This second album from Karla Bonoff, 1979's "Restless Nights", has her incredible knack for deeply affecting, reflective songs on full display. She does once again go heavy on the love lyrics, but they're terrific love lyrics that are winningly intimate, & dig deep–it doesn't come across as mindless, annoying musings from some teenage girl's diary (even though they do seem extremely personal). They're a lot deeper than that & they are eloquently written. Karla's vocals are simply excellent: expressive, & lending themselves perfectly to the material (imagine a mix of the timbre of Linda Ronstadt with the delivery/ mannerisms of Jackson Browne). Speaking of the material, not only is it excellent lyrically–with rich melodies, masterful use of dynamics, & crisp performances, the songs come together gracefully & organically.
Footloose was a throwback to '50s rock & roll movies, with a silly plot about a town where it was illegal to dance. It was a major hit, as was its soundtrack, which spent a grand total of ten weeks at number one and sold over seven million copies. It's easy to see why – the album delivers its mainstream pop, anthemic rock, and light dance-pop with style and an abundance of hooks. Six of the nine tracks became Top 40 hits, and three – Kenny Loggins' bouncy title song, the excellent power ballad "Almost Paradise" (a duet between Loverboy's Mike Reno and Heart's Ann Wilson), and Deniece Williams' frothy, charming "Let's Hear It for the Boy" – shot into the Top Ten. The sound and production of Footloose has dated badly – there is a reliance on synthesizers and drum machines that instantly announces that the record was made in 1984 – but that isn't necessarily a weakness. Not only does it function as a time capsule of a certain moment in pop music history, but many of the songs are catchy enough to transcend their production. There's nothing of substance on the Footloose soundtrack, but it's a light, entertaining listen. Sometimes, that can be better than something substantial.
Pure… Singer/Songwriter is a brave album that showcases strong song writing, sometimes by avoiding the artists most prominent work in lieu of a lesser known piece. Simon & Garfunkel, John Denver, Lou Reed, Bob Marley, Van Morrison, George Michael and Bruce Hornsby are all represented by one of their better known tracks. However, Bowie, Hall & Oates, Alicia Keys, Nillson and even Sarah Bareilles are represented but obscure tracks. As well as the well known artists this compilation also goes back to includes lesser known artists from the 60s and 70s such as Colin Blunstone, Laura Nyro and Phoebe Snow.
The greatest classics in this area are collected on a magnificent 3 CD digipack. A timeless view with Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Carly Simon, Chris Rea and many others.
Since Home Plate brought Bonnie Raitt within shooting distance of the Top 40, thereby being the greatest chart success she yet attained, it made sense that she re-teamed with its producer Paul A. Rothchild for its follow-up, Sweet Forgiveness. Rothchild's modus operandi remains slickness, but he has backed away from his fondness for studio musicians, letting Raitt record the majority of the record with her touring band (who only were spotted occasionally throughout Homeplate).
Hasten Down The Wind is an out-of-print 1976 album by singer/songwriter/producer Linda Ronstadt and Ronstadt's third straight million-selling album. Ronstadt was the first female artist in history to accomplish this feat. The album earned Ronstadt her second of a record 10 Grammy Awards for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female in early 1977. It represented a slight departure from 1974's Heart Like A Wheel and 1975's Prisoner In Disguise in that she chose to showcase new songwriters over the traditional Country Rock sound she had been producing up to this point. It is a more serious, more poignant album than its predecessors and won immediate critical acclaim from critics and the general public alike.