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Articles Home » 1984 Articles » Stephenson, Van - 1984 Righteous Anger
Stephenson, Van - 1984 Righteous Anger

ARTIST: Stephenson, Van
ALBUM: Righteous Anger
YEAR: 1984
CD REISSUE: 1996, High Vaultage, HV-1003


LINEUP: Van Stephenson - lead vocals * Mike Baird - drums * Dennis Belfield - bass * Dann Huff - guitars * Alan Pasqua - keyboards, synthesizers * Ken Mims, George Doering - guitars * Mike Hanna - keyboards * Richard Landis - percussion * Tom Kelly, Bill Champlin, Phil Brown - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Modern Day Delilah * 02 I Know Who You Are (And I Saw What You Did) * 03 What The Big Girls Do * 04 Don't Do That * 05 Others Only Dream * 06 Righteous Anger * 07 The Cure Will Kill You * 08 You've Been Lied To Before * 09 Heart Over Mind * 10 All American Boy

As mentioned in my previous review of Van's 1986 follow-up album to this one, 80's AOR wouldn't quite be complete without mentioning his contribution to the scene. Though he only released three official studio albums (plus some unreleased material made available after his 2001 passing), they were all pretty good, though different in sound. Many have mentioned that they prefer the 1986 effort 'Suspicious Heart', and though both his MCA releases feature much of the same key personnel, the songs and overall vibe of both are slightly different.

The Songs
Most of you will recall Van's 'Modern Day Delilah', which traversed the Billboard charts during 1984, but 'Righteous Anger' is not just about that one song. 'What The Big Girls Do' features some big keyboard splashes amid the wholesome AOR delivery. The title track 'Righteous Anger' has a booming sound, with drums coming straight at you. Gotta love the tried and true verse/chorus structure too! It's hard to deny the overtly 80's feel of 'You've Been Lied To Before', so too 'I Know Who You Are', while 'All American Boy', a song penned by Stephenson was also covered by Stan Bush and Y&T on their records. Van is a dab hand at writing ballads, 'Others Only Dream' and 'Heart Over Mind' are the two selections on this album. The only song that wasn't an immediate fit for me was 'Don't Do That', which had a country tinge with a chorus and double snare hit straight out of Tennessee. An odd song for mine.

In Summary
'Righteous Anger' is a useful album, and for its time (1984) was a feature LP in the import charts, depending on what weekly rag you read back in the day. MCA obviously threw a bit of dosh at this record, while MTV also featured a couple of tracks on their video channel, which we've bolted on underneath for your viewing pleasure.

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#1 | gdazegod on August 01 2014 05:34:32
Van Stephenson - Modern Day Delilah
YouTube Video:
#2 | gdazegod on August 01 2014 05:36:15
Van Stephenson - What The Big Girls Do
YouTube Video:
#3 | gdazegod on August 01 2014 05:38:22
There's a couple of other American Bandstand live performances of the two tracks (above). You can easily find them on YouTube.
#4 | jeffrey343 on August 01 2014 15:47:39
This is one that I played a bunch back in the day. I had it on one side of a cassette with the Paul Sabu 'Kidd Glove' album on the other side, and I could keep that cassette in the car player for days at a time. Alas, that tape got stolen in 1992, and I didn't get this on CD until 2006. It didn't age as well as the Sabu album to me, and I prefer the second VS album overall, but this is still a good listen. Especially when I'm on a long road trip, as that brings back memories of road trips of yore. 'Modern Day Delilah' and 'What The Big Girls Do' are as good as it gets, and most of the rest of the songs here are also very good. I'll agree with George, though, that 'Don't Do That' doesn't measure up to the rest of the material.
#5 | Eric on August 03 2014 19:45:29
Fantastic sleeve art, a fine album too...
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