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Articles Home » 1981 Articles » Egan, Joe - 1981 Map
Egan, Joe - 1981 Map

ARTIST: Egan, Joe
LABEL: Ariola
SERIAL: 203 008-320
YEAR: 1981


LINEUP: Joe Egan - vocals, acoustic guitar

Ralph Hammer, Freddy Tackett - guitars * Dennis Bellfield - bass * Nicky Hopkins - keyboards * Rick Schlosser - drums * Jim Horn, Jerry Jumerville, Tom Saviano - sax * Chuck Findley - trumpet * David Courtney - keyboards, synths, vocoder * Stan Behrens - harmonica * Steve Madeo, Chuck Finley, Jerry Jumerville, Tom Saviano - brass section

TRACK LISTING: 01 Tell Me All About It * 02 Survivor * 03 Stay As You Are * 04 Diamonds * 05 Maker On The Make * 06 Miss Match * 07 Heat Of The Moment * 08 Price Of Love * 09 A Little Bit Of Magic * 10 Front Line

We've got many early 70's fans here. Some might not recognise the name Joe Egan, but for those that do, you'll recall that he was one significant half of the Scottish folk/rock band Stealers Wheel. The other half was of course Gerry Rafferty. Stealers Wheel were famous for their hit song 'Stuck In The Middle With You', which is one of those staple classic rock songs you hear on radio all over the world. The band didn't make as big an impact beyond that one song, and eventually split in 1975, but their record contract mean't that both men were prevented from releasing records until 1978. Rafferty went on to release a handful of successful LP's after his forced exile, plus a selection of hit singles such as 'Baker St' and 'Right Down The Line'. In the meantime, Egan returned in 1979 with 'Out of Nowhere', and followed it up with this album 'Map' two years later. Joe's voice is very recognisable, and despite the British/Scottish connection, 'Map' was in fact recorded in Los Angeles and produced by David Courtney, who also assisted Joe with the songwriting, contributing on six of the ten tracks.

The Songs
I've always enjoyed both Rafferty and Egan's work, and though Gerry was probably more successful, Joe has some great tunes too, this album is no exception. 'Map' combines the earthy rootsy/folk underbelly that has frequented Joe's career, along with a commercial sheen which provides the polish. Opening up with a guitar rocker 'Tell Me All About It', this has all the hallmarks of Russ Ballard's solo material, though Joe's voice is quite distinctive. 'Survivor' without doubt, is the most 'AOR' effort here, a mid-paced affair with bright keyboards and an overall melodic approach. 'Stay As You Are' though slow starting, touches on a sound that other British bands of the 70's pop movement made popular. I'm thinking Blue, Liverpool Express.. the handclaps on the chorus is a bit of a giveaway. Synths and keys announce the song 'Diamonds', though it quickly moves into a Caribbean/reggae like groove. Not exactly 10cc doing 'Dreadlock Holiday', this one is too bouncy and smiley. Joe sounds like he is having a bit of fun on this happy romp called 'Maker On The Make'. There's a load of sax and Dire Straits sounding guitar lines. Probably the beefiest song here is 'Miss Match', with big drums, wurlitzer keyboards a la Supertramp and an AOR delivery that'll please the readers here. Joe provides a track called 'Heat Of The Moment', and though the songtitle sounds like it should reside on an AOR album, this one is pretty good, not unlike Ambrosia in feel. 'Price Of Love' is a bluesy number, with a bar room piano in the mix. This is a cover of an old Everly Brothers tune. 'A Little Bit Of Magic' is a sweet down-home country folk ballad with an ever present harmonica. That description might put the fear of death into our melodic readership, but fear not, it's a beautiful little number. Joe comes up with a war story for the closing song 'Front Line'. A slower tune with piano and electric guitar dominating the sound. It's a poignant piece, for which the lyrics become the true focus, and it includes a soaring guitar solo for good measure.

In Summary
It's unfortunate that this album sank like a stone, and that Egan would remove himself from the music for years. Joe did collaborate on Gerry Rafferty's 1992 album 'On A Wing And A Prayer', but beyond that, his involvement with music has been infrequent. Joe resides in England, and at last report, runs his own Publishing Company.

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#1 | Eric on February 23 2010 18:09:20
Superb album and spot on review.
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