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Articles Home » 1981 Articles » Schneider, John - 1981 Now Or Never
Schneider, John - 1981 Now Or Never

ARTIST: Schneider, John
ALBUM: Now Or Never
LABEL: Scotti Bros
YEAR: 1981


LINEUP: 01 It's Now Or Never * 02 Them Good Ol' Boys Are Bad * 03 Stay With Me * 04 Let Me Love You * 05 Still * 06 No. 34 In Atlanta * 07 (Am I) Fallin' In Love With You * 08 The Next Time Around * 09 Stay * 10 You Could Be The One Woman

TRACK LISTING: John Schneider - main performer

WEBLINKS: | John Schneider FB Page

During the Dukes of Hazzard boom of the 80's, both John Schneider and Tom Wopat (Bo and Luke Duke respectively) managed to snag record deals, both going on to have enduring careers in the industry. This seemed par for the course back then, with many TV stars crossing over in the melodic rock world, e.g. Scott Baio, Billy Katt and Don Johnson. Schneider and Wopat leaned towards the country side of things, although Schneider's 1981 debut took a host of tangents, with obligatory AOR and West Coast moves included. None of the tracks are penned by Schneider and there's a few noticeable covers, but this has a crossover appeal that should appeal to quite a few here.

The Songs
Whoever played on the album is a bit of a mystery, with seemingly zero information out there. It doesn't matter regardless, with Schneider clearly the star of the show. The title track opens proceedings, a cover of the song made famous by Elvis Presley several decades earlier. It clearly was positioned as the hit vehicle, but doesn't hit the mark, being a straight cover with little to distinguish it from the original. 'Them Good Ol' Boys Are Bad' speaks for itself, pure country all the way in the Waylon Jennings or Willie Nelson mold. Schneider mixes it up with the Eric Carmen penned 'Stay With Me', which is far more satisfying for the discerning melodic rocker. It comes off as Barry Manilow styled vocally, very dramatic in execution, but satisfying nonetheless. Next up is a stab at Fred Knobloch's 'Let Me Love You' from 1980 and again this doesn't veer much from the original, but retains the immense melody.

Also getting the cover treatment is The Commodores 'Still' which has far more of a traditional AOR feel here than the original. 'No. 34 in Atlanta' is a slice of country cornball, material suited for the honkytonk bar in 'Dukes of Hazzard' itself. It's fun and harmless, a sadly missed remnant of a great era. Schneider hits AOR gold with the admittedly classic '(Am I) Fallin' In Love with Love' where he competes with John O' Banion for vocal supremacy. Extremely catchy and under three minutes, this is a delightful track. 'Stay' takes the Barry Manilow route once again, full of orchestration and soaring vocals, another worthy track. Given the power of some major guitar work, this could've been even better.

In Summary
Having been hunting this album down for years now, it was a nice surprise to get my hands on it and I wasn't let down. Naturally it's typical of the male solo fare from 1981, but is there anything better? His 1982 effort 'Quiet Man' follows in similar fashion and is also recommended. Everything that followed however was pure country. Schneider continues his musical exploits to this day, which is more than admirable. Certainly this one in particular is worth more than a passing glance.

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#1 | gdazegod on August 01 2017 02:38:05
I have the 1983 LP 'If You Believe', which Alun quite rightly states is very country-fied.
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