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Eyes (USA) - 1978 We're In It Together



ARTIST: Eyes (USA)
ALBUM: We're In It Together
LABEL: Quiet Cannon
SERIAL: -
YEAR: 1978

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: James Christian - guitars, vocals * Philip Stoltie - bass, flutes and vocals * Richie Catalano - drums and percussion * Jerry Green - keyboards * Jeff Batter - additional keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Deeper In Love * 02 Back Seat Driver * 03 California By Morning * 04 Thinking It Over * 05 We Better Get Along * 06 It's Over * 07 First Of Winter * 08 In The City * 09 Starland * 10 If I Had Wings To Fly


Background
I must confess the exact origins of this band remain a mystery, though judging by the album liner notes I assume they hailed from Connecticut, and I understand they were formed from the ashes of prog rock outfit Jasper Wrath. Being lucky enough to possess a copy of this AOR/pomp/prog gem, it's easy to see why you rarely see this album for sale, other than for big bucks. If I was to use a description to sum up the music on 'We're In It Together' the word 'tasteful' would spring to mind. In short, this record will appeal to fans of Brother Bait, The Biz, and their ilk. Naturally being a pomp rock band, the members were all highly accomplished musicians and there's a wealth of instrumentation going on here, though it's never tedious and overlong, a crime that some of their contemporaries operating in the same genre were guilty of. The proverbial icing on the cake is the immaculate vocal harmonies, yet another staple ingredient for any great pomp band.


The Songs
Opener 'Deeper In Love' has a slightly west coast feel about it, like the late 1970's AOR peddled by Player and Network (on their debut). Guitarist James Christian cranks up the guitar several notches for 'Back Seat Driver', a fine guitar driven pomp rocker with exquisite vocal harmonies, embellished by tasteful keyboards. 'California By Morning' is soft pomp similar to the likes of Canadian band September, whereas the penultimate track on side one, 'Thinking It Over', is an epic ballad with robust guitar on the chorus and climaxing with wailing synths. Side one peaks Everest style with 'We Better Get Along' - a fine slice of strutting pomp rock. The lush AOR continues on side two with 'It's Over' and it's sumptuous vocal harmonies. This song is embellished with Phillip Stoltie's flute playing. Normally the very idea of having a flute player in an AOR/Pomp band to my mind is as painful as undergoing major dental surgery without the use of anaesthetic (see my comments on Fairchild). Though I have to admit somewhat grudgingly that it works well here, as well as on the track 'In The City'. 'Starland' has an infectious chorus and great spacey keyboard effects, and the album closes with 'If I Had The Wings To Fly' a wonderfully overblown piece of pomp with a galloping bassline and James Christian's strident guitar.


In Summary
I admit to having a soft spot for this band, and I've played this album incessantly ever since I managed to get hold of the album a few months ago. I'd love to know what happened to Eyes. Perhaps the likes of our friend Eric Abrahamsen could enlighten me?


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This article has been tagged
Tags: Eyes (#1) 
 
Comments
#1 | Wally on February 28 2008 02:52:34
Jimi Christian (nee James DeCici) and Phil Stoltie did indeed come from Jasper Wrath, which was probably the best prog/art rock band in the New England region during the early- to mid- 70's. Guest keyboardist Jeff Batter also played with Wrath. The three of them appeared on a single 'You'/'General Gunther', which received a great deal of airplay throughout New England during the late 70's and into the 80's.

Eyes played the Connecticut local scene from the late '70's through about 1988 before calling it quits. 'We're In It Together' was their only album. The band played mostly covers with a smattering of their own songs during their frequent and packed appearances at many local hot spots. These guys were all extremely talented and versatile musicians. The band had a few personnel changes before breaking up, with Christian and (I believe) Catalano as the constant members.

Christian went to LA and hooked up with Gene Simmons, who helped him form the band House of Lords, who had a few hits during the metal days of the early to mid 90's. Batter continues to record, performing country music with his wife, and also as a guest with his old Wrath-mate Jeff Cannata (Arc Angel). Not sure what happened to Catalano, Green, and Stoltie, but the latter is rumored to have dropped out of music entirely to work in manufacturing.

Both Jasper Wrath and Eyes continue to hold an honored place among the ranks of those extremely talented Connecticut bands who never had the opportunity to be heard by a larger audience.
#2 | reyno-roxx on February 28 2008 10:09:13
Irinically enough, prior to House Of Lords James Christian sang on one of the many demos recorded by L.A. Rocks before they signed a major label deal and changed their name to..Eyes..
#3 | jefflynnefan on February 29 2008 03:55:21
James sang a lot of demos for Judith Randall too. Isn't the song 'Candle In The Window' from Rude Awakening a old Eyes or Jasper Wrath song without the Randall credit?
#4 | gdazegod on February 29 2008 08:42:26
Didn't the band Loud N Clear also do 'Candle In The Window'? If so, great song.. clap
#5 | gdazegod on December 03 2010 12:29:42
Listening to 'Backseat Driver', it reminded me so much of American Tears, or Touch! Great stuff!
#6 | super80boy on February 19 2013 04:50:06
I recently picked this obscurity up and was very pleased by a handful of songs. There are pomp references and even the slower songs are quite ear pleasing.
#7 | windsofmarch on August 05 2013 19:22:47
American Tears meets Jasper Wrath meets Zoldan and Clark with Choice/Network funky pomp elements here and there. In my humble view an superb pomp record.
#8 | Wally on January 18 2014 13:29:16
I recently came across a 45 rpm single by Eyes that contains two non-album songs -- "Bump In The Night" bw "I Need You". It was probably recorded during the same sessions for the full-length LP as it was released in 1978. Worth a listen if you can find it.
#9 | jefflynnefan on July 01 2017 20:09:39
Somebody help me out with this video. Is this the same band? Because that doesn't look or sound like James Christian to me. It sounds more like Jeff Cannata except it says this was out in 1984. I know this song....

YouTube Video:
#10 | rostoned on July 01 2017 21:48:45
Yes JeffLynnefan, it is the same unit. and it is 100% James Xian in the clip singing and playing bass
#11 | jefflynnefan on July 02 2017 05:47:05
I don't know what it is but it just didn't seem like that was James. Is this a unreleased song?
 
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