Tagg, Eric - 1982 Dream Walkin'
ARTIST: Tagg, Eric
ALBUM: Dream Walkin'
LABEL: Agharta (Japan)
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Erik Tagg - vocals, keyboards * Lee Ritenour - guitar * Bill Champlin - background vocals * David Foster, Don Grusin, Greg Mathieson - keyboards * Nathan East, David Hungate, Abraham Laboriel - bass * John 'JR' Robinson, Rich Shlosser - drums * Ian Underwood - synthesizer * Alex Acuña - percussion * Gary Herbig, Tom Scott - sax * Jerry Hey - trumpet and flugelhorn * Chuck Findley - trumpet
TRACK LISTING: 01 No One There * 02 Marianne (I Was Only Joking) * 03 Promises Promises * 04 Dreamwalkin' * 05 In The Way * 06 A Bigger Love * 07 Crybaby * 08 Just Another Dream * 09 Marzipan * 10 Maos De Afeto * 11 Round The Corner (Bonus Track)
Upon his return from a three-year experience in the Netherlands, where he had been renamed Erik, Illinois born and Texas raised singer-songwriter Eric Tagg (then singing for New York based band Medusa), got reacquainted with Lee Ritenour and sent the guitarist a demo with the songs 'Mr. Briefcase' and 'No One There', with the former ending up as part of the 'Rit' album.
After the recording of 1981's 'Rit', and while working on the 'Rit/2' album, Ritenour produced Tagg's 'Dreamwalkin' for the Japanese market, basically with the same lineup and sonic approach of his two own records. So this album gathers some of the best players of the Westcoast scene in the early 80's, and it's also closely related to 'Rit' and 'Rit/2', albeit considerably less known. Two of the songs here also made it to the Rit/2 album.
Tagg is a velvety singer and his performance is humble, almost subdued, never oversinging his parts but always classy, allowing space for the other players and the melodies to shine.
The graceful Westcoast of 'No One There' would have entered the charts back in the day had it been released worldwide with its funky rhythms and tasty guitar licks. The delicate 'Marianne (I Was Only Joking)' is the vehicle for Tagg's brilliance and a particular sense of humor in the lyrics.
'Promises Promises', with Bill Champlin on background vocals, is given a new wave treatment versus the more bombastic, gated-reverb approach to be found on Rit/2, and both versions succeed. The title track, prospectively to be included on the aforementioned album as well, intensifies its tender qualities here while the chorus sounds like tailor-made for Earth, Wind & Fire.
The walking bass lines and the fantastic, quasi-whispered chorus of 'In The Way' close one of the most accomplished A-sides (think vinyl) in Westcoast ever to these ears. Far from a drop in quality, the silky 'A Bigger Love' follows with a top vocal performance and a brilliant, short guitar solo.
'Crybaby' is more Westcoast delight while 'Just Another Dream' and 'Marzipan' clearly show the Stevie Wonder and Brazilian Bossa Nova influences in a Pop Rock context. The original album ends with a gorgeous cover of MPB songwriter Ivan Lins, 1977's 'Mãos De Afeto', sung in its original Portuguese language.
The 2015 Japanese CD reissue includes the bonus track 'Round The Corner', written for a Bridgestone 330 Eager tires TV commercial in 1984. The lineup here is different and features Robben Ford on guitar. A good song, oddly enough it reminds me of the song 'Innocent Eyes' by Treasure.
If you enjoyed Lee Ritenour's Westcoast-oriented albums, you will surely enjoy this solo effort by the main singer on the Rit and Rit/2 albums, who is also a gifted songwriter. No instrumentals here, but strong songs and musicianship.
Engaged in a daytime job as part of a landscape team to support his family while playing clubs at night, fifteen years went on until Tagg's next solo album, 1997's 'Through My Eyes', and his first trip to Japan, a place where he was fairly acknowledged. A longtime believer, Tagg is currently a Worship Leader near Dallas, Texas.
VideoEric Tagg - No One There
Eric Tagg - Marzipan
Eric Tagg - Round The Corner
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