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Maxus - 1981 Maxus

ALBUM: Maxus
LABEL: Warner Bros
YEAR: 1981
CD REISSUE: 2010, Warner Music (Japan), VSCD-3505, WQCP-867


LINEUP: Jay Gruska - vocals, keyboards * Michael Landau - guitars * Robbie Buchanan - keyboards * Mark Leonard - bass * Doane Perry - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Higher You Rise * 02 Nobodys Business * 03 What You Give * 04 Keep A Light On * 05 Your Imagination * 06 They Danced * 07 Part Of You * 08 Don't Try To Stop Me Now * 09 Where Were You

A get together of session greats forms the basis of this one-off effort called Maxus. Featuring the talented singer songwriter Jay Gruska, plus leading L.A session guys Mike Landau and Robbie Buchanan, Maxus move in that same airspace as Jay Graydon's Airplay or Pages, throw in a bit of eighties era Chicago and perhaps Toto to complete the mix.

The Songs
Some examples of their perfect lightweight AOR include the catchy opener 'The Higher You Rise'. On this one you'll get to hear Mike Landau's heavily processed guitar sound, melodic and incisive. 'Nobody's Business' follows suite with a catchy chorus. 'What You Give' is a little off beat with it's quirky chorus not before the late night listening experience of 'Keep A Light On' puts us back on track. 'Your Imagination' has a lot of similarity to Al Jarreau's material, very West Coast sounding. 'They Danced' is an upbeat and hi-tech arrangement, of which 'Part Of You follows in laid back fashion. 'Where Were You' is another juicy slice of West Coast/AOR, with keyboards and guitars all over the place.

In Summary
So, if you a have a hankering for the likes of I-Ten, Airplay, Pages or What If, then very definitely Maxus should be hailed over like the proverbial Yellow Cab on West Coast BLVD, and taken home for a bit of aural consumption.

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#1 | dangerzone on June 09 2008 01:37:18
Great album and if I had to choose I'd take this over Airplay. 'The Higher You Rise' is top shelf AOR.
#2 | richardb on June 09 2008 07:58:30
Me too - desperate for a non-Jap CD re-release. If I recall correctly Dakota have covered 'The higher you rise'. Maxus have the definitive version IMHO though..

Richard B
#3 | reyno-roxx on July 29 2010 22:03:53
Jeff Paris (aka Geoffrey Leib ) worked with Jay Gruska in the years leading up to this release.
#4 | Jez on September 08 2010 19:06:39
Absolutely brilliant album and one of my fave Westcoast discs of all. Just got the rather lovely Jap lp sleeve re-issue, which is a treat to the ears.
#5 | super80boy on January 04 2015 17:58:31
Maxus seemed to have been a super group that just wasn't meant to be, although this one and done album is just stellar West Coast AOR and one of the defining releases in the genre from the early 80s.
#6 | richardb on August 04 2015 19:09:53
Finally picked up the CD at a reasonable price to replace my old battered vinyl copy. Looking forward to blasting this on the CD player tonight..Thumbs Up
#7 | reyno-roxx on August 08 2015 09:51:18
Funnily enough, so have I. It was the vinyl replica version. Would prefer a jewel case release, but nice to finally have this on CD for a very affordable price. Just over a tenner.
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