Back in December, Real Gone Music released the 40th Anniversary Edition of Debby’s Boone’s platinum You Light Up My Life album. At that time it was also revealed that Boone’s remaining Warner Bros./Curb Records albums were heading to CD for the first time as well. And now we have details on those releases. On April 6, Real Gone Music, in association with Curb Records, will release a pair of two-fer packages: Midstream/Debby Boone and Love Has No Reason/Savin’ It Up. Both of these long-awaited CD premieres also feature liner notes from our very own Joe Marchese including quotes from a new interview with Debby Boone.
With the massive success of the You Light Up My Life album and single in late 1977, a quick-up follow-up was inevitable. Joe Brooks, who had written and produced the song, was contractually guaranteed to be involved and would provide five tunes he had written to the eventual sophomore LP. Most were written for his movie If Ever I See You Again. However, Boone had grown dissatisfied working with Brooks, and moved to change producers after the contractual obligations to him were complete. She turned to Brooks Arthur, an in-demand record engineer who had moved into producing and had worked with Dusty Springfield, Carole Bayer Sager, and Janis Ian, among others. This change prompted the name of the album: Midstream, which was released in July 1978. Arthur selected songs for the project written by some of the biggest names in pop and rock including Carole Bayer Sager, Peter Allen, Goffin & King and Mann & Weil. The Sherman Brothers’ beautiful “When You’re Loved” from the film The Magic of Lassie was featured in a new pop arrangement. “God Knows,” co-written by Herman’s Hermits’ Peter Noone, went Top 20 on the AC chart and also hit the country chart. “California,” from the Joe Brooks sessions, was released prior the album and also went Top 20 AC.
Brooks Arthur was also at the helm for Debby Boone’s self-titled and equally excellent third solo LP, released in August 1979. The album would again be a mix of new songs and well-chosen covers. The original material even included pair of disco-influenced tracks: “Jaimie” and “Meet Me on the Dance Floor.” The covers included Sandie Shaw’s “Girl Don’t Come,” The 5th Dimension/Johnny Maestro and the Brooklyn Bridge’s “The Worst That Could Happen” and The Miracles’ “Choosey Beggar.” Boone also re-interpreted a pair of Connie Francis hits: “Breakin’ in a Brand New Broken Heart” and “My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own.” Both hit the Country charts, with “My Heart” going to No .11. This would preview the next direction Boone’s music would take.
Recorded in Nashville with uber-producer Larry Butler, Debby Boone’s next album would be March 1980’s Love Has No Reason. Butler had previously worked with country stars such as Johnny Cash, Dottie West and Crystal Gayle, among others. He had also produced the recordings which propelled Kenny Rogers to superstardom. For Boone’s album, he selected tracks of a recent country vintage. Debby’s version of Norman Sallitt’s “Take It Like a Woman” would hit the Country charts and her cover of singer-songwriter Diane Pfeifer’s “Free To Be Lonely Again” would reach No. 14 on the same chart. But it was “Are You On the Road to Lovin’ Me Again” which gave Boone the biggest hit of her Nashville period when it went to the peak of the Country chart in May 1980. The Love album itself would go to No. 17 on the Country albums chart.
Boone teamed again with Butler for Savin’ It Up, released at the end of 1980 as her final Warner Brothers/Curb Records album. Most of the material was a continuation of the recent-country direction of the previous Butler-helmed LP and featured some of the same songwriters. Boone once again covered Diane Pfeifer with “Perfect Fool,” which went to the Top 40 on the Country charts. But there were some other genres represented with songs like Carole Bayer Sager and Peter Allen’s “Only Wounded” and Arthur Alexander’s R&B oldie “Every Day I Have to Cry.” Between Love Has No Reason and Savin’ It Up, Boone recorded the contemporary Christian album With My Song for her father’s Lamb and Lion label. She would remain in this realm for 25 years, not recording another wholly secular album until 2005’s Reflections of Rosemary, a collection of standards in tribute to her late mother-in-law Rosemary Clooney.
Real Gone’s Love Has No Reason/Savin’ It Up is expanded by five bonus tracks from the period. There are a trio of non-LP sides included: 1978’s “In Memory of Your Love” and “See You in September” and “Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool” from 1979. “Paris Without You” is an unreleased outtake from the Brooks Arthur sessions. Lastly, “When I’m With You, I’m Feelin’ Good,” a duet with Pat Boone, hails from the 1978 movie Matilda. (Predating the famous 1988 Roald Dahl novel with the same title, the film comedy revolves around a boxing kangaroo!) Both of these CDs come in a digipak and feature a deluxe booklet with rare photographs and Joe’s liner notes with quotes from Debby. The Midstream/Debby Boone set also features new reminiscences from producer Brooks Arthur and arranger Artie Butler. Both two-fers have been newly remastered by Mike Milchner at SonicVision.
If you’d like to give these titles a try and complete your Debby Boone collection on April 6, we’ve got the full tracklisting and preorder links below!
- God Knows
- What Becomes of My World
- Another Goodbye
- Don’t You Love Me Anymore
- Oh No, Not My Baby
- I’d Rather Leave While I’m In Love
- When You’re Loved
- When It’s Over
- Come Share My Love
- It Was Such A Good Day
- If Ever I See You Again
- Girl Don’t Come
- The Worst That Could Happen
- With All of My Love
- Theme from The Promise (I’ll Never Say Goodbye)
- Choosey Beggar
- Breakin’ In A Brand New Broken Heart
- Meet Me On the Dance Floor
- My Heart Has A Mind of Its Own
- You Took My Heart By Surprise
- I’d Rather Be Alone
Tracks 1-12 from Midstream, Warner Bros./Curb Records LP BSK 3130, 1978
Tracks 13-23 from Debby Boone, Warner Bros./Curb Records LP BSK 3301, 1979
- Are You On the Road To Lovin’ Me Again
- I Wish That I Could Hurt That Way
- Just When I Needed A Love Song
- Even A Fool Would Let Go
- Free To Be Lonely Again
- I’d Even Let You Go
- Put A Song In My Heart
- When It’s Just You and Me
- If It’s So Easy
- Take It Like A Woman
- It’ll Be Him
- Isn’t That Just Like Love
- Every Day I Have To Cry
- Only Wounded
- Perfect Fool
- Savin’ It Up
- Too Many Rivers
- Never Say Never
- When You Love Me
- Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool
- See You In September
- In Memory of Your Love
- When I’m With You, I’m Feelin’ Good
- Paris Without You
Tracks 1-10 from Love Has No Reason, Warner Bros./Curb Records LP BSK 3419, 1980
Tracks 11-20 from Savin’ It Up, Warner Bros./Curb Records LP BSK 3501, 1980
Track 21 from Warner Bros./Curb Records single WBS49107, 1979
Track 22 from Warner Bros./Curb Records single WBS49042, 1979
Track 23 Warner Bros./Curb Records single WBS8700, 1978
Track 24 previously unreleased in the U.S.
Track 25 previousy unreleased