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Articles Home » 1985 Articles » Gorrie, Alan - 1985 Sleepless Nights
Gorrie, Alan - 1985 Sleepless Nights

ARTIST: Gorrie, Alan
ALBUM: Sleepless Nights
YEAR: 1985


LINEUP: Alan Gorrie - lead and backing vocals, bass, additional keyboards, linn drum programming

Dann Huff, Michael Landau, Michael Mugrage - guitars * Larry Williams - keyboards, bass keyboard, saxes, synth bass * Jay Gruska - keyboards, backing vocals, additional keyboards, synths * Gary Chang - fairlight sampling & programming * Paulinho Da Costa - percussion * Nathan East - bass * John Robinson - drums * Randy Kerber - acoustic piano, synth, keyboards * Mike Boddicker - additional synths * Jai Winding - acoustic piano * Ernie Watts, Jerry Hey - saxes * Gary Grant - trumpets * Jeff Bova - rhodes croma, keyboards, bass * Steve Tavaglioni - steiner solo * Dennis Herring - guitar, linn drum programming * David P. Bryant - synths, synth bass, backing vocals * Alex Ligertwood, Joseph Williams, Michelle Gruska, Joe Pizzulo - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Up * 02 Electric Between Us * 03 Diary Of A Fool * 04 That Kinda Girl * 05 I Can Take It * 06 The Girl Upstairs * 07 Sleepless Nights * 08 The Age Of Steam * 09 In The Jungle

He is better known as one of the founders of the Average White Band, and in 1985, Alan Gorrie deviated off the funk-rock path for this one-off West Coast/pop oriented effort. AWB had a ten year run between 1972 and 1982, and were famous for a couple of tracks: 'Pick Up The Pieces' and 'Cut The Cake' being two in particular. The Scottish funksters didn't really hit their stride until they emigrated to the USA in 1974, and along with the Climax Blues Band were exponents of funk based pop/rock that struck a chord during the mostly American disco era. By the mid 80's, Gorrie decided on a different tack for 'Sleepless Nights', bringing in Jay Gruska to co-produce an album laden with the cream of the L.A session scene. Check out the personnel listing above. The album is very hi-tech West Coast, and is a by-product of the era.

The Songs
If there is one album or artist you could compare 'Sleepless Nights' to, that would be Chris Eaton and his 1986 album 'Vision'. Both hi-tech productions, with all manner of L.A studio gimmickry added for good effect. You could also factor in the debut Go West album from 1985 too. Jangly, funky and melodic. The tracks which work best are those that move in a faster mode. First song 'Up', 'I Can Take It' and 'The Girl Upstairs' are prime examples. For mine, the best song here is second track 'Electric Between Us', with some slinky guitar work on offer, plus a great Go West vibe throughout. 'The Age Of Steam' is kinda cool too. The other tracks are ballad to mid-pace, and aren't quite as effective as a result. 'Diary Of A Fool' is too soft a ballad, the title track 'Sleepless Nights' is a smooth number, which could've been found on a Jeffrey Osborne or Lionel Richie album. That's not a complaint, just an observation.

In Summary
I mentioned earlier that the album is a by-product of the era, which is a kinder way of saying that it sounds very dated in 2014. Despite that, many west-coast fans adore the album, and it is still held in high regard all these years later. I don't think it's been reissued on CD yet, perhaps some enterprising reissue label might want to take up the challenge? In the here and now, Gorrie and his former band-mates have reformed the Average White Band, with the classic rock circuit being a great place to continue their funk rock favourites.

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#1 | Jez on July 29 2014 16:33:27
Good album, maybe a little of it's time, but I still play it fairly regularly. 'Sleepless Nights' has been issued on CD, on the River label back in about 2004 I think, so should be fairly easy to track down.
#2 | swazi on July 29 2014 22:33:46
Yep, 2004 is correct, Jez.
#3 | gdazegod on July 29 2014 22:48:20
Thanks guys.
#4 | kim_hp on July 31 2014 17:13:42
Very good album. 'Diary of a Fool' is an amazing ballad!
#5 | rostoned on August 01 2014 11:05:30
The album was also reissued on CD in Japan in 2001 by Universal (catalog UICY-3116)
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