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Articles Home » 1979 Articles » Tosti, Blaise - 1979 American Lovers
 
Tosti, Blaise - 1979 American Lovers



ARTIST: Tosti, Blaise
ALBUM: American Lovers
LABEL: Unreleased
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 2016, Cool Sound (Japan), COOL-142

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Blaise Tosti - lead vocals * Dan Ferguson, Michael Landau, Bob Mann, Waddy Wachtel, Fred Tackett, Steve Lukather - guitars * Fred Mollin - guitars, synthesizer, percussion, tambourine, handclaps, backing vocals, production * John Jarvis - piano, synthesizers * Jim Horn - sax, flute * Gayle Levant - harp * Mike Porcaro - bass * Jeff Porcaro - drums * Richard Page, Steve George, Bobby Kimball, Tom Kelly, Rosemary Butler, Venetta Fields - backing vocals * John Stewart - cameo vocal * Marc Tanner, Joe Romersa, Ron Edwards - handclaps

TRACK LISTING: 01 American Lovers * 02 Win Back Your Heart * 03 Since I Fell For You * 04 The Speed Of Love * 05 I Really Found Someone In You * 06 Cryin' Eyes In The Night * 07 Pieces On The Road * 08 My Love Is On The Road Again * 09 Rockin' In The Moonlight * 10 Let Our Souls Make Love Tonight

WEBLINKS: Blaise Tosti FB Page


Background
Here's an unusual record I spent chasing during the 2016 Christmas period. It's a west coast flavoured record from a guy I didn't know too much about at the time. His name is Blaise Tosti, and if you dig around the net, you'll find his name pegged as a songwriter for the most part. However, the mysterious part of this album 'American Lovers' was that it was recorded in 1979, utilised a top-notch cast of L.A session musicians, yet the record fell through the cracks, never to be released at the time. And now we find in 2016, that the Japanese label Cool Sounds - releases it as a Jap only CD to minimal fanfare.

On the cover, you'll see the bloke looking like a cross between Billy Katt and Sammy Hagar, those blonde curly locks all the rage back in the disco and new wave era. So what is there to know about this long lost record? Well, we do know that four members of Toto play on it, so too the Mr Mister pairing of Page and George, plus the guitar genius of Landau and Wachtel. A virtual who's who of the L.A session, which means.. big money was thrown at this. Tosti himself wrote half the tracks (5 out of 10), the others were provided by the album's producer Fred Mollin, the Steely Dan duo of Becker and Fagen, keyboardist Randy Goodrum, 30's and 40's era big band leader Buddy Johnson and American songwriter Jerry Careaga.


The Songs
Tosti's voice has a country twang to it, with the title track 'American Lovers', though written by the aforementioned Becker and Fagen, sounds very cruisy, the chorus settling into the territory occupied by the band Pages. 'Win Back Your Heart' was written by Randy Goodrum, and sounds like prime-time west coast here, the backing vocals from Page and George is the icing on the cake. Goodrum would release his own rendition on the 1982 LP 'Fools Paradise'. 'Since I Fell For You' is a golden oldie, as it was first written by jazz great Buddy Johnson way back in 1945. So many artists have re-recorded it over the years, including Michael Bolton and TV actress Katherine McPhee on the 2006 series of American Idol. 'The Speed Of Love' is the first of Tosti's penned efforts. His vocal is pitched in a low to mid range, kinda like Boz Scaggs, and is perfect for this type of song. Steve Lukather can be heard blazing away on a nylon string guitar! It's ballad time on 'I Really Found Someone Like You', which sounds like a crooner took over the stage on the Loveboat! This one is a bit wimpy for my tastes.

Forging ahead into the back half of the record, 'Cryin Eyes In The Night' is a pleasant radio rocker, this one written by Jerry Careaga, could've been picked by any of the acts performing in the numerous crossover styles of the day, for instance, The Eagles and bands of that ilk. 'Pieces On The Road' returns to ballad central, and though not a total write-off, this one comes gift wrapped with a lovely chorus. It gets a pass mark. 'My Love Is On The Road Again' is pretty good, a rocky affair, with pleasant vocal choruses and harmonies, and some stinging guitar solos from a certain Mr Lukather. Producer Fred Mollin chips in with one of his own songs 'Rockin' In The Moonlight'. It has a certain edge that lifts it above the ordinary. The hand claps, lead guitar work, sax solo and the distinctive backing vocals from Bobby Kimball all stand out. The closing 'Let Our Souls Make Love Tonight' winds things down on a subdued note, this track coming across like a folk song.


In Summary
Thank god for whoever it was in Japan for releasing this. The quality of the recording is excellent, given that the tracks have probably been spruced up from source material. Just quite why it never got a release back in 1979 remains a mystery. Probably only a handful of people know the real story, including the man himself: Mr Tosti. I think even Blaise would feel incredulous that his long-lost album is now out in the public domain, albeit 37 years later. These days, it seems like he is alive and well, still in the music industry, and still songwriting. Good one!


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Comments
#1 | rostoned on February 23 2017 18:15:00
'The Speed Of Love' is one of the best tunes I have heard in ages! Blaise peculiar und eclectic voice reminds me at times the one of Alfie Zappacosta. I suggest to buy immediately this CD on ebay or the usual self-import spots (Amazon etc) before it becomes a very expensive collector's item....as I say: BUY OR... BUY! Thumbs Up
 
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