BILL LaBOUNTY – Bill LaBounty [Japan remastered AOR CITY 1000 series] HQ / out of print
As part of Sony Music Japan campaign titled AOR CITY 1000 featuring a low-priced reissue on classic AOR / AC albums from their back catalog (many of them out of print or hard to find) we have BILL LaBOUNTY self-titled effort from 1982, a year where production / recording of this type of music was heavily influenced by TOTO standards: pristine and clear, and surrounded by top class session musicians.
Indeed, produced by produced by expert Russ Titleman, “Bill LaBounty” is a product with a full ‘LA Session’ monsters playing on it, from Steve Lukather, Jeff Porcaro and Greg Phillinganes, to David Sanborn and Lenny Castro.
Not only this is one of the finest Wesct Coast AOR album from that golden first half of the ’80s era for the genre, it has dynamics that will appeal fans of well crafted contemporary rock & pop music as well.
With this much talent involved, they could have overwhelmed Bill LaBounty but this album is his own creation. He co-wrote all the tracks with writers like Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Kathy Wakefield and Roy Freeland. “Slow Fade”, with a great sax solo from David Sanborn, “Nobody’s Fool”, with smooth harmonies from Steven Bishop and Patti Austin and “Secrets”, with upfront percussion from Lenny Castro are the true standout tracks from a strong, melodic and consistent album.
The contrast from the smooth production and his “sandpaper” vocals make for interesting and unexpectedly tuneful music.
This is the album where Bill LaBounty should’ve become a massive star on the level of Christopher Cross and Toto. Why these stars didn’t align is anyone’s guess. But fans of the genre worldwide have since (re)discovered this gem and put it in its proper place in the Westcoast AOR pantheon.
It is damn near a flawless, essential set. In a just music universe, “Livin’ It Up”, “Dream On”, “Look Who’s Lonely Now” and “Slow Fade” would be remembered right up there with “Rosanna” and “Ride Like The Wind”.
If you’re a fan of this particular style of music that was produced in L.A. from the late-70s through early-to-mid 80s, and was all over Top 40 radio pre-“Thriller”, treat yourself to a listen.
A very good remaster very similar in essence to the original warm LP version.
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01 – Livin’ It Up
02 – Didn’t Want To Say Goodbye
03 – Dream On
04 – Slow Fade
05 – Comin’ Back
06 – Look Who’s Lonely Now
07 – Never Gonna Look Back
08 – It Used To Be Me
09 – Nobody’s Fool
10 – Secrets
Vocals, Piano – Bill LaBounty
Drums – Jeff Porcaro
Guitar – Dean Parks, Steve Lukather
Rhodes – Greg Phillinganes
Bass – Chuck Rainey
Synthesizer – Ian Underwood
Horn Section – Chuck Findley, Jerry Hey, Kim Hutchcroft
Percussion – Lenny Castro
Claves – Russ Titelman
Vocal Harmonies – Leslie Smith
Out of print