Clapton Chronicles ignores Eric Clapton's 1983 Reprise debut, Money and Cigarettes (which sounded more like an RSO album, anyway), starting with the pair of Phil Collins-produced mid-'80s albums, Behind the Sun and August. Though these had a pop sheen, they were album rock holdovers. Clapton didn't get the balance between hard rock and commercial gloss right until 1989's Journeyman, whose featured songs – "Before You Accuse Me," "Bad Love," and "Pretending" – form the heart of this compilation. Journeyman was overshadowed by the phenomenal success of "Tears in Heaven" and 1992's Unplugged…
Within a refined setting of easy listening pop ballads and lightly funky up-tempo selections produced by Al McKay, Henderson proves himself an assured vocalist with mastery of clarity and phrasing. The problem here is the material isn't challenging enough – it's often formulaic and derivative of other early-'80s releases. Even a contribution from Stevie Wonder, "Crush on You," wanders into oblivion. But the singer's debonair tone and elegant, polished diction makes the weaker sound stronger. A perfect example is the mid-tempo "I'd Rather Be Gone," which suffers from a sleepy melody and clichéd rhythm arrangement.
With the exception of 1992's Born Again, saxophonist Tom Scott's output for GRP was consistently disappointing. Although obviously a talented player, Scott's willingness to play arrangements whose main goal was to gain radio airplay resulted in commercial and quickly dated music. Scott is heard with smaller groups throughout this 1988 effort, which include keyboardist Randy Kerber and guitarist Dean Parks, plus guest appearances by guitarists Eric Gale and Michael Landau; all this looks promising but is actually quite routine. None of the nine funky originals were infectious enough to catch on; Scott sounds fairly anonymous in spots, particularly when he utilizes a WX-7; and it is obvious that the music was made strictly for the money. At best, this is superior background music
A shamelessly contrived effort, Keep This Love Alive is, for the most part, yet another tremendous waste of Tom Scott's talents. There are a few enjoyable moments here, including guest Dianne Schurr's sensuous vocal on "Whenever You Dream of Me" and Scott's gritty jazz-funk blowing on "Mis Thang." But on the whole, this CD is a throwaway by both jazz and pop standards. R&B/pop singer Brenda Russell is anything but memorable on the bloodless adult-contemporary song "If You're Not the One for Me," and most of the instrumentals would sound boring and lackluster even in a dentist's office. Throwing creativity to the wind, Scott leaves no doubt that his only concern is commercial radio airplay. The saxman recorded more than his share of stinkers for GRP in the 1980s and '90s, and Keep This Love Alive is at the top of the list.
B.J. Thomas has performed during four decades, sold more than 70 million records, won 5 Grammy Awards and scored 15 Top40 Pop/Rock Hits. But all this success was achieved in the country/pop genre. At the middle of the eighties, AOR rule the charts, and he was seduced by TV soundtracks guru STEVE DORFF to record the main theme for the soap opera 'Growing Pains'. The single (a duet with Jennifer Warnes) was a hit, and B.J. understood that was the direction to take. "Midnight Minute" is the only Adult Contemporary / WestCoast / AOR album recorded by Thomas.
Beau Williams has enjoyed his greatest commercial success as a gospel singer; some people in the Christian market don't even know that he once recorded secular music. But in fact, Williams did record some secular albums for Capitol in the '80s (before he decided to concentrate on gospel exclusively), and one of them was 1984's Bodacious.
There are two albums on this CD: the first (tracks # 1-10) "Ghost Town" was released in 1982, while the second (tracks # 11-20) "Inamorata" was released in 1984. Both were of course released on vinyl. This compilation (2 albums on 1 CD) was released by Rhino Records in 1995.
Freedom At Midnight is a classic late 80's contemporary jazz session, the kind that in fact helped make pianist David Benoit one of the genres biggest stars. The combination of hummable acoustic piano melodies with synthesizer shadings and groove oriented rhythm section work, make for a pleasant listening throughout. The title tune, "The Man With The Panama Hat", and "Tropical Breeze" conjure feelings that will transport the listener to a memorable space in time. Drummer Jeff Porcaro (Toto), bassist Abraham Laboriel, and guitarist Russ Freeman all make significant contributions.