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Live In Tangiers

Michael Stanley

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Album Review

Michael Stanley's 1998 album Live in Tangiers: The Acoustic Shows includes 30 songs spanning two CDs, and these tunes illustrate the Cleveland rocker's songwriting gifts and a skill for inspired choices of covers of classics like the Beatles' "Help," the Shirelles' "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?" and obscurities like Richard Thompson's "Waltzing's for Dreamers." The majority of songs are either Michael Stanley Band or solo material, including the brand-new songs "Time on My Hands" and "Grownup Love Song." Vocalist/guitarist Stanley is joined by MSB alumni like keyboardist Bob Pelander, drummer Tommy Dobeck; other musicians of note here include vocalist Jennifer Lee, guitarist Marc Lee Shannon, and violinist Ed Caner. Live in Tangiers was recorded primarily at four shows in March 1997 at a cabaret called the Tangier (technically, there is no "s" in the name) in Akron, Ohio. A few other Ohio shows were also recorded for the album, and so was one in St. Louis. The most interesting songs are "I'll Never Need Anyone More," "My Town," "Working Again," "Somewhere Over Paris," "Lover," "Let's Get the Show on the Road," and "Sendaway Underwear." The only drawback is that the energy drags over the course of the album. Several of these songs — particularly the MSB selections — were vibrant rockers, yet these fresh arrangements have converted nearly everything to slow, silky ballads. Acoustic-oriented albums like this certainly have their charm, such as an emphasis on melody, but they mostly strip the songs back to what they were like during the songwriting stage. Fully realized band recordings are needed to breathe the maximum amount of life into them, especially when they weren't born in the "middle of the road."


Born: 25 March 1948 in Cleveland, OH

Genre: Rock

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

Cleveland native Michael Stanley became a regional phenomenon, but the singer/songwriter/guitarist and his Michael Stanley Band deserved more national success than they achieved. Stanley, whose real name is Michael Stanley Gee, played bass with the folk-rock group Silk in the late '60s. He then went solo and released two solo albums in the early '70s that fit right in with the "singer/songwriter" era. His talent attracted the likes of producer Bill Szymczyk and guest musicians Joe Walsh, Todd Rundgren,...
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Live In Tangiers, Michael Stanley
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