Nash, Graham - 1986 Innocent Eyes

EricEric USA
edited August 2 in year-1986

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ARTIST: Nash, Graham
ALBUM: Innocent Eyes
LABEL: Atlantic
SERIAL: 81633-1
YEAR: 1986
CD REISSUE: 2005, Rhino Records, 8122799

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Graham Nash - lead & background vocals, guitar, keyboards * Michael Landau, Woody Watchel, David Lindley, Jeff Southworth - guitars * Craig Deorge, Alan Pasqua - keyboards * George Perry, Tim Drummond - bass * Bill Boydston, Paul Bliss - keyboards, drum programming * Mark Williams - drums, drum over-dubs * Kenny Loggins - vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 See You In Prague * 02 Keep Away From Me * 03 Innocent Eyes * 04 Over The Wall * 05 Don't Listen To The Rumours * 06 Sad Eyes * 07 Newday * 08 Glass And Steel * 09 I Got A Rock

Background

I've long admired Graham Nash not only as an exemplary song writer but as a vocalist whose unmistakable tenor has graced some of the best music rock has produced both in The Hollies and Crosby Stills & Nash.

Not forgetting one of my favourite albums of all time, the stunning Crosby & Nash 1975 release 'Wind On The Water' which if you haven't heard should be added to the want list pronto.

Unfortunately Nash's solo albums haven't fared as well. Forever the activist, his albums up to 1986's 'Innocent Eyes' reek of 60's idealism and more often than not are loaded with very mediocre material.

With this album released six years after his last effort 1980's 'Earth & Sky'; Nash attempted to update his sound going the hi-tech pop route which was pretty much panned at the time by both critics and fans alike.

A chorus of 'sellout' from the Birkenstock and granola crowd not-withstanding; Graham Nash delivered what I think is a very good album. Out of character yes, but certainly a record with wide appeal for GDM readers.

The Songs

Bubbling synths underpin 'See You In Prague' and with its cold war imagery, smart chorus and stellar guitar via Michael Landau it's a first-rate start.

I can see how those who cherished the muddy hippie indulgence of Woodstock thought the end was near with this made for MTV album, but how could anyone deny the greatness of the title track is a mystery.

Paul Bliss penned; 'Innocent Eyes' is perfect '80s pop. Nash shares vocal duties with Kenny Loggins with both pairing up nicely and while this veritable hook feast received a lot of airplay at the time, it wasn't enough to make it a bigger hit than it was.

'Over The Wall' and 'Don't Listen To The Rumours' recall Euro hi-tech biggies I.C. Eyes and Bogart Co, but of course behind the technology Graham Nash was still Graham Nash ending the album with the anti-war rocker 'I Got A Rock'.

Still synth heavy and reminiscent of 'Balance of Power' ELO; the message albeit slightly watered down was clear and sadly as relevant today as it was then.

In Summary

This was Graham's last solo album until 2002's 'Songs For Survivors' which saw a return to the style more familiar to ageing baby boomers weaned on folk rock activism.

Since then he's appeared on a number of tribute albums, collaborated with both A-ha and David Gilmour, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with The Hollies and continues to pursue his interest in digital photography.


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