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Articles Home » 1978 Articles » Cassidy, Shaun - 1978 Under Wraps
Cassidy, Shaun - 1978 Under Wraps

ARTIST: Cassidy, Shaun
ALBUM: Under Wraps
LABEL: Warner Bros
YEAR: 1978

LINEUP: Shaun Cassidy - lead & background vocals, guitars, keyboards * Michael Lloyd - guitars, keyboards, background vocals * Jay Graydon, Davy Johnston, Joey Newman, John Morell, Ben Benay - guitars * Greg Mathieson, Jim Greenspoon, Tom Hensley, Mike Lang - keyboards * Dennis Befield, Dee Murray, Jim Hughart - bass * Carlos Vega - drums * Alan Estes - percussion * John D'Andrea - sax * Bill Champlin, Tom Kelly, Bobby Kimball, Venette Gloud, Carmen Twillie, Ron Hicklin, Jim Haas, Gene Merlino, Gene Morford, Sally Stevens, Melissa MacKay, Myrna, Matthews, Jackie Ward - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Hard Love * 02 Taxi Driver * 03 Lie To Me * 04 One More Night Of Your Love * 05 It's Like Heaven * 06 Our Night * 07 She's Right * 08 Midnight Sun * 09 Right Before Your Skies


As the story goes, David Cassidy's younger brother Shaun was busy playing glam rock in Los Angeles clubs before management cleaned him up and set him straight on the path to teen rock stardom. Indeed Shaun became one of, if not one of the biggest stars in the market during the late 70's. For those who don't know and are quick to blow him off as a bit player with no talent, Cassidy released on his first two records some neat power pop, including some smart Eric Carmen covers amidst the fluff and while forever un-cool in the eyes of many rockers and most critics, 1977's 'Shaun Cassidy' and 'Born Late' are certainly worthy of re-evaluation as classics of the genre. Of course fame is fleeting and the following year, Cassidy's flame was starting to dim and he knew it. In an attempt to update his image as a more serious contender, Cassidy released 'Under Wraps'. Unfortunately no one was buying into it, or the record itself as Cassidy would be forever pigeon-holed as a teeny bopper pop star, which in the minds of many, no thanks to The Monkees probably never played on his own records.

The Songs
Of course that wasn't the case and while there's nothing mind blowing on 'Under Wraps' it's a nice record. The album finds a mixture of covers and Shaun Cassidy originals which in most cases tends to lean towards the power pop spectrum, including the upbeat opener 'Hard Love' and 'Taxi Dancer' which will surely impress fans of Jellyfish. So far a great start although from here the album turns to cover tunes and the Bill LaBounty cover 'Lie To Me' is predictably a nice if a little bland west coast styled number although much better and in keeping with the mood of the first couple tracks is Brian Wilson's 'It's Like Heaven' which is superb to say the least. Those critics who continually slammed Cassidy should have been ashamed of themselves after hearing this beauty. Over to side two 'Our Night' which while not written by Shaun, is in keeping with his power pop style, but the rest of the album suffers from the MOR doldrums and just doesn't live up to the promise of side one's best.

In Summary
Left to his own devices Shaun Cassidy could have turned out a power pop classic but the powers that be were pulling him in a dozen different directions and 'Under Wraps' suffers for this. Still, I've heard far worse music from 1978 and both this album and the follow-up 'Room Service' which never charted believe it or not are worth picking up for the more rocking cuts. In a last ditch attempt at respectability, Cassidy would break all convention with 1980's Todd Rundgren produced 'Wasp' which like all of his catalog unbelievably has yet to appear on CD.

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#1 | gdazegod on February 12 2010 04:26:06
Of course the album cover was made more recently famous when it appeared in the You Tube sensation video 'Album Cover Wars'..
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