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Tom Jans - The Eyes Of An Only Child (1993)

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97ff247206a77de275df94bb06f3f20e.jpg [b]Artist[/b]: Tom Jans [b]Title Of Album[/b]: The Eyes Of An Only Child [b]Year Of Release[/b]: 1975/1993 [b]Label[/b]: Sony Records / SRCS 6282 [b]Genre[/b]: Folk-Rock [b]Quality[/b]: FLAC (tracks+.cue) [b]Bitrate[/b]: Lossless [b]Total Time[/b]: 43:17 [b]Total Size[/b]: 243 mb [b]Tracklist:[/b] (1) Gotta Move (4:15) (2) Once Before I Die (3:15) (3) Where Did All My Good Friends Go? (4:50) (4) Inside of You - (3:05) (5) Struggle in Darkness - 5:40) (6) Out of Hand - (3:15) (7) The Lonesome Way Back When - (4:20) (8) Lonely Brother - (5:45) (9) Directions And Connections - (4:35) (10) The Eyes Of An Only Child - (3:35)
The Eyes of a Child is an album by folk singer/songwriter Tom Jans released in 1975. It has never been re-issued on CD, though deserving because of sheer quality. Just like his girlfriend Valerie Carter, Tom Jans was a representative of the typical LA-sound of the seventies. Little Feat's Lowell George was the executive producer of the album and also played guitars on it. Anyone who likes the songs of Jackson Browne, Gram Parsons, Warren Zevon or the Eagles should also listen to this forgotten gem.
The ending of the review in the Dutch music magazine Oor in 1975 explains it all: "each song deserves a more extended description than I can give here. He is observing himself and his environment and is doing that in such a compelling way that he deserves more than just a rave review. A musical candy for long winter nights."
"Lowell George had a good effect on [this] album. The guy is a genius." - Tom Jans 1977
Folk singer/songwriter Tom Jans was born February 9, 1948, in Yakima, WA. The son of a farmer (whose own mother played in a jazz group dubbed the Rocky Mountain Five), he was raised outside of San Jose, CA, weaned in equal measure on the Hank Williams records beloved by his father and the flamenco of his mother's native Spain. Ultimately, the Beatles proved Jans' most profound influence and as a teen he learned guitar and piano, writing poems he later set to music. After playing in a high-school rock & roll band dubbed the Breakers, Jans studied English literature at the University of California, turning down a graduate scholarship to Columbia University to pursue a career as a performer and songwriter.
Shortly after graduation he was playing in a San Francisco coffee shop when, in 1970, he met Jeffrey Shurtleff, a singer who previously collaborated with Joan Baez. Shurtleff soon introduced Jans to Baez, who in turn introduced him to her younger sister Mimi, who with her late husband Richard Fariña recorded a series of cult-classic folk LPs for Vanguard. After a failed second marriage and a stalled career as a dancer, Mimi Fariña was seeking to return to music. Jans, reminiscent of Fariña in so many respects, seemed the ideal collaborator, and together they began performing in Bay Area clubs, earning widespread notice for their breakout performance at the Big Sur Folk Festival. From there, the duo toured in support of Cat Stevens and later James Taylor before signing to A&M to record an LP, 1971's Take Heart. The album generated little interest outside of folk circles, and Jans and Fariña soon dissolved their partnership, with the former relocating to Nashville to resume his career as a songwriter. There he joined the publishing house Irving/Almo as a staff writer, scoring his first hit with "Loving Arms," initially recorded by Dobie Gray and later covered by Elvis Presley and Kris Kristofferson.
In 1974 Jans issued his self-titled solo debut, recorded with the assistance of guitarist Lonnie Mack and producer Mentor Williams. Despite critical acclaim, the record earned little commercial attention and he returned to California, settling in Los Angeles and entering an 18-month period of seclusion that yielded the songs comprising his Lowell George-produced sophomore effort, 1975's The Eyes of an Only Child. Featuring the country-rock gem "Out of Hand" (later a Nashville chart-topper for singer Gary Stewart) as well as the minor FM radio hit "Struggle in Darkness," this record also reached only a small cult audience, and when the following year's Dark Blonde -- considered by many to be Jans' masterpiece -- met the same fate, he fled to Europe, telling interviewers of plans to record a new album over the summer months.
The years to follow remain something of a mystery: no new material appeared and instead Jans dropped from sight until 1982, when a new LP Champion appeared solely in a limited-edition release on the Japanese label Canyon International, its existence virtually unknown in the U.S. Sometime in late 1983, Jans was injured in a serious motorcycle accident. While his long-term prognosis appeared positive, he died March 25, 1984, of a suspected drug overdose. Tom Waits later paid homage to Jans with the Bone Machine cut "Whistle Down the Wind." ~ Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide
Here's what Tom Waits said about "Whistle Down the Wind" (for Tom Jans): "He's an old friend of ours who died in '83. A songwriter and friend of Kathleen's and mine. From the central coast of California, kind of a Steinbeck upbringing in a small town. We dedicated it to him. He wrote 'Lovin' Arms.' Dobie Gray recorded it, and also Elvis did it. He used to play with Mimi Farina. It was written about another friend, but it was the kind of song that Tom Jans would have written. He was there in spirit."
The album's theme, "eyes of a child", is also reflected in the design of the jacket. The suggestive monochrome photos for this album and the next one, "Dark Blonde", were taken by Ethan Russell. Russell was famous for his photographs for rock album covers, such as the Beatles' "Let It Be", or The Who's "Quadrophenia", but for me personally, his name will always be linked with the cover photos for McGuiness Flint's "When I'm Dead and Gone" and Lambert & Nuttycombe's album at A&M Records, "At Home".
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