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MICHAEL STANLEY DISCOGRAPHY
For lyrics to any Michael Stanley song, go to:
http://home.roadrunner.com/~staryjo/LyricsSite/index.html


1980 - "Heartland" - If there was ever a dark period for MSB, early 1980 would be it. Dropped by Arista after the “Greatest Hints" album, they were without a major label, and decided to record an album on their own. EMI America picked up the album, and gave the band a four-album deal in the process.

Definitely a favorite among fans and band members alike, "Heartland" produced a whole side of concert favorites with a couple to spare, with at least five or six songs still played live regularly more than 25 years later.

Joining the band for the album was sax player Clarence Clemons from Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, whose unmistakable sound is heard on three tracks, including early MTV favorite "He Can't Love You", the first MSB tune to feature Kevin Raleigh on lead vocals. Michael Stanley's ballad "Lover" also benefits from help by "The Big Man" on sax, a tune Stanley says he wrote one winter night on the way home from a gig in Youngstown, Ohio. "Don't Stop The Music" features some fierce lead guitar from Gary Markasky and limitless energy from Tommy Dobeck on drums. “I'll Never Need Anyone More (than I need you tonight)", "Working Again", and "All I Ever Wanted" are still played live regularly to
the delight of fans, and whether as all-out rockers like the originals or as subdued acoustic versions, these songs prove that a great tune is a great tune no matter what the arrangement.

Track listing:
I'LL NEVER NEED ANYONE MORE (Than I Need You Tonight)
LOVER
DON'T STOP THE MUSIC
HE CAN'T LOVE YOU
WORKING AGAIN
ALL I EVER WANTED
SAY GOODBYE
HEARTS ON FIRE
VOODOO
CAROLYN
SAVE A LITTLE PIECE FOR ME
HE CAN'T LOVE YOU (Live)
LOVER (Live)


1981 - "North Coast" - After the success of the Heartland album, the band was finally in the position of having the record company clamoring for new tunes, so most of the songs on North Coast were written while on tour. Cleveland's Suma Recording was the studio of choice, joined by co-producer/engineer Eddie Kramer. North Coast is probably the album that best exemplifies how the band sounded live, and it produced many concert favorites. "In The Heartland", the perfect opener, not just on record but in concert as well, announces the album's presence with authority, Tommy Dobeck's driving drum beat leading the way. Kevin Raleigh is again well represented on lead vocals with his funky "Don't You Do That To Me", as well as the song about "not giving up", "We Can Make It".

"When Your Heart Says It's Right" formed the ideal couplet live with Stanley's "Heaven and Hell. Two all time Stanley/Pelander classics are represented with "Somewhere In The Night" and "Falling In Love Again", and Stanley's classic rocker "Let's Hear It" rounds things up quite nicely. The album also marks the first appearance in the studio of local sax player Rick Bell.

Track listing:
IN THE HEARTLAND
WHEN YOUR HEART SAYS ITS RIGHT
SOMEWHERE IN THE NIGHT
YOU'RE MY LOVE
HEAVEN AND HELL
DON'T YOU DO THAT TO ME
FALLING IN LOVE AGAIN
TELL ME
CHEMISTRY
VICTIM OF CIRCUMSTANCE
WE CAN MAKE IT
LET'S HEAR IT
SOMEWHERE IN THE NIGHT (Live)
SHUT UP AND LEAVE ME ALONE (Live)


1982 - "MSB" - The album opens with a signature piano line from Bob Pelander on "In Between The Lines", a song Stanley calls "an open letter to myself and a fond farewell to J.W. Lennon". If North Coast was Rick Bell's "debut", the MSB album was certainly his coming out party, with his sax being showcased on eight of the ten album tracks, including "Hang Tough" which also includes Michael Gizmondi joining Bell on sax to become "the Ohio Road Dog Horn section".

Kevin Raleigh's "When I'm Holding You Tight" was released as a single, as was Stanley's "Take The Time", for which an "MTV" video was produced. But the high point of the album comes right in the middle, as two flawless ballads stand side by side. Stanley's "Spanish Nights", in which two lovers "swear that each time was the last one", and Raleigh's "One Of Those Dreams", where the lovers "got so caught up they forgot all the rules", both feature smoldering sax from Bell and stellar arrangements.

The album was recorded at the Recording Connection in Cleveland and the Bee Gee’s studio Middle Ear in Miami. Produced and arranged by MSB and Don Gehman.

Track listing:
IN BETWEEN THE LINES
IF YOU LOVE ME
NIGHT BY NIGHT
WHEN I'M HOLDING YOU TIGHT
SPANISH NIGHTS
ONE OF THOSE DREAMS
LOVE HURTS
HANG TOUGH
JUST A LITTLE BIT LONGER
TAKE THE TIME
IN BETWEEN THE LINES (Live)
FIRE IN THE HOLE (Live)


1983 - "You Can't Fight Fashion" - Just before the recording of this album began lead guitarist, Gary Markasky left the band and was replaced by Danny Powers, who only had a few of weeks to get "up to speed" on the material, but one listen to this album will reveal he was more than up to the task. Tunes like "Fire In The Hole" and "How Can You Call This Love" showcase the considerable talents of Mr. Powers.

“The Damage Is Done" and "Someone Like You" are fine contributions by Kevin Raleigh, and the team of Stanley/Pelander is represented by "Just Give Me Tonight" and “High Life", both of which feature excellent sax from Rick Bell.
The star of the album though, is "My Town", Stanley's hometown anthem, which gave birth to more than 100 city specific versions. The album was produced by MSB and Bob Clearmountain.

