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Young, Jesse Colin - 1982 The Perfect Stranger

ARTIST: Young, Jesse Colin
ALBUM: The Perfect Stranger
LABEL: Elektra
SERIAL: 60151
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 1996, Edsel (UK)


LINEUP: Jesse Colin Young - vocals, guitar * Buzz Feiten, Steve Lukather, Dennis Herring, Josh Leo, Robben Ford, Chris Michie, Dean Parks - guitars * Steve Porcaro, Bob Glaub - bass * Ross Kunkel, Art Wood, Carlos Vega - drums * Rick Vito, Bill Cuomo - synthesizers, keyboards * Carly Simon, Michael McDonald - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Perfect Stranger * 02 Fight For It * 03 Ophelia * 04 Fire On The Water * 05 Long Nights Coming * 06 Jamie * 07 Night School * 08 On The Edge * 09 The Cross And The Gun * 10 The Hawk


Here's a guy with an impressive pedigree dating back to the early 1964 when he recorded his first solo album 'The Soul Of A City Boy.' Young later formed The Youngbloods in 1967 and achieved fame through the single 'Get Together', which I'm sure almost every person on the planet has heard at some time or the other. Following their split Young released a succession of acclaimed solo efforts, but in 1982 he caught the eye of AOR fans by releasing a superb album in keeping with the era of the solo male star. As witnessed by the album cover Young had altered his image to fit that of the ubiquitous undercover lover and he pulls it off better than many.

The Songs
This is the album that Franke and the Knockouts never recorded. Anyone who is familiar with that bands first two albums (everyone here I'm certain!) will revel in the likes of 'On The Edge', a seriously hard rocking affair which is so close to Franke's 'Shakedown' it's uncanny. But it isn't a rip off and looking at the guests on this album you know it's an AOR paradise. Right from the onset of the brooding title track it's one classic after another and this is the epitome of vintage 1982 AOR. Carly Simon guests on vocals during 'Fight For It', a fine compliment to Young, whose voice was made for this genre. 'Night School' would have been a good fit on John O' Banion's 'Danger' and Michael McDonald chips in with the west coast wizardry of 'Fire On The Water'. 'The Cross And The Gun' is another good hard rock workout in stark contrast to the excellent ballads 'Jamie' and 'Ophelia'.

In Summary
While the album struggled in a market staurated by similar artists, this ranks right up there with the best of what was such an amazing year for AOR. This was Young's only real stab at AOR and to this day he's still out there at the age of 68 still touring and recording. Here however there's nothing to be found except some of the best AOR this side of Franke and the Knockouts and John O Banion themselves.

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#1 | gdazegod on November 28 2009 02:50:53
Simply an incredible AOR album. Period! You can find this on the Late For Sky blog.
#2 | rostoned on November 28 2009 18:33:37
Many people I enquired about this LP think he's the guy who sang "Love is in the air" or even the member of Styx! hilarious
#3 | Emda on August 05 2010 22:54:03
I can only agree that this is an unreleased Franke and The Knockouts album, played it this week for the first time and love it.!
#4 | gdazegod on September 11 2014 06:58:11
Still listening to this regularly. Had it at the top of my playlist this week. Awesome!
#5 | gdazegod on September 11 2014 07:00:06
Jesse Colin Young - 1982 The Perfect Stranger
YouTube Video:
#6 | gdazegod on September 11 2014 07:02:32
Jesse Colin Young - 1982 Fight For It
YouTube Video:
#7 | jeffrey343 on September 11 2014 15:13:46
These two songs are quite good. They also remind me somewhat of Glenn Frey. The album appears to be one of those that can't currently be found cheaply, or in digital form.
#8 | swazi on October 09 2014 21:16:57
Just listening to this CD, which isn't an easy one to find these days. Awesome is the only way to describe it. AWESOME!
#9 | rostoned on January 12 2018 09:43:33
The US (only?) 7" picture sleeve single of his duet with Carly Simon "Fight For It" has an unreleased tune on the b side, "Hidin' Away". 99% it is an outtake from Young previous LP, 1978 "American Dreams" as that and the song share the same producer, namely Jeff Labes.

It is interesting also to note that five of the tracks on "The Perfect Stranger" LP were co-written by Young with Wendy Waldman, while "Ophelia" was written solely by cult AORster Kevin Wells.

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