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Guidry, Greg - 1982 Over The Line

ARTIST: Guidry, Greg
ALBUM: Over The Line
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 2002, Sony (Japan), SICP-8058


LINEUP: Greg Guidry - vocals, keyboards * Dann Huff - guitars * David Hungate, Larry Crew, Gary Lunn - bass * Phil Naish - piano * James Stroud - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Goin' Down * 02 (That's) How Long * 03 Show Me Your Love * 04 If Love Doesn't Find Us * 05 Gotta Have More Love * 06 Over The Line * 07 (I'm) Givin' It Up * 08 Are You Ready For Love * 09 Into My Love * 10 Darlin' It's You

Guidry is a singer/songwriter whose craft was exposed on this fine West Coast mellow AOR album from 1982. A St Louis native, and with a pedigree steeped in gospel and church, Greg discovered pop music in his teens and sang with many local rock bands. When confronted about a future in music, he started to take songwriting seriously and brushed up on his compositional skills. A demo tape of his found it's way to Badlands Records president Bruce Bird and he was signed to CBS. Greg's songs have been covered by other artists such as the Doobie Brothers, Robbie Dupree, and the Climax Blues Band. It was this latter band which led Guidry to his producer John Ryan, who had worked with them, and other acts such as the Pure Prarie League, Allman Brothers Band, and early Styx among others. A couple of the musicians on this album are AOR legends in their own right, ie: Dann Huff (Giant, Van Stephenson), and David Hungate (Toto).

The Songs
What we have on offer are a tremendous selection of softer, mellower AOR songs, ideal for radio. The track 'Goin' Down' opens the album, and is reminiscent of Michael McDonald, as is the second track 'How Long'. 'Show Me Your Love' is fantastic AOR and has an Ambrosia feel to it. One of two superb ballads appears in the shape of 'If Love Doesn't Find Us (In Time)', very much in the Air Supply mould, though without the Russell Hitchcock vocal histrionics. 'Gotta Have More Love' pulses along nicely with a solo that showcases the talent of Dann Huff that would eventuate in the years to come (Remember this is 1982!). The title track operates in the same territory as John O'Banion or Gerard McMahon, while the other ballad is 'Into My Love', a lovely piece of melodrama. The Ambrosia/Michael McDonald comparison continues with the very West Coast flavoured 'Darlin' It's You'.

In Summary
All in all, this is an excellent slice of mellow AOR/West Coast, right up there among the David Roberts and Lee Ritenours of this world. If you see it on CD, don't pass up the opportunity. Footnote: It was most saddening to hear of Greg Guidry's death on August 1, 2003, from an apparent suicide. Greg was 53 years old.

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#1 | rostoned on May 13 2008 00:35:00
'Goin' Down' was a smashing TOP 20 hit single in the US, reaching #17 in the Billboard HOT 100 chart! The second single 'Into My Love' was a huge flop instead, only going to #92...end of the story and career for poor Greg! My feeling is that he arrived on the scene way too late, had he been out say 3-4 years earlier he could have had better luck and play his chances against the likes of Player, Ambrosia et al. R.I.P. mellow coaster.
#2 | gdazegod on May 13 2008 02:18:08
There is actually an interesting tale to be told with this album. Sadly one that Greg personally won't be able to tell now. I recall the interview I did with him back in 2000, and I was privy to a lot of interesting dialog going on between Greg, John Ryan and myself. Much of it not very pretty. I was actually threatened with a lawsuit at the time, but then I found out that John Ryan threatened nearly anyone with a lawsuit if he did not get his way on anything. John of course married Diana Hubbard, daughter of Dianetics author and Church of Scientology honcho L Ron Hubbard, though admittedly John and Diana denounced anything/everything to do with the Church. No doubt there were a few legal scraps in that camp too. Not very pleasant. stress
#3 | JuniorNB on August 11 2008 18:36:23
I wanted to review this album, because I discovered it recently and c an't stop playing it. I was a senior in '82, and was well-aware of teh single 'Goin' Down', but never even considered buying the album.
This is a rare play-straight-through album. If you like Robbie Dupree, Michael McDonald-style AOR, this is a must have. The melodies stick in your head for days. Why wasn't there multiple hits off of this?
#4 | JuniorNB on October 20 2008 15:19:08
For those who like this album, Guidry recorded a follow-up which was never officially released in the US. The album is called "Private Sessions".

It is more of the same smooth AOR style music. Very listenable. I have a Rapidshare link I can post if anyone is interested.
#5 | dangerzone on October 20 2008 16:06:08
Please do. This is easily one of the best AOR albums of 1982, which is saying something!
#6 | JuniorNB on October 20 2008 16:41:56
This was given to me from a private blogger. Thanks to him.

#7 | rostoned on October 20 2008 21:57:43
Please note that 'Private Session" is Greg's 2nd album BUT it was released only in 2000 in Japan, not in the 80's immediately after the first one.

According to the notes on CD BABY it was recorded mostly in the late 70s and it is a compilation of demo songs that didn't make the OTL Lp. Instead according to these tracks were recorded in the 80s and were destined to be on the never released (at the time) follow up to OTL. Where's the truth? hmm!
#8 | gdazegod on October 20 2008 23:12:00
Greg said that 'Private Sessions' was a bunch of demos that didn't make the 'Over The Line' album. He never considered releasing any of them until 1999/2000, when he signed a record deal with Coolsound Records in Japan. He thought that it would be an interesting piece of trivia for his die hard fans. headphone
#9 | rostoned on October 21 2008 11:45:01
Thanx George. I will notify your comment to the fellas at the westcoastmusic italo site, so they can correct their. As Desmond Child wrote 'When the truth comes doubt about it' music
#10 | JuniorNB on October 21 2008 15:32:34
To me, there are about a half-dozen songs that sound like they could have been written in the same sessions as the debut. There are also a few that have a much newer sounding production style. I think it's pretty-much just a complilation of songs he had 'laying around'. The older sounding tunes are excellent and wouldn't have missed a beat if placed on the debut.
#11 | dangerzone on October 21 2008 16:49:21
To be honest Idon't think these songs come anywhere near the quality of 'Over The Line'. They are good, but missing that special something.headphone
#12 | code4 on October 15 2015 13:58:51
For anybody looking to buy this album on cd, be sure to steer well clear of the standard european Colombia version (COL 477943-2) that came out around the early-mid 90's i believe, because it is a terrible transfer. The first dozen songs sound lifeless like a bad tape copy was used and then about halfway into the cd the songs suddenly get louder and it sounds like somebody has drastically altered the equalisation. A completely 'botched' transfer.
I don't know if the early 90's japan first press had this problem (?)but i would be surprised if it did. That said, if buying this album again (as i have been meaning to for the last ten years) i would go for the early 2000's Japanese edition (which remains in print as of writing) in order to feel as safe as possible.
I have also often wondered if the very old and more rare Swedish cd (i think late 80's) pressing on 'Airplay records' sounds bad.
In any case steer well clear of euro colombia cd COL 477943-2.

As for this album it's a bit of a westcoast classic alright. Never much cared for the relatively successful single 'Goin' Down' but 'Show Me Your Love' is excellent with those spacey sounding analog synth parts and then 'Gotta have More Love' and, perhaps even better, 'I'm Givin' It Up' are incredible stuff.

Choice hilarious lyric: 'I've got news for you baby- you aren't the only game in town'

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