by Jeff Fiedler
Albums from the Lost & Found is a regular feature on thegreatalbums.com in which contributor Jeff Fiedler reviews and helps us rediscover great pop albums that seem to have been lost to time.
Though he was a member of one of the biggest rock bands of all-time for their first five albums (and even co-wrote and sang lead vocals on their massive Top Ten hit “Take It to the Limit”), former Eagles bassist Randy Meisner seldom commands much attention from radio or the music press, even though he was technically the first original member of the group to score a Top 40 solo hit. In fact, Meisner would actually go on to have a total of three Top 40 solo hits during the early ‘80s, which may surprise many readers out there who just assumed that Meisner drifted into obscurity after leaving the band. Two of those three hits can be found on Meisner’s second solo full-length, the delightful 1980 disc One More Song, released on Epic.
Meisner has a fine pair of co-writers here in Eric Kaz (best known for co-writing the Bonnie Raitt classic “Love Has No Pride” and Michael Bolton’s “That’s What Love Is All About”) and Wendy Waldman (who would go on to co-write Don Johnson’s Top Ten hit “Heartbeat” with Kaz, as well as Vanessa Williams’ Number One smash “Save the Best for Last”); together, the trio crafts several fine songs in cuts like "Trouble Ahead," "I Need You Bad," and "Gotta Get Away." Meisner also incorporates two songs (including the excellent title cut) from Jack Tempchin (who had penned “Peaceful Easy Feeling” for Meisner’s previous band), as well as a cover of “Anyway Bye Bye” by Poco, who Meisner had been the original bassist for prior to Timothy Schmit’s arrival. (Hilariously enough, it would be Schmit who would replace Meisner in Eagles as well!)
While much attention at the time was paid to the presence of Don Henley and Glenn Frey on backing vocals on the album’s title cut, it’s not actually the best track here. That title arguably belongs to the wildly catchy and appealing mid-tempo country-rock of the Top Twenty single “Hearts on Fire,” penned by Meisner and Kaz.
“Deep inside My Heart,” with background vocals from a pre-“Bette Davis Eyes” Kim Carnes (then riding high on the Top Ten success of her cover of Smokey Robinson’s “More Love”) is another show-stopper. [The guest appearance isn’t quite as incongruous as you might think at first glance: Carnes’ producer, Val Garay, produced this album, while Bryan Garofalo, Craig Hull, and Craig Krampf, all members of her backing band at the time, all comprise part of the Silverados, Meisner’s backing band on this outing.]
Meisner would go on to make another fine outing for Epic in his 1982 self-titled album (featuring guest spots from Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart), which would give him his third Top 40 hit single in the rocker “Never Been in Love,” penned by Craig Bickhardt [who would later re-emerge in the late ‘80s alongside Fred Knobloch (“Killin’ Time,” “Why Not Me”) as part of the country supergroup Schuyler, Knobloch, and Bickhardt, who would score hits with such excellent Nashville sides as “No Easy Horses” and “Givers and Takers,” both highly recommended to any country fans reading this.] Meisner would also re-surface in the ‘90s as a member of the obscure supergroup Black Tie, whose other members included James Griffin (former guitarist for ‘70s soft-rock giants Bread) and Billy Swan (the ‘70s country singer-songwriter who scored a Number One pop hit with the organ-powered sound of “I Can Help”).