Perspective (America album)
|Studio album by America|
|Released||September 21, 1984|
|Producer||Matthew McCauley, Richie Zito, Richard James Burgess|
After several years of failed albums and singles, America returned to the Top Ten in 1982 with their Russ Ballard-penned single, "You Can Do Magic." In an effort to recreate this success, America had Ballard produce their 1983 album, Your Move. The results of that collaboration, however, were not altogether successful on an artistic or a commercial level. On America's next album, Perspective, the group went in a radically different direction.
The album, featuring three different producers - Matthew McCauley, Richie Zito and Richard James Burgess — and a multitude of prominent session musicians, represented America's foray into the synthesizer-laden music popular in the mid-1980s, including the use of DMX Drums. Band members Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell were credited as executive producers on the project. It reached #185 on the Billboard pop album charts in November 1984, and was the last America album to make the charts at all until The Complete Greatest Hits did so in 2001. It was America's last studio album for Capitol Records, the last full-length studio album from the group until Hourglass was released in 1994, and the group's last major-label studio album until Here & Now in 2007.
Perspective contains two minor hit singles, "Special Girl" and "Can't Fall Asleep To A Lullabye." "Special Girl," with lead vocals by Beckley, hit #106 on Billboard's singles charts and #15 on its adult contemporary charts in October 1984. "Can't Fall Asleep To A Lullaby" (misspelled as "Lullabye" on the album cover) features lead vocals by Bunnell and backing vocals by Steve Perry of Journey. It reached #26 on the Billboard adult contemporary charts in January 1985. Perry returned the favor by featuring Bunnell in a brief cameo appearance in the video for his 1984 hit single, "Oh Sherrie."
The album also features "Stereo," a collaboration between Beckley and songwriter Jimmy Webb, and the reggae-influenced "Lady With A Bluebird," co-written by Bunnell, Bill Mumy (of Lost In Space fame) and Robert Haimer. Mumy and Haimer (known for their novelty recording act, Barnes & Barnes) also shared writing credits on "Can't Fall Asleep To A Lullaby" with Bunnell and Perry. Timothy B. Schmit (of Poco and the Eagles) provided backing vocals on "Cinderella."
Perspective was recorded, engineered and mixed in a number of locations around Los Angeles, including at Amigo Studios in North Hollywood, Oasis Recording Studio in Universal City, United Western Studios in Hollywood and Larrabee Sound in West Hollywood.
The front cover of the album shows Beckley and Bunnel standing in front of 100 Wilshire, located at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, California. Completed in 1971, it is the tallest building in Santa Monica.
A longer version of "Can't Fall Asleep To A Lullaby" was included on Encore: More Greatest Hits, released in 1991. Originally released only on vinyl and cassette, Perspective was first issued in the CD format in the United States by the now-defunct One Way Records in 1998.
Allmusic concluded that the album's "slight" songs and over-reliance on synthesizers make it no more than an "endearingly mediocre" period piece. However, they did give a nod to "the natural harmonies of Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell" and contended that the album is at least a significant improvement over its predecessor, Your Move.
- "We Got All Night" (Sue Shifren, Terry Britten)
- "See How The Love Goes" (Sue Shifren, Terry Britten)
- "Can't Fall Asleep To A Lullabye" (Dewey Bunnell, Steve Perry, Bill Mumy, Robert Haimer)
- "Special Girl" (Eddie Schwartz, David Tyson)
- "5th Avenue" (Beckley)
- "(It's Like You) Never Left At All" (Randy Goodrum)
- "Stereo" (Beckley, Jimmy Webb)
- "Lady With A Bluebird" (Dewey Bunnell, Bill Mumy, Robert Haimer)
- "Cinderella" (J. Kimball, D. Vidal)
- "Unconditional Love" (Beckley)
- "Fallin' Off The World" (Dewey Bunnell, Bill Mumy)
- Gerry Beckley - Lead and Background Vocals
- Dewey Bunnell - Lead and Background Vocals
- Arthur Barrow - Bass & Keyboards
- Michael Boddicker - Synthesizers
- Richard James Burgess - Drum & Percussion Programs, Rhythm & Synthesizer Arrangements
- Gary Chang - Fairlight Programming
- Paulinho da Costa - Percussion
- Nathan East - Bass
- Bill Elliott - Synthesizers, Log Drum, Piano
- Paul Fox - Synthesizers
- Paul Jackson, Jr. - Guitar
- David Kemper - Percussion
- Phil Kenzie - Sax Solo (on "Can't Fall Asleep To A Lullaby")
- Randy Kerber - Synthesizers
- Michael Landau - Guitar, Guitar Solo (on "Fallin' Off The World")
- Matthew McCauley - DMX Drums, Synthesizers
- James Newton-Howard - Synthesizers
- Dean Parks - Bass & Guitars
- Steve Perry - Background Vocals (on "Can't Fall Asleep To A Lullaby")
- Marcus Ryle - DMX Drums, Synthesizer Bass
- Timothy B. Schmit - Background Vocals (on "Cinderella")
- Marty Walsh - Guitar
- Richie Zito - Drum Programming & Guitars