. Everything about it was just so lame. I hope the rest of the album is better but certainly I would not rush to track it down based on this song. I remember seeing the LP in the cut out bins on many occasions but always passed.
#3 | Eric on February 22 2009 23:50:00
Carl, agree this video is a bit cheesy and I saw Wagner do this and other songs from the record on TV and cringed every time. He was always over dramatic and with veins popping out of his neck he always seemed to be in pain when he sang. Still, overall this is a good record as Alun pointed out and worth picking up.
#4 | gdazegod on February 23 2009 12:03:00
They all have nice hair.. don't they? Shock
#5 | gdazegod on July 26 2013 11:28:59
Have been giving this one a renewed listen. Have to say, I'm enjoying it, even if the video is a bit dopey.. lol
#6 | super80boy on February 26 2014 04:21:51
A pleasant surprise this was with consistently catchy polished efforts…A one dollar used vinyl find and one dollar very well spent! I had read this was a decent release, but you never know with celebrity projects. Enlisting the services of a variety of talented musicians (the highlight being Mr. Clif Magness) really made the difference. The only subpar song for me fortunately occurs at the very end of the LP, 'Lady Of My Heart'.
#7 | gdazegod on February 26 2014 04:43:43
'All I Need' is a fantastic track..

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