ELLIOT EASTON – Change No Change +5 [Wounded Bird remastered reissue] (2021)

ELLIOT EASTON - Change No Change +5 [Wounded Bird remastered reissue] (2021) full

Wounded Bird Records has reissued / remastered two solo albums from The Cars members, the already featured here and must have Benjamin Orr’s ‘The Lace’, and this, guitarist ELLIOT EASTON long out of print 1985 solo LP ”Change No Change”. This release includes several bonus tracks taken from Easton’s unreleased second album ‘Band Of Angels’.
Co-written with talented Jules Shear who also provide baking vocals, ”Change No Change” was a pretty modern album for 1985, with some Cars elements and that classic rock&pop style but a wider exploration of sounds and rhythms.

Every The Cars member with the exception of drummer David Robinson put out a solo disc in the ’80s. And why not? The band had built up plenty of exposure and goodwill by 1985, with ‘Heartbeat City’ putting them firmly at the top of the charts and on radio with five Top 40 singles from that album alone (hats off to them for getting a song as moody and dark as “Why Can’t I Have You” in the Top 40 – talk about momentum).
And they had to feel creatively stifled with leaded Rik Ocasek calling all the shots. So if opportunity presents itself, grab it, I suppose.

And if you get the chance to work with a songwriter like Jules Shear, dear God, you better grab it, especially if your only previous claim to fame was squiggly, brilliant guitar solos like Elliot Easton’s.
Easton teamed with Shear to write 1985’s ”Change No Change”, mixing new wave rockers, sweed melodic midtempo tunes and moments of power pop brilliance.

Mixing synths and radio friendly guitars “(Wearing Down) Like A Wheel” was the first single, and did very well in the charts. “Tools of Your Labor” is a guitar-driven rocker, then “Shayla” adds a poppy classic rock sweet melody in a song that shoulda been a hit.
There’s a lot of The Cars into ”(She Made It) New for Me”, then goes modern with the synthetic ‘I Want You’ filled with great rhythm guitars. ‘The Hard Way’ bring to mind Tom Petty with its bluesy overtones, while if you need more fresh Cars-like pop press play on ‘Fight My Way to Love’, and ‘Wide Awake’ adds acoustic guitar to the mix for a fine ballad.

The bonus tracks are songs from the second album that never was (change of recording label and legal troubles) and showcase a more classic rock sound and production, with a bluesy background. It would be interesting to hear the whole album some day.

‘Change No Change’ sold well and had its brief moment in the sun, then Easton returned to his day job with The Cars. Easton and and Shear worked together again later that decade in the power pop combo Reckless Sleepers, who put out an unjustly ignored album in 1988.
Easton’s ‘Change No Change’ is pure ’80s, nicely remastered from the original tapes.


01 – Tools of Your Labor
02 – (Wearing Down) Like a Wheel
03 – Shayla
04 – Help Me
05 – (She Made It) New for Me
06 – I Want You
07 – The Hard Way
08 – Fight My Way to Love
09 – Change
10 – Wide Awake
11 – Lonely Is the Dark
12 – Walk on Walden
13 – Long, Long Time
14 – Stop the World from Turning
15 – Let It Slide

Tracks 1 to 10 originally released in 1985 as ‘Change No Change’ LP
Tracks 11 to 15 from the unreleased album ‘Band Of Angels’

Vocals, Guitar, Sitar, Bass – Elliot Easton
Vocals – Danny Malone
Bass – Brad Hallen (tracks: 7, 8, 10)
Keyboards – Benmont Tench
Synthesizer – Stephen Hague
Drums – Stephen George (tracks: 1 to 10)
Drums – Stan Lynch (tracks: 11 to 15)
Backing Vocals – Jules Shear



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