Record of the Day: Bill LaBounty, "Bill LaBounty"

Record of the Day: Bill LaBounty, “Bill LaBounty”

Bill LaBounty
Bill LaBounty (Cd Curb 7001-2)

Initially made for the powerful Warner Bros., this fourth album by the shy American songwriter subsequently ended up out of print and was reissued by the small Curb label, which made its availability quite difficult; it's really a shame, because it is one of the best American music albums made in the last twenty-five years, not only for the excellent quality of the compositions but also for the production created by none other than Lenny Waronker and Russ Titelman, responsible for triumphs such as “Gorilla” and “In the Pocket” by James Taylor.

Bill LaBounty has spent most of his career behind the scenes, writing hit songs for Patti LaBelle, the Temptations, Peter Cetera, Randy Crawford, Nicolette Larson; in Italy probably his best known work is the song written for the end credits of the film “Pretty Woman”. Despite the friendship that binds him to many famous names in American pop, LaBounty has never thought of becoming a star on his own, preferring a quiet career as an author interspersed every now and then with some album finished with maniacal patience.

The album opens with one of the classics of the pop repertoire, “Livin'It up”, with an irresistible refrain, and continues with nine other pieces, each more beautiful than the other, with very expressive melodies, supported by an out of the ordinary harmonic wisdom . Sophisticated arrangements feature names such as Steve Gadd, Jeff Porcaro, Steve Lukather, Chuck Rainey, with luxury vocal participation featuring guests Patti Austin, Stephen Bishop, James Taylor and Jennifer Warnes.

Compared to previous albums such as “Rain in My Heart” and “This Night Won't Last Forever” we are faced with a work created with a wider availability of means and consequently a greater possibility of refining every single detail
of writing achieving exquisite results.

The themes of LaBounty's songs almost always talk about destroyed loves and sentimental disappointments in which one tries to hide the desperation for what has been lost behind a mask of cynicism and bitter irony; her lyrics never use sugar or inappropriate sentimentality, getting straight to the point in sentences punctuated with an unmistakable voice, not beautiful in the traditional sense but full of personality.

Carlo Boccadoro, composer and conductor, was born in Macerata in 1963. He lives and works in Milan. He collaborates with soloists and orchestras in different parts of the world. He is the author of numerous books on musical topics.

This text is taken from “Lunario della musica: A record for every day of the year” published by Einaudi, courtesy of the author and the publisher.