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Billy Thermal - 2014 Billy Thermal

ARTIST: Billy Thermal
ALBUM: Billy Thermal
LABEL: Omnivore Recordings
YEAR: 2014


LINEUP: Billy Steinberg - vocals, guitar * Craig Hull - lead guitars * Bob Carlisle - bass, backing vocals * Efren Espinoza - drums, backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 I Tell You My Dream * 02 How Do I Make You * 03 Control * 04 The Price I Pay * 05 Precious Time * 06 I'm Your Baby * 07 Didn't See It * 08 I Need You * 09 I'm Gonna Follow You * 10 Julie * 11 Mirror Man * 12 No Connection * 13 Don't Look At Me (Demo) * 14 Chez Metz (Demo) * 15 Fa Fa Feelings (Demo)



He's better known as one-half of the songwriting team of Steinberg/Kelly. A duo who were all over the songwriting credits of top artists during the 80's, but Billy Steinberg had more to his bow than just songwriting. During the late 70's and then into 1980, Steinberg was the voice behind the band Billy Thermal. Signed to Richard Perry's Planet Records label, Billy Thermal only managed one track on a 1980 compilation called 'Sharp Cuts: New Music from American Bands'. That track was 'I'm Gonna Follow You'. Unfortunately, the proposed debut album was never released. Some industry types did manage to listen to a couple of tracks, and other artists such as Linda Ronstadt and Pat Benatar managed to cash in on a couple of those Billy Thermal tracks, such as 'How Do I Make You' (Ronstadt) and the aforementioned 'I'm Gonna Follow You' (Benatar).

The Songs
Despite all the success during the 80's and 90's for Steinberg (including the I-Ten project), the original Billy Thermal tracks remained undercover until 2014, when Omnivore Recordings reissued the songs, and they sound incredible. Oh what could've been? My guess is these tracks have been tweaked by Billy and engineer Brad Rosenberger, as the original album was produced by Billy and guitarist Craig Hull. There are highlights throughout. The BT version of 'How Do I Make You' is far superior to the Ronstadt one, so too the Benatar cuts 'Precious Time' and 'I'm Gonna Follow You'. The track 'Control' sounds a little bit like The Cars, while 'The Price I Pay' is a quirky cut with a hint of Cheap Trick. I enjoyed the guitar rocker 'I'm Your Baby' featuring some cool guitar licks from Craig Hull. The improved CD also includes three unreleased demo tracks which were recorded around the same time (1980).

In Summary
Though Steinberg and Hull were the two main guys here, one shouldn't forget the contribution of bassist and backing vocalist Bob Carlisle, who would go onto Christian AORsters Allies, as well as a significant solo career in the 90's culminating in the hit single 'Butterfly Kisses'. This is one example of an unreleased album finally getting its due reward. If you're after a copy on CD, go to: Billy Thermal (Omnivore Recordings)

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#1 | gdazegod on February 20 2017 09:02:21
Billy Thermal - 2014 Omnivore Records Trailer
YouTube Video:
#2 | swazi on February 20 2017 12:12:53
One to get, I think! Thanks for the review! clap
#3 | gdazegod on April 15 2017 18:41:40
Craig Hull also plays on the 1983 LP for Warner Bros, by a bloke called Josh Leo, the album being 'Rockin' On 6th'. Might be worth having a look for this, as the songwriting credits includes Wendy Waldman, Bryan Garofalo, and a host of big name contributions. Check out Discogs. Thanks to Chris Mayek for the find.

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