Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Roller Coaster Weekend
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. Roller Coaster Weekend features Rick Derringer & Joe Walsh. It was originally issued on LP in 1974 on Atlantic Records. Wounded Bird. 2002.
The most eagerly awaited transfer to CD for many years
Gavin Wilson | 08/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Deleted from Atlantic's LP catalogue more than 25 years ago, this classic album has never before made it to CD. ROLLER COASTER WEEKEND has been at the top of a very short list of titles I have routinely searched CD catalogues for, without luck until now. (The two remaining titles are Neil Young's AMERICAN STARS AND BARS and Stomu Yamash'ta's GO, by the way.) I found myself unable to write a review of any Joe Walsh album without inserting a plea for the CD release of Joe Vitale's masterpiece. The problem for record company executives has been that this album never achieved commercial success -- I first picked it up in a bargain basket around 76/77 -- so a CD re-release hasn't made much business sense.Joe Vitale was probably let down by his looks and the album's lack of a totally compelling three-minute track for release as a single. At my school, Vitale became known as the ugly one after his appearance in the Barnstorm band photo on the inside of the gatefold cover of Walsh's SMOKER YOU DRINK LP. He looked like the sort of hitman you really wouldn't want to meet down a dark alley. Even on the cover of ROLLER COASTER WEEKEND, sitting alone in an ELP Tarkus T-shirt with an impossibly bouffant hairstyle on a rickety fun-ride, he seemed the kind of guy mothers warn their kids to stay away from at the fairground.But appearances in this case were incredibly deceptive. At Barnstorm concerts, audiences might have been shocked that this drummer not only sang but also played the flute. Vitale had a surprisingly wide vocal range: not only could he sound virtually identical to Walsh, he could also hit some very high notes. Sadly this is the sort of capability that disappears with age, making reunion concerts 30 years on an unattractive option.On its initial release in 1974, ROLLER COASTER WEEKEND was a revelation which demanded an immediate reassessment of who played and wrote what on Joe Walsh's early albums. Here Vitale writes all the tunes, performs all the singing and backing vocals, and plays all instruments bar the guitar, for which he sensibly brings in the maestros Rick Derringer and Joe Walsh. Listeners familiar with with Walsh's subsequent BUT SERIOUSLY FOLKS will recognise the whole section he borrowed from 'Falling' on this Vitale album.Although Vitale plays some bass here, there may be a little too much use of keyboard bass for modern ears. And surprisingly for a drummer's first solo album, the drumming is nothing special -- Vitale's percussion is better on Walsh's SO WHAT. And the less said about Vitale's lyrics, the better. (There are almost no words of more than two syllables used on this album, whose theme seems to be mainly school experiences around 7th grade.)No, what was outstanding about this album was the quality and consistency of the music composition. There may have been no Top-20 single here, but there were plenty of candidates, and not a single dud track. Every track has a point to it. You could play both sides of the LP in less than 35 minutes, try to sing along, and have an entirely enjoyable experience. In terms of influences, apart from Walsh himself, Vitale's key reference points seem to be on Beach Boys' SURF'S UP and Todd Rundgren's SOMETHING/ANYTHING, particularly on the vocal harmonies. Whether Vitale and Walsh influenced others, I don't know, but it's tempting to think that Steve Miller wouldn't have been so encouraged to devise those synthesizer interludes on FLY LIKE AN EAGLE and BOOK OF DREAMS, if Vitale and Walsh hadn't explored that territory earlier. And the guitar playing is really mean. You can have fun trying to work out whether it's Derringer, Walsh or Phil Keaggy providing the solo on each track.Sadly there is no sonic revelation in this CD transfer. Many congratulations to Wounded Bird Records for taking the commercial risk in releasing this album, but remastering would have been the icing on the cake.If you don't already have Joe Walsh's SMOKER YOU DRINK or SO WHAT, it's probably best to buy those masterpieces first. But personally I feel that ROLLER COASTER WEEKEND is better than any of the rest of Walsh's output."
Gavin Wilson | 05/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I met Joe Vitale after a Joe Walsh concert at Kent Sate in early 1975. He was very gracious and quite humorous. It was in a Red Barn restaurant, I asked for his autograph and he grabbed the order pad and wrote: "Hamburgers Forever, Joe Vitale."I told him I really enjoyed "Roller Coaster Weekend". There is a little of everything on this album, mainly because Joe basically DOES IT ALL, with the exception of guitars (provided by Joe Walsh, Phil Keaggy and Rick Derringer). Joe plays percussion, flute, keyboards, etc. and the songwriting is absolutely superb.The music holds a very dear place in my heart and the CD was along-awaited addition to my collection."
One of the best drummer's albums ever ?
Mr. N. C. Wilson | 08/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is just a brilliant album. I've replaced many of the lps I bought in the 70s with cds and been disappointed many times - nostalgia ain't what it was. But when I received this on cd, every tune came flooding back and I realised that this album is as good now as it was then. But how to compare it ? Boston - yes. Meat Loaf - maybe. Do yourself a favour and buy this album now."