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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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Time Exposure/Find Out!/Hideaway

BGO Records BGOCD 1022



Time Exposure
1. Play The Bass
2. Are You Ready (For The Future)
3. Speedball
4. Heaven Sent You
5. Time Exposure
6. Future Shock
7. Future
8. Spacerunner
9. I Know Just How You Feel
Collective personnel
Stanley Clarke - Bass, percussion, drums, keyboards, Korg synthesizer, piccolo bass, talk box, tenor bass, piano, Fender Rhodes
Jeff Beck - Guitar, talk box
Todd Cochran - Prophet synthesizer, Jupiter-8
George Duke - Prophet synthesizer
John Gilston - Simmons Drums
James Gilstrap - Vocals
Raymond Gomez - Guitar
Craig Harris - Vocals, synclavier, vocoder
Howard Hewett - Vocals
Louis Johnson - Bass, vocals
Denzil Miller - Keyboards, Oberheim
Darryl Phinnessee - Vocals
Howard Smith - Vocals
The P-Funk Horns: Gregory Boyer, Gregory Thomas, Bennie Cowan
Ernie Watts - Tenor sax
Find Out!
1. Find Out
2. What If I Should Fall In Love
3. Born In The U.S.A.
4. The Sky's The Limit
5. Don't Turn The Lights Out
6. Campo Americano
7. Stereotypica
8. Psychedelic
9. My Life
Stanley Clarke Band:
Stanley Clarke - Vocals, guitars, basses
Robert Brookins - Vocals, keyboards
Rayford Griffin - Vocals, drums, percussion
Sunnie Paxson - Keyboards
Additional personnel:
Pat Leonard - Keyboards
Eddie Martinez, Raymond Gomez Guitars
Paulinho da Costa - Percussion
1. Hideaway
2. Overjoyed
3. My Love, Her Inspiration
4. Where Do We Go
5. The Boys Of Johnson Street
6. Old Friends
6. When It's Cold Outside
7. Listen To The Beat Of Your Heart
8. Basketball
9. I'm Here To Stay
Stanley Clarke - Bass guitar, acoustic bass, tenor bass
Gerry Brown - Drums
Alan Pasqua - Keyboards
Stanley Jordon - Guitar
George Howard - Sax
Wayne Linsey - Keyboards
Rayford Griffin - Drums, percussion
Alphonso Johnson - Bass guitar
Angela Bofill - Vocals
Tristan Imboden - Drums
Pat Leonard - Keyboards
Paul Jackson Jr - Guitar
Gary Herbig - Sax
June Kuramoto - Kotos
Herbie Hancock - Keyboards
Stewart Copeland - Drums, percussion
David Sancious - Keyboards
Dan Huff - Guitar
Bernard Jackson - Vocals
Howard Hewett, Josie James - Backing vocals
Robert Brookins - Keyboards
Larry Graham - Vocals, bass guitar
John Robinson - Drums, percussion

Music can often transport you back to a particular era, and this double CD certainly does that. It evokes the mid-1980s, when synthesized sounds were still the rage, although in some respects their days were numbered. This compilation contains three albums, released respectively in 1984, 1985 and 1986. The first album, Time Exposure, is full of synthetic sounds and mechanical beats, as well as a wash of vocals. Stanley Clarke was a guitar hero, although it was as a bass guitarist. His trademark thumb style on bass is exhibited right from the short Play the Bass (abetted by Alphonso Johnson), which segues into Are You Ready (For The Future), which seems to suggest that the future will be extremely mechanized.

The only relief from this heavy, synthesized sound is Heaven Sent You, which actually sounds like a real song, with Howard Hewett's high-pitched voice resembling Michael Jackson. Stanley Clarke's bass guitar solo is lyrical as well as technically adroit. Guitar virtuosity is also present on the title-track, thanks to Jeff Beck as well as Clarke on piccolo bass. Many of the tracks on this album may remind you of Michael Jackson or a watered-down version of Earth, Wind and Fire.

The album Find Out! follows very much in the same vein: heavy rather than subtle, with overtones of Jackson and EWF. Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA is more in rock mode, although the lyrics are rapped rather than sung. Stanley Clarke's virtuosity can still capture one's attention but there is a sameness to the music which undermines his technical brilliance.

The third album, Hideaway, brings a certain amount of relief from the heaviness, and it's a pleasure to relax into the gentler style of the album. Stevie Wonder's Overjoyed introduces a welcome concentration on melody as distinct from beat, with pleasing guitar from Stanley Jordan. Angela Bofill's voice is heavenly in Where Do We Go, and Stanley Clarke's brilliance is underlined when he plays all the instruments on the funky When It's Cold Outside. Stanley wrote or co-wrote this and most of the tunes on the album, exhibiting another facet of his genius.

In later years, Stanley has shown that he can turn down the volume and take a more melodious approach. This is hinted at in the last album of the three in this collection but it is not so evident in the first two. However, with nearly two hours of music, this compilation is good value.

Tony Augarde

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