Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Stephen Stills - Right By You

Today (July 30th) is the thirtieth anniversary of Right By You, the sixth solo studio album from Stephen Stills. The record spent twelve weeks on the US Billboard Album chart, peaking at number 75.

Side one opens with “50/50”, a Latin flavored mid-tempo dance tune. The lyrics tell the importance of mutual participation in a relationship. Stills and Florida percussionist, songwriter and voice actor Joe Lala co-wrote the track.

“Stranger” keeps the party going with a bouncy boogie. As with the previous track, this one too would have been right at home in the dance clubs of the early 80’s.

“Flaming Heart” changes things up a bit, giving us a country-rock song next. Ray Arnott, an Australian drummer who was a member of the progressive rock band Spectrum in the early 70’s, wrote it.

The upbeat “Love Again” gives the listener that hope of love returning once more when you least expect it.

“No Problem” glides in on a jamming beat and rhythm.

Side two begins with “Can’t Let Go”, a tender swaying ballad written by Grammy nominated writers Joe Esposito and Ali Willis.

“Grey to Green” is next. It reminds me a quite a bit of Steely Dan in sound.

Next up is a variation of Neil Young‘s 1970 song “Only Love Can Break Your Heart”; Stills added some lyrics to it.

“No Hiding Place” takes a surprise but welcome detour down a country road. Before it ended, I was singing right along with the infectious chorus.

The album closes with the blues-rock of the title track “Right By You”.

This was my first spin through Right By You, and it totally was not what I was expecting at all. Stephen Stills and his cohorts really constructed some solid 80’s dance music on the first side and pleasant pop-rock on the second. I absolutely loved it. If I had come across this one back in 1984, I am sure I would have snatched it up then. Needless to say, I immediately added it to my library.

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