9 60393-1 Change No Change
Produced by Stephen Hague and Jon Mathias
Released on April 1985
US CHART POSITION #99
Find it at GEMM
9 60393-1 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

T he Cars only had the one formula, so the decision to toss it in favor of neo-pop that followed The Beatles and The Beach Boys likely left many Cars fans in the dust. Change No Change is much closer to the music of The Rembrandts or Cheap Trick (at their poppiest) than The Cars, so better to follow Ric Ocasek or Benjamin Orr if you want a cheap knockoff. However, as solo guitarist albums go, Change No Change is a welcome change. No noodling guitar solos, no lamewad songs written from the perspective of the guitar-slingin’ love machine, no recycled rock and roll riffs. The songs, cowritten with Jules Shear (the two apparently had thought of forming a band together), are intelligent and catchy, from the proletarian power pop of “Tools of Your Labor” to the cuddly “Shayla.” Some have heard snatches of Elvis Costello on this album, likely because both played neopop and Easton does sound like Elvis some of the time (“Fight My Way To Love”). In fact, the vocals are half of the story here (the quality of the songs is the other half); it’s rare that someone with a voice this good hasn’t already showcased it in his full-time band. The guitar playing isn’t anything fancy, but he never was known as a flashy guitarist. Easton does a pretty good Andy Summers impersonation on “(Wearing Down) Like A Wheel,” and elsewhere he shows the same restraint as Jerry Harrison. It’s hard to understand why Easton never released another solo album, given how solid Change No Change is from beginning to end. Songs like “Shayla,” “Help Me” and “Wide Awake” certainly deserved an encore, but maybe Jules Shear took that muse with him. This album remains a charming anomaly in The Cars garage, and one I still take out for a spin when no one’s watching. An expanded version of this album was released in 1996 by Rhino and includes odds and ends like “Walk On Walden.”

9 60393-1 back cover
9 60393-1 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. TOOLS OF YOUR LABOR    3:42
  2. (WEARING DOWN) LIKE A WHEEL    4:46
  3. SHAYLA    2:47
  4. HELP ME    3:46
  5. (SHE MADE IT) NEW FOR ME    4:14
  6. I WANT YOU    3:36
  7. THE HARD WAY    3:12
  8. FIGHT MY WAY TO LOVE    4:21
  9. CHANGE    3:09
  10. WIDE AWAKE    3:17

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  11. I WANT YOU
  12. LONELY IS THE DARK
  13. WALK ON WALDEN
  14. LONG, LONG TIME
  15. STOP THE WORLD FROM TURNING
  16. LET IT SLIDE

    Tracks 1-10 written by Elliot Easton and Jules Shear

CREDITS

ELLIOT EASTON -- six & twelve string guitars (electric & acoustic), electric sitar, synthesizer guitar, bass & lead vocals
STEPHEN GEORGE -- drums
STEPHEN HAGUE -- synthesizers
JULES SHEAR -- background vocals
Brad Hallen -- bass
Jon Mathias -- engineer, additional background vocals, additional synthesizers
Carol Friedman -- art direction, photography
Carin Goldberg -- design
Quietfire -- grooming
Gerard Bianchi -- styling

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US/CAN April 1985 Elektra LP/CS 60393  
UK/GER April 1985 Elektra LP 960 393  
US 1996 Rhino CDX R2 73514 w. bonus tracks

 

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