Search - Stephen Bishop :: Careless

Careless
Stephen Bishop
Careless
Genres: World Music, Pop, Rock
 
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

1977 debut from the impressive singer/songwriter. Featuring a boatload of talented musicians including Art Garfunkel, Larry Carlton, Chaka Khan, Eric Clapton and Lee Ritenour. Unavailable domestically. MCA. 1992.

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Stephen Bishop
Title: Careless
Members Wishing: 6
Total Copies: 0
Label: Mca
Release Date: 9/14/1993
Genres: World Music, Pop, Rock
Styles: Adult Contemporary, Soft Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 008811084028

Synopsis

Album Description
1977 debut from the impressive singer/songwriter. Featuring a boatload of talented musicians including Art Garfunkel, Larry Carlton, Chaka Khan, Eric Clapton and Lee Ritenour. Unavailable domestically. MCA. 1992.

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CD Reviews

Strong debut from Stephen with a bunch of soft rock gems
Dave | United States | 10/14/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Stephen Bishop had been "kicking around" the music business for many years by the time he finally released his debut album "Careless" in late 1976. Art Garfunkel's "Breakaway" album from the previous year included 2 of Bishop's songs--"Lookin' For the Right One" & "The Same Old Tears On A New Background", the latter of which Bish does himself on here. Bishop did fall short of delivering an album of consistently top flight material here, but it's still a very strong debut. A majority of the songs are excellent & none of them are less than respectable. The opening track was one of his biggest hits & is one of his best songs--"On and On" is a definitive example of his acoustic guitar based, sighing-ly melodic, hopelessly romantic soft rock. Bishop displays over & over again his knack for incredibly tuneful songwriting, his superb vocals which are smooth and filled with emotion, & his excellent acoustic guitar picking. There are a whole bunch of gems--"Never Letting Go" & "One More Night" are tender ballads; "Madge" is a moving tale of an old man looking back at his life, and it features a couple of instrumental breaks that slyly incorporate the "London Bridge" theme/ melody. He successfully ups the tempo on a couple tunes that have horn arrangements and are extremely catchy--"Sinking In An Ocean of Tears", and the top 20 hit "Save It For A Rainy Day" which has a fittingly rainy/ dreamy mix of guitars & electric piano, although the latter track's fade with Chaka Khan's obnoxious, wailing, showoff-y vocals does hurt it. There's also the splendidly tuneful, fittingly Italian-flavored "Little Italy", which has a fun acoustic riff, and the brief "guitar interlude" between "One More Night" & "Save It For A Rainy Day" is also delightful. As for the remaining tracks, none of them are bad, but they sound like filler that Bishop resorted to to fill out the album--"Every Minute" and "Rock and Roll Slave" are crafted, but somewhat dull ballads that slip over into sappiness. He tries to shift gears with the somewhat jazzy title track, & the stripped-down beginning portion really works, but it builds up & becomes considerably problematic, including its excessive orchestration. The album closing "The Same Old Tears On A New Background", performed solo by Stephen on guitar & vocals, is, again, crafted, but the sappiness detracts from it, although his incredible vocals do lift it up considerably. So, the sailing is a bit rough for portions of the album, but it's a solid and often excellent record that does a really effective job of capturing the essence of Stephen Bishop.

"Careless" was lovingly reissued on CD in 2005 by Hip-O-Select Records, with excellent remastering, as well as a recreation of the layout of the original vinyl LP--if you're looking to get the album, this is the version I recommend you go for."
Stunning 1976 Debut Album "Careless" Gets A Beautiful Master
Mark Barry at Reckless Records, Lon | UK | 04/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"San Diego songwriter STEPHEN BISHOP had gotten Art Garfunkel to include "Looking For The Right One" and "The Same Old Tears On A New Background" on his "Breakaway" album for Columbia Records in 1975. Actually knowing such heavy hitters like Garfunkel meant that when it came to making his own debut album, Bishop was able to call on a large number of rock alumni to session on it - and coupled with its great songs, "Careless" wooed the FM radio pre "Rumours" audience of 1977 completely - it proved a huge hit. The album eventually climbing the US charts to number 11 and it's been beloved by fans ever since.

Bishop wrote all the songs in '75 & '76, recorded it in the ABC & A&M Studios in California that summer with the album finally released on vinyl and cassette late in 1976 on ABC Records ABCD-954 in the USA and ABCL 5201 in the UK. It was produced by HENRY LEW and STEPHEN BISHOP and spawned two radio smashes in "Save It For A Rainy Day" (ABC 12232) and "On And On" (ABC 12260).

On CD, there's been budget issues of some of its tracks here in the UK on MCA/Half Moon and in the US on the excellent Rhino "Best Of" remaster in 1988, but this is the first proper sonic doing of the entire album and the result I'm happy to say is just beautiful - breathtaking clarity that fans will absolutely delight in - for years to come.

