Alessi - 1982 Long Time Friends

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ARTIST: Alessi
ALBUM: Long Time Friends
LABEL: Qwest
SERIAL: QWS 3670
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 2010, Wounded Bird, WOU-3670

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Billy Alessi - vocals * Bobby Alessi - vocals

Guests: Guitars - Christopher Cross, Steve Lukather, Larry Carlton, Eric Johnson * Keyboards - Robbie Buchanan, Michael Boddicker, Michael Omartian * Bass - Neil Stubenhaus * Horns - Tom Scott, Jerry Hey, Ernie Watts, Jim Horn, Bill Reichenbach, Chuck Findley * Percussion - Lenny Castro * Drums - Jeff Porcaro

TRACK LISTING: 01 Jagged Edge * 02 You Got The Way * 03 As Far As I'm Concerned * 04 Rise Up * 05 I'm Gonna Tell Her Tonight * 06 Put Away Your Love * 07 What A Way To Go * 08 Still In Love * 09 How Long, How Much * 10 Forever * 11 Long Time Friends

Background

The Alessi Brothers recorded five albums on major record labels. They sold over eight million records worldwide. Billy and Bobby Alessi first came into prominence thanks to the early 70's.

After being part of the musical 'Hair', the twins formed Barnaby Bye with Peppi Castro of Balance and Wiggy Bits fame. After Barnaby Bye disbanded, Billy and Bobby soon got a deal with A&M Records in 1975.

The debut spawned 'Oh Lori' which became a modest hit, climbing to number seven in the UK and eventually becoming a Top Ten hit in seventeen more countries.

This led to an opening slot with Andy Gibb on his 'Shadow Dancing' tour, which was a highlight of Gibb's career.

Unfortunately A&M wanted the Brothers to follow in Gibb's footsteps to become a disco act. This prompted much heated debate and by 1979 the twins were at odds with the label.

'Words And Music' became their fourth and final release for A&M and was a musical and commercial failure.

After disbanding A&M, the twins put together a demo that found it's way to Michael Ostin at Warner Brothers who felt it would be the perfect material for Quincy Jones' new imprint, Qwest Records.

With Ostin and Christopher Cross at the helm, the twins released 'Long Time Friends' in 1982. Add the latter with the likes of Porcaro, Eric Johnson, Lukather, Carlton, Lenny Castro, among others and you know your about to dive into the finest West Coast waters.

The Songs

'Jagged Edge' - Although most of the release is somewhat laid back, this is one of the blistering cuts consisting of the style Greg Guidry and David Roberts were churning out during this golden age of AOR. Slightly upbeat with almost a power pop-ish feel - killer hook and chorus here.

'You Got The Way' - not as immediate as the opener in terms of AOR bliss, but includes a great melody and radio friendly chorus. Should've been bouncin' around the airwaves but unfortunately wasn't.

'As Far As I'm Concerned' - meandering ballad gets points for the sheer class of the players involved.

'Rise Up' - west coast/aor aficionados will most likely attest that all the tracks here are catchy, but this one reigns supreme IMHO. Another album highlight and west coast/aor at it's best.

'I'm Gonna Tell Her Tonight' - Excellent harmony from the Brothers. Very solid and dynamically produced.

'Put Away Your Love' - Primo lite AOR with excellent keys to boot. Actually made a dent on the US charts (#71). Another album highlight!

'What A Way To Go' - Patty Austin guest vocals mesh well with Billy's. Nice horns too compliments of Chuck Findley and Tom Scott.

'Still In Love' - another infectious melody from the brothers. With sweeping guitar and loads of orchestration.

'How Long, How Much' - kinda twangy 70's throw back is saved by Lukather's guitar and the twins harmonic vocals.

'Forever' - very moving song with Christopher Cross' background vocal contribution to spice things up.

'Long Time Friends' - The haunting title track is yet another ballad reminiscent of the approach taken on 'All For A Reason' (Also reviewed here at GDM) - it's good but would have been nice to close things out with another - something upbeat.

In Summary

Originally titled 'Roughing It', 'Long Time Friends' may be the best produced Christopher Cross album, but there is a sense of losing some of the innocence and naivety of the twins previous platters IMHO.

All tracks are very good, well produced and obviously more AOR than their 70's releases.

Over the past few years Alessi has arranged, produced, and written releases for many artists. Both Billy and Bobby Alessi currently write many Television/Radio jingle campaigns in the States. Billy maintained the Diet-Coke theme for many years as well as other household hooks.

Bobby's themes have included the Greyhound add campaign with B.B. King, J.C. Penny and Blockbuster Video.

Available as Japanese Import and long out of print, I would recommend this for die hard West Coast/AOR aficionados only as it and most of the Alessi discography can command some hefty prices online.


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