Reposted by request, as this good album is a rarity on CD. The quantities were scarce and now it's impossible to find at reasonable price.
I just did a web search and it's being sold used at U$S 210 (!). This baby needs a reissue pronto...
Michael Sembello released his debut album in 1983 and the song 'Maniac', included in the movie Flashdance, won the following year's Grammy in its category and become the third highest grossing song from a soundtrack.
Due to this fulminant success Michael has spent much of his career writing and performing music for movies and TV shows, so his solo discography is quite narrowed.
His second solo "Without Walls" is a classic mainstream product of its time: commercial but elaborated Pop-Rock AOR with some Westcoast throwing in.
"What You Really Want" opens the disc with catchy temperament, featuring a very good guitar riff and solo. This track is a Lite AOR gem. "Last To Know" is one of those pop tracks that has the necessary essence to stand the test of time, with a solid songwriting in the best Canadian style.
"Funkabilly Swing" is obviously a funk-rock&pop song, but the sonic treatment here is quite melodic, and the rhythm guitars are just amazing.
The eighties magic returns with the AORish "Is This the Way To Paradise", where Michael sings (especially the chorus) fiercely, and the guitar / keyboard tandem enrich the tune.
"Burn It Up" is another highlight. A pure '80s uptempo track with an action-movie style.
"Angelina" and particularly "Wonder Where You Are" are smooth Westcoast numbers, while "Dangerous" and "Gravity" are commercial, almost danceable tracks. The latter was included into the 'Cocoon' soundtrack and the mix is done with the typical studio trickery of the era.
"Tear Down The Walls" is a marching, anthemic pop-rocker. This song was later recorded by Argentine musician Miguel Mateos (produced by Sembello) and become a latin hit.
"The Picture" is another enormous eighties winner song, with excellent guitar work (Jennifer Batten plays here uncredited), processed drums and glossy production.
"Without Walls" is a terrific album in the classy mid-eighties style, with great songs, superb musicians involved and lush production.
"Angelina" and "The Picture" are exclusive to this Japanese CD version, the only country which had the privilege to see the album released on this format.
Rare, delivered to you by this humble servant at maximum quality including artwork.
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 [CD bonus]
07 - Tear Down The Walls
08 - Gravity (Special Dance Mix)
09 - Wonder Where You Are
10 - Dangerous
11 - The Picture [CD bonus]
Lead Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards: Michael Sembello
Vocals on 'Wonder Where You Are': Tata Vega
Guitars: Steve Rippley, Bud Rizzo, Jennifer Batten
Keyboards: Randy Waldman
Bass: Richard Rudolph
Bass, Keyboards: Danny Sembello
Drums: Vinnie Colaiuta, Carlos Vega
Percussion: Ron Powell
Synthesizers: Dennis Matkosky, Steve Porcaro
Saxophone: David Boruff
Horns: Herb Alpert
Harmonica, Backing Vocals: Stevie Wonder
Backing Vocals: Bobby Caldwell, Cruz Sembello, Danny Sembello
M. SEMBELLO Without Walls [Japan CD Version]