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Articles Home » 1989 Articles » Osmond, Donny - 1989 Donny Osmond (1989) and Eyes Don't Lie (1990)
 
Osmond, Donny - 1989 Donny Osmond (1989) and Eyes Don't Lie (1990)



ARTIST: Osmond, Donny
ALBUM: Donny Osmond (1989) and Eyes Don't Lie (1990)
LABEL: Capitol
SERIAL: CDP 7 92354 2 * CDP 7 94051 2
YEAR: 1989

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP:
Donny Osmond (1989)
Donny Osmond - lead and backing vocals, keyboards, drum programming * Manu Katche, Jean-Paul Ceccarelli, Carole Steele - drums, percussion * Manny Elias - linn drums * John 'Noodle' Nevin, Darryl Jones - bass * Carl Sturken, Ira Siegel, Alan Murphy, Michael Thompson, J.J. Bell - guitars * Carl Sturken, Peter Vitesse, Rory Kaplan, Michael Brecker, Erwin De Marc Hadour - keyboards * Michael Brecker - sax * Cindy Mizelle, Evan Rogers, Audrey Wheeler, Carol Kenyon, Barbara Drennan, Julian Littman, Dolette McDonald, Carol Rowley, Linda Taylor, Dave Bottrill - backing vocals

Eyes Don't Lie (1990)
Various..

TRACK LISTING:
Donny Osmond (1989): 01 Soldier Of Love * 02 If It's Love That You Want * 03 Sacred Emotion * 04 Inner Rhythm * 05 Faces In The Mirror * 06 My Secret Touch * 07 I'll Be Good To You * 08 Groove * 09 Only Heaven Knows * 10 Hold On * 11 I'm In It For Love * 12 Grand Illusion

Eyes Don't Lie (1990): 01 My Love Is A Fire * 02 Eyes Don't Lie * 03 Love Will Survive * 04 Sure Lookin' * 05 Private Affair * 06 Take Another Try (At Love) * 07 Make It Last Forever * 08 Never Too Late For Love * 09 Just Between You And Me * 10 Before It's Too Late

WEBLINKS: www.donnyosmond.com


Background
We've had some interesting acts turn up at GDM over the years. Kenny Rogers, Dionne Warwick, Dolly Parton, DeBarge, Dollar, Mary Macgregor.. not the sort of names you would associate with AOR and melodic rock. And now I am going to throw another name into the pot that is bound to have some of you throwing up into your pudding plates. Yes, the squeaky clean kid from the early 70's with the Mormon background.. the one and only Donny Osmond. Don't fret though GDAZER's, we will tackle a pair of DO albums from the late 80's when MTV and big production ruled the roost. In this case, we look at his two Capitol Records CD's from 1989 and 1990 respectively: 'Donny Osmond' and 'Eyes Don't Lie'.


The Songs
1989 Donny Osmond
Now, the main reason I've picked up DO during this period was two-fold. Firstly, his appearance in the Jeff Beck video for his 1985 song 'Ambitious' click here, and then the success he scored with 'Soldier Of Love', a song which he took to #2 on the Billboard Charts in 1989, sourced from this very album. However, there's a tale to be told with this song. 'Soldier Of Love' did really well in the UK the previous year in 1988 (signed to Virgin UK), entering their top 30, but at the time, no US action was happening because Donny didn't have a deal at home, plus there was some fear that his teeny-bopper image might count against him. Kudos to American DJ Jessica Ettinger for running a mystery promotion on her New York radio station, which she kept secret for several weeks. When she eventually announced Donny, he appeared live on air. Eventually, Capitol came in with a deal, and the song went high into the charts as mentioned above. You can see the track all over You Tube, but our link is underneath for ease of reference.

Mostly, it's all high-energy dance oriented pop rock, nothing like his teen career. I'm guessing Donny was trying to reinvent himself during this era, and it obviously paid off. Some cool songs, mostly a hi-tech sound, with big production values. Which means, loads of synths, huge backing vocals and a plethora of percussion and booming drum work. From where I sit, half the songs are high grooving, the other half are slow moving cruisy ballads with a hi-tech edge. Nothing schmoozy thank goodness. Highlights for me are the opening pair of 'Soldier Of Love', 'If It's Love That You Want', which sounds like a male version of Marilyn Martin's 'One Step Closer', and the excellent closer 'Grand Illusion'. The best ballad here is 'I'll Be Good To You', and on this one it's hard to avoid a little George Michael on the vocal. Also the stinging guitar solo is straight out of the Dann Huff playbook, though probably played by another studio cat, maybe Michael Thompson or Ira Siegel.

1990 Eyes Don't Lie
It's more of the booming hi-tech for 1990's 'Eyes Don't Lie'. The past two years we saw albums from the likes of Robbie Nevil, Judson Spence, Paul Pesco and Kevin Paige. All peddling a similar style. Donny might have been late to the party, but it sounds like no expense was spared, with another big production and a cast of professionals. leading off with 'My Love Is A Fire', this track also went into the charts at #21, while two other singles 'Sure Lookin' (Good)' made #54 while 'Love Will Survive' made #24. 'Private Affair' was written by Diane Warren, and is classy lush ballad from the DW songwriting warehouse. 'Make It Last' is a big sweeping ballad that West Coast fans should check out. It has an orchestral passage toward the end which adds to its charm. Different, but good. It segues nicely into one of Donny's more rockin' moments - the excellent 'Never Too Late For Love'. However, things get way out of hand for the sublime 'Just Between You And Me', which features Al Pitrelli, Joe Franco and (believe it or not..) Phil Collen from Def Leppard on lead guitar!

'Eyes Don't Lie' as an album made it into the top 200, but no higher than #177. Late 1990 saw the cold wind of change blow through the recording industry, tossing out established acts out onto the frozen tundra of lost popularity. Osmond continued on unabated, turning his hand to theatre two years later, starring in the Broadway production of Joseph And The Technicolor Dreamcoat, for which, according to AllMusic.com, the soundtrack went quadruple platinum. All in all, I find 'Eyes Don't Lie' quite a palatable little CD, the rock/AOR track mentioned earlier was the icing on the cake!



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This article has been tagged
Tags: Donny Osmond 
 
Comments
#1 | gdazegod on May 16 2016 12:20:07
Donny Osmond - 1989 Soldier Of Love
YouTube Video:


Donny Osmond - 1990 My Love Is A Fire
YouTube Video:


Donny Osmond - 1990 Just Between You And Me
YouTube Video:
#2 | Explorer on May 17 2016 10:33:58
The brand Osmond has, with some justification at times come in for a lot of criticism.
I`m unfamiliar with both of these album`s and will certainly give them a go.
I do remember back in early to mid-70`s the Osmond brothers making a real attempt to ditch their bubble gum/teenybopper image with the more rockin` `Crazy Horses` and `The Plan` albums the latter being a concept album no less based on their Mormon faith. They are worth checking out too.
#3 | Nick C on May 17 2016 17:39:42
Years and years ago, sometime in the late 80's or early to mid 90's (or thereabouts...big period to chose from there) I bumped right into Donny Osmond in Manchester centre as he was coming out of a doorway, a bit shorter than me I remember. (Nick's claim to fame no.1 in a series!).
 
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