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Townshend, Simon - 1985 Simon Townshend

ARTIST: Townshend, Simon
ALBUM: Simon Townshend's Moving Target
LABEL: 21 Records
SERIAL: 422-825 872-1
YEAR: 1985


LINEUP: Simon Townshend - guitar, vocals * Andy Shillito - bass * Dane Morrell - drums * Paul Rodgers - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Meet You * 02 Barriers * 03 Cats Away * 04 Sorry * 05 Price To Pay * 06 Believe In You * 07 Addiction * 08 Moving Target * 09 Frustrated Hearts * 10 Genuine

Living in the shadow of his brother Pete Townshend is something that was always going to be a reality for Simon Townshend, but regardless he has manufactured a decent career, releasing his first single back in 1974 at the age of 14. Townshend released his first album 'Sweet Sound' in 1983 after some aborted projects prior to this, with Pete producing the album. Two years later Simon relocated to the U.S. and formed his own band titled nonsensically 'Simon Townshend's Moving Target'. Simon saw fit to enlist Neil Kernon for production this time, a wise move as Simon said himself he was trying to forge his own identity away from his brother. This saw him moving in an AOR direction of course, which forms the basis for this seemingly forgotten album. I didn't know of its existence until recently and it's been a wonderful acquisition, with some superb tracks on offer.

The Songs
This album moves in a high-tech AOR direction, with some new wave overtones. Listening to Simon's vocals it's impossible not to think of his brother, as they sound virtually identical. But you know what? This is far superior to Pete's disappointing 'White City' the same year. For commercial AOR it's hard to top the title track, which would appeal to fans of Taxxi, Airrace or Rick Springfield. The synths are in abundance and Simon's vocals suit this style of music. There isn't a bad song, with the highlights being the ultra melodic likes of 'Meet You' and 'Barriers'. The latter is especially worth listening to, a superb high-tech barrage with a chorus that could have been a major hit. 'Cat's Away' sounds a bit like 'Won't Get Fooled Again' in parts, but again it's another catchy hook that will be eaten up by readers here. 'Sorry' has the new wave aspects in the melody lines and if the likes of Go West or Tears For Fears make you sweat then this might be the remedy you've been seeking. 'Believe In You' ups the synthesized sound to new levels, with the obligatory bouncy bass highlighting the particular era this was recorded in. 'Addiction' is another overpowering high-tech affair, a work of mastery by Kernon who of course had a flair for this. It's brilliant naturally and for that matter so is 'Frustrated Heart' and its Pete Townshend style guitar work. 'Genuine' sounds like a leftover from Pete's 'All the Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes' album, only it's more direct in the AOR department and nowhere near as complicated as Pete's often garbled lyrical manoeuvres.

In Summary
This failed to break Simon big and despite attempting to record a follow up it never materialized. Simon tried again with a new band a few years later named On The Air, one of his previous bands from 1980, but the album recorded was never released. Simon has continued to record and tour as a solo artist and also with The Who on their various tours over the years, becoming Pete's backup guitarist. A good gig to have for sure! Simon once said he hated the material on `Moving Target', which is unfair considering it's general excellence in AOR circles. This is a gem worth discovering for the many out there I'm sure who haven't been subject to its numerous delights.

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#1 | gdazegod on January 08 2013 10:53:42
YouTube Video:
#2 | gdazegod on January 08 2013 10:54:07
YouTube Video:
#3 | Eric on January 08 2013 11:26:24
Nice album.
#4 | gdazegod on January 08 2013 12:13:25
Very hard to track down.. that is if you don't wanna buy it.. err cough..
#5 | DEMONAOR on January 09 2013 15:37:19
Yep hard to find indeed and i want it.
#6 | dangerzone on January 12 2013 18:38:42
YouTube Video:
#7 | swazi on January 13 2013 21:59:47
Does anyone the tracks in digital form by any chance ? I didn't find anything on the web. Thanks ...!
#8 | gdazegod on January 13 2013 23:02:30
Swazi, if Demonaor doesn't have it then its likely no one here has it either!
#9 | dangerzone on January 13 2013 23:23:00
I have the album. I came across it by chance, just one of those lucky things!
#10 | kim_hp on January 14 2013 12:27:12
#11 | gdazegod on January 14 2013 14:31:14
#12 | swazi on January 14 2013 17:57:38
Sorry, guys. .. isohunt ...., is this safe to register ??
#13 | gdazegod on January 14 2013 21:36:36
#14 | swazi on January 14 2013 22:48:48
That would be great, thanks!
#15 | retroaddict on January 15 2013 04:47:44

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