Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#160 in the Series) is Bonnie Raitt, Nick of Time.
In 1988, Bonnie Raitt was one of many performers that would continuously pound out good release after good release but never really popped! We’ve seen a ton of these acts. ‘Boy is she good. I’m surprised that she’s not better known.’ There was the odd Me and the Boys or Angel From Montgomery, but the lady from California still wasn’t a household name. Heck she wasn’t as well-known as her stage star father John Raitt.
Then she met Don Was. Don was a producer that had done well with the great band Was (Not Was) and had produced a few other acts as well. Be his career was quite a bit like Bonnie’s. Ok, but not spectacular.
They met when Don was putting together a compilation of Disney songs for an album. The session went well and Raitt and Was decided to continue in to another project that would become, Nick of Time. It was if the title track decribed both of their feeling about meeting the other at this point in their careers.
Nick of Time ended up selling 5 million copies and garnered Ms. Raitt three Grammy Awards. It was ranked #229 on Rolling Stone Magazines Top 500 Albums of All Time. It won Grammy’s for Album of the Year, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.
The biggest hit on Top 40 radio was Have a Heart. The biggest hit on rock radio was John Hiatt’s Thing Called Love. The best song on the album was the title cut, Nick of Time.
Guest artists a plenty were on the album. To name some, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Sweet Pea Atkinson and Sir Harry Bowens from Was (Not Was), Paulinho Da Costa, Ricky Fataar, Herbie Hancock and Kim Wilson.
Don Was continued to produce Bonnie on her next album, Luck of the Draw. It sold seven million copies.
Here’s some Bonnie Videos. Nick of Time, Have a Heart and lastly a live version of Thing Called Love from an old Farm Aid show complete with John Hiatt!
Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#137 in the Series) is Tears for Fears, The Seeds of Love.
I would love to know how much time Tears for Fears spent in the studio recording this album. It has so much texture and so many layers that it had to have taken many, many months.
Released in 1989, this was Tears for Fears third release following The Hurting and Songs from the Big Chair. The latter reached #1 on the strength of two singles, Shout and Everybody Wants to Rule the World.
The Seeds of Love peaked at #8 but top to bottom, I think this was a stronger album.
There was a major difference in this album that sets it apart from the first two. That is the incredible vocals of guest singer Oleta Adams.
Ms. Adams was a struggling gospel singer who had previously released two self financed solo albums that did not get much notice. She moved to Kansas City after not finding much success in Los Angeles.
There her life changed. She was performing in a hotel bar when Tears for Fears members Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith wandered while on tour. They made contact with her and two years later she’s singing on their album and touring the world.
She was best known for the duet she sang with Roland that opens the album. It’s a fantastic song called Woman in Chains. If you recognize that drum sound, yes, that is Phil Collins on drums.
Other great songs on the album include the heavily Beatles influenced, Sowing the Seeds of Love, Badman’s Song, Advice for the Young at Heart, Swords and Knives and Year of the Knife.
Oleta Adams maintains a solo career to this day. Most of her success has been in Tears for Fear home country, the U.K.
Tears for Fears also still records and tours but hasn’t had a major hit in the US since Sowing the Seeds of Love.
I often like to try and find live versions of videos to post. But here’s the studio versions of Woman in Chains and Sowing the Seeds of Love. The production and arrangements are so perfect that I felt it was the way to go.
Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#120 in the Series) is Tim Finn’s self titled 1989 release.
In that extensive box of goodies that have been created by Neil and Tim Finn, ‘Split Enz, Tim Finn, Crowded House, Neil Finn, Finn Brothers, etc etc, the ‘Tim Finn’ album just might be my favorite.
Did you ever grab something from the store, played it here and there for a few days and then it grows on you and then you just play it extensively for a long time with out it tiring.
That’s how the Tim Finn album was for me back in 1989.
Every song was on the mark here, as was the band he put together. I’ve stated this before but why Neil and Tim Finn are not superstars is beyond me!
For this album Tim basically enlisted Peter Gabriel’s band. Tony Levin on Chapman Stick and bass, Jerry Marotta on drums, David Rhodes on guitar. The only real addition was Mitchell Froom on keys. Mitchell also produced the effort.
Tim of course handled all the lead vocals. I think that’s what always amazed me about him. His vocals could just soar!
Even thou every song is a keeper, a few hit higher than others. My favorites included ‘Young Mountain, Not Even Close. How’m I Gonna Sleep, Crescendo’ and ‘Been There, Done That.’
Tim brought this tour to the Park West Theater in Chicago. I had tix and could not find a soul that wanted to go. But that didn’t stop me from going. I was NOT going to miss this show. So I make my way to the general admission little club and being solo that night, I find an empty seat right in front of the stage!!! Thanks everyone for not wanting to go with along.
I’m sitting there and he takes the stage and he’s got Peter Gabriel’s band with him on tour as well!! This was before the internet and you really didn’t know those things in advance. Heck, now you can know the band, the set list etc. all before you get to a show. But you didn’t back then. So I was really pleasantly surprised.
He started the show and performed the album in it’s entirety. You see that now with well-known albums but for something still new, well that’s another thing that wasn’t/isn’t done that often.
He also did a few Split Enz classics that night. It truly was one of my favorite concert nights I ever had.
Here’s the promo video for ‘How’m I Gonna Sleep’ followed by an unplugged version of ‘Not Even Close’ of Tim playing with Crowded House. He, of course would join Crowded House for two album shortly after this recording. One thing J.C. Hartsfield taught me years ago. He said ‘ The most perfect vocal harmony you could ever have is with yourself. The second best, is with your brother.’