Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, Rock
Joe Vitale is best known for his session work. He has worked on albums by Crosby, Stills & Nash, Joe Walsh, The Eagles and numerous Eagle members solo projects. He has had only two solo albums in his career, and fans hav... more »
Listen to Samples
Joe Vitale is best known for his session work. He has worked on albums by Crosby, Stills & Nash, Joe Walsh, The Eagles and numerous Eagle members solo projects. He has had only two solo albums in his career, and fans have been screaming for them to be issued on CD. Plantation Harbor features guest performances by Don Felder, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Joe Walsh & Timothy B. Schmit. It was originally issued on LP in 1981 on Asylum Records. Wounded Bird. 2002.
A goal not quite achieved but still very good
Richard A. Tucker | Pembroke Pines, FL | 12/08/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Plantation Harbor is a fun romp using the new sounds available to the studio mixes of the period. The strings have more clarity and the production was a very ambitious mix of classic Joe Vitale rhythm heavy rock funk like that used in the songs 'Plantation Key' and 'In the Jungle' as well 'Theme from the Cabin Weirdos'.However, 'Lady on the Rock' is a thrilling mix of classic popular arrangement married to basic guitar rhythms creating an inspiring mix that makes a powerful anthem about the Statue of Liberty. The tune 'Sailor Man' is swingin'!All in all, this is a very fine mix of differing styles stating Vitale's love for making music and not just guitar laden Rock& Roll. While the guitar and percussion are still strong the arrangements put them to task and the result is both ambitious, and, for me, very satisfying.The only downside is that this album recieved almost no attention from the music industry at the time and it suffers from being too ecclectic for the many Rock fans who sneer at almost anything this ambitious. Can't wait to buy this CD. I've been waiting a long time for it to make it into my CD collection."
Not bad -- but not ROLLER COASTER WEEKEND
Gavin Wilson | 10/28/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Joe Vitale first came to the notice of the record-buying public on the inside photo of the gatefold Joe Walsh LP, 'THE SMOKER YOU DRINK ...'. The album was, and still is, a classic, but it was clear that Joe V wasn't the most photogenic of drummer/flautist/backing vocalists. After that album, the Barnstorm band appeared to disintegrate, with only Joe V hanging on Joe W's coat-tails for the creation of 'SO WHAT' and the live 'YOU CAN'T ARGUE WITH A SICK MIND'.Whether or not Joe V was riding on Joe W's success, there was no disputing that in 1975 Mr Vitale recorded an absolute gem in the form of 'ROLLER COASTER WEEKEND'. Yes, the lyrics were often inane, but the sheer optimistic pop-musicality of it all has made it one of those sought-after cult classics, long after Atlantic deleted it from its catalogue. It didn't matter that much of the content centred on schoolyard romances. The songs were just so ... uhmm ... singable. Besides displaying Joe Vitale's skills as a composer and arranger of Beach Boy-like harmonies, they also demonstrated that he could play a mean bass synth and keyboards. With one album, Joe Vitale cast himself as the deeply underrated equivalent of the UK's Terry Reid.But that was in 1975. What happened after that? I would just love to know. Well, for one thing, his mentor Joe Walsh joined the Eagles in time for 'HOTEL CALIFORNIA'. For the next six years, Joe V seems to continue helping Joe W with solo albums, e.g. 'BUT SERIOUSLY FOLKS', and possibly developing a relationship with the Eagles. Until these CD re-issues appeared in 2002, I was unaware that Joe Vitale had recorded a second solo LP in 1981. The marketing problem with such a long gap between LPs is that while tha artist may not have changed much, the market has moved on. I was a high school student when I bought and enjoyed Roller Coaster Weekend so much; but I'd left university and got a career by the time 'PLANTATION HARBOR' came along. I wouldn't claim that my musical taste had become any more sophisticated, but it certainly had moved on. To tell the truth, if I'd been aware of the album in 1981, I probably would have bought it, because Roller Coaster Weekend had made such an impact on me. But I suspect that the Plantation Harbor LP was never released in the UK.So musically, how does Plantation Harbor rate, 22 years after its initial release, but to a fresh ear? It is very similar to Roller Coaster Weekend. Like the former, Joe Walsh guests on guitars. Other Eagles are brought in -- i.e. Don Felder and Tim B Schmidt -- as are Stephen Stills and Graham Nash (for one track only). There are many Walsh-isms -- from the thumping, metronomic bass-and-drum beat to the whacky telephone call. But where this album is distinctly weaker is, sadly, in Joe Vitale's voice. On Roller Coaster Weekend it had edge and bite, and above all, it was passionate. Here it just seems weak and low in the mix. (Donald Fagen appears to be suffering from the same vocal weakness, but the Steely Dan brand is strong enough to surmount the problem.)If this was the last Joe Vitale solo LP, I wouldn't be surprised. The West Coast sound had its heyday in the 1970s. By 1981 record companies, looking for the next punk-like bandwagon, wanted artists far less sophisticated than Joe Vitale. (Yes, rap was nearly with us!)Searching on the Internet for the answer to the question 'Whatever happened to Joe Vitale?' is not fruitful. It appears that the drummer Joe Vitale has been squeezed out by the marketing consultant Joe Vitale. If someone can fill mein, I'd love to know."