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Osborne, Jeffrey - 1983 Stay With Me Tonight




ARTIST: Osborne, Jeffrey
ALBUM: Stay With Me Tonight
LABEL: A&M
SERIAL: SP 4940 (LP), CD 3337 (CD)
YEAR: 1983

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Jeffrey Osborne - vocals * Paul Jackson, Jr, Michael Sembello, Brian May, Johnny McGhee - guitars * Abraham Laboriel Sr., Alphonso Johnson, Harry Davis - bass * Steve Ferrone, John Gilston - drums * George Duke - piano, synthesizer

TRACK LISTING: 01 Don't You Get So Mad * 02 We're Going All the Way * 03 Stay With Me Tonight * 04 Greatest Love Affair * 05 Plane Love * 06 Other Side Of The Coin * 07 I'll Make Believe * 08 When Are You Comin' Back? * 09 Forever Mine * 10 Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right

WEBLINKS: www.jeffreyosborne.com


Background
With George Benson and Lionel Richie having featured here at Glory Daze both in the past and recently, it's only fair that Jeffrey Osborne gets a shot too. Like Richie with The Commodores, Osborne was also part of a successful funk act, L.T.D. who had a number of hits in the 70's. Osborne left the band in 1980 to begin a solo career, with his 1982 self-titled debut making waves, especially with the hit 'On The Wings Of Love' which can be heard on any lite rock station here in the U.S. on a daily basis. The album was a good set of West Coast influenced melodic rock and set the stage for Osborne in the 80's. All his work during the decade was excellent and choosing one to review was no easy task, but there's an AOR tinge to 'Stay With Me Tonight' that ever so slightly shades the others. All of them contain magnificent moments however, very much a melodic lovers paradise.


The Songs
Osborne had a real knack for structuring his albums between ballads and harder rock fare and the opening AOR onslaught of 'Don't You Get So Mad' was co-written with Michael Sembello and it's very noticeable. This could easily have been on Sembello's 'Bossa Nova Hotel', which is testament to its excellence. Osborne's knack for powerhouse ballads takes shape on 'We're Going All The Way' which is one of those soaring vocal performances that Osborne is known for. This is along the lines of George Benson's solo work from 1983, heavy on orchestration with little guitar evident, but with supreme melody. The title track was a hit for Osborne, heavy on funky bass and full of hot synths and all round AOR precision. Brian May makes the first of his two guest appearances, contributing a short solo that almost belies his work with Queen. 'Greatest Love Affair' is the ultimate in romantic ballads, taken to a level few could achieve, a song made for the closing credits of a movie easily. Osborne comes to life on the rock tracks though, check out 'Plane Love' and the synth bursts, typical 1983 style which most of us here most likely appreciate. It helps makes up for the absence of guitar work. Benson is a reference point again for 'Other Side Of The Coin', which is a close relation to 'Turn Your Love Around', with a generous helping of horns and keyboards giving it that certain feel. 'I'll Make Believe' is another huge ballad, but maybe one too many at this point, with little to recommend it. The massive funk of 'When You Comin' Back' would appeal to lovers of Osborne's L.T.D. work, but remains firmly within the boundaries of melodic acceptance. 'Forever Mine' is another smooth ballad, very sleek and inoffensive to all concerned and settles nicely into a pleasant West Coast workout. Nothing prepared me for 'Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right' however, AOR so exquisite that it could turn the most cynical heads of people who doubt the likes of Osborne could truly pull it off. The synths pump with no respite and the addition of May's guitar work pushes this into the truly essential category. This stands toe to toe with Michael Bolton or any other legendary AOR hero from 1983. It's almost worth hearing for May's solo alone; it's a clinic of melody and makes me wish Queen had taken this approach more.


In Summary
Osborne followed up with 1984's 'Don't Stop' which is on par with this album and 1986's 'Emotional' has its moments too. While this isn't always pure AOR there's enough onboard to keep most happy and you'd be foolish to pass up 'Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right'. This era was a glorious one for artists similar to Osborne and it resulted in some quality music, with this right at the top of the heap.


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Comments

#1 | dangerzone on February 11 2013 18:06:26
YouTube Video:
#2 | Carl Noonan on February 11 2013 23:06:51
Sorry, but this is awful. Brian May is the best thing about it and as much as I love his work I won't lose any sleep if I never hear this again.
#3 | Eric on February 13 2013 17:09:51
Tell us how you really feel Carl! Funny, but I think based on the clip I'm going to look for a copy. Reminds me of Shalamar's 1983 album 'The Look' which took a similar direction.
#4 | gdazegod on February 13 2013 20:10:43
I'll be hunting these albums down too.. DeBarge 'Rhythm Of The NIght' might be another to get a write-up.
#5 | Carl Noonan on February 13 2013 20:53:50
It just seems like a really weak song to me. Put it next to Easy Lover and it's a none starter. Drums were not good at all. I am not a hater of this kind of music. I even saw Shalamar and Heatwave live back in the day and they put on a good shows. The Shalamar album with A Night To Remember used to get a lot of airplay in my house. I also used to have a Jefferey Osborne album believe it or not but I never kept it. I went through a bit of a phase when I listened to a lot of soul and funk. so I do have a bit of knowledge of this kind of music. Jeffery Osborne just isn't very good but each to their own. I thought the comments box was there so we could voice our opinions.
#6 | Eric on February 13 2013 22:11:35
No worries Carl, just giving you shit. Looking back, Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' had a major impact on the crossover appeal of RandB/ soul on albums like JO's, Shalamar and others. I remember hearing Shalamar on AOR/ rock stations along with 'Beat It' and it was an interesting, if short lived period. Would never hear that blending of styles now.
#7 | gerard on February 13 2013 23:54:20
Just a humble visitor here, but would love to see DeBarge's 'Rhythm...' included. Also El DeBarge's '86 album... And been listening to Five Star's 'Between the lines' lately. Has some nice songs, such as Live giving love and Hard race.

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