Heartland (Michael Stanley Band album)

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Heartland MSB Cover.jpg
Studio album by Michael Stanley Band
Released September 8, 1980
Recorded April – May 1980
Genre Rock
Length 39:43
Label EMI America
Producer Michael Stanley Band
Michael Stanley Band chronology
Greatest Hints
North Coast (album)

Heartland is an album by the Michael Stanley Band released in 1980. It reached #86 on the Billboard 200 album chart in 1981.[1]

Recording and release[edit]

Perhaps the most important album of the Cleveland, Ohio–based rock group known as the Michael Stanely Band or MSB (the nickname given by their fan base), Heartland was released in 1980, after the band was dropped from Arista Records following their mediocre-charting Greatest Hints album. The band was not fully convinced that they could come back from a fall down the charts, as Greatest Hints only reached number #148 on the Billboard magazine album chart. However, in true Midwestern-minded fashion, the band pressed on without a label and recorded the album that would become their US breakthrough Heartland. If not picked up for option by a new label, the band was going to release the masterwork independently.[2] However, upon completion EMI America Records picked up both the band and the Heartland album. The album peaked at #86 in Billboard in 1981.

Chart successes and fallout[edit]

Heartland proved to be the album the band had been waiting since the 1970s to see chart well not only in its home region of Northeast Ohio, where it set attendance records for concert halls such as the Richfield Coliseum and Blossom Music Center,[3] but nationally as well. The success seemed long overdue to thousands of MSB fans who saw in the band a potential that despite all of its efforts failed to ignite the country as a whole. Much speculation such as lack of touring, limited radio play, weak support from EMI America, and the band being exhausted from trying year after year to crack the top of the charts have been blamed for the apparent fall down that occurred after the Heartland bonanza the band enjoyed.


The album spawned the band's highest-charting single ever, "He Can't Love You", which reached #33 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1981. The song features a surging sax lick by Clarence Clemons that makes it instantly recognizable. The album also enjoyed another powerful single, "Lover", rising to a respectable #68 on the charts. It featured the iconic lyric "thank God for the man who put the white lines on the highway", which is still sung back by the audiences to Stanley whenever he performs the song live.[4]


Although MSB went on to more chart successes after Heartland, which the band considered to be its definitive album, MSB never again fully felt the instantaneous relief following the release of Heartland. The band's next album, North Coast released in 1981 would go on to top the chart position of Heartland surging up to the #79 spot. After the first two successful EMI America albums, the third, MSB, released in 1982, stalled at #136 on the Billboard album chart, failing to crack the top 100.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "I'll Never Need Anyone More (Than I Need You Tonight)" Michael Stanley 3:16
2. "Lover" Stanley 4:52
3. "Don't Stop the Music" Stanley 3:38
4. "He Can't Love You" Kevin Raleigh 3:37
5. "Working Again" Stanley 3:56
6. "All I Ever Wanted" Stanley 3:11
7. "Say Goodbye" Raleigh 3:27
8. "Hearts on Fire" Stanley 2:49
9. "Voodoo" Stanley 4:32
10. "Carolyn" Stanley, Bob Pelander 3:02
11. "Save a Little Piece For Me" Gary Markasky, Raleigh 3:19
Total length: 39:43


Michael Stanley Band
Additional performers
  • Produced by the Michael Stanley Band
  • Engineered by Arnie Rosenberg and Paul Schwartz, assisted by Lydia Terrion
  • Mixed by Fred Mollin, Michael Verdick, and the Michael Stanley Band
  • Mastered by Mike Reese
  • Art direction by Bob Rath; Reissue art direction by Kristian Lawing
  • Photography by Anastasia Pantsios and Dan Montecalvo


  1. ^ Heartland: Charts and Awards, allmusic.com, retrieved April 4, 2012
  2. ^ "THE 80S". michaelstanley. 
  3. ^ "Michael Stanley". itsaboutmusic.com. 
  4. ^ http://home.roadrunner.com/~staryjo/LyricsSite/Lover.html

External links[edit]