Thursday, November 9, 2017

Thursday's Lost Gem: Elliot Easton

In 1985, Elliot Easton released his one and only solo record, "Change No Change." I loved The Cars first two records, but by 1985, I didn't care enough to care about a record by their lead guitar player, except that all the songs on "Change No Change" were written with Jules Shear, who I did care about and continue to care about in 2017. Not only that, Jules sings backing vocals on the whole thing.

As per usual, I was looking for something else, one of those old Warner Brothers "Loss Leaders" LPs, and found the Easton album in the box instead. I hadn't heard it in 32 years, so out of the garage and into the house it came.  (This might fall into the category of TMI, but we are all family here. I call the records in my garage the "minor leagues" and the records in my house the "major leagues." I am always sending some down and bringing some up. Shut up.)

"Change No Change" is a gem, especially Side One, where there isn't a weak track to be found. While I have always loved Easton's guitar playing...I mean, has this guy ever played a solo that wasn't tasty?...I am thankful that his solo record sounds more like a lost Jules Shear record and not a continuation of The Cars. Everything from the melodies to the vocal phrasing to the harmonies, it's all Jules.

The track above is pop heaven. The track below has a patented Easton solo. "Change No Change" might play a full season in the house.


buzzbabyjesus said...

The first Cars album is a classic. I liked parts of the rest up until "Panorama".
Elliot's a great guitar player. The solo in "Help Me" is short but beautifully crafted. Every note matters. The little bends kill me.
That he worked with a real songwriter makes it even better.
Unfortunately for me, and this will sound familiar, I can't get past the production.
It sure sounds like 1985.
During that decade I listened to '50's music,'70's Reggae, and P-Funk.
I don't think I can go back. I'm starting to feel that way about the '90's, too.

BTW I downloaded all of the Loss Leaders a couple years back and something from them will be on tomorrow's weekend mix.

Noam Sane said...

Hell yeah! I didn't even know this record existed. Gonna pick it up. You're right, he's one of the absolute tastiest soloists ever. I remember going through a period where I wanted a Dean, because it must be the guitar, right? Thanks Sal.

zillagord said...

Elliot has a surf band now, Elliot Easton's Tiki Gods. Here's a track from their last album, "Easton Island".

Sal Nunziato said...