There were some big names involved, so here's a breakdown of who contributed to what:

Track 1: On And On
[features Andrew Gold on Electric Guitars with Victor Feldman on Percussion & Vibes]
Track 2. Never Letting Go
[features Lee Ritenour on Guitar, Craig Doerge on Piano with Chaka Khan of Rufus on backing Vocals]
Track 3: Careless
[features backing vocals by Art Garfunkel]
Track 4: Sinking In An Ocean Of Tears
[features Jay Graydon on Guitar, Eric Clapton on Electric Slide Guitar with a Sax Solo by Ray Pizzi]
Track 5: Madge
[features Strings Arranged & Conducted by Lee Holdridge]
Track 6: Every Minute
[features Jay Graydon on Acoustic Guitar, Andrew Gold on Electric Guitar, Victor Feldman on Organ, Max Bennett on Bass with Art Garfunkel on Backing Vocals]
Track 7: Little Italy
[features Larry Carlton on Acoustic Guitar, Max Bennett on Bass, Victor Feldman on Percussion & Vibes, Tommy Tedesco on Mandolin with Chaka Khan on Duet Vocals]
Track 8: One More Night
[features Piano by Barlow Jarvis with the Strings Arranged by Lee Holdridge]
Track 9: Guitar Interlude
Track 10: Save It For A Rainy Day
[features Electric Guitar Solo by Eric Clapton with Backing Vocals from Chaka Khan]
Track 11: Rock And Roll Slave
[features Art Garfunkel on Backing Vocals]
Track 12: The Same Old Tears On A New Background
[recorded live with Acoustic Guitar only]

This Hip-O Select CD is a US-ONLY LIMITED EDITION of 5000 issued on 4 February 2005 in a hard card album repro sleeve (non-numbered). It also reproduces the inner bag - lyrics on one side, photos on the other - that came with original US copies of the LP; it also has an added see-through sepia-printed inner sleeve giving re-issue details. The card sleeve has the words LIMITED EDITION boxed in gold on the rear and the detail even stretches to a pasted-on page on the rear sleeve like US albums of the time. The CD itself also reflects the original label design - all nice touches. It's a shame though that there is no history to the album, no proper liner note contributed by the man himself, not even an original release date of the LP or singles or photos from the sessions - still, that all pales against the real deal - the stunning sound.

BRENDAN MORRIS did the Master Tape Research and GAVIN LURSSEN the Mastering - and a sensational result it is too! Lurssen's superb mastering work is also featured on THE CRUSADERS "Gold" 2CD set, another Hip-O Select release via Universal (see my separate review).

The mastering is 'so' subtle and 'so' sweet - it's like a Mobile Fidelity CD - you feel care was taken with it and the result is a genuine thrill. "Little Italy" - probably one of THE great under-rated masterpieces of the mid Seventies - is a perfect example. As you can see from the track list above, the song is loaded down with top session people, but this remaster LETS YOU HEAR THEM. All of their contributions suddenly come to life here. As the song opens, Max Bennett's bass jumps out of the speakers, funky and clean (he played on Joni Mitchell's "Court & Spark" "The Hissing Of Summer Lawns" and "Hejira"). His bass is accompanied by the acoustic guitars of Bish and Larry Carlton - very nice - these are followed by the lovely mandolin playing of Tommy Tedesco - then Chaka's fantastically complimentary vocal contribution - it's all a wow! And if that isn't enough, then the beautiful Bacharach horn and woodwind arrangements by Ian Freebairn-Smith float in. It's ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS! I never tire of this wonderful tune.

After all that showiness, we get the lovely melody of "One More Night" where Barlow Jarvis plays such pretty piano work. The 46 second long "Guitar Interlude" sounds like it was recorded in the 1990s on some highly polished James Taylor CD. And then the gem that never gets noticed, the truly lovely "Rock And Roll Slave" where Art Garfunkel's vocal work really comes into its own. (Apparently Cheryl Ladd did a cover of it once - but we won't talk about that just now!) "Madge" is beautiful too - damn it - it's all good! I would concede that some might find it overly romantic and schlocky in places - but get past that - and you're in for a treat. The last track is Bish and Acoustic guitar recorded live in Little Hollywood so it's a bit hissy, but the melody is warm and utterly irresistible...

The Hip-O Select label isn't cheap, but like Ace, Bear Family, Rhino and Raven - their issues are the best. For lovers of the album, this a no-brainer - it's a must have purchase. If you're new to the record, tempted and you want a taster, this 2005 version is available on iTunes - try "Rock And Roll Slave" as a download and you'll see what I mean - lovely song, beautifully reproduced...

I'm off to buy "Bish", his 2nd album for ABC in 1978 (it includes "Looking For The Right One") - it's just as good as the first - and it's also in this Hip-O Select style of release - a limited edition (numbered this time) card gatefold sleeve repro."