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Album Review

The Michael Stanley Band's live album Stagepass is a fine example of the no-frills rock & roll concert experience. Fitting on one CD, the Cleveland quintet recorded this double album over three consecutive nights in October 1976 at their hometown's old Agora Ballroom, which was destroyed by a fire a few years later. Five of the songs on Stagepass are new. The band was working on a studio album at the time, but in the liner notes of the 1992 compilation Right Back at Ya (1971-1983), Stanley says Epic Records wanted a live album to capitalize on the phenomenal success of Peter Frampton's Frampton Comes Alive!. The first cut, "Midwest Midnight," is a catchy rocker with Stanley's sneering vocals and cynically venomous, anti-music biz lyrics — although the first verse is about masturbation. "Real Good Time," written and sung by bassist Daniel Pecchio, starts as a melancholy ballad, picks up momentum, and then eases back down again. "Nothing's Gonna Change My Mind" is a solid pop-rock number written and sung by lead guitarist Jonah Koslen. "Movin' Right Along" is a 9½-minute jam highlighted by keyboardist Bob Pelander's jazzy piano solo. "Waste a Little Time on Me" is a lazy ballad oddly reminiscent of Jimmy Buffett. Koslen's "Wild Sanctuary" is an offbeat rocker. "Let's Get the Show on the Road" provides Stanley's band with another chance to stretch out. Koslen's singalong favorite "Strike Up the Band" closes Stagepass. Awesome album cover, too.

Biography

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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Stagepass, Michael Stanley Band
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