This would be Head East’s last album for A&M, though this line-up would continue on for 1982’s ‘Onward And Upward’.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Head East
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Dan Odum – lead vocals, percussion * Mark Boatman – bass, backing vocals * Steve Huston – drums, percussion, backing vocals * Tony Gross – guitars, backing vocals * Roger Boyd – keyboards, backing vocals, production
TRACK LISTING: 01 Fight For Your Life * 02 I Surrender * 03 Susan * 04 You’ll Be The One * 05 Love Me Now * 06 Out Of The Blue * 07 Babie Ruth * 08 Sister Sister * 09 Look To The Sky
WEBLINKS: Site Link
By the turn of the 70’s decade, Illinois rockers Head East were starting to feel the pinch. They had several studio albums already in the bank, but none had really struck pay dirt. In early 1980, Head East were hit with two departures, guitarist Mike Somerville and bassist Dan Birney. To compound matters, singer John Schlitt was given his marching orders due to a drug dependency issue.
Therein, a three-sweep occurred with the arrival of Dan Odum, Tony Gross and Mark Boatman, joining originals Roger Boyd and Steve Houston. So what does ‘U.S.1’ have to offer in terms of a new line up existing in a new decade?
Well, upon first listen it’s OK, but not great either. It sounds like the record was produced in 1976 and not 1980. In that regard, I wouldn’t call it distinctly AOR nor melodic rock as such, though it will probably get lumped into those two baskets by default.
Of note, the band cover a version of ‘I Surrender’, written by Russ Ballard but the better known version is the one Rainbow recorded a year later. Head East also recorded another Ballard/Rainbow song ‘Since You Been Gone’ on their 1978 ‘Head East’ LP.
Other highlights include the opener ‘Fight For Your Life’, the sassy rocker ‘Love Me Now’ and ‘Look To The Sky’. The album is top-loaded with piano and organ work from Roger Boyd which works for the most part, though I would’ve love to have heard more intrusive guitar work to heavy it up a bit more.
This would be Head East’s last album for A&M, though this line-up would continue on for 1982’s ‘Onward And Upward’, issued by the independent label Allegiance. The band would reconvene in 1983 with a new line-up which would go all the way through to the end of the decade.
Love Me Now