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Going Public

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Album Review

"I Write the Songs" was covered by the Captain & Tennille both in English and Spanish, by David Cassidy, and, of course, hit big for Barry Manilow two years before the release of this solo disc by one of the Beach Boys. With Elton John alum Caleb Quaye on electric guitar, along with Richie Zito, Kathy Dragon on flute, the California Boys Choir, and a song each co-written with Brian Wilson and Rocket Records recording artist the Hudson Brothers, this outing does not have the star power of David Cassidy's The Higher They Climb, The Harder They Fall album from 1975, which was co-produced by Johnston; however, Johnston does much more with less. "I Write the Songs" is nice, but Manilow's voice and overproduction is what the song needed, and got. That said, having the songwriter's emotions on record is important, and the hit presence of the song doesn't disturb the seamless presentation here. Johnston, like Randy Edelman, Tim Moore, and other quality songwriters from the era, has a pleasant voice, which is very effective on "Disney Girls." "Rock and Roll Survivors," with references to being a "dried out troubadour," is more like "C&W Survivor" — it sounds like a rocker in his sixties lamenting his former profession. Had Johnston made this a tip of the hat to Ricky Nelson, it might've worked, but as it stands, it's a pleasant country tune that sounds misrepresented in this pop setting. The Brian Wilson co-write "Deirdre" is sweet, and Beach Boys sounds do invade side one to good effect. "Don't Be Scared," on the other hand, is Johnston keeping within his vocal range and not taking many chances. Burton Cummings' "I'm Scared" was a little more effective with this theme, but the production is lush, and the tune does not offend. "Rendezvous" is very interesting. Co-written by the Hudson Brothers, one cannot ignore the fact that Brian Wilson producer Andy Paley co-wrote a song with the same title released on RCA's the Sidewinders' album five years prior. Paley would not produce Wilson until the '80s, but he's well-known within the Beach Boys/girl group/Phil Spector circles. "Pipeline" is a real strange one. Imagine Gamble & Huff re-working the Chantays' early-'60s hit. This sounds more like TSOP than "The Sound of Beach Boys," and is an interesting inside joke to end the album with. Overall, a good effort, and an indication that, perhaps, Johnston should re-record the vocals on David Cassidy's 1995 disc and release the two together on one CD. There is some really fine material on both records.


Born: 27 June 1942 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

While never a household name, Bruce Johnston enjoyed one of the longest and most intriguing careers in pop music, most notably as a member of the Beach Boys. Born June 27, 1942, in Peoria, Illinois, he was raised in Beverly Hills, California, attending school with fellow aspiring musicians Kim Fowley and Sandy Nelson and occasionally playing with them in the group the Sleepwalkers. Though still in high school, Johnston became a well-regarded performer on the West Coast circuit and played on a number...
Full bio
Going Public, Bruce Johnston
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  • 5,99 €
  • Genres: Pop, Music, Soft Rock
  • Released: 1977

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