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.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Al Jarreau - This Time (1980)

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

With this album, Jarreau wisely teamed up with producer Jay Graydon and began leaving his previous jazz-influenced work for more commercial pop/R&B with a clean L.A. sound.  Jarreau and Graydon released 4 albums in 5 years (1980-84) and this era was Jarreau's most successful commercially.  Faithful blog reader Dirk says "That 4-album stretch of Jay Graydon produced material, in particular, (from "This Time" through "High Crime") was the very definition of 'firing on all cylinders'."  I'll second that.  While this is a strong album, it isn't quite on par with Breakin' Away and Jarreau, but you could easily see the direction Jarreau was headed.  As always, Jarreau's powerhouse voice is the centerpiece and deservedly so.  Got a quiet night around the house?  Put the aforementioned quartet of albums on shuffle, mix a cocktail, and grab hold of your honey.  Relaxing and romantic, but not too much so.  Perfect.  I know what I'm doing tonight.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #27
Peak on Billboard's Jazz LPs chart: #1
Peak on Billboard's R&B albums chart: #6
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #34

Tracks:  My top tracks are those with lots of electric piano and Jerry Hey horn parts: Never Givin' Up, Gimme What You Got, Love Is Real, and Your Sweet Love.  One of the true joys of this album is the jazz-waltz of Alonzo.  The title track is classic Earl Klugh soft pop/jazz complete with a guitar solo from Klugh himself - a great way to close the album.  While the vocalese on Chick Corea's (I Can Recall) Spain is a showcase for Jarreau's talents, the arrangement falls flat for me so I usually skip it.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  My sophomore year in college ('85-'86), I somehow talked my parents into springing for a private dorm room (below); I enjoyed the privacy and solitude.  By that time, I was a big fan of Jarreau and started delving into his back catalog, including this album.  It got quite a bit of playing time in my dorm room back then so I'm surprised I didn't get a CD copy until recently (Big Brother over at Amazon tells me I ordered my copy July 16, 2013).  Overall, I didn't particularly enjoy college, but albums like this helped me through.

Previously revisited for the blog:
Givin' It Up (2006)
L is for Lover (1986)
High Crime (1984)
Jarreau (1983)
Breakin' Away (1981)


  1. Mornin', Mr. Jarreau.
    Thank you for starting my day off on a high note. Might even squeeze in an episode or two of Moonlighting in your honor.

  2. The cover photo on this album has always bothered me. If I sat on a director's chair like that, that thing would topple like a stack of Jenga blocks.

  3. My second favorite Jarreau album after 1983's "Jarreau". Not sure why, but for some reason, "This Time" holds up a lot better for me than "Breakin' Away"... I suppose it may have to do with the fact that I grew tired of hearing "We're In This Love Together" years ago, and wasn't ever blown away by the title track or "Teach Me Tonight" as follow-up singles. As for "This Time"? It's got three, all-time, heavy-duty favorites of mine ("Never Givin' Up"/"Love Is Real"/"Your Sweet Love"), among other gems.

    Without further adieu, why don't we take a quick peek at my Jarreau Top 5, shall we?

    5) High Crime (1984)
    4) Heart's Horizon (1988)
    3) Breakin' Away (1981)
    2) This Time (1980)
    1) Jarreau (1983)

    So, there you have it... That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it!

    1. Oh, so we're making lists, are we?

      5) L is for Lover
      4) High Crime
      3) This Time
      2) Breakin' Away
      1) Jarreau

      At least we agree on the top spot.

    2. Don't sleep on "Heart's Horizon", my friend. It's the "L Is For Lover" of my list... Overly-synthesized & slick, but (in my estimation) a catchier collection of songs than the Nile Rodgers helmed "L". It's largely produced by George Duke, but has the added bonus of a mini-Jarreau/Graydon reunion on five tracks (1, 4, 5, 6 & 12). Dirk & Al approve, so whaddaya' waitin' fer? Get on it, Kid!