Wounded Bird does it again - digs up a classic, remasters it and re-releases it.
Michael Sembello is an amazing artist. This is the only album most people might recognize of his, because of the song "Maniac" from the movie Flashdance. But Michael had been at it a long time - he was part of Stevie Wonder's touring band in the early 70's and was a very in-demand session player, playing on albums for Randy Crawford, David Sanborn, the Jackson Five, Stephen Bishop and Sergio Mendez [which would be great future projects for Wounded Bird - Sergio Mendez' pop albums from the 80's]. He also wrote and/or produced songs for Chaka Khan, George Benson and Donna Summer to name a few.
I'm not sure why Warner Bros. dropped him, or whether he left on his own accord, but he moved to A&M Records and released "Without Walls", an incredible follow-up album in 1986. He re-appeared in 1992, releasing "Caravan Of Dreams" on Polydor. It didn't get much in the way of airplay, but it was also a phenomenal album. His prowess on multiple instruments, production and vocals is breathtaking.
In 1997, he re-appeared again, on another label, Columbia, for another incredible album "Backwards In Time". This album, however, was only released in Japan [Nippon Columbia]. Again, not much airplay, but some truly great music, musicianship, vocal performances and stellar songwriting. Michael's also written a lot of songs for films and several soundtracks. I guess he keeps busy but I don't think he has ever gotten his due, for the unbelievable amount of talent he has. A compilation was eventually released called "Ancient Future" for the Legend label in 2002. Another compilation called "The Lost Years" was released on the Italian label Frontiers Records in 2003.
Bossa Nova Hotel contains some great music - the other top 40 release from this album, "Automatic Man" opens it. But there are many TRULY great songs on this album, including "It's Over", which also should have been released as a single.
While this album has a place in most collections, I would urge anyone enjoying this album to search to find the other albums discussed above or either of his two compilations. All are difficult to find, but well worth the search. Wounded Bird would do well to release his whole catalog.