Michael Sembello is best known for his 1983 hit single ‘Maniac’ a track which is an iconic part of the 80’s if ever there was one, the Philadelphia native kicked on into the 80’s under his own steam, ‘Without Walls’ being his second album for A&M Records.
Written by: GDMOnline
ARTIST: Michael Sembello
ALBUM: Without Walls
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Michael Sembello – lead vocals, guitars, keyboards * Bud Rizzo, Steve Rippley – guitars * Danny Sembello – bass, keyboards, synthesizers * Randy Waldman – keyboards, trumpet, flugelhorn * Casey Young – keyboards * Steve Porcaro – synthesizers * Dave Boruff – horns, saxophone * Herb Alpert, Bill Reichenbach, Chuck Findley, Gary Grant, Larry Williams, Lew McCreary – horns * Ron Powell – percussion * Clayton Hisslop, Paula Hochhalter, Sid Page – strings * Doug Cameron – string arrangements * Carlos Vega, Vinnie Colaiuta – drums * Bobby Caldwell, Stevie Wonder – harmonica, backing vocals * Cruz Baca Sembello – backing vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 What You Really Want * 02 Last To Know * 03 Funkabilly Swing * 04 Is This The Way To Paradise * 05 Burn It Up * 06 Angelina * 07 Tear Down The Walls * 08 Gravity (Special Dance Mix) * 09 Wonder Where You Are * 10 Dangerous * 11 The Picture
Michael Sembello is best known for his 1983 hit single ‘Maniac’ a track which is an iconic part of the 80’s if ever there was one. Up to that point, he was best known for his collaborative work with the great Stevie Wonder as both a guitarist and songwriter. The Philadelphia native kicked on into the 80’s under his own steam, ‘Without Walls’ being his second album for A&M Records.
The album represents a decent collection of tunes, including the track ‘Gravity’ which made it to the movie soundtrack for ‘Cocoon’, in much the same way as ‘Maniac’ did on the ‘Flashdance’ soundtrack during 1983. Two high stepping rockers are ‘What You Really Want’ and ‘Tear Down The Walls’ which make their first appearances here. They are both familiar tracks to the canon of Michael Sembello’s works.
Tracks like ‘Burn It Up’, ‘Dangerous’ and ‘The Picture’ keep the metronome ticking way over the 50% tempo rating, while the three tracks which are slightly different include the hi-tech brassy funk of ‘Funkabilly Swing’, the flamenco laced ‘Angelina’ and the pure west coast of ‘Wonder Where You Are’ which is the logical leftover remnant from the ‘Bossanova Hotel’ LP.
In subsequent years, some of the tracks featured here were included on his 2003 compilation album ‘The Lost Years’ but they appear to have been remixed because artists like Jennifer Batten and Jeff Paris play on those songs but they don’t perform on this album.
‘Without Walls’ is a good album, but is more hi-tech and less West Coast than its bossanova predecessor. Sembello recorded three more solo albums: ‘Caravan Of Dreams’ (1992), ‘Backwards In Time’ (1997) and ‘Ancient Future’ (2002), all the while maintaining a solid and busy production career, but inactive on his own musical output it would seem.
What You Really Want
Tear Down The Walls