On this, their fourth studio album, you are treated to the unexpected missing link between James Taylor Quartet's early mod-cum-spy theme sound and the later polished acid jazz feel (which carried the band through to be the respected pioneer figures they are today) without sounding exactly like either of them. Having landed themselves with the big-budget U.K. label Polydor, James Taylor found he could indulge himself with the best in big jazz-funk sounds, employing what sounded suspiciously like more than a "quartet" to produce a collection of bold and brassy numbers that escalated the sounds of Johnny Hammond and Booker T into the late '80s. The album begins as it finishes, with a touching yet relentless jazz-rock instrumental groove combining clever chord structures and strong piano flourishes gliding over, of course, Taylor's trademark whirring Hammond organ.
Arista was poised to take Taylor Dayne beyond the dance tracks and drum beats which established her as a force to be reckoned with on her smash debut Tell It to My Heart. Can't Fight Fate, her sophomore outing, featured much more straight-ahead rock & roll, lush production, and top-notch songwriters (including Diane Warren, who penned her biggest hit "Love Will Lead You Back"). The album proved an even bigger success than her debut, scoring two Top Ten hits, one number one hit, and one Top 20 hit. Unfortunately, however, the momentum was lost after this album, and Taylor Dayne never again reached the commercial stratosphere she scaled with this set. The album's dance songs, such as the lead-off Top Five hit "With Every Beat of My Heart," feature more organic instrumentation, although there are a few straight-ahead dance tracks, such as "Up All Night." The ballads are lush and dramatic, and one of them, "Love Will Lead You Back," soared all the way to number one. The real killers, however, are the rock songs, and Taylor delivers like a true, seasoned rock star.
Sounds of the Seventies was a 38-volume series issued by Time-Life during the late 1980s and early-to-mid 1990s, spotlighting pop music of the 1970s.