CLIF MAGNESS – Solo [YesterRock remaster +2]
If there is an album that has been crying out for a re-issue for ages it’s CLIF MAGNESS “Solo“. Originally only released in Sweden and later in Japan, this AOR gem has been out of print for many time until YesterRock remastered it with 2 precious bonus tracks.
In the past 30 years, this Grammy award winner has been successful as (co-)writer and / or producer for acts such as Jack Wagner, Wilson Philips, Celine Dion, Cheap Trick, Amy Grant, and countless more. Of course he was part as well of the terrific Planet 3 project alongside the great Jay Graydon.
In 1994 Clif Magness released his first (and sadly, only) solo album, aptly entitled “Solo”, regarded as one of the top AOR recordings of all time.
But for this timeless sounding AOR / West Coast / AC gem, Magness wasn’t ‘solo’ at all: co-writing with Clif there’s the talents of Martin Page (Mr Mister), Steve Kipner, Glen Ballard (Planet 3) and Mark Mueller, all of them contributing backing vocals as well.
And with exquisite musicians such as Jay Graydon and the same Glen Ballard helping to build these beautiful sounds, we have a winner of an album.
From the opening pair of ‘Footsteps In The Rain’ (also recorded by Robin Beck) and ‘It’s Only Love’ all we have here is quality.
Clif re-recorded the urgent ‘Jennys Still In Love’ (from Planet 3) with great results, ‘Only You’ rocks with sharp guitars, while ‘Khalela’ is simply delicious. Of course there’s elegant ballads in the piano based ‘Hold Me Lee Anne’ and the superb ‘Dreams Fade Away’.
This YesterRock remastered reissue adds two pearls in the form of the previously unreleased tracks ‘Black And White’ and the great midtempo ‘Running Forever’.
“Solo” by Clif Magness is a classic AOR album in all aspects: songwriting, performances, production. Kudos to YesterRock for made it available again with a pristine remastered sound plus 2 valuable bonus tracks.
The remastering job is clear as arctic water, and very well balanced. Due the original tapes rights are owned by a Swedish label, the remaster was done in Sweden by Erik Broheden who has not applied the typical new millennium up-front sound. Instead, it’s warm, sweet to the ears.
A Must Have.
01 – Footprints in the Rain
02 – It’s Only Love
03 – Hold Me Lee Anne
04 – One Way Out
05 – Khalela
06 – Jenny’s Still in Love
07 – Only You
08 – If We Can’t Do It
09 – Flower Girl
10 – What’s a Heart to Do
11 – Solo
12 – Dreams Fade Away
13 – Ready or Not
14 – Black & White
15 – Running Forever
Clif Magness: vocals, guitars, programming, keyboards, synths
Glen Ballard: keyboards, backing vocals
Jay Graydon: guitar solos
Aina Olsen, Martin Page, Mark Mueller: backing vocals
BUY IT !