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Articles Home » 1979 Articles » Cassidy, Shaun - 1979 Room Service
Cassidy, Shaun - 1979 Room Service

ARTIST: Cassidy, Shaun
ALBUM: Room Service
LABEL: Warner Bros
YEAR: 1979


LINEUP: Shaun Cassidy - keyboards, vocals * Randy Foote, Alan Estes - percussion * Jay Graydon, Richie Zito, Dan Ferguson, Al Ciner - guitars * Jimmy Greenspoon, Jay Gruska, Tom Hensley, Michael Lloyd, Greg Mathieson - keyboards * Dennis Belfield - bass * Terry Harrington - saxophone * Carlos Vega - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Fallin' Into You * 02 Time For A Change * 03 Only Because Of Love * 04 Are You Afraid Of Me * 05 Break For The Street * 06 Heaven In Your Eyes * 07 You're Usin' Me * 08 The Letter * 09 You Still Surprise Me


As described in excellent detail in an earlier review by Eric, Shaun Cassidy's fleeting moment of pop stardom in the late 70's was punctuated by some excellent recordings, which veered from pop to a more sophisticated blend of melodic rock. The latter dominating this particular album, at a time when Cassidy's commercial fortunes appeared to be on the decline, following his teen idol rise to fame three years earlier. It's worth pointing out that Cassidy was only 21 at the time of 'Room Service's release, which makes his rapid downfall quite amazing. Still his music was always improving and scanning the personnel enlisted for recording purposes it looks very much like an AOR dream and to be honest it isn't far off. Still the album was a flop, undeservedly so, not evening making Billboards top 200. Maybe Cassidy should have joined forces with the similarly aged Keane brothers.

The Songs
The slow drawl of 'Fallin' into You' delves into some adequate late 70's AOR, with keyboards and sax in the mix, giving it somewhat of a moody edge. Not exactly one for the teeny bopper crowd, an aspect Eric alluded to in his review of 'Under Wraps'. There's a sub-disco backbeat to 'Time For a Change,' pretty common for the time but there's no denying the melodic content of the song. There's a Doobie Brothers keyboard influence to 'Only Because of Love' which means this would have been an easy fit on 'Minute By Minute'. This is supreme easy-listening AOR which could have been a huge hit. 'Are You Afraid of Me' has a token 'Do Ya Think I'm Sexy' arrangement, but is relentlessly catchy nevertheless. Far more hard rock oriented is 'Break For The Street,' an attempt at social commentary apparently with the lyric 'working hard from nine to five, a corporate example of the middle class trying to stay alive'. It's almost in the vein of what Franke And The Knockouts would produce on their debut soon after in terms of melody and overall direction. Sadly this isn't explored more, but 'Heaven In Your Eyes' is a superb ballad, right up there with The Bee Gees for harmony. 'You're Usin' Me' could be a lost Player track and there's little to fault with his cover of The Box Tops 'The Letter' with its distinctive keyboard lines. Sadly the album goes out with a fizz, 'You Still Surprise Me' a ballad of little proportion, taking too long to build up to anything meaningful, although when it does it's worth a listen.

In Summary
The album cover is good for a laugh, Cassidy grinning mischievously at an unknown person peeking in through his blinds, perhaps about to receive 'room service' from one of his fans! That aside I believe this hinted at a promising AOR direction for Cassidy, but unfortunately it wasn't to be. 'Wasp' would be his final recording the following year and sadly it proved to be end of the line for Cassidy's musical ventures in the studio. It would have been intriguing to hear a 1982 album from him, who knows how good it could have been?

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#1 | Eric on January 09 2012 12:48:28
Spot on review. A lot of Cassidy and 70s pop fans have been wondering about Longfellow- his pre-stardom Glam band that played around the L.A. area and recorded. Would love to hear that stuff released in a definitive Cassidy reissue program...
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