Chas Sandford – Parallax View [1982]

Chas Sandford - Parallax View

Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Chas Sandford moved to Los Angeles at age 15 where he met Ike Turner, which led to his first recording session with the Ike & Tina Turner band. This was the beginning of Chas’ professional career, which has included success as a session/live musician, producer, engineer, songwriter, recording artist, publisher and studio owner.  As a producer & engineer, Chas has worked with big names such as Chicago, Stevie Nicks, Rod Stewart, Roger Daltrey, Berlin, Jimmy Barnes and tons more.

But Chas Sandford is mainly known in AOR circles for his cooperation with John Waite co-writing the timeless classic hit ‘Missing You’.  By 1982, Sandford got the opportunity to record his solo debut LP “Parallax View”. The album included songs that were soon covered by Waite on his solo debut, Sammy Hagar, Rick Springfield and Sheila B. Devotion.  When three of the songs he was writing for a planned second album turned into a #1 hit for Waite (‘Missing You’) and Top 5 singles for both Stevie Nicks (‘Talk to Me’) and Chicago (‘What Kind of Man Would I Be’), Sandford found himself one of the most in-demand producer/songwriters in the business, with other of his songs recorded by a list that includes Tina Turner, Rod Stewart, Roger Daltrey, Alison Krauss… But let’s go back to “Parallax View”.

The disc is full of radio friendly AOR flavored rock & pop tunes with the typical sound of the first half of the ’80s.  Opener “Surrender” has an irresistible catchy melody and great harmony vocals. Sandford has an educated throat, owner of an expert modulation and a distinctive & sweet timbre.  Next track “Limelight” will remind you the good ol’ Rick Springfield, followed by “Temptation”, later popularized by John Waite on his solo debut ‘Ignition’. Chas’ take is more light-AOR but includes sparkling keyboards and an organic classic style. “We’ve Said Enough” is a jumpin’ rock with a quirky and interesting intro, while “Desperate Times” adds some studio tricks to its classic rock mould.

Side ‘B’ opens with the wonderful AORish “Still Crazy For You”, covered by Rick Springfield in his album ‘Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet’. I love how Chas builds the instrumental melody on this song, sustained by a deep bass and clean electric guitars. “Real Man” is a simple rocker not particularly interesting, but follower “Julia” is a great track, starting slowly and intimate, and in the middle turns into an uptempo foot-tapping rocker. “Waiting For The Night” is driven by a dry guitar riff, and after a cool bridge the chorus is powerful and rocking. It’s a special song to be performed live. The vinyl ends with one of the best tracks, the AOR midtempo “Hope Against Hope”, decorated with nice keyboards and a great refrain. This is a cleverly composed tune that shows Sandford’s ability as songwriter. Not an ordinary song for sure.

Very well produced, engineered and recorded by Sandford himself between France, England and USA with a warm and open sound, “Parallax View” was released by a major label (Elektra/Asylum), but strangely it wasn’t re-issued on CD yet. According to Chas Sandford, there’s negotiations for a re-release very soon.

Band Members
Chas Sandford – Lead & Backing Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Tony The Doctor Braunagel – Drums & Percussion
Jamie Herndon – Keyboards, Guitar
Craig Nelson – Bass, Backing Vocals
Duncan MacKay – Synths
George Englund – Sax
James Hayman, Bill Champlin, Carmen Grillo – Backing Vocals

Tracks
01. Surrender
02. Limelight
03. Temptation
04. We’ve Said Enough
05. Desperate Times
06. Still Crazy For You
07. Real Man
08. Julie
09. Waiting For The Night
10. Hope Against Hope

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