ARTIST: Fee Waybill
TITLE: Read My Lips
YEAR RELEASED: 1984
CHART ACTION: #151
SINGLES: You’re Still Laughing, I Don’t Even Know Your Name (Passion Play)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Oh no. Not even Tubes fans bought this.
LINEUP: Fee Waybill and twenty three others. No one from the Tubes, but 2/3 of Toto is one here. So is Richard Marx. And John Cale co-wrote a song about Caribbean Sunsets. JOHN M’FN CALE!?!?!?! He must have needed the cash.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The singer of the Tubes, who were once satirists and at this time careerist rockists, records a solo album that’s so 1984, in a bad way, that it obscures any decent songs that could be lurking here.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Fee Waybill’s first solo album is something you should put in the time machine as an example of all of the mid-80’s mainstream pop/rock records. Keyboards abounding – keyboards as bass – keyboards as horns – keyboards as piano – keyboards as strings – keyboards as drums. Electronic drums. Guitar riffs that scream for no reason. Everything sounds…generic. Even the really fast one.
Waybill’s not technically a good singer, but he was good enough for the Tubes especially when they were more of a satirical band. Here, he’s trying to sing seriously, and he’s straining at every word. He doesn’t have the oomph for the fast ones nor the range and touch for the ballads.
This was a bad idea, poorly executed. It sounds slick and pristine, of course. David Foster produced this and it sounds like a hacky movie soundtrack. Why did I have this? Someone mixed one of the songs from this record for me and I liked it enough I kept it around. I’m regretting that.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Waybill wouldn’t release another solo album for 12 years. The Tubes were practically done as well. Oof.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: D: I could live a long and full life not having to listen to this ready-made 80’s pop-rock drivel again.