Walter Egan

Apocalypso Now

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Apocalypso Now is Walter Egan's eighth solo album, though fans can be forgiven for missing out on his sixth, Lost Album (aka Mad Dog Album), recorded in the 1980s but not released until 2000, and seventh, Walternative, released in 1999, and supposing that he has been inactive as a solo artist since the release of Wild Exhibitions on MCA in 1983. Essentially a one-hit wonder, Egan gained his greatest exposure in the late '70s largely through his association with members of the then-white-hot Fleetwood Mac, who produced and appeared on his records. His one major hit, 1978's "Magnet and Steel," featured backing vocals by the group's Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. Nearly a quarter-century since his heyday, he is living in Nashville, and Apocalypso Now is one of the first releases on the independent Gaff Music label. The journeyman rocker, whose career dates back to the 1960s, picks up where he left off; Apocalypso Now contains the kind of sophisticated pop/rock typical of the late '70s. "Only Love Is Left Alive," for example, sounds like it could have been an outtake from Fleetwood Mac's Rumours. And Egan harks back even further: "The Reason Why" recalls the Byrds, circa 1966, and an untitled hidden track at the end is a '50s-style rockabilly number. This is music more of style than content (though the lyrics are full of references to regret and the passage of time), and what's missing is the kind of expensive studio sound Egan's '70s peers used to revel in. Instead, the album sounds like a demo for the kind of records he used to make. Nevertheless, anyone who feels that pop music took a wrong turn in the early '80s and longs for the glory days of '70s Southern California rock should feel right at home.

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