Modern Madness

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Modern Madness
Studio album by Robert Tepper
Released 1988
Genre Rock, Pop, AOR
Length 44:58
Label Scotti Bros. Records
Producer Joe Chiccarelli
Robert Tepper chronology
No Easy Way Out
(1986)
Modern Madness
(1988)
No Rest for the Wounded Heart
(1996)

Modern Madness is the second studio album from American singer and songwriter Robert Tepper.[1]

Background[edit]

After signing with Scotti Brothers and moving to Los Angeles in 1985, Tepper found himself momentarily in the public eye after actor/director Sylvester Stallone was taken with Tepper's song "No Easy Way Out," which subsequently led to its inclusion in the movie Rocky IV.[2] The track climbed to #22 on Billboard's Hot 100 in 1986, and Tepper's debut album of the same name peaked at #144.[3] However, the 1988 follow-up album Modern Madness was a commercial failure. Both No Easy Way Out and Modern Madness received little promotion from the label Scotti Bros. Records. As a result, Tepper separated from the label in protracted legal proceedings and was unable to record any new material although he would continue to write. A third album No Rest for the Wounded Heart would follow eight years later in 1996.[2]

The album was recorded at One on One Studios. It was entirely produced by Joe Chiccarelli and featured 10 original tracks. All songs were written by Tepper, except for "Don't Get Me Started" and "Daylight" which were both written by Tepper and Phil Galdston, whilst "Love Turned to Crime" was written by Tepper and Myron Grombacher (who provided drums and percussion on the album). The song "Fighting for You" is a duet, featuring guest vocals from Carroll Sue Hill.[4]

Although uncredited, American pianist and singer-songwriter Tori Amos would provide backing vocals on all songs of the album. At the time, Amos was unsure of the next major step in her career and so she took some musical side trips to pass the time. Working with several artists, she came to work with Tepper after her own former producer Joe Chiccarelli remembered his old front woman and steered her into studio gigs when he could.[5]

A total of two singles were lifted from the album. "The Unforgiven" was released as a 12" promo in America only, with a sticker label stating "Be one of "The Unforgiven". Both sides of the vinyl were the same track.[6] A promotional music video was created for "The Unforgiven".[7] "When You Dream of Love" was also issued in America on 7" vinyl as a promotional release only, featuring the same track on both sides of the vinyl.[8]

In a March 1997 interview with Tepper by Stefan Edström for aor.nu, Tepper was promoting No Rest for the Wounded Heart. Edström stated "I was kind of surprised with your new album, because I thought your last effort "Modern Madness" was kind of pale." Tepper replied "I've got to tell you... I agree with you. It was not a great time of my life, I was a little bit nutty at the time, and you can hear it, it sounds like I'm screaming instead of singing." Edström asked what Tepper was doing to his voice, to which Tepper explained "It was just a rough time of life right then, and I don't think I was in a very good frame of mind to make a record. And I had a lot of resistance on that record right from the beginning from my record company, (Scotti Brothers), they gave me a very hard time, so I think there was a lot of frustration on there." Edström asked "Was there any pressure because of the hit-single that you had with "No Easy Way Out"?" Tepper noted "It wasn't even so much that, they just gave me a hard time the whole way. And even personally I was having a lot of problems and you kind of hear it on that record, the songs aren't as good, the performances aren't as good. It was kind of experimental too, we were trying to do something else and it didn't really work."[9]

When asked if an album was meant to follow up Modern Madness, after a year or two, Tepper stated "Well, Scotti Brothers kind of disappeared on me and it took a while to get out of that deal, I was pretty fed up with them, they weren't paying me, they were just giving me a really hard time. They said they wanted to do a record, but they wouldn't let me go, so I had to go through this procedure of doing some stuff with them and it was just time for me to part ways. And then I went through a divorce after that, so a lot of stuff were going on." When the interviewer noted the different production compared to Tepper's previous albums, Tepper stated "The production is much more simpler. I think the real modern edge to what we were doing before was modern at the time, but it was more my producers (Joe Chiccarelli) influence, he was always a fan of that kind of stuff. And all the technology and stuff, it was kind of fun to use, but this new album was just good playing and good arrangements, nothing fancy, it's not as hectic." Finally the interviewer felt that the new album is more complete as a whole album compared with the previous ones, to which Tepper noted "I think so too."[10]

Release[edit]

The album was released via Scotti Bros. Records in America, Canada, Japan and certain places in Europe including Germany and Italy. It was issued on vinyl and cassette, whilst CD versions were also released in America, Germany and Japan. The album was manufactured and distributed by CBS Records Inc.[11] Since its release, the album soon became out-of-print and remained that way for many years. In 2009, Sony/BMG re-released his first two albums digitally, and Modern Madness was made available as a MP3 download on places such as iTunes and Amazon.[12][13]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "The Unforgiven"   Robert Tepper 4:28
2. "Don't Get Me Started"   Tepper, Phil Galdston 5:00
3. "Fighting for You"   Tepper 4:10
4. "Working Understanding"   Tepper 4:32
5. "Down in the Belly of Life"   Tepper 3:55
6. "Modern Madness"   Tepper 4:23
7. "When You Dream of Love"   Tepper 4:48
8. "Love Turned to Crime"   Tepper, Myron Grombacher 4:41
9. "Sing for Me"   Tepper 3:59
10. "Daylight"   Tepper, Galdston 4:59

Personnel[edit]

  • Lead Vocals – Robert Tepper
  • Guitar – Dann Huff, Gary Myrick, Gene Black
  • Bass – Fernando Saunders (tracks 1 to 8, 10), Leon Johnson (track 9)
  • Keyboards – Kevin Savigar, Robert Tepper (tracks 5 and 8)
  • Drums, Percussion – Myron Grombacher
  • Backing Vocals - Tori Amos (uncredited)
  • Vocals on "Fighting for You" – Carroll Sue Hill
  • Arrangement on "Fighting for You" – Dann Huff
  • Producer – Joe Chiccarelli
  • Assistant Engineer – Bernard Frings, Toby Wright
  • Recording – Paul Lani
  • Photography - Randee St. Nicholas
  • Art Direction - Tony Lane, Nancy Donald

References[edit]