John Stewart

Blondes

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John Stewart's 1982 album, Blondes, on Allegiance isn't one of his spectacular works, but it maintains his pop-inflected folk-rock solo consistency. There's one notable exception, however -- that's the leadoff track, "Tall Blondes." It's quirky and brimming with jumpy energy. Frankly, it smacks of new wave, although there are no keyboards. These are musical descriptions not expected of an alumnus of folk gods the Kingston Trio, but it was 1982 after all. The nine other songs fall into more familiar Stewart territory. The breezy "The Queen of Hollywood High" features Linda Ronstadt on background vocals. "Judy in G Major" is spry, and Stewart's singing is edgier and more forceful than usual. Fleetwood Mac vocalist/guitarist Lindsey Buckingham contributes background vocals on "Jenny Was a Dream Girl." The supple "Blonde Star" nevertheless has a dark feel to it. Although Stewart produced and wrote all of the songs on Blondes, vocalist/rhythm guitarist/production assistant Chuck McDermott was integral to its creation. [Note: Blondes was reissued on CD by the German record company Line in 1990. Many of Stewart's solo albums from the 1970s and 1980s are available on CD through German labels.]

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