Pages

Pages were an American adult-oriented rock band from Los Angeles that released the 1978–79 albums Pages and Future Street. Mainstays Richard Page and Steve George made a third album (also titled Pages) in 1981 on Capitol. They later co-founded Mr. Mister.

Members: Steve George (keyboards, vocals), Richard Page (vocals, piano, clavinet, guitar), John Lang (lyrics)


Background

Pages evolved from a friendship between musician–singers Richard Page and Steve George, both LA transplants from the Midwest.

Page (b. May 16, 1953) originally hailed from Keokuk, Iowa, and moved with his family to Phoenix, Arizona. His father served as the musical director of a local church while his mother served as Assistant Director of the Phoenix Boys Choir. As a teenager, Page acted in school musicals, including Oliver!

George (b. May 20, 1955) came from Bloomington, Indiana, and moved to Hollywood, where he befriended Page, another recent arrival. With George on keyboards, they joined a sequence of bands that gigged Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

In 1977, English pop singer Andy Gibb moved to Los Angeles to promote his first single, “I Just Want to Be Your Everything,” written by his older brother, Bee Gees frontman Barry Gibb. Andy employed Page and George as backing vocalists for his concert band, which also featured guitarist Peter Leinheiser, bassist Jerry Manfredi, and drummer Russ Battelene. After Gibb’s 1977 tour, the five musicians coalesced as Pages, a play on Richards surname.

Pages cut a demo of jazz-pop originals, which impressed Epic Records talent scout Bobby Colomby, the former Blood Sweat & Tears drummer (whose recent discovery, bassist Jaco Pastorius, now played with Weather Report). They prepared their first album and employed Richard’s cousin, John Lang, as their non-performing lyricist.


Pages

Pages released their self-titled debut album in 1978 on Epic. Richard Page sings lead on all tracks apart from Side A numbers “Let It Go” and “Listen for the Love,” both sung by Steve George. They co-composed seven songs with lyricist John Lang; four with input by bassist Jerry Manfredi (A5, B1, B3, B4), who contributed the jazz-rock instrumental “Love Dance.”

Musically, Pages encompasses smooth funk (“Clearly Kim,” “Room at the Top”) and quiet storm (“This Is for the Girls,” “I Get It from You”) with examples of funky blue-eyed soul (“Listen for the Love”) and lavish, sweeping balladry (“It’s Alright”).

George plays Fender Rhodes electric piano on seven cuts and Mini-Moog on five. He makes select use of grand piano (B4) and the Yamaha CS-80 (A3, B1) and Oberheim synthesizer (B4). Page resigns to vocals apart from select use of piano (B3), Clavinet (A1, B4), and one guitar solo (A3).

Musical guests include L.A. Express vibraphonist Victor Feldman (A2, B5), and the two Brecker Brothers: trumpeter Randy (A4) and tenor saxophonist Michael (B3). In addition to drummer Russ Battelene, Pages features three guests percussionists, including MPB sessionist Claudio Slon (A2–A4, B1) and Lee Ritenour sideman Steve Forman (A1, A5).

A1. “Clearly Kim” (3:23)
A2. “This Is for the Girls” (3:29) features backing vocals by Earth Wind & Fire tenor vocalist Philip Bailey.
A3. “Let It Go” (4:14) George harmonizes with prolific session singer Lani Groves (Stevie Wonder, Minnie Riperton, Syreeta).
A4. “Listen for the Love” (3:44)
A5. “Love Dance” (2:07)
B1. “If I Saw You Again” (3:24)
B2. “Interlude” (1:00) Arranger Dave Grusin composed this orchestral connecting piece, which segues into…
B3. “It’s Alright” (3:26)
B4. “Room at the Top” (3:50)
B5. “I Get It from You” (4:12)

Columby produced Pages in sequence with 1978 albums by The Jacksons (Destiny) and Eddie Palmieri (Lucumi, Macumba, Voodoo). Grusin handled string arrangements on “Love Dance” and all of Side B (barring “Room at the Top”).

Sessions occurred at six studios in Hollywood (A&M, Filmways, Larrabee, Sound City), Burbank (Location Recording), and London (CBS Studios). Location Recording staffer Michael Verdick engineered Pages ahead of albums by Fleetwood Mac protege Robbie Patton and Cleveland hopefuls Breathless.


Future Street

Pages released their second album, Future Street, in October 1979 on Epic. Richard Page and Steve George retain producer Bobby Columby and bassist Jerry Manfredi for this album, which features jazz-rock guitarist Charles “Icarus” Johnson and ex-Poco drummer George Lawrence.

Future Street features five songs group-composed by Page, George, Manfredi, and lyricist John Lang, including the assertive opener “I Do Believe In You” and the R&B-tinged title track. Lang wrote select songs individually with Page (“Take My Heart Away”) and George (“Two People”).

