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Articles Home » 1981 Articles » Goodman, Tim - 1981 Footsteps
Goodman, Tim - 1981 Footsteps

ARTIST: Goodman, Tim
ALBUM: Footsteps
LABEL: Columbia
SERIAL: BL 37410
YEAR: 1981


LINEUP: Tim Goodman - vocals, guitars, keyboards

Guests: John McFee, Michael O'Neil - guitars * Mark Andes, Tiran Porter - bass * Sean Hopper, Michael MacDonald, Richie Lawrence - keyboards * Keith Knudsen - drums, backing vocals * Billy Meeker - drums, percussion * Chet McCracken - drums * Phil Chester, Max Gronenthal, Patrick Simmons, Chris Thompson - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Fara * 02 Footsteps In The Night * 03 Standin' On This Corner * 04 New Romeo * 05 Tell Your Mama * 06 Growin' Up * 07 Live Or Die * 08 Little To Little * 09 Tricycle * 10 Johanna And The Sailor

Confession time, I actually don't own a copy of this album, only one of the few CDR's I have in my collection and probably the only CDR that over the years that I have played on numerous occasions. So what is it about this album that draws it to me, well Mr Goodman's 1981 release is rarely mentioned. The only area that it pops up regularly is on a number of websites which concentrate on all things westcoast. So why has it been missing in action to other reaches of the internet. Maybe it's his eventual slide into other genres that might mean many listeners have failed to latch on to his album. Really Tim at the time had everything going for him, great tunes, ability as a songwriter; super vocals and a lovely Labrador as a companion (see back cover!).

The Songs
It's clear from track one being 'Fara' that this is something special. The opening sees Tim boarding the good ship Robbie Patton, and you could easily be mistaking into thinking you were listening to a track off 'Distant Shores'. This has a classic AOR hook with beautiful stormy vocals and really that chorus is to die for. Another girls' name, so that would mean those boys at long gone 'AOR Classics' fanzine getting their briefs into a twist with their obsession of songs attributed to the feminine kind. The title track follows and the album keeps getting better and better, this doesn't leave tiny footsteps more like size 12 boot prints on your forehead. A sweet violin opening and a template for the great Clif Magness to follow years later, with his 'Footsteps In The Rain'. Again it's shades of Patton with a touch of Dan Fogelberg, another great super smooth AOR sonnet.

Goodman has an excellent vocal delivery, built for melodic tones and never frightened to inject abit of story riffs to combine musical skill with a saturation of sugar. If it's westcoast balladry you are after then 'Standin On This Corner' is a stunning, more heart strained, not wimpy by any means in which he reminds me of Jean Beauvoir. Goodman also has that soul quality to his voice; it just glides by, very impressive.

The 70's soul train turns into funky junction, with a saxophone opening to be found on 'New Romeo', together with the female backing vocals, you could be thinking a possible loss of momentum. Yes, it's a slight change, but it is carried off well, the rich vocals save it going down the disco avenue. In fact not a million miles from Desmond Child and Rouge.

'Tell Your Mama' opens with a synth/keyboard similar to Cold Chisel in their heyday, back to perfect AOR, ever the reappearance of the saxophone can't distract from the quality, recounts into early Survivor. The vocals just get so smooth in the mid-section to finish into a perfect westcoast cross AOR marriage made in heaven.

With 'Growin Up' the Survivor comparison continues, with the spoken style of a Dave Bickler introduction and into again Patton over an Eddie Schwartz scenario, even touching on the expert Todd Hobin.

'Live Or Die' changes channel, piano with blues sirens, it's the orange sunrise from 'Live and Die In L.A', turns the corner into more groove oriented number.

'Little Too Little' is much more like it, very much could be considered as a Tommy Shaw styled anthem, that the Styx man would be very at home with. It even touches on some Boston guitaring; in fact it is definitely one of my favourites of the whole album, crafted backing vocals with vocal overplays that is just divine. Excellent.

'Tricycle' is a short musical interlude, which is followed by the epic closing track being 'Johanna And The Sailor'. I was not expecting such a great track which manages to mix a Jethro Tull opening and then goes and fires Kansas, Styx and Roadmaster across your bows. It is an immense composition and with the violins added for good measure you can even add in the magnificent Spy. Just beautiful.

In Summary
Tim's dalliance as a solo artist, peddling westcoast, AOR or however you wish to define it didn't last long, because conveniently for the producer here being John McFee, once of The Doobie Bros, persuaded Tim to work with him again in the Country rock band Southern Pacific. Which Tim then departed to concentrate on bluegrass material. I'm not aware if this ever managed a CD release, however would have been a prime contender for the Japanese Cool Sounds series. Although widely available on vinyl in the USA and I have seen a Japanese vinyl available but little elsewhere. When you get hit with the early couple of tracks, it's abit like falling into AOR treacle especially with 'Fara', and then to be felled by the magnificent closer you just know you have to source a copy as fast as Australia's decline in World cricket (I'm talking in the International sense, rather than the Ashes.. chicken!!) A quality album that probably has Westcoast tipping the balance as representative as the major genre on offer here.

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#1 | Eric on December 19 2010 13:29:47
Spot on review Chris. A good album that went right into cut out bins in the U.S. There was such a glut of this type of thing back then, it's not a wonder it was lost on buyers.
#2 | englandashes on December 19 2010 15:25:55
Thank you for filling in the gaps George with the line up information, yes Eric, cut out bins, with the reduction of Record Fair's in my area, harder than ever to pick up these gems, yes of course got ebay...but something about holding on batch of un sealed vinyl ready to buy and never sure what you are going to find.
#3 | gdazegod on December 19 2010 22:05:48
I'll try and locate this out in Blog land or on Soulseek, and put it up as a fileshare.
#4 | Terje Hoiland on December 23 2010 16:04:32
I remember back to those old days when Tim Goodman LP circulated regularly in the record stores, so much that you were more or less irrretated to see this record all the time. But thanks for the very good review here at Glory Daze I finally managed to get my ass in in gear to buy this album. And to my surprice the album is very good. Can`t believe that I have not bought it before.Thumbs Up
#5 | gerard on March 15 2013 22:15:42
Have had this for years but never really paid much attention to it. Been listening to it the last few days though and it's great, with songs like 'Standin' on this corner', 'Tell your mama', etc.! Great singing! Seems to be a Doobie's project as well, with so many DB members participating.
#6 | englandashes on September 13 2014 23:58:28
What i didn't realise at the time was that the track Growin up was a Springsteen cover, still my favourite on this album.
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