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Articles Home » 1981 Articles » Jarreau, Al - 1981 Breakin' Away
Jarreau, Al - 1981 Breakin' Away

ARTIST: Jarreau, Al
ALBUM: Breakin' Away
LABEL: Warner Bros
YEAR: 1981
CD REISSUE: Reissue List


LINEUP: See Personnel list

TRACK LISTING: 01 Closer To Your Love * 02 My Old Friend * 03 We're In This Love Together * 04 Easy * 05 Our Love * 06 Breakaway * 07 Roof Garden * 08 Blue Rondo A La Turk * 09 Teach Me Tonight



This record takes me way back into time. The 'Breakin' Away' album came to me at a time when I was on a high diet of George Benson, Lee Ritenour, Larry Carlton and Chuck Mangione. I was probably helped in this cause due to a friend's record collection which contained all of these artists and more. It proved to be a good respite away from the usual hard rock, AOR and heavy metal fare of 1981, and the point isn't lost on me decades later. What surprised me when researching Al (Alwin) Jarreau's early years was that he was aged 35 at the time of his 1975 major label debut 'We Got By' (born in 1940). He was already aged 41 when his break-out LP 'Breakin' Away' was released!

The Songs
Produced by Jay Graydon and Tom Canning and featuring a who's who of the El-Lay session scene, there is one highlight after another on this quite beautiful album. Of course, the album featured the hit single 'We're In This Love Together', but the opening pair of 'Closer To Your Love' and 'My Old Friend' set the scene for what is to come. Jarreau soon moves into a pure jazz vocal with appropriate gymnastics to match on the superb 'Easy', the silky smooth fender rhodes and overblown synth solo is the icing on the cake. 'Our Love' is the true ballad onboard, while the title-track 'Breakin' Away' sounds like a doppelganger tune from that classic West Coast masterpiece by Airplay. By this point as we enter the back half of the album, Jarreau moves back into jazz mode, as the three final songs 'Roof Garden', 'Blue Rondo A La Turk' and 'Teach Me Tonight' will duly show.

In Summary
The album produced three singles, the most successful being 'We're In This Love Together' which made it to #15 on Billboard. The other two were 'Breakin' Away' (#43) and 'Teach Me Tonight' (#70). The album itself made it to #9 on the main Billboard album charts during 1981, whilst peaking in top spot on both the jazz and R&B charts. The album won the best vocal performance award at the 1982 Grammys, and was also nominated for album of the year. Not hard to see why.

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#1 | gdazegod on August 19 2016 23:36:08
Al Jarreau - 1981 We're In This Love Together
YouTube Video:

Or direct to YouTube: YouTube Video:
#2 | gdazegod on August 19 2016 23:37:37
Al Jarreau - 1981 Roof Garden
YouTube Video:

Or direct to YouTube: YouTube Video:
#3 | DEMONAOR on August 20 2016 01:05:48
Only one thing to say George, a killer album.
#4 | jeffrey343 on August 23 2016 15:21:00
I hear 'We're In This Love Together' quite often on the SiriusXM smooth jazz channel. I've always liked Al Jarreau and this style.
#5 | swazi on August 24 2016 22:12:36
Brilliant! As is 'This Time', btw ...!
#6 | gdazegod on August 24 2016 23:01:57
1980's 'This Time' and possibly 1983's 'Jarreau' are in the pipeline. I picked up a whole bunch of AJ's stuff just recently, but have had 'Breakin' Away' for decades.
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