Van Stephenson- China Girl [1981]

Van Stephenson - China Girl (LP front)

The rare and hard to find first album by VAN STEPHENSON… Released through the small label Handshake Records in 1981, “China Girl” was Stephenson’s entry into the music business as solo artist.

At the time Van was writing hit songs for artists from the Nashville scene (e.g. Restless Heart) and the songwriting for “China Girl” follow these musical roots. Originally songwriters becoming producers, Bob Montgomery & Jeff Silbar provided to “China Girl” a warm, melodic Mid-WestCoast sound, with some late ’70s / early ’80s AOR feel.

There’s many gems here such as the radio-friendly “Looks Like A Loser”, the climatic “Looks Like A Loser”, the awesome title track (with some Eagles on it), the dynamic “Lion In The Night” or the WestCoast midtempo “I Would If I Could”.
Van Stephenson’s voice is like an elegant lady velvet dress, just check his incredible performance on the exquisitely orchestrated “New York, Hold Her Tight”. It still gives me chills on my spine after dozens of listenings.

Absurdly never pressed on CD, had to be the Asians who did it last year (2013), but  still hard to get a copy. Delicious.

Band Members
Van Stephenson – Lead & Backing Vocals, Guitar
Wayne Perkins, Kenny Mims – Guitars
Larry Baxton – Bass
Mike Hanna – Keyboards
Shane Keister – Synthesizers
Joe English – Drums
Bob Montgomery – Wind Chimes

Tracks
01. You′ve Got A Good Love Coming
02. Looks Like A Loser
03. Seeing Is Believing
04. China Girl
05. Weekend Warrior
06. I Would If I Could
07. Tonight The Love’s On Me
08. Hotter In The Night
09. New York, Hold Her Tight
10. Lion In The Night

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