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Stevens, Jon - 1982 Jon Stevens

ARTIST: Stevens, Jon
ALBUM: Jon Stevens
YEAR: 1982


LINEUP: Jon Stevens - lead and backing vocals

Musicians: John Robinson - drums * Nathan Watts - bass * Clarence McDonald, William Smith, James Newton Howard - piano * Paul Jackson Jr, Tim May, Steve Lukather - guitars * Paulinho DaCosta - percussion * Ed Walsh - synthesizer * Boby King, William Smith, Venetta Fields, Paulette Brown, Richard Page, Steve George - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Running Away * 02 Stringin' A Line * 03 Lover My Love * 04 Come Back * 05 Crimes Of Passion * 06 Don't You Give Up * 07 Make You Mine, All Mine * 08 Every Little Bit Hurts * 09 Here To Stay * 10 How Much Love


One of New Zealand's finest rock exports has to be Jon Stevens, who at the age of 16 in 1979 enjoyed massive success with his cover of 'Montego Bay', which has become quite the Kiwi staple ever since. Stevens recorded alongside Sharon O' Neill shortly after, before heading to Australia to seek his fortune. In 1981 Stevens tried his luck in L.A. at the grand old age of 18, hooking up with luminaries like Steve Lukather and Richard Page and recorded an archetypal AOR album. Lost in the shuffle of hundreds of other similar releases, the album went nowhere, which considering the firepower Stevens armed himself with is baffling.

The Songs
Looking at Stevens on the cover of this album you'd think he was 38, not 18, looking quite the mature, undercover lover. I had no idea this album even existed until recently and based on the music on offer here it's scandalous this isn't better known. Every track works and if artists like John O' Banion, Franke and the Knockouts, Nielsen-Pearson, Frankie Bleu, Rick Springfield and Greg Guidry get you excited then this is right up your alley. This is one of those rare cases where singling out songs is pointless because all feature a stunning array of melody, guitar work and keyboard excellence. That said the most essential cuts include 'Running Away', 'Stringin' A Line', 'Come Back' and 'How Much Love' which are all definitive AOR moments able to stand tall amidst the legends of the era. Why this album sunk without trace is a mystery.

In Summary
The rest is history however and Stevens would find massive success in the 80's with Aussie rockers Noiseworks, who produced some superb melodic rock themselves. Stevens became a superstar in Oz and joined INXS following Michael Hutchence's death, but little resulted from it. For those who are unaware of this album then I suggest you snap it up. It's the best AOR effort from a Kiwi and an amazing acheivement from such a young talent.

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#1 | gdazegod on April 24 2010 04:59:40
i have a sneak feeling this may have been released in Australia on the Big Time label. I do remember the track 'Stringin' A Line', great track. Most of the acts/artists covered in this review are great reference points. Even Michael Bolton on the track 'Every Little Bit Hurts' is not too far off the mark. Not bad for an Upper Hutt boy!
#2 | kim_hp on September 24 2010 01:03:53
I totally agree with this review. This is one of the most perfect westcoast/AOR releases ever heard... good reference points too - especially Greg Guidry on the mellower tracks. CD RE-ISSUE PLEASE!
#3 | gdazegod on October 21 2011 12:34:30
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