Page and George share keyboard and synthesizer credits. Two alternate musicians (guitarist Joey Trujillo, drummer Russell Battelene) play on “The Sailor’s Song” and “Take My Heart Away,” the latter with string arrangements by Dick Hazard.

Page co-wrote “Who’s Right, Who’s Wrong” with Kenny Loggins, whose own version appears on his concurrent album Keep the Fire. Loggins appears on Pages’ version along with sax soloist Michael Brecker, electric pianist Jai Winding, and Seawind trumpeter Jerry Hey, who arranged the five-piece horns (also used on “Keep On Movin”’).

A1. “I Do Believe In You” (4:00)
A2. “The Sailor’s Song” (4:20)
A3. “Take My Heart Away” (3:46)
A4. “Future Street” (4:09)
B1. “Who’s Right, Who’s Wrong” (4:18) features backing vocals by Loggins and George Hawkins.
B2. “Chemistry” (5:13) features rhythm guitarist Tim May.
B3. “Two People” (4:24) George lead vocals.
B4. “Keep On Movin'” (3:59)

Session took place in Burbank (Location Recording), Hollywood (Cherokee, Capitol Studios), and Universal City (Davlen Sound). Colomby (along with Claudio Slon and Don Alias) plays auxiliary percussion on Future Street, which he produced in sequence with Mother’s Finest Live.

Epic lifted “I Do Believe In You” as a single (b/w “Two People”). America covered the song on their 1980 album, Alibi. Jazz vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson arranged an instrumental version of “The Sailor’s Song” for his 1979 album, Un Poco Loco.

Pages lost Manfredi but retained Charles Johnson, a George Duke sideman with prior credits behind Airto Moreira, Raul de Souza, and Narada Michael Walden.


Pages

Pages released their self-titled third album in 1981 on Capitol. Richard Page and Steve George (who operate now as a duo) co-composed every song with lyricist John Lang. Select tracks feature additional writing input by producer Jay Graydon (A4, B2, B4) and guitarist Charles Johnson (A3, B3).

Bassist Neil Stubenhaus plays on everything except the two final tracks: “Fearless” (Abraham Laboriel) and “Midnight Angel,” which features “flute vocal effects” by Al Jarreau and Moog bass by George, who plays Yamaha CS-80 on the remaining tracks and makes select use of Mini-Moog (A1, A2, A4), Oberheim synth (A4), ARP 2600 (B3, B5), Fender Rhodes electric piano (five tracks), and the “Electric Power Oboe” (A2).

Pages features four drummers,: Toto‘s Jeff Porcaro (A1, A4, B3), freelancer Mike Baird (B2), and Zappa sidemen Ralph Humphrey (A2, B4) and Vinnie Colaiuta (A3, B1). Jazz-rock guitarist Steve Khan guests on “You Need a Hero,” the album’s opening track and single. Richard Page sings all lead and most harmonies but restricts his instrumentation to “Midnight Angel,” a minimal ballad with grand piano.

A1. “You Need a Hero” (3:43)
A2. “Tell Me” (3:52)
A3. “O.C.O.E. (Official Cat of the Eighties)” (5:00)
A4. “Come On Home” (3:27) features guest appearances by Khan, percussionist Paulinho Da Costa, and saxophonist Tom Scott.
B1. “Sesatia” (4:37)
B2. “Only a Dreamer” (4:30)
B3. “Automatic” (3:59)
B4. “Fearless” (4:20)
B5. “Midnight Angel” (4:30)

Bobby Colomby produced “You Need a Hero” and “Come On Home,” both engineered by prior soundman Michael Verdick. Graydon produced the remainder of Pages and co-engineered the album with Dawnbreaker Studios staffer Joseph Bogan. Guitarist Larry Carlton co-engineered “Only a Dreamer” with his brother Steve Carlton.

Graydon handled Pages in sequence with 1980–81 titles by Jarreau, Alan Sorrenti, George Benson, The Manhattan Transfer, and Airplay, his project with David Foster that also involved Porcaro and Baird.

Pages features a monochrome photo of Page and George by Phil Fewsmith, whose photography also graces covers to 1980–81 albums by Gary Myrick & The Figures, Tierra, and the Little River Band.

Columbia lifted “You Need a Hero” as a single (b/w “Midnight Angel”), followed by “Come On Home” (b/w “Sesatia”).


Post-Pages

Pages folded in late 1981 as Page and George immersed in sessions for numerous artists, including Barry Manilow, Carole Bayer Sager, Dionne Warwick, Donna Summer, Lee Ritenour, Randy Crawford, Roger Voudouris, and Sheena Easton.

In 1983, they teamed with drummer Pat Mastelotto and guitarist Steve Farris in Mr. Mister, a high-tech modern rock band that signed to RCA for the 1984–85 albums I Wear the Face and Welcome to the Real World. The latter spawned back-to-back Billboard No. 1 hits with “Broken Wings” and “Kyrie.”


Discography:

  • Pages (1978)
  • Future Street (1979)
  • Pages (1981)

Sources:

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