1980 America – Alibi

America 1980Alibi is the ninth original studio album by American folk rock duo America, released by Capitol Records in 1980.

Prior to their second album on Capitol, Bunnell and Beckley amicably parted ways with George Martin in an effort to try a new musical direction. For the new album, the group utilized two producers — Matthew McCauley and Fred Mollin. While Silent Letter was recorded by Bunnell, Beckley and their backing band (Willie Leacox, Michael Woods, David Dickey and Jim Calire), Alibi was a virtual roll-call of the burgeoning West Coast music scene. The recording included musicians such as Timothy B. Schmit, Waddy Wachtel, Mike Baird, Lee Sklar, Richard Page, Norton Buffalo and Steve Lukather.

Alibi, released in August 1980, was the first America album not to feature a picture of the band members on the cover. Instead, the cover sported a picture of a doll’s head in the foreground of a desert landscape. Dewey Bunnell said he chose the picture while looking through the archives of acclaimed photographer Henry Diltz. The album was also unusual in the era of vinyl primacy in that it did not have numbered sides. Because the group and Capitol disagreed on which side would be side one, they agreed on a compromise: the sides would be labelled “Our Side” and “Their Side.”

The album only peaked at number 142 on the Billboard album chart in the US. No singles charted in the US, but in Italy “Survival” was a top 10 hit and the whole album peaked at 4: this happened only on the first weeks of 1982, after the band took part, as special guest, at the Italian music contest named “Festival di Sanremo”.

Although Alibi was yet another commercial disappointment for America, the band’s fortunes would dramatically improve with their next album, View From The Ground (1982), which included the Top Ten smash, “You Can Do Magic.”

McCauley would later produce several tracks on America’s Perspective album in 1984, while Mollin returned in 2011 to produce America’s cover album, Back Pages.

Tracks

1  Survival (Gerry Beckley) 3:10
2  Might Be Your Love (Gerry Beckley) 3:40
3  Catch That Train (Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell) 2:58
4  You Could’ve Been The One (John Batdorf, Sue Sheridan) 3:05
5  I Don’t Believe In Miracles (Russ Ballard) 3:19
6  I Do Believe In You (Steve George, John Lang, Jerry Manfredi, Richard Page) 3:40
7  Hangover (Dewey Bunnell) 3:40
8  Right Back To Me (Gerry Beckley) 3:25
9  Coastline (Gerry Beckley) 3:25
10  Valentine (Dewey Bunnell) 3:34
11  One In A Million (Gerry Beckley) 2:50

Media

Musicians

Bass Leland Sklar
Drums Mike Baird
Guitar Steve Lukather
Guitar Dean Parks
Guitar Waddy Wachtel
Guitar Fred Mollin
Guitar Gerry Beckley
Guitar Dewey Bunell
Harmonica Norton Buffalo
Keyboards Jai Winding
Keyboards James Newton-Howard
Keyboards Matthew McCauley
Percussion Willie Leacox
Background Vocals John David Souther
Background Vocals Richard Page
Background Vocals Timothy B Schmit
Background Vocals Tom Kelly
Background Vocals Matthew McCauley

Liner Notes

Producer – Fred Mollin, Matthew McCauley
Engineer – Brad Gilderman, David Leonard, Eric Prestidge, Larry Greenstein, Linda Corbin, Mark Linett, Mark Sackett, Terry Christian
Engineer (Assistant) – Tom Anderson
Mastered By – Mike Reese