Foster, Jim - 1986 Power Lines

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited August 2 in year-1986


ARTIST: Foster, Jim
ALBUM: Powerlines
YEAR: 1986
CD REISSUE: 2011, Yesterrock, PL 89907


LINEUP: Jim Foster - vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards * Scott Goodfellow, Dave Pickell - keyboards * Jean Piche - programming * Doug Edwards - bass * Vern Wills - bass, vocals * Tim McGillveroy - percussion * Matt Frenette - percussion, timbales * Daryl Burgess - drums * Sandi Dillon, Paul Hyde, Marc LaFrance, Nancy Nash, Lori Paul, David Raven - backing vocals * Bill Henderson, Walter Stewart, Jim Foster - production

TRACK LISTING: 01 Dancin' On The Power Lines * 02 Saved By Night * 03 Do It To Me * 04 Maggie * 05 Quicker Than The Eye * 06 It's Up To You * 07 X Ray Eyes * 08 You've Got My Number (Call It Up) * 09 Where Were You


Canadian musician Jim Foster is perhaps better known through his association with the Alberta based outfit Fosterchild (hence the band name).

This outfit had been in existence since the mid 70's, and became a staple touring act throughout Western Canada during this time. The band released three albums between 1977 and 1980: 'Fosterchild', 'Troubled Child' and 'On The Prowl'.

Their brand of laid back rock and country styles managed to get heavier with each release, but generally, they were a comfortable fit for that late 70's FM/radio rock scene.

By the 80's however, things had changed, the bands new label Vera Cruz Records did not support the band on the road, Fosterchild stuttered along until calling it a day in 1982.

Jim instead, opted for a role with Vera Cruz labelmates One Horse Blue. By 1986, Jim had landed a solo deal with RCA, with 'Power Lines' being the resulting output.

A few of Jim's colleagues (see list above) chipped in to support him, many of whom were well established in the Vancouver recording scene, including members of Straight Lines, Body Electric and Loverboy.

The Songs

Musically, Jim leaves the soft rock leanings of his 70's past behind him. 'Power Lines' instead, opting for a run at the likes of Rick Springfield and Stan Meissner styled AOR.

The whole album sounds like a product of the studio, with some racy guitar driven hard rock/AOR being delivered.

Songs to stand out include the upbeat and energetic lead-off track 'Dancin' On The Power Lines', the equally pulse laden 'Saved By Night' and the track 'X Ray Eyes', which had a video made for it back in the day.

Really, there are no weaknesses on the album. All the songs are extremely catchy, varying from the sole ballad on the album 'Maggie', to a brace of melodic rock gems such as 'Quicker Than The Eye', 'It's Up To You' with its obligatory sax work and sterling synth work.

In Summary

Beyond this album, Jim has played alongside and with The Cruzeros, Jann Arden and Murray McLaughlin.

In the here and now, Jim is still a very busy man, currently appearing with the Vancouver based trio Shirttail Relatives, and spending a lot of hang time in his studio on the British Columbia coast. Aah what a life!

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