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ARTIST: Marc Jordan
ALBUM: Talking Through Pictures
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Marc Jordan - vocals, guitars, keyboards
Guitars - Bill Andersen, Trevor Rabin, Michael Landau, Gregg Arreguin, Tony Berg, Steve Farris, Doug Macaskill, Tony Riparetti * Bass - Stuart Hamm, Reggie McBride, Tim Landers, Randy Bramwell, Kim Bullard * Keyboards - Kim Bullard * Programming - John Capek, Paul DeVilliers * Drums - Tony Braunagel, Pat Mastelotto, Louis Molino III, Cedric Sampson * Percussion - Deborah Dobkin, Amy Knowles, Arno Lucas, Louis Molino III * Horns - Danny Pelfrey * Backing Vocals - Dee Dee Bellson, Stan Bush, Cece Bullard, Marc Jordan, Graham Nash, Timothy Schmit, Amy Sky, Tata Vega
TRACK LISTING: 01 This Independence * 02 Kensington Garden * 03 Catch The Moon * 04 I Ching * 05 Talking Through Pictures * 06 Soldier Of Fortune * 07 Seek And You Shall Find * 08 Inside The Glass Bead * 09 Human Race * 10 I Was Your Fool
Marc Jordan has been around the fringes of the West Coast/AOR scene since the early 70's, and has released a few albums in the process. Though born in New York City, Jordan has Canadian parentage and roots, having been bought up in Toronto. By the mid 70's however, he had moved to Los Angeles, where he spent a reasonable amount of his career performing but by and large, writing songs for the stars. Signed to Warner Bros, it was during this formative period that he rubbed shoulders with the best, and forged professional working relationships. His two albums during this timeframe are considered West Coast classics. 1978's 'Mannequin' the following years 'Blue Desert' rate very highly among the WC trainspotters. By the 80's, Jordan had moved across to RCA. Here he would release two exceptional albums. 1983's 'Hole In The Wall' and this one, 87's Talking Through Pictures'. This is a high-class production job from Jordan, Kim Bullard and Paul DeVilliers, with no expense spared as to the ensemble cast. The songwriting and lyrical ability are in another league, you can just make out the beginnings of a songwriter pushing slightly political/activist leanings on this record, which would come to fruition on his 1990 album 'Cow' (a.k.a 'conserve our world').
Musically, the instrumentation and production values are top-notch, the album swimming in a vast ocean of keyboard layers and hi-tech programming. In places I was reminded of Mike + The Mechanics
and Ian Thomas
, particularly the lead off track 'This Independence', for which a video was made. We flick through the short interlude 'Kensington Garden' which segues directly into the lush 'Catch The Moon', which to my ears sounds like a laid back version of Canadian heroes The Arrows
, for which incidentally, sees their guitarist Doug Macskill appearing on the album. 'I Ching' maybe prophetic on a lyrical basis, but the sound is reminiscent of West Coast band Bourgeois Tagg
and their material off the same years release 'Yo-Yo'. The title track 'Talking Through Pictures' is a morass of sound, effects, percussion and counter melodies appearing from everywhere. A very busy track indeed. Unlike 'Soldier Of Fortune' which returns to a simplistic and less congested sound - essentially piano accompaniment with a strings backwash. The lyrics are intriguing too.. 'A tiger dreaming of his prey, this is the edge of history.. I touch.. I feel.. I see.. a Soldier Of Fortune, marching inside of me..'
. Again, the music segues (with next to no interruption) into 'Seek And You Shall Find', which is wrapped up in an Ian Thomas
parcel of melody, a la his 'Levity' material. 'Inside The Glass Bead' contains some esoteric lyrics and along with 'Human Race', you find the first traces of Jordan's move toward greener pastures (literally). The latter song is a very captivating tune nonetheless. The album ends with a love story gone wrong with 'I Was Your Fool', loads of AOR melodies to enjoy here.
Since this record and the following one 'Cow', Marc has moved his music more into the jazz field. 1993's 'Reckless Valentine' was a good example of this. Along with wife Amy Sky
, Marc Jordan continues to release material and perform live, though for this listener, his earlier catalogue is definitely some rich territory that needs thorough exploration. For confirmed West Coast-aholics, 'Hole In The Wall', 'Talking Through Pictures' and 'Cow' are compulsory acquisitions.
Related Articles:Marc Jordan - 1987 Talking Through PicturesMarc Jordan - 1990 Cow
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