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Articles Home » 1978 Articles » Nielsen Pearson Band - 1978 Nielsen Pearson Band
Nielsen Pearson Band - 1978 Nielsen Pearson Band

ARTIST: Nielsen Pearson Band
ALBUM: Nielsen Pearson Band
SERIAL: JE 34984
YEAR: 1978


LINEUP: Reed Nielsen - lead and background vocals, acoustic and Fender Rhodes pianos, electric and acoustic guitars * Mark Pearson - lead and background vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, acoustic piano * John Scott Bowen - fender bass, synthesizers, background vocals * Steve Boutte - drums, percussion, background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Home * 02 Wasn't That The Love * 03 Whatever I Have To Be * 04 Pack Up Your Goodbyes * 05 Down To The River * 06 I Need A Song * 07 Once In Love * 08 For All Time * 09 On The Spot * 10 Best Times

In my recent review of Phillips/Macleod, I was pretty ignorant of this album, intimating that I only brought it by mistake, yes at the time; it was, thinking I had purchased one of the two follow ups when Nielsen and Pearson went it alone. Although years later, I am somewhat of a different opinion as I am learning to appreciate many types of music, although only when it is stretching the boundaries of rock (haven't totally lost it!). So what's the tale on this album, released in 1978, the duo were part of a band, with the additional help of John Scott Bowen and Steve Boutte, It probably shows a group looking at various directions, as will we come on to, some will work, some don't, some they will take on and improve on the Nielsen Pearson in 1980, and 'Blind Luck' in 1983 (already reviewed by richardb). While those two albums will be more collectable than this one, you shouldn't ignore this collection of tunes, although it doesn't have tracks like the epic 'Annie' from the 1980 release or 'Sentimental' from 'Blind Luck', but there is enough to keep you amused, although it doesn't start off looking like that, let me explain.

The Songs
Much of the first side sees the band balancing on a beam; one side is dropping into classic Westcoast bathing in the warm sun, whilst the other side, falling into the murky music of pop, even middle of road, best explained by the Hall and Oates feel to opening 'Home'. Whilst parts of this first side are quite pleasant listening, I can do without the water torture of the harmonica; which does its best to spoil 'Wasn't That The Love' , which has Stevie Wonder and Doobie Bros trying to sneak into the frame, while the beginning reminds of the TV The Walton's, so not good. What is amusing (or strange, or annoying, depending on where you are coming from) is that some of the songs go through pretty trying sections but at the same time contains some excellent parts, for instance take 'Pack Up Your Goodbyes', part stodgy ballad, part fluffy self-raising goodness. Then the barbershop singing style on 'Down To The River' really hurts but the chorus and following guitar are pleasant stirring westcoast and become quite enjoyable. Much more fun is found on Side 2, because well, what have I found here? Just when you need a song you get 'I Need A Song', yes Frank Stallone could really punch your lights out with this beauty. This is special, a westcoast vision with the first real dash of AOR, excellent. This purple patch continues with 'Once In Love', piano and orchestral lightly touches a fine vocal display by Reed Nielsen and not that very far from Kansas or Styx, who could always peddle to the lightweight station when it was required. Only trouble is, that it is quite remarkable how quickly they slip into a great westcoast groove as fast as they fall back into what is teetering into middle of the road, which is the case for 'For All Time' and the closer 'Best Times', although I enjoy Pearson's deeper voice on the first of these tracks. While the musical accompaniment can be found on the anything Bobby Caldwell or Marc Jordan was supplying at the same era of the 70's. 'On The Spot' is quite a stirring request for the correct placing of the football ball on the penalty spot? no? This is a strong ballad and it's the backing vocals of the Faragher Brothers (assuming those from 1979 release, 'Open Your Eyes', that can be found in articles of that said year) that gives the song a good kicking, along with the Procol Harum keyboard lines and for some very bizarre reason, Reingold!, maybe as I could see Goran Edman, who appeared on the fine release in 1999 having a good bash at something like this, gives you an idea, that this is a real melodic belter. This song really makes an impression, soulful, powerful, really gets your shirt ruffled, love it.

In Summary
With Pearson and Nielsen being responsible for all the songs on this, suppose it's not surprising that the services were dispensed of John Scott Bowen and Steve Boutte as they pushed ahead as duo in the true sense of the word. Although they both received a special thanks mention on the 1980 release, Bowen did make fleeting appearances on both future releases. This album is largely ignored when people start raving about those 80's album, except of course GDM as this is mentioned in the 'Blind Luck' article. My final impression is this is a very good album, but that is due to the second side being far stronger. While many would have you spend high values to obtain the follow ups, don't forget to put some money away for a rainy day, because if you come across this one, then I would recommend a purchase, remember this is where is started.

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#1 | Eric on March 28 2012 13:43:44
Sort of disagree. I think this is a weak album and as much as I hate to use the word- 'dated'. Major cut-out bin clogger way back when. Neat logo though.
#2 | dangerzone on March 28 2012 17:45:35
I agree with Eric. Compared to the next two classics this is somewhat lacking in memorable melodies.
#3 | englandashes on March 28 2012 20:08:41
Oh Yes, I agree it is dated, I don't think I ever considered this not to be, and haven't put it on par with the other two albums, which I have stressed a number of times in the review. Mentioned that they are some bad parts to this album, but looked to pick out the strengths, which there are some, although maybe a a long way down, but really just trying to tease them out.
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