Monday, June 25, 2012

Tony Stone - For A Lifetime (1988)

Born Tony Devenport at Battersea, South London (where the famous power plant on Pink Floyd's Animals was immortalized) and growing up with soul, pop and blues at equal lengths, tonight's star player adopted the stage name Tony Stone as a youngster and began something of a solo career at whatever pub might have him, bringing his Steve Winwood meets Bill Withers to many a delighted attendee wherever he happened to be performing.

After making friends with Westcoast luminary Ned Doheny and a number of others through the years, 1988 saw the release of this unusual fellow's one and only studio outing For A Lifetime to little fanfare on either side of the Atlantic despite lots of catchy, intelligent songs that fall in some wonderful space between L.A. and Motown circa 1979.

Crossover territory along those line is best illustrated through songs like 'My Good Friend James', with its soaring bridge and pulsating groove, but there's plenty of fun to be had in the occasional left turn sonically: 'Perish The Thought' is a Hi-Tech midtempo romp that should have put Tony right up there on the art-pop map alongside Yes and The Outfield: smooth as smooth gets, fellas. 

Despite a couple of questionable ballads and R&B elements throughout, Mr. Devenport was certainly more interesting than a lot of crooners from the late 80's, and although he's been fairly low-key musically since this came out, he's welcome back to it anytime!


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