The second half of 1983 would be both a high point and low point for MSB. "My Town" would enter the "Billboard Top 40" and the band made TV appearances on both "Solid Gold" and "American Bandstand" with Dick Clark.

Everything seemed to be going great, until, as their record contract was nearing an end, EMI only offered a six-month extension, instead of a long-term deal with some financial security. When Stanley turned down the extension, hoping for another offer, the record company "called his bluff" and dropped the band immediately, pulling all financial and tour support. The band vowed to carry on, but to make matters worse, after what would be the band's final performance at the Richfield Coliseum on December 27th, 1983, sax player Rick Bell left the band.

Track listing:
HARD TIME
JUST GIVE ME TONIGHT
SOMEONE LIKE YOU
HIGHLIFE
MY TOWN
THE DAMAGE IS DONE
FIRE IN THE HOLE
HOW CAN YOU CALL THIS LOVE
JUST HOW GOOD (A BAD WOMAN FEELS)
MY TOWN (Live)
SOMEONE LIKE YOU (Live)


1984 - "Fourth and Ten" - The band had actually started working on material for a studio album to shop around in an attempt to get a new record deal, when the decision was made to record their Tenth Anniversary shows at Blossom Music Center near Cleveland for a live album. August 15th and 16th saw two sellout crowds pack the Blossom grounds for the shows. The live album consisted of eight tracks, one of which, "Shut Up And Leave Me Alone" was one of the studio tracks they were working on and thus became the only unreleased track. Other tunes were "My Town", "Someone Like You", "Fire In The Hole", "In Between The Lines", "Lover" (with some fine crowd vocals), "Somewhere In The Night", and "He Can't Love You".

The album was released regionally on vinyl on "MSB Records", and was produced and arranged by the Michael Stanley Band. The eight original tracks from this album were split up as "bonus tracks" on the four EMI albums when they were re-issued on CD, and more recently, Line Level Music has re-issued "Fourth and Ten" in its entirety on CD. The CD now includes five bonus tracks, writer’s demos of four songs that ended up on the MSB album, and one un-released tune of Michael's.

Track listing:
MY TOWN
SOMEONE LIKE YOU
SHUT UP AND LEAVE ME ALONE
FIRE IN THE HOLE
IN BETWEEN THE LINES
LOVER
SOMEWHERE IN THE NIGHT
HE CAN'T LOVE YOU
BONUS CUTS: WRITER'S DEMOS
IN BETWEEN THE LINES
NIGHT BY NIGHT
AND IF YOU LOVE HER
HANG TOUGH
SPANISH NIGHTS


1985 - "Eyes Of The Children" - charity single. Obviously not an MSB release, however, the entire band worked on the project. It was "We Are The World" time, and if mega-stars and Hollywood types can do a charity single, why not a local version? C.A.R.E. stood for Cleveland Artists Recording for Ethiopia. Writing credits went to Michael Stanley/Mark Avsec/Kevin Raleigh/Bob Pelander/Danny Powers. They were joined by Tommy Dobeck and Michael Gizmondi for the music. A veritable "who's who" of Cleveland area musicians and singers lent their talents, including: Skip Martin (Dazz Band)/Ben Orr (the Cars)/Joe Vitale/Jennifer Lee/Rickie Medlocke (Blackfoot)/Alex Bevan/Paul Fayrewether/Mimi Hart/Dave Smalley, Jim Bonfanti, and Wally Bryson (Raspberries)/Frank and Tom Amato (Beau Coup)/Billy Buckholtz and Steve Jochum (Wild Horses) /and "adopted" Clevelander Donnie Iris.

The record was released on "Buzzard Records" and distributed by MCA, and at the July shows of the Michael Stanley Band at Blossom, the song was performed live with most of the musicians who appeared on the single taking the stage with MSB.

(not available through Line Level Music)


1986 - "Inside Moves"- The final MSB album was released in June of 1986, on vinyl, and only on a regional basis.

A single of "Show Me Something" b/w "Somebody Else's Woman" was released in 1985, complete with a picture sleeve. The rest of the album was dominated by Stanley/Pelander compositions, notably "When All's Said And Done" and the title track, which featured a vocal duet with Kevin Raleigh. Also included was a cover of Johnny Rivers' "Poor Side Of Town", a track that went back to the Heartland sessions and featured Clarence Clemons on sax.

The album was re-issued on CD in the early 90's, on MSB Records, and included five bonus tracks.

"Hard Die The Heroes" was recorded and released as a single in the fall of 1986, as it was featured in the Cleveland Browns video "Masters Of The Gridiron". The studio version of "Shut Up And Leave Me Alone" (live version on "Fourth And Ten"), is presented here, as well as three tracks that were recorded for the "You Can't Fight Fashion" album: "Hey Angel", "Rock Me Easy", and "Kiss It Off".

The entire CD, with bonus tracks, has been re-issued by Line Level Music.

Track listing:
SHOW ME SOMETHING
NO BIG DEAL
WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE
SOMEBODY ELSE'S WOMAN
HERE COMES THE KIDS
INSIDE MOVES
HEADLIGHTS
POOR SIDE OF TOWN
BOP TILL YOU DROP
HARD DIE THE HEROES*
SHUT UP AND LEAVE ME ALONE (Studio Version)*
HEY ANGEL*
ROCK ME EASY*
KISS IT OFF*