Sunday, November 30, 2014

VAN STEPHENSON - Righteous Anger (1984)

VAN STEPHENSON - Righteous Anger (1984) HQ
After the re-post of VAN STEPHENSON's first LP, a reader asked for the other albums recorded by the talented singer / songwriter. Then I figured out that I shared here all his rare unreleased stuff, but never presented the great, official two albums produced by Van Stephenson for major label MCA.

Prolific and skilled songwriter for various types of artists, Van Stephenson's chance as 'international solo artist' arrived in 1983. MCA signed him and "Righteous Anger" was published next year.
Some of the L.A. Session cream appear here; future Giant creators Dann Huff (guitars) and Alan Pasqua (keys), Mike Baird, Tom Kelly, Bill Champlin, etc.
What can I say about "Righteous Anger"... this is what '80s AOR / Melodic Rock / Radio Rock is all about. A little Bible to learn why we love this genre so much.

The smooth, exquisite vocals of Van Stephenson are just the ice on the cake on these fabulously penned and performed songs.
Minor MTV hit "Modern Day Delilah", the AOR heaven of "What The Big Girls Do", the excellent title track, or the pure Eighties "I Know Who You Are" are just fine examples of Van's craft. Despite the commercial, 'radio hook' approach of these songs, there's some muscular, awesome guitar work by Huff.
Of course we have two supreme ballads in "Others Only Dream" and the midtempo AOR of "Heart Over Mind", the latter - for me - a truly definition of the genre.

VAN STEPHENSON - Righteous Anger (1984) back cover

With an 'intense', crisp production by master Richard Landis (Nielsen/Pearson, Glen Burtnik) this is a gem of an album. It wasn't until 1996 when it was pressed on CD for the first time, in Germany.
This is a HQ rip to enjoy, but I suggest to buy the original if you find it at decent price. It's pure gold.
Needless to say; Van Stephenson's "Righteous Anger" is a Must Have.

01 - Modern Day Delilah
02 - I Know Who You Are (And I Saw What You Did)
03 - What The Big Girls Do
04 - Don't Do That
05 - Others Only Dream
06 - Righteous Anger
07 - The Cure Will Kill You
08 - You've Been Lied To Before
09 - Heart Over Mind
10 - All American Boy

Van Stephenson - lead vocals
Dann Huff - guitars
Alan Pasqua - keyboards, synthesizers
Dennis Belfield - bass
Mike Baird - drums
Richard Landis - percussion, producer
Ken Mims, George Doering - add. guitars
Mike Hanna - add. keyboards
Tom Kelly, Bill Champlin, Phil Brown - backing vocals

VAN STEPHENSON - Righteous Anger HQ


T.P said...

I'm very glad to see that this brilliant record by a not less fabulous artist has finally made its way into the rockin' hallowed halls of your Hard Rock / AOR Heaven!

Thereby, your background information always reminds me of a professionally written work for an important release's inlay, and the here mentioned Van Stephenson's Righteous Anger is no exception which makes for a very enjoyable reading experience.

Thanks for having posted this not to be missed highlight that adds one more shining star to your already brightly lit blog!

Bye for now,

Anonymous said...

Van stephenson had the voice of an angel,i haven't heard noone singing like him in the world of aor music,with all the respect of all the other artists.
For me with Mark Free,John Waite and Steve Perry he is the best in our genre of music.

T.P said...

I totally agree with you and your high opinion about Van Stephenson's male angel's voice. Also to me his clear, melodic voice belongs to the very best ones of the genre.

Bye for now,

angstytimelord said...

Just discovered your blog today, and WOW! I remember this album from my college days. I couldn't turn on the radio without hearing "Modern Day Delilah" at one point, nor MTV without seeing the video! I loved the song, had the vinyl album way back when -- but sadly, most of my vinyl has long since disappeared due to a few cross-country moves over the past 20 years or so. It's AMAZING to finally have this album back and be able to hear the songs I loved so much! THANK YOU for posting this! And thank you for the incredible blog -- so much fantastic music here!

Camelblue said...

@ angstytimelord :
Glad you like it. Enjoy!