70s Rocker Michael Stanley Releases New Album
The latest CD from Michael Stanley Shadowland, his 22nd album, released on ItsAboutMusic.com, features thirteen new Stanley originals as he continues a musical journey that spans over forty years and just keeps getting better!
Discovered by New York record producer, Bill Szymczyk, in 1973 Michael Stanley released his debut album 'Michael Stanley' (Tumbleweed Records), and second LP, 'Friends & Legends' (MCA) to critical acclaim. Both albums featured guest appearances by Todd Rundgren, Joe Walsh and David Sanborn. During this time he formed a trio with two area musicians, Daniel Pecchio and Jonah Koslen, who played Stanley's solo songs as well as new material live. In 1974, out of work, Michael's close friend, Joe Walsh (another Cleveland area musician) suggested he pursue music full time. It was a turning point for Stanley, who along with Pecchio and Koslen brought in drummer Tommy Dobeck and the The Michael Stanley Band was born!
There were several Top-20 and Top-30 hits in the early '80s, among them "He Can't Love You" (1980) and "My Town" (1983), but it seemed the 'one great hit' never came. In late 1982, MSB released what would be their final album for EMI: 'You Can't Fight Fashion'. The single, "My Town", had made it to 29 on Billboard Magazine's charts and sales were good. While the band was on tour, EMI offered them an 'extension', rather than a contract renewal with a long-term financial commitment. When Michael declined the deal, the label quickly pulled the plug, halting promotion and tour-backing.
Although it was a financial blow to the band, they bravely continued performing at venues in the Northern Ohio and mid-west circuit. The band released two independent albums, 1983's 'Inside Moves', and 'Fourth And Ten' in 1984 (recorded live at Blossom Music Center), before formally disbanding in late 1986, shortly after performing nine 'farewell' concerts at Cleveland's Front Row.
"...We broke up not because we didn't like each other, but because we couldn't survive. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. It was like a group divorce," Michael Stanley recalled to Cleveland Magazine in July, 1994.
"After we did the last show with the band in December, 1987 (the Front Row Club "farewell" shows), I didn't touch a guitar for six months," Michael Stanley related in a 1992 interview, "...I wanted to walk away from it for awhile. I thought, 'Yeah, I'll stop for a little bit, come back and it'll be like turning on the faucet.' It was the total opposite. It was like writer's block for a long, long time."
Michael's 'post-MSB' years found him co-hosting WJW-Channel 8's 'Cleveland Tonight' and 'P.M. Magazine', until they were canceled, and later as a weekly featured reporter for TV8's 'First Look'. He also began his long stint as afternoon disc jockey and on-air personality at Cleveland's WNCX 98.5. In December, 1991, during a Las Vegas vacation, Michael suffered a heart attack. The near-tragedy resulted in Michael's re-evaluation of his life and career, and, with renewed determination and perspective, he began recording again. After several well-received albums in the '90s, as well as a MSB reunion concert, saw the formation of Michael Stanley & The Resonators, which had become the band's performing moniker; once again pleasing their loyal MSB fans while winning over new ones, with a set list of old favorites and clever covers interspersed with fresh originals.
And now in 2011, Michael Stanley and all The Resonators hit the ground running with their new CD 'Shadowland'. The album's opener, "It's all About Tonight", is a rocker which throws down the gauntlet to bands that are years younger and dares them to rock as hard! Some other musical highlights include "I Am You", "My Brand New Day" and "Skinny Jeans". Thirteen rocking new Michael Stanely tunes that are musical postcards from your next destination…SHADOWLAND!!!
Song samples from Michael Stanley 'Shadowland' here