America - 1983 Your Move
ALBUM: Your Move
CD REISSUE: 1998, One Way, 19359 * 2007, BGO, (2 on 1 with 'View From The Ground')
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Gerry Beckley - vocals, guitars * Dewey Bunnell - vocals, guitars * Russ Ballard - bass, guitar, percussion, keyboards, backing vocals, producer * Raphael Ravenscroft - saxophone * Louis Clark - arranger, conductor * Stephen Bishop - backing vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 My Kinda Woman * 02 She's A Runaway * 03 Cast The Spirit * 04 Love's Worn Out Again * 05 The Border * 06 Your Move * 07 Honey * 08 My Dear * 09 Tonight Is For Dreamers * 10 Don't Let Me Be Lonely * 11 Someday Woman
BackgroundAmerica continued to evolve as the 1980s began. For their 'Alibi' release in 1980, Beckley and Bunnell reached out to key players from the West Coast/AOR scene, such as Steve Lukather to help smooth their sound. 'Alibi' set the tone for a string of releases which that featured a more edgy sound than their previous material, as the group began to utilize songs from other songwriters as they sought out a more tightly-crafted pop-rock approach. Nestled between America's 'Perspective' and 'View From The Ground' is America's eleventh release 'Your Move'. This 1983 release includes a wealth of input from British producer/arranger/performer and co-writer Russ Ballard. Who can really blame Beckley and Bunnell for giving the former Argent star another try, after his production 'You Can Do Magic' provided them with a huge hit a year in 1982. 'View From The Ground' (also reviewed here at glorydazemusic) produced two hit singles: the Ballard penned 'You Can Do Magic' which reached #8 on the Billboard singles chart and 'Right Before Your Eyes' which peaked at 45. In the end, Ballard wound up writing most of the songs and performing most of the instruments on 'Your Move' in addition to his production duties.
The SongsBallard is all over this like flies on a rib roast, his knack for crafting tasty melodies at times transcend well with Beckley and Bunnell. Although they had gone the route of the outside songwriter before, for the most part Beckley and Bunnell are the singers on an album that Ballard had crafted for them. On one track, Bunnell decided to rewrite Russ's lyrics, and the album's standout cut 'The Border' was the result. Set to the backing of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the saxophone work of Raphael Ravenscroft, the song became modest hit on the adult contemporary charts, where it reached #4 (even better than 'You Can Do Magic'). 'The Border' captures the best of America during this period, as do a handful of other good cuts like 'Cast the Spirit', 'She's A Runaway' and 'My Kinda Girl', while two or three weaker tracks clearly prove Russ should of kept him for his own. Stephen Bishop adds some nice harmony vocals along the way here as well.
In Summary'Your Move' was a minor hit in the US, reaching number 81 on the Billboard album chart. 'The Border' was America's last top 40 hit and reached 33 on the Billboard singles chart and number 4 on the Adult Contemporary chart. 'Cast the Spirit' was also released as a single but failed to chart. 'Tonight is for Dreamers' and 'She's a Runaway'also received some radio airplay. America started contributing to several soundtracks during this period. Beckley and Bunnell contributed four tracks to 'The Last Unicorn' soundtrack in 1982 and also recorded 'Love Comes Without Warning' for the 1984 Steve Martin comedy 'The Lonely Guy'. Meanwhile, America opted for a decidedly different direction from its previous offerings for its next release 'Perspective' (also reviewed here at glorydazemusic). Ballard was out, and an even more added AOR sheen was in. Several different producers, including Richie Zito helped create a sound that was even more at odds with America's acoustic trademark sound. For me personally that's a good thing as I have never been a fan of their folk rock roots. With that I highly recommend 'Your Move' to those who feel the same and to fans of Russ Ballard.
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jeffduran September 30 2008 2285 reads 2 comments Print