Flashback to 6 Nov 2002 when I first wrote this…
It has been said that an artist has a lifetime to write his debut album but nine months to do his next. Stephen Bishop’s first record, “Careless” (US, ABC 954) has all the hallmark of a lifetime’s work.
This Stephen Bishop record is quite special to me because I have been listening to this in cassette form when I was a teenager. Getting a sealed LP with no cutout and well preserved for the years that it had been (storage) added a hunted treasure feeling.
In this record of 11 songs, Bishop’s singing is warm, emotive and intimate – like a boy in love. This is an LP I could listen from end to end with catchy tunes like “On and On”, “Little Italy”, “Save It On a Rainy Day” and the sentimental song with a deceiving title “Rock and Roll Slave” with backing vocals from Mr. Mellow man himself, Art Garfunkel. The then newbie Bishop was also flanged by power cord Chaka Khan, still session regulars Larry Carlton and Lee Ritenour and even blues giant Eric Clapton contributed some licks.
The recording is the icing on the cake. Like most typical 70s recording, there were no artifacts of modern day production. Mastered by Bernie Grundman, I was particularly impressed with the handling of the vocals. The vocals are honest, warm and natural. Grundman knew who the star was with the accompanying instruments nicely balanced behind Bishop’s voice.
If your taste include pop and soft rock of the mid 70s era, you would enjoy this one. You don’t need a mint copy to do so but it is regrettable that such good stuff may never get the attention of vinyl re-issue companies for its lower commercial value. Fortunately, we have the ‘search’ facility in the Internet to the rescue.
Highly recommended for lazy Sunday afternoon listening.