The Confessor (album)

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This article is about an album. For the title track, see The Confessor (song). For the comic book character, see Confessor (comics).
The Confessor
Joe Walsh - The Confessor.jpg
Studio album by Joe Walsh
Released 21 May 1985 (1985-05-21)
Recorded 1984
Studio Goodnight LA Studios, Los Angeles, California, US
Length 36:15
Label Warner Bros. - 9 25281-1
Full Moon - 252812
Atlantic (CD, only)
Joe Walsh chronology
You Bought It – You Name It
The Confessor
Rocky Mountain Way
Singles from The Confessor (album)
  1. "The Confessor"
    Released: 1985

The Confessor is the seventh studio solo album by the American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Joe Walsh. The album was released in mid 1985, on the labels Warner Bros. Records, and Full Moon Records. The album was produced by Grammy Award winning producer and sound engineer Keith Olsen as well as Walsh himself. The album peaked at number 65 on the Billboard 200.

Cover artwork[edit]

The cover art for the album features the painting Zwei Männer in Betrachtung des Mondes (Two Men Contemplating the Moon), a famous work by the German nineteenth-century romantic landscape artist Caspar David Friedrich, with a grainy photograph of Walsh in behind it.

The back cover is another painting by Friedrich called Der Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer (Wanderer above the Sea of Fog).


The album includes a cover of Michael Stanley's "Rosewood Bitters," which got some FM airplay in the US,[1] Walsh played slide guitar on the original recording which was a single. On this version instead he plays an electric guitar.[2]

"Slow Dancing" is a song written by Loz Netto for Walsh. Netto was the guitarist in the English band called "Moon" from the mid 1970s and the band "Sniff 'n' the Tears" from the late 1970s.

A variety of styles are explored on this album, There are elements of blues, pop, and even Caribbean music.


The album would be something that Walsh's new girlfriend Stevie Nicks would get involved with. Nicks old friend Keith Olsen was hired to produced the album and the musicians were the superimposed LA session stalwarts like: Jim Keltner, Mike Porcaro, Waddy Wachtel, Randy Newman, Alan Pasqua and a lot of musicians Walsh had never worked with before, the only familiar face was Timothy B. Schmit (of the Eagles) who only recorded backing vocals.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2.5/5 stars [4]

Upon its release, the album was poorly received by many critics but sold quite well. Writing for AllMusic, critic James Chrispell highly complimented the title track, but wrote of the album "Joe Walsh just hasn't been able to produce a complete album of great material, and The Confessor is no exception. The first half is dreck... Worthwhile for the title track alone."[4] Guitar World, critic Bruce Malamut wrote that the album is "the apologia of a strictly raised mid-western episcopalian after living in rock and roll sin for ‘Fifteen Years’ on the road," and that "The balance … is a sober retrospective from rock’s own Harpo Marx.",[5] Rolling Stone said that "Walsh is trying to make the kind of record he used to make a decade ago, and the result is, well, out of date, sound [sic] like something out of a 1975 time capsule."[3]

Live performances and Tour[edit]

After the release of the album, Walsh toured again with Joe Vitale in Australia and in the US. In Australia the band was called "Creatures From America". In the US they were the opening act on some gigs for Foreigner.[6]

"The Confessor" and "Good Man Down" were the only tracks from this album which were performed live on that tour.[6]

Partial list of the Australian concerts
Partial list of the US concerts
Also in 1985

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Joe Walsh, except where noted.

No. Title Length
1. "Problems" (Walsh, Bill Arbuckle) 3:55
2. "I Broke My Leg"   3:12
3. "Bubbles"   3:33
4. "Slow Dancing" (Loz Netto) 4:22
5. "15 Years"   3:52
6. "The Confessor"   7:06
7. "Rosewood Bitters" (Michael Stanley) 3:29
8. "Good Man Down" (Walsh, Waddy Wachtel) 4:14
9. "Dear John"   2:40
Total length:


Additional musicians
    • Although unaccredited, Walsh (in a June 2012 interview on Howard Stern) stated that Stevie Nicks "rode shotgun" with him during the production of this album.
Album artwork
  • The titles of the paintings by Friedrich:
    • Front cover: "Zwei Männer in Betrachtung des mondes" (English: Two Men Contemplating the Moon)
    • Back cover: "Der wanderer über dem nebelmeer" (English: Wanderer above the Sea of Fog)


Album - Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1985 Billboard 200 65

Singles - Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1985 "The Confessor" Mainstream Rock Tracks 8

See also[edit]