2004, Goldmine Records, GR-343 * 2017, Sunset Dreams RecordsCOUNTRY OF ORIGIN: LINEUP:
Claudia - lead vocals * David Foster - synthesizer, keyboards * David Loeb - keyboards * Erich Bulling - keyboards, ocarina, production, arrangements * Daniel Sawyer, Lee Ritenour, Steve Lukather, Paul Jackson Jr. - guitars * Dennis Belfield, Leland Sklar - bass * Gary Herbig - sax solos * Bill Churchville, Michael Harris - horns * Joey DeLeon - percussion * Carlos Vega, Mike Baird - drums * Tom Kelly, Richard Page, Steve George - backing vocalsTRACK LISTING:
01 Handle Me Right * 02 No Love Lost * 03 I Want To * 04 Don't Stop Now * 05 Jamie * 06 Back Again * 07 There You Go Again * 08 Yesterdays Dream * 09 Stay * 10 The Road To Goodbye
Like the recent Craig Mirijanian
article we did, this album by the one-off artist Claudia has been described as a west-coast classic. Like Mirijanian, it too has received a 2017 reissue courtesy of Sunset Dream Records. There's not a lot of public info on Claudia out there on the Net. You'll probably have to read the liner notes of the Sunset Dreams reissue to learn more. From reading between the lines, Claudia was lined up as an artist pitched at the female fronted pop rock scene of the day. We're talking Olivia Newton-John
, Kim Carnes
and Nicolette Larson
, who all had hits around the turn of the decade. Scotti Bros were hoping for similar success. To my ears, Claudia sings in the style of Linda Ronstadt
(she actually looks like her too), but I think I prefer listening to Karla Bonoff
and Wendy Waldman
in this same style, both women similar to Ronstadt, as well as being good friends with the 'Blue Bayou' singer. That's just my ears mind you, but there's no getting away from the fact that some very heavyweight L.A session musos are in on this, and that's probably the album's selling point.
'Handle Me Right' is probably the best way to introduce Claudia to the masses. The track is templated L.A west coast, though her vocal delivery on the chorus isn't the best. Annoying would be a better term. Much better is 'No Love Lost', without any vocal departures, while 'I Want To' sees Claudia doing her best Karla Bonoff
impersonation. 'Don't Stop Now' is the toughest track on the album, fuelled by a hot guitar solo from Steve Lukather
, while 'Jamie' is another version of the song first heard on Debby Boone
's self titled LP from 1978. 'Back Again' harks back to the Karla Bonoff
styled vocal, while 'There You Go Again' drifts into MOR territory. 'Yesterday's Dream' touches that quasi-disco style, something which can be gotten away with on an album like this, but only just. 'Stay' and 'The Road To Goodbye' are the obvious choices for ballads, surprising it took to the end of the album to finally land. It also means that the back-end of the LP falls away drastically in terms of energy and excitement.
Winding the clock back, one has to ask questions why this album didn't do well on the charts. Was it the label's marketing and PR work? Maybe. Was it the production and personnel? Definitely not. Was it Claudia's vocal work? No. I think she had a decent enough voice, even if she was essentially singing other people's songs. I'm thinking the American market was pre-occupied with other artists of the day, and this album got lost in the shuffle. Where have I heard that before? Claudia would come and go, and her association with producer Erich Bulling would lead both of them to appearing for Japanese artist Kazu Matsui
, and his 1983 LP 'Standing On The Outside'. As for this album, investigate with the knowledge that there are some worthwhile moments onboard, but it does tend to fall away toward the end.
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