Video Dreams CD - AUTOGRAPHED
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AUTOGRAPHED BY MARK LINDSAY
Mark's 1996 solo effort! And this is the ONLY place you can get it!
Out of Control
Rouge on Blue
Release My Heart
Cub Koda Review from DISCOVERIES, January 1997
Yep, that entertaining dynamo Mark Lindsay -- the man who brought ponytails and "Orbit (The Spy)" to rock 'n' roll -- has a new album out and the good news is it's a barnburner. The intervening years haven't chipped any platinum offa the Markus' pipes and best of all, this is an album that's all of one piece, just like the man who sings it. And the repeated spins in the old CD player tells me that this one's a keeper. The guy just cut it with his regular working band (who play their asses off on it, incidentally, especially Tom Kolb's guitar work), brought in a few guests to flesh it out here and there and loaded it up with top flight material, a lot of 'em from his own pen, by the by.
The result is something totally rockin' and contemporary without donning a flannel shirt or a MacDaddy outfit and making a total ass out of himself. You know what I'm talking about; like those interviews you read in here with somebody who hasn't had a hit in 30 plus years saying, "Yes, we're moving in a country rock direction now; one of the songs is about a lady truck driver called 'Convoy Mama.'" Yikes, buy 'em a clue, willya?
Now if you're expecting a buncha Vox Continental organ noodlings or recuts of "Just like Me," save yer bread and pick up any of the groundbreaking recordings by Mark's old band, Paul Revere & the Raiders. But if you wanna check in with an old friend and find out what he's up to these days and be pleaantly surprised, this is the one. As Murray the K would say, "I ain't shootin' you thru the grease, baby, I'm tellin' you true!"
(Reprinted with permision of the author)
Dan Dullum's Review
Anyone who picks up on Video Dreams expecting to revisit the polished pop sounds of "Arizona" or "Silverbird" is in for something of a surprise, albeit a pleasant one. The sound is unmistakable Mark Lindsay, yet bears little resemblance to his earlier, more recognizable solo career.
"It's very hard for me to pigeonhole it or put it in a box or say, 'It's this'," Lindsay says of Video Dreams. "It's contemporary rock'n'roll, a little more sophisticated perhaps, than the Raiders stuff. The title, Video Dreams, just seems to encompass everything."
Whether or not the breakthrough hit of 1997 is on the CD is anyone's guess. What Lindsay has put together is a well programmed, nicely paced presentation that wears well, with no less than seven cuts worthy of single release.
"There is one thing called "Cold" that could almost be alternative radio," said Lindsay, quickly adding, "I better be careful here, because what we put in the grooves is perceived differently by people other than me. Some of the cuts, if they were done by a Wasted, or Oasis, or Smashing Pumpkins, or somebody else, they would be much more acceptable than by me. Somehow, you're prejudged. However, enough time has gone by now that maybe everybody has forgotten about all those preconceived notions. Let's hope."
To ensure that no "pre-conceived notions" exist, Video Dreams is devoid of any photograph of Lindsay and utilizes a neo-alternative type of packaging, as if to say, "Just listen to the music."
And when listening, echoes of Indian Reservation are present on "Ambush", a track on which Lindsay reached back to the Native American part of his heritage to inspire his lyrics. "Broken Radio" and "Video Dreams" are strong, medium-to-uptempo rockers that could work in the hands of an artist like Bryan Adams or Chris Isaak. "Out of Control" and "Everlovin' " have almost a retro-'70s or '80s feel, yet the approach is very much up to date.
An avid runner these days, Lindsay credits this avocation for helping provide an edge to his lyrics and composing. During his stint with Paul Revere & the Raiders, Lindsay's songwriting approach was more progressive with each release. Video Dreams proves he hasn't lost his gift for creating potential hit material with hooks, proving there's nothing wrong with this approach in the hands of someone who can make such music palatable.
For example, "Release My Heart" has all the necessary elements of an across-the-board, adult contemporary hit - strong melody and lyrics that stick in your head and a tasty interplay of guitar and piano toward the end that gives this piece an appropriate punctuation. If Lindsay's earlier solo career had been allowed to evolve at a natural progression, this is aurally where he might have landed.
From alternative to rock to ballads, the chameleon-like Video Dreams explores many directions. "Club Dead" deals with the subject of contemplating suicide and how it doesn't solve anything, a cathartic exercise that doesn't preach - just spells things out for the listener to assimilate. The arrangement is right out of the Eagles' songbook and competes favorably with Henley, Frey and Company at their own game. "Tokyo Blues" is danceble, rock'n'roll tour de force with a lot going on, making for a busy four minutes and 25 seconds.
Danny Federici of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band uses the accordian to give a sidewalk cafe' ambiance and melancholy flavor to "Rouge on Blue", which tells the story of a missed opportunity at romance. Always a rocker at heart, Lindsay caps the 11-track program with the Springsteen-esque "Soldier's Home".
