Late 70´s west coast style…
Deardorff & Joseph were not widely heard or remembered, but that doesn’t mean they were forgotten or even felt. Their 1976 debut became a cult item for collectors of soft Californian ’70s pop, and it also marked the first time Jeffrey Comanor’s “We’ll Never Have to Say Goodbye Again” was heard (a few years later, England Dan & John Ford Coley brought it into the Top Ten). At the time, the album was largely ignored, even if it was a first-class professional production firmly within the Californian commercial sound of the mid-’70s and featured musical support by such luminaries as Dan Seals, Jeff Porcaro and his brothers Mike and Joe, Dean Parks, Jim Horn, and David Paich. Perhaps there was simply too much soft rock in the market in 1976, or perhaps listeners found Danny Deardorff’s voice slightly thin and whiny, two things that would have killed any hopes of big commercial success for the duo.
Nevertheless, time has treated Deardorff & Joseph well. Deardorff’s voice remains just this side of an acquired taste — in contrast, Marcus Joseph’s voice is sweet and friendly, perfectly fitting the breezy feel of the music — but both the songs and production are better than average, with a nicely enveloping lush, layered sound and some very good tunes, largely written by Deardorff, who may not break from the laid-back singer/songwriter tradition but does some nice work within it. Though the album sags a bit on the slower songs, this is a remarkably consistent, enjoyable record that sounds as if it could have been a hit at the time, even if it doesn’t really have a cut that sounds like a lost classic.
Nevertheless, the album as a whole is a bit of a lost classic of sorts for fans of Crosby, Stills & Nash-influenced Californian soft rock singer/songwriters — think America, Seals & Crofts, England Dan & John Ford Coley, in particular — because it is both rare and very good. Unlike some cult items, this winds up delivering on its promise and is worth seeking out for those listeners who can never get enough of the mellow Californian sound.
Deardorff & Joseph
Arista Records 1976
Tracks: One More Story To Tell, We’ll Never Have To Say Goodbye Again, Chicago Blue, Nighttime Love, Sentimental Lady, Castle, Golden Road, Lovely Lady, Sing My Song & Little Kinds Of Earth.
Musicians on the Deardorff & Joseph album: Danny Deardorff, Marcus Joseph, Dean Parks, Dan Seals, Larry Rolando, Jay Dee Maness, Mike Porcaro, David Hungate, Louie Shelton, Tom Hensley, David Paich, Bill Cuomo, Jeff Porcaro, Ron Tutt, John Guerin, David Kemper, Joe Porcaro, Jim Horn, Steve Leeds, Jack Lenz, Jimmie Haskell, Julia Tilman Waters, Maxine Wilard Waters, Bill Greenwood & Edna Wright.