Friday, 13 July 2018

Jack Tempchin ‎ “Jack Tempchin” 1978 US Country Rock


Jack Tempchin ‎ “Jack Tempchin” 1978 US Country Rock 
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CD reissue of this 1978 album. Jack Tempchin is an American musician and singer-songwriter, best known for writing the Eagles’ classic “Peaceful Easy Feeling” and co-writing their hits “Already Gone”, “The Girl From Yesterday”, “Somebody”, and “It’s Your World Now”. During the Eagles’ breakup period (1980-1994) he co-wrote with the late Glenn Frey producing “You Belong to the City”, “Smuggler’s Blues”, “The One You Love” amongst others. His tribute album to Glenn, One More Song, was released last year. Tempchin’s first album Jack Tempchin was released in 1978 and includes his version of “Peaceful Easy Feeling”. He has toured extensively as a solo artist over the years, opening for artists such as Ringo Starr, Jackson Browne, Dave Mason, Poco, Dolly Parton, Karla Bonoff, Chicago, Christopher Cross, Kenny Loggins, Timothy B. Schmit, Barry McGuire, Tom Rush, Al Kooper and Emmylou Harris….~


This is one of my favorite albums, along with the Funky Kings album that preceded it (I can’t believe that Kings album is not available on CD but there you go). One great song after another, with the highlights for me being Golden Life and Walkaway. Go check them out on YouTube and hear it for yourself. Golden Life is quiet desperation taken to the max, with the lyrics scalding against the laid back music. I love the ironic way he puts a lyric like “Things that tore the heart from me now just pretty scenery” against a smooth, relaxed instrumental that completely works against it- it’s genius. Maybe it’s too understated for some people but if you actually listen to lyrics and like a songwriter who can write melodies this is an album you should discover. All killer, no filler. And Peaceful Easy Feeling is far from being the best song here, which tells you how good the rest of it is….by…Karen A. Lebens…~


Jack Tempchin was one of the three songwriters for the Funky Kings on their lone, self-titled album from 1976. Released on Arista, “Funky Kings” was a commercial bust, despite being a solid album of mid-‘70s, West Coast singer-songwriter rock. Plans for a second Funky Kings album fell through, but Tempchin stayed on board with Arista, perhaps as a means of contract fulfillment, and in 1978 came a self-titled solo record from him. 

One gets the impression that the lack of commercial success for the Funky Kings was a serious downer for Tempchin. The wonderfully ludicrous amount of confidence he’d displayed on the “Funky Kings” album has been completely washed away, and despite slipping in a fine sighing ballad with “Golden Life”, Tempchin mostly sounds like he’s going through the motions here, churning out low-energy country-flavored soft rock that’s tasteful but dull. It’s as if Tempchin knew he’d been defeated and stood no chance for victory. The one song that tries for over-the-top humor, “Fifteen Days Under The Hood”, sounds forced, choppy, and lacking genuine enthusiasm. Songs such as “Stingaree” and “Pick Up Truck” display respectable craftsmanship, but they lack punch, and they’re hardly hook-fests, featuring very conventional country-rock melodicism. Tempchin also serves up a super-dull 'dreamy’ version of “Peaceful Easy Feeling” with annoyingly 'heavenly’ vocals from Jennifer Warnes. 

So, despite the high level of professionalism and some pleasant tunes, this is an undeniably disappointing listen, with no truly great songs at all, and it’s not surprising that it marked the end of Tempchin’s career as a recording artist apart from an occasional appearance with Glenn Frey and a re-emergence in the mid-'90s….by… Missing Person….~


Following an aborted second effort by the Funky Kings, Jack Tempchin stayed on with Arista Records for one solo record. Recorded at the legendary Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, his 1978 self-titled release is filled with the sort of sweet harmonies, tasteful guitars, mid-tempo country-rock, and confessional ballads that you would expect from an L.A. singer/songwriter in the late '70s. There are also the obligatory references to feeling free, pickup trucks, being down and out, and waiting for payday to roll around. Still, as was the case with his contributions with the Funky Kings, Tempchin is able to pull it off for about four or five songs. Over the course of an entire album, he begins to teeter between clever and cliché, and self-deprecating and self-pity. If “Fifteen Days Under the Hood” and “Tijuana” (co-written by Tom Waits) are charming and fresh car and bar songs, respectively, “Pick Up Truck” and “Stingaree” are as worn and tired as a set of old retreads. Elsewhere, “She Belonged to You” and “Golden Life” (written with J.D. Souther) are winners when it comes to losing the girl, while “Lifetime Friend” and “Walk Away” are pleasant, if ultimately forgettable. Also included is Tempchin’s own version of “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” which he wrote for the Eagles in the early '70s. Whereasthe Eagles’ recording remains a blueprint for Southern California country-rock, Tempchin’s gets weighed down in its own sentiment and syrupy production. This would be Tempchin’s last opportunity at a successful solo career, though a connection with Eagle Glenn Frey would spawn several hits for him as a songwriter in the mid-'80s…..by….by Brett Hartenbach….~


Credits 
Backing Vocals – Eddie Struzick, Jackson Browne, Jennifer Warnes, Thomas Flora* 
Backing Vocals, Guitar – Glenn Frey 
Bass – Bob Wray, Gary Baker 
Drums – Roger Clark 
Flute – Anthony Parsons 
Keyboards – Barry Beckett, Randy McCormick 
Saxophone – Harvey Thompson

Tracklist 
A1 Stingaree 3:10 
A2 She Belonged To You 2:20 
A3 Peaceful Easy Feeling 3:50 
A4 Fifteen Days Under The Hood 2:35 
A5 Lifetime Friend 3:35 
B1 Golden Life 3:35 
B2 Tijuana 2:50 
B3 Pick Up Truck 3:22 
B4 Skateboard Johnny 3:30 
B5 Walkaway 3:59 

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