Archive for February 2013

Kim Carnes – Lighthouse   Leave a comment

Lighthouse

Lighthouse saw Kim paired with producer Val Garay again, perhaps in an attempt to recreate the success of Mistaken Identity and Voyeur which he also produced. Husband Dave was strangely absent from this record. As a result of the Garay effect we see two Weiss / de Shannon songs for the first time since MI. Kim co-writes four herself plus the solo Black And White. Despite the production efforts by Garay which saw a sound more akin to his other work with Carnes, the album was not successful, peaking at no. 116 on the US Billboard charts. Divided Hearts was the first single, reaching no. 79 in the US but follow up I’d Lie To You For Your Love failed to chart.

I used to listen to Radio Caroline a lot in the 80’s and confess I had lost track of Ms Carnes, until Divided Hearts was released as a single which they played on heavy rotation. I consequently bought the Lighthouse album. Side one kicks off with this single which is a great Kim song. It has a sort of synth backbeat to it similar in feel to Bruce Hornsby’s The Way it Is from the same year. The chorus is a killer and has some strong BV’s from Philip Ingram, Kevin Dorsey and Oren Waters. Kim co-wrote this with Donna Weiss (who would have four co-writes on this LP), Kathy Kurasch and Kim’s son Collin Ellingson. Next up is a rather different track I’d Lie To You For Your Love opening with some strummed acoustic guitar that sounds a bit like Eurythmics’ ┬áThorn In My Side. This song is a cover, being written by Frankie Miller, Jeff Barry and the Bellamy Bros. It’s a great song and rocks along nicely. Track three is again different in feel, opening with Steve Goldstein’s synth intro before Jerry Peterson’s sax kicks in. Black and White, written solely by Kim is a beautiful song and shows off Kim’s vocal prowess to great effect. The song tells the story of a relationship that once was, that just “burned too bright, I guess things just look better in black and white”. Track 4 Piece Of The Sky picks up the pace and is more synth driven than the previous songs although it is not set against a drum track. Unbelieveably this was the first song Kim recorded that was written by Donna Weiss and Jackie de Shannon since Bette Davis Eyes. You would have thought they would have been paired up again before now but no ; I really like this song, although I’ll admit the lyrics don’t really make much sense. Side One closes with a jangly guitar ballad – You Say You Love Me (But I Know You Don’t), a co-write with Val Garay and guitarist Craig Hull. Short and sweet this song is an interesting way to end Side One.

Side Two kicks off at great speed with the (sort of) title track Dancin’ At The Lighthouse with Jerry’s searing sax. A co-write with her old vocal partner Daniel Moore who adds great harmonies to this with the J D Steele singers. I always thought this could have sneaked out as a single. The pace doesn’t slacken with track two Love Me Like You Never Did Before written by Phil Brown and Eric Kaz, who both play on it. This tells the tale of someone who has been let down giving that person another chance but making it clear, it will not be the same this time around. The synth track sounds a bit like what Heart were doing at the time and Kim’s vocal is brilliant, she really put’s her heart and soul into this one. Track three is Along With The Radio written by Kim and Craig Krampf. This ballad sits on Side Two in the same place as Black And White on it’s flipside and they are quite similar, perhaps they both act as a centerpiece to each. This is a lovely simple song and a real band effort, I have always really liked this. The penultimate song is Only Lonely Love that slides along on a percussive synthy rhythm; this is a second Weiss / de Shannon song and again, this is very catchy, could have been a hit. Donna and Lauren Wood are on BV’s. Waddy Wachtel contributes a searing guitar solo. The Donna Weiss / Bruce Roberts song That’s Where The Trouble Lies closes the LP and is the most synthesised song on this record. The verse has a sultry Kim vocal, perhaps the chorus is a bit repetitive.

This release is less ’80’s’ than Kim’s previous efforts, it is more of a fusion between synthesisers and guitar driven songs, it is very much a band effort. The songs are mature (no Abadadabango here…) and has always been a massive favourite of mine, I love every song. I have always thought it a shame that on Kim’s many compilations it’s tracks are so rarely featured. The CD has for many years been selling for exorbitant prices on ebay but now Culture Factory are due to re-release it in one of their paper sleeve CD’s in August 2013. If you don’t know this CD but love Kim’s other work, go buy this album you will not be disappointed !

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