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Articles Home » 1981 Articles » Thorpe, Billy - 1981 Stimulation
Thorpe, Billy - 1981 Stimulation

ARTIST: Thorpe, Billy
ALBUM: Stimulation
LABEL: CBS/Pasha, Mushroom (Australia)
SERIAL: AL-3749, L-37700
YEAR: 1981


LINEUP: Billy Thorpe - lead & background vocals, lead & rhythm guitars, bass, synthesizers * Gil Mathews - drums

Additional Musicians: Alvin Taylor - drums * Leland Sklar - bass * Randy Kerber - keyboards * Geoffrey Hales - percussion * Devin Payne, Randy Bishop - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Just The Way I Like It * 02 No Rules On The Road * 03 Rock Until You Drop * 04 You Touched Me * 05 Let Me Outta Here * 06 Syndrome D.O.A. * 07 L.K.O. * 08 Face In The Mirror * 09 Stimulation


'Stimulation' was Billy Thorpe's third of four attempts to crack an American market that seemed to care less with each consecutive release. Blasting off in 1979, 'Children Of The Sun' was a major FM radio hit, but Thorpe struggled to capture the hearts and minds of record buyers with the excellent '21st Century Man' and 'Stimulation' fared even worse. I barely heard the first single 'Just The Way I Like It' on the radio, but very much recall cut-out bins bursting with copies for a year or two to come and tours with both Blackfoot and Nazareth did little to pull Thorpe out of his steep and hard to watch decline.

The Songs
Co-produced by Thorpe and Pasha head-honcho Spencer Proffer; gone are the Alan Parsons-ish prog leanings that made his first two records so damn special. Instead we get trendy stripped-down pop rock which proliferated beyond imagination back in the day and who knew we needed more of that? Not me and with almost the same line-up that backed Billy on '21st Century Man', including former Aztecs sidekick, drummer Gil Mathews, it's my least favourite Thorpie record. Guitar of course is front and center and while the aforementioned and promising 'Just The Way I Like It' kicks serious ass; 'Stimulation' is a record long on talent and short of ideas. 'Rock Until You Drop' smokes but fizzles out quickly while the record's second single 'You Touched Me' has Thorpe uncharacteristically cooing like a bratty Rick Derringer but never really gets beyond it's Cheap Trick-y riff. I'm not sure what to make of side two's dabbling in miss-guided funk, reggae and synth pop styles. Weird and I don't have a fucking clue what 'Syndrome D.O.A' is all about, sounding like a trippy not to mention bad David Essex out-take, at this point it's not exactly a shocker why 'Stimulation' has yet to be reissued on CD.

In Summary
1982's follow-up 'East Of Eden's Gate' was better but the damage was done with Thorpe turning to soundtrack and TV work before heading home to Australia in the mid-90s. Working on another concept album 'Tangiers'; Billy sadly passed away in 2007 before it was finished although according to his still active web site, the music could see the light of day very soon. Fingers crossed.

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