A lesson learned during his days as a music business executive brought Lindsay a sense of deja vu when he shopped his Looking for Shelter CD around in 1990 - recording and producing a potentially successful rock'n'roll album is one thing, finding a receptive label to pick it up is quite another.
That bittersweet and humbling experience, along with his innate knowledge of technical advances, convinced Lindsay to release Video Dreams on his own label, alala.
"My first expericance was very Pollyanna," Lindsay explains. "I thought just because I took a decade or two hiatus, I'm sure the world is ready for this new Mark Lindsay product and they're going to jump at it. At most of the major labels, everybody liked it, but nobody jumped at it. I did A&R (artist and repertoire) for about three years, so I understand this. If I walked into one of the big three labels, I would probably be hesitant to sign someone such as myself, even though I know I'm going to sell some records."
To emphasize his point, Lindsay explains further with one particular experience.
"The response of a guy you would know but I can't quote said, 'This stuff is great, I can easily see a hit coming out of this. But I am going to keep my job in A&R by not signing you and by signing some unknown group of 17-year-old kids off the street, then I'm a rock'n'roll hero. If I sign you, it's kind of a given. The stuff is great and there's a good chance that you could do a comeback and have a hit again because that's a no brainer. And that's how I'm keeping my job.'"
Lindsay sees direct marketing through telemarketing and the internet as the best way to handle the projects he currently works on.
"So, for those fans out there who are Mark Lindsay fans, it's probably going to be easier for them to get the product if we just do it ourselves," Lindsay reasons. "I'll be sure they get their money's worth. And if they don't like it, they can write me personally and tell me. Next time, I'll change the tune!"
Such requests for custom alteration should hardly be necessary.
- Daniel Dullum
(Reprinted with permision of the author)
A Fan's Review
I hope all of you out there have ordered and are enjoying your new Video Dreams CD. If not, what are you waiting for?
My family called me at work at 3:00 p.m. to tell me that a package had arrived from Steppin' Out, was I expecting anything? They shook the box into the phone to tease me. My eyes flicked to the clock on the wall and I groaned as I realized it would be two and a half hours before I could get home (unless I told my boss I was sick . . .). And by 5:00 p.m., I'm not so sure I was far off the mark (sorry). My family called me twice more, just to antagonize me. They wanted to know if they could open the package. Yea sure! My commute was a record setter (what errands?). But when I walked through the door my Pekinese puppy wanted to be petted, my granddaughter wanted "damma up!", they had a cup of tea waiting, and the mail hidden. They wanted to know what was for dinner before they lost me to the WORLD OF LINDSAY. "Call Domino's and GIVE ME MY MAIL!" These guys just don't know when to quit.
I took my new CD reverently down the hallway to my room for quiet (not an abundant commodity at my house) and prepared to put on my earphones. I opened the CD case in awe, and laughed out loud. This CD certainly is a family project. There, trapped in the case, on the green and magenta surface, was my very own Sparky hair. As the music started I felt as if I should, and probably did, hold my breath. From the first note of Ambush, to the last note of Soldiers' Home, I was mezmerized. And as each new song ended I thought, "NO - that one is my favorite."
I have been listening to Mark sing since 1965, on scratchy black, and sometimes red, vinyl recordings and in concert halls filled with screaming fans, through the years to video and compact discs. I have listened to him in cars, live, and on Memorex. And I listened with tears in my eyes, while he sang to his extended family at his wedding, to the future "Web Princess". What I am trying to say is that I thought I had heard the gamut, saturated so to speak (that is not a bad thing!). I have to tell you, this is the best project I have ever heard him do. This is the most eclectic collection of ML songs ever to be assembled. If the next collection is better than this; all I can say is "whoa". I guarantee there is something here for everyone: from hard-core rock & roller to rock-a-billy; from ballads to stuff fringing on alternative (you know, the stuff the kids listen to that makes us real music lovers go "huh?"). Somehow, he has used that magic of his to blend it all together so it flows. There are great vocals, the music is terrific, the musicians are the best, the songs are catchy, and Mark's lyrics paint vivid pictures and will have you trying to decipher double-entendres' for hours. You will find yourself humming these songs long after the stereo has been turned off. I was humming along the second time I heard it, and now sing along as if I've known these songs as long as I've known Kicks. Do you think the zillion times I've played it has helped?
I have found the commute to work takes me longer. I do the speed limit all the way, so I can hear six songs instead of five (or heaven forbid, don't tell my husband, four). Then I sit in the parking garage, in my car after I arrive, to listen to the end of which ever song is playing (shut one of these songs off mid-chorus? - are you kidding?).
To Doug, and all you other music purists, do not read the rest of this . . . This is just for those sixteen year old girls that we used to be, who were in love with Mark Lindsay years ago. "Listen with your earphones at the beginning of Rouge on Blue. If that heavy breath in your ear doesn't set those "eternal butterflies a-flutter", then you are made of sterner stuff than I am."
~ Carolyn Wood