Paris, Jeff - 1986 Race To Paradise

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited August 2 in year-1986


ARTIST: Paris, Jeff
ALBUM: Race To Paradise
LABEL: Mercury/Polygram
SERIAL: 422-826 648-1 M-1
YEAR: 1986


LINEUP: Jeff Paris - vocals, guitar, piano, organ * Roger Fiets - bass * Bob Marlette - synthesizer * Pat Torpey - drums * George Young - sax 'My Girl' * Moon Calhoun, Michael Caruso, John Keller, Paul Kingery, Rick Neigher - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 I'm Better * 02 Mystery Girl * 03 My Girl * 04 Give It Away * 05 Don't Make Promises * 06 Back On My Knees * 07 Hot Love * 08 Rock Tonight * 09 Race To Paradise


Jeff Paris (a.k.a Geoffrey Leib) is well known to fans of AOR and melodic rock.

He received plaudits for his work as a musician and songwriter during the 80's, after spending a bit of time during the late 70's involved with disco and funk, playing on tour with many artists of those genres, as well as with his own 1979 project Pieces.

Transitioning into the 80's presented a different set of challenges, instead moving more into hard rock, initially songwriting for Lita Ford, then hooking a deal with Polygram/Mercury, who had Lita on their books at the time.

Yes, it's who you know rather than what you know that counts in the biz. At the time, Leib was pushing out numerous tunes, and was pretty adept at producing his own material, and based on some demos, Polygram offered him a deal for an album, which ultimately became his 1986 debut 'Race To Paradise'.

The Songs

The label, and Jeff's manager thought they had the next Bon Jovi on their hands.

With a stage-name change (Leib became Paris), and with some top L.A talent in tow (Pat Torpey (Mr Big), Bob Marlette (Tuesday Knight, China Sky, Burns Sisters) and Roger Fiets (Rox Diamond, Artica), 'Race To Paradise' became an undiscovered classic.

Like the album-title, this set lives up to its name. Though it might not be as high-profile as Jeff's next LP 'Wired Up', there is much to like on this debut.

Fast paced rockers such as 'I'm Better' and 'Give It Away' provides the momentum, the sensational 'Back On My Knees' is possibly the album highlight, thanks in part to a terrific chorus.

The triumvirate of 'Hot Love', 'Rock Tonight' and the closing title-track 'Race To Paradise' all add brownie points to what is a great LP.

In Summary

Doing a little digging, it doesn't appear as if this has received an official reissue yet.

Rock Candy and AOR Heaven have done so with 'Wired Up' and 'Freak Flag', the other JP albums being released at the time during the 90's ('Lucky This Time' on Now And Then, 'Smack' on USG).

There is a good essay written by Rob Evans based on Jeff's history, obtainable on that Rock Candy 'Wired Up' reissue. Hopefully 'Race To Paradise' is in the reissue queue with somebody.. soon..

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