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Frontman of melodic power-pop wonders The Tubes, FEE WAYBILL recorded in 1984 his first solo album "Read My Lips", much more AOR oriented than his main band.
While The Tubes already flirted with radio-friendly AOR on their excellent '83 album, Waybill definitely turn things in that direction here, spiced with touch of smooth of LA West Coast.
Many called this "Read My Lips" as a 'missing Toto album', as the overall sound & style here are in the vein of Isolation or Fahrenheit. Not strange, as Steve Lukather co-wrote most the songs and play here alongside the Toto crew including Jeff Porcaro, Steve Porcaro and Bobby Kimball contributing backing vocals.
But also top 'cats' like David Foster, Mike Landau, Paul Jackson, Jr., Jerry Marotta, Michael Boddicker, Bill Champlin, Tom Keane and Richard Marx (also involved in songwriting)... as you see, an AOR dream-team.
Although the poppy 'Who Said Life Would Be Pretty' is not exactly my cup of tea, the rest of the material is like a delicious cherry pie for '80s suckers.
Just check the punchy, guitar driven numbers such as the title track, the flamboyant and quite heavy 'Thrill Of The Kill', or the killer 'Saved My Life' (my favorite), mixed with the dynamic 'Nobodys Perfect', the slightly funky 'Who Loves You Baby' (very Toto-ish) and the superb power ballad 'I Don't Even Know Your Name', again with a Toto feel.
More in a West Coast trait yet plenty of AOR there's 'Caribbean Sunsets', a terrific tune akin Player / Toto and where you can hear David Foster's touch and Lukather in its full potential, then the elegant 'I Could've Been Somebody' closes this really good album.
Despite its horrible cover artwork, Fee Waybill's "Read My Lips" packs inside some of the finest AOR / musicianship you could find in any '80s record. Great songs co-written by the likes of Lukather, David Foster, Richard Marx, etc provide varied material, you have top notch performances by the who's who in the genre, and production is huge.
This BGO remastered edition sounds million bucks.
01 - You're Still Laughing
02 - Nobody's Perfect
03 - Who Loves You Baby
04 - I Don't Even Know Your Name
05 - Who Said Life Would Be Pretty
06 - Thrill Of The Kill
07 - Saved My Life
08 - Carribean Sunsets
09 - Star Or The Show
10 - I Could've Been Somebody
Fee Waybill - vocals
Steve Lukather, Mike Landau, Paul Jackson, Jr - guitars
David Foster - keyboards, backing vocals
Michael Boddicker, Erich Bulling - keyboards
Steve Porcaro - keyboards, synthesizers
Tom Keane - keyboards, backing vocals
Larry Klein - bass
Jeff Porcaro, Jerry Marotta, Tris Imboden, JR Robinson - drums
Paulinho Da Costa - percussion
Humberto Gatica - percussion overdub
Larry Williams, Marc Russo, Gary Grant - horns
Richard Marx, Bill Champlin, Bobby Kimball - backing vocals
FEE WAYBILL - Read My Lips [remastered]