Unreleased 1980 album from ace songwriter with 5 #1 singles.

Before Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Whitney Houston, The Bangles, Pretenders, and Heart had mega-hits with his songs, Billy Steinberg was the leader of California’s Billy Thermal!

Billy Steinberg’s ability brought him to the attention of producer Richard Perry (Harry Nilsson, Ringo Starr, Barbra Streisand), who signed Steinberg’s band, Billy Thermal, to his Planet Records (home of the Pointer Sisters). An album was recorded, but never released. Until now.

Billy Thermal contains the original versions of songs later made famous by superstars like Linda Ronstadt—who took “How Do I Make You” to the Top 10 in 1980, Pat Benatar—who named her third album after Steinberg’s “Precious Time” and Rick Nelson—who cut “Don’t Look At Me” on his last album of new material, Playing To Win. While Billy Thermal would fit best in the “new wave” genre, the album shows the genesis of #1 hits he would later co-write like The Bangles’ “Eternal Flame,” Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors,” Whitney Houston’s “So Emotional,” Heart’s “Alone,” Madonna’s iconic “Like A Virgin,” and classics including Pretenders’ “I’ll Stand By You” and Divinyls’ “I Touch Myself.”

Five tracks made their way into the marketplace on an early ’80s EP, but the entire album has sat unreleased for decades. Omnivore Recordings is proud to rectify that with this release, and it is even enhanced with 3 demos, written during the same time frame. The CD contains an informative set of liners from Steinberg and photos from the original album shoot.

With a band that includes Bob Carlisle, who would score a massive hit of his own in the 1990s with “Butterfly Kisses,” Billy Thermal is a record that still sounds fresh and energetic—even though no one really got to hear it the first time around. While Steinberg continues to make hits for current artists like Nicole Scherzinger, Demi Lovato and Jojo—the heat was turned on with Billy Thermal.

Buy the CD at Omnivore Recordings.