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Articles Home » 1974 Articles » Aim - 1974 Aim For The Highest
Aim - 1974 Aim For The Highest

ALBUM: Aim For The Highest
LABEL: Blue Thumb Records
YEAR: 1974


LINEUP: Michael W. Overly - lead & background vocals, guitars, flutes * Patrick O' Conner - bass * Warren 'Bugs' Pemberton - drums * Loren Newkirk - electric and acoustic piano, organ, harpsichord * Alan Estes - congas, background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Aim For The Highest * 02 My Friend * 03 Hollywood * 04 You Need Me * 05 Seattle * 06 I'm Here * 07 Morning Magic * 08 How Are We To Live * 09 Endlessly * 10 4 O'Clock Rock * 11 We Can Make It

A very cool logo on Aim's only LP and easy to spot in cut-out bins for many years; Aim was headed up by guitarist Michael W. Overly who made a name for himself as a solo artist and later in the group Christopher Cloud with Tommy Boyce formerly of the bubblegum songwriting duo Boyce & Hart. Following the 1973 LP 'Blown Away', Christopher Cloud split with Overly forming Aim shortly thereafter and hitting the road with Steely Dan, Blue Oyster Cult, The Guess Who and BTO in support of 'Aim For the Highest'.

The Songs
With the band's photo surrounded by what appears to be angel wings and lyric content on several tracks that could be construed as 'religious', I imagine this was tough album to market. Compounding the album's issues is a lack of quality material, Mike Overly's high-pitched tenor which quickly becomes annoying and a tendency to get all funky and boogie things up way too often. The title track sets the tone with a loud Ohio Players influenced funk-up, turning it down for the lazy R&B of 'My Friend' and 'Hollywood' which checks-in as side one's best cut matched with the poppy 'Morning Magic' happily recalling the first Steely Dan album. 'Endlessly' is a nice classically based ballad which includes harpsichord, an instrument I can never get enough of although once again Overly's painful yelping is too much to bare, seriously challenging my endurance and following the glammy '4 O'Clock Rock' as well as the unbearable 'We Can Make It'; I'm breathing a much needed sigh of relief as the needle finally leaves the vinyl.

In Summary
Another in a long line of examples why a sharp logo does not necessarily make for a good album and since I've never come across a copy of 'Aim for the Highest' without a hole punch, it's a good bet record buyers back in '74 felt the same.

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#1 | shelf stacker on July 22 2009 12:18:09
Couldn't disagree more strongly with your review Eric. Having said that, after owning this LP for some 25 years, I still can't put my finger on what it is that I find so special about it. Certainly there are elements of Steely Dan in there as well as the Doobie Brothers, but vocally I've always heard a hint of Stevie Wonder in Michael Overly's performance. Add to this a smattering of a jazz influence (listen to Overly's scat vocals on 'You Need Me' and Loren Newkirk's electric piano work throughout), and you have one very interesting album. I suspect that part of the problem the record-buying public had with Aim was that they weren't easily pigeonholed: I can't even begin to imagine what kind of a reception they might have received from a Blue Oyster Cult or BTO audience! The predominant mood of 'Aim For The Highest' is one of sunny, West-Coast positivity. One of my 'grab-it-when-the-house-is-burning-down' LPs. Incidentally, my copy also has a hole punch.
#2 | Eric on July 22 2009 17:49:19
Good points and I know this record has a bit of a cult following from various blogs and web mentions I've come across. Still, not my thing...Smile
#3 | Eric on February 02 2012 13:18:11
What am I missing with this album?
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