Friday, March 31, 1989

Giraffe released The View from Here this month

The View from Here


Released: March 1989

Peak: --

Sales (in millions): --

Genre: neo prog rock


Click on a song title for lyrics.

  1. Home [1:47]
  2. Progress [8:15]
  3. From Here to There [2:34]
  4. All Fall Down [6:22]
  5. The Way Back Home [5:01]
  6. Waiting for the Rain [4:29]
  7. Holding on with Both Hands [4:43]
  8. I Will Survive [5:26]
  9. Air Dance [5:46]
  10. Welcome Home [5:05]

Total Running Time: 48:58

The Players:

  • Kevin Gilbert (vocals, keyboards, bass, guitar)
  • Stan Cotey (guitar, keyboards)
  • Michael Abowd (keyboards)
  • Chris Beveridge (bass)
  • J. Scott Smith (drums)

Additional Musicians:

  • Robert Ferris (keyboards, vocals)
  • Tom Politzer (sax ensemble and solos on “All Fall Down” and “Waiting for the Rain”)
  • Susan Moretti (vocals on “Air Dance”)
  • Steve Watts (drums)


3.065 out of 5.00 (average of 9 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

The View from Here was the second and final studio album from Giraffe, “a pretty good bay area pop band led by Kevin Gilbert…[whose] sound leans toward progressive and maybe even fusion a little.” SF “Kinda danceable poppy prog.” SF The View from Here is loaded with great hooks, excellent vocals, and taped gimmicks between the tracks to give sort of a continuity feel.” SF

Giraffe member Scott Smith says of the album, “This was another stellar Kevin Gilbert production. It had vision, great songs, and kept the whole progressive, yet commercial aspect of Giraffe intact. I still think it’s a wonderful record.” SS

The album was finished fresh off the band’s return from Band Explosion, an international competition for unsigned bands in which they took second. Ironically, the band’s success would be their undoing as Gilbert would be approached by producer Pat Leonard, a judge from the contest, about forming the band Toy Matinee.

Both this album and its predecessor are very rare, reportedly with only printings of 500 for the first and 1000 for the second. However, most of the songs from the two albums were made available on the 1999 Giraffe compilation, available through The View from Here was represented by 8 tracks; only Waiting on the Rain and I Will Survive failed to make the cut.

Two of the songs from this album would also show up again on future Gilbert solo releases. An altered version of All Fall Down graced Gilbert’s first solo effort, 1995’s Thud. The updated version added a third verse that more subtly built into the “all fall down” chorus. The original chorus, with the line “Down, down, down, they all fall down/ Buildings and bridges while we just stand around” was modified in the ’95 version to close the song. The stronger verse says “Buildings and bridges all leveled to the ground/ Cities and nations and we stand around/ Someone unlocked the big cage and the beast cannot be found/ So strike up the music and we’ll all fall down.”

Compare the lyrics for the two songs here:

Similarly, the song From Here to There was revisited years later on Gilbert’s posthumous second solo album The Shaming of the True. It wasn’t lyrically changed, but it’s theme of finding a way back home fit well into the latter album’s concept of a fallen rock star trying to, well, find his way back home.

Notes: The Kevin Gilbert estate released the two Giraffe albums, The Power of Suggestion and The View from Here, in a set with a DVD which features a nine-song live set from the Gold Star CafĂ© at Mountain View, California on April 28, 1988. It also has an interview and the two songs they performed at the Yamaha Soundcheck National Finals at the Universal Ampitheatre in Los Angeles, California on September 16, 1988; an interview by Michelle Blaine with Kevin Gilbert; and video of the Band Explosion World Final at the Fuji Television Studio in Tokyo, Japan, from February 9-12, 1989. Finally, the DVD includes a video of “This Warm Night.” The set is available at

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First posted 4/2/2008; updated 6/5/2021.

Saturday, March 25, 1989

Mike + the Mechanics “The Living Years” hit #1

The Living Years

Mike + the Mechanics

Writer(s): Brian Robertson, Mike Rutherford (see lyrics here)

Released: December 27, 1988

First Charted: December 31, 1988

Peak: 11 US, 12 CB, 2 GR, 2 RR, 14 AC, 5 AR, 2 UK, 12 CN, 11 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.4 UK

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 23.6 video, 79.63 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Guitarist, bassist, and songwriter Mike Rutherford made his name with Genesis, but at the height of their success formed Mike + the Mechanics as a side project. Their 1985 self-titled debut produced the top-ten hits “Silent Running” and “All I Need Is a Miracle.” Rutherford returned to Genesis and they peeled off five top-ten hits from their 1986 Invisible Touch album. Another Mechanics album followed in 1988 and produced an unlikely chart-topper about “losing one’s father before having the chance to say what is in one’s heart.” FB

Rutherford’s father, William, had been in the Navy and served in World War II as well as the Korean War. He and Mike didn’t get along well. William even tried to ban his son from playing guitar, but eventually came around when Mike joined Genesis and even bought some equipment for him and let the band stay at his house. SG

Still, the two never had a close relationship. Mike said, “Fathers and sons of my generation just didn’t say things like ‘I love you’ to each other.” SG Mike was on tour with Genesis when his father died. He flew home for the funeral and then back to America in time for the next Genesis show. Rutherford’s third child was born a year later. In a weird coincidence, B.A. Robertson, with whom Rutherford had written “Silent Running,” also experienced the death of his father in 1986 and the birth of his son soon after. Between them, they crafted “The Living Years.”

Paul Carrack sang lead, as he had on “Silent Running.” He previously reached the top ten in the 1970s with Ace and the song “How Long.” He also sang “Tempted” for Squeeze in 1981. Carrack could relate to the song’s theme about losing one’s father as his own dad had died when Paul was 11. Carrack sings “in a sort of soulful bleat, but he never goes too crazy with it…The song’s chorus is a big, booming thing with a whole kids’ choir…But the quieter verses are what give the song its power.” SG Author Steve Sullivan calls it Carrack’s “finest performance ever.” SS The song has “a sleek sort of calm to it.”SG It “expresses important truths in an eloquent, moving way without succumbing to mawkishness.” SS


  • FB Fred Bronson (2007). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (4th edition). Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 723.
  • SG Stereogum (6/30/2021). “The Number Ones” by Tom Breihan
  • SS Steve Sullivan (2013). Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings (Volumