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Articles Home » 1983 Articles » Simmons, Patrick - 1983 Arcade
Simmons, Patrick - 1983 Arcade

ARTIST: Simmons, Patrick
ALBUM: Arcade
LABEL: Elektra
SERIAL: 60225
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 2007, Wounded Bird, WOU 225


LINEUP: Patrick Simmons - main performer (click here for complete list of participants)

TRACK LISTING: 01 Out On The Streets * 02 So Wrong * 03 Don't Make Me Do It * 04 Why You Givin' Up * 05 Too Long * 06 Knocking At Your Door * 07 If You Want A Little Love * 08 Have You Seen Her * 09 Sue Sad * 10 Dream About Me

I have to admit I was surprised to see this hadn't been reviewed here, as it has a strong reputation among AOR observers, one which is well earned. Prior to this the Doobie Brothers had broken up a year after following a farewell tour, which Simmons was coaxed into performing on, having grown weary of the bands direction. As the longest serving member of the Doobies, Simmons had seen the band progress through a variety of styles, their West Coast flirtations with Michael McDonald filtering through to his debut solo album. Simmons enlisted a massive cast of AOR luminaries to participate on the album, a list almost too large to repeat here. With the able likes of John Ryan and Ted Templeman handling production, Simmons really couldn't go wrong. The result was his most melodic offering, very much a slice of AOR heaven.

The Songs
Simmons gets songwriting assistance from Chris Thompson on four tracks, the first being excellent opener 'Out In The Streets', quite the heavy beginning. This is certainly the tougher side of AOR, but is still stuffed to the brim with synths and classic hooks. Upon first hearing it took me days to shake the chorus from my mind and I suspect it would be the same for anyone else.. There's almost a dance beat to 'So Wrong', but again the melody lines are so superior it can be overlooked. It's different, but still works within the AOR framework. The guitar solo is a shining moment also, short but well crafted. Simmons takes a punt at Huey Lewis And The News' 'Don't Make Me Do It', but falls short of the original despite not being all that different. Huey and the boys had an undeniable vocal magic together that Simmons can't replicate. Not to fear however because 'Why You Givin' Up' is sheer West Coast mastery, with McDonald co-writing and also on backing vocals, adding that extra impetus. This song is the reason AOR is so utterly superior. On the back of this 'Too Long' is almost the equal, with another exhilarating chorus. There's no other way to describe it other than that exaggerated adjective! The Andy Fraser penned 'Knocking At Your Door' is next, the song appearing on Fraser's 'Fine, Fine Line' a year later of course. This is executed in sharp fashion by Simmons, but that opening riff has me thinking 'Smoke On The Water' every time. On the funkier side is 'If You Want A Little Love', but well on the West Coast side once again, much in the Kenny Loggins vein. I could do without the cover of The Chi-Lites 'Have You Seen Her', a classic, but not what tickles my fancy on an AOR album. 'Sue Sad' returns the album to normalcy, another breezy cut, much in the Doobie traditions, the guitar work a highlight once again. The closer 'Dream About Me' is written by Jeff Wilson then of the Pure Prairie League and is clearly made for Vince Gill, but is transformed into an absolute classic by Simmons. This is yet another indispensable piece of AOR history that concludes an almost perfect set.

In Summary
This was reissued by Wounded Bird in 2007 after years of dormancy on CD. Anything you've heard about this being a masterwork is accurate and believe me it took me a while to hear it after years of curiosity. This type of album is the reason most of us come to this site and nothing embodies it more than 'Arcade'.

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This article has been tagged
#1 | gdazegod on December 26 2012 00:58:49
YouTube Video:
#2 | gdazegod on December 26 2012 01:01:01
YouTube Video:
#3 | swazi on December 26 2012 16:37:18
Absolutely bloody awesome release! And a great review, too! clap
#4 | kim_hp on December 27 2012 18:39:17
dangerzone is right on spot as usual! No matter how much i listen to this, I can't help but think this got to be one of the most perfect AOR/Westcoast crossover releases ever made. Everything from the production, songs, vocals and musicianship just make this a magical release, hardly topped by most even in the classic filled year that was 1983. Long overdue on this site and in my book definitely one for Rock Candy to pick up now that it's gotten so hard to come by.
#5 | gdazegod on December 27 2012 21:14:37
Has a lot in common to David Roberts I reckon..
#6 | Aluko on December 28 2012 02:24:32
Thank goodness I got the WB reissue just before it went out of print. Great review of a great album.
#7 | super80boy on January 21 2014 18:36:03
A plethora of polished radio friendly cuts are found on this album, mixing straight ahead well paced AOR and West Coast elements. If someone wants to hear the definition of pure AOR, just hand them this album and it's a done deal. Yes, that opening riff on 'Knocking At Your Door' had me doing a double take, where have I heard this before? The only real hiccup would be the cover of 'Have You Seen Her'. A rewarding album for the 80's AOR enthusiast.
#8 | Jez on September 21 2015 19:44:17
Another long lost gem re-issued by Wounded Bird. Patrick Simmons was originally a member of The Doobie Bros. with Michael McDonald and some of that sound has rubbed off on this album, vocal harmonies especially. Things kick off with the excellent AOR of 'Out On The Streets' which is an excellent opening track.'So Wrong' was a top thirty hit in some countries and is a typically 80's sounding mix of Hi-tech keys, funky guitar and a great hook. The rest is a good mix of Westcoast, AOR and a couple of ballads aswell. Nice re-issue and another Highly recommended one for all Westcoast/AOR type peeps.
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