Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Al Jarreau - High Crime (1984)


Note: this release was originally purchased as a LP, later replaced by a CD.

I'm a Jarreau fan because of his fantastic voice, but unfortunately, there's not a lot on this release that requires his amazing vocal talents. Writer/producer Jay Graydon got caught up in the drum machines and synth sounds of the pop music of the time and overdid it. This ruins what otherwise could have been good R&B material. To make it worse, instead of acknowledging the drum machine, they credit drummers as "Skinsoh Umor," "Chip McSticks," and "Tyrone B. Feedback." That's so smug, it's like giving your listeners the finger. Still, I listened to this album quite a bit during my freshman year in college and didn't notice all the synths then. That sound hasn't aged well, in my opinion. I bought this CD more for nostalgia than for the actual music.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #49 (Jan 19, 1985)
Peak on Billboard's Jazz LPs chart: #2
Peak on Billboard's R&B albums chart: #12   
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #31

Tracks: Not my favorite Jarreau album (that would be 1983's Jarreau), but it does contain my favorite Jarreau song, the high energy Imagination, which is well-written and has some fantastic horn parts. Interestingly, it was co-written with Glen Ballard who would go on to have hits with Alanis Morissette and Dave Matthews Band. Murphy's Law is one of the better songs mainly because of Jerry Hey's clever flugelhorn parts. Tell Me and Let's Pretend aren't great songs, but I have to admit liking them because of their catchy bridge sections. The minor hit from this album, After All, is a fairly mundane ballad that doesn't do anything for me. I usually skip the title track, Love Speaks Louder Than Words, and Fallin'.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: With dear friends Richard L. and Eleanor J., I saw Jarreau supporting this album in August 1985 at the Southern Star Amphitheater at Astroworld. I think some apartments stand at that location now, but it was Houston's only outdoor concert venue before they opened that mosquitofest in The Woodlands. The concert was fantastic but that's not what I remember most: I had great seats (8th row) and in the seat directly in front of me sat pro basketball hall of famer Moses Malone. Malone was in the prime of his career and a complete jerk. When fans would approach him for an autograph, one of his people would step in and tell them that Moses was on vacation and wasn't signing autographs. Really?!? I hate it when celebrities want the fame and fortune that comes with being a star and think they can still go out in public like a normal person. About 10 people asked for autographs, so that would have taken maybe 2 minutes of his time. What a jackhole. In related news: on the way home from the concert, I got my first speeding ticket (65 in a 55).


Previously revisited for the blog:
L is for Lover (1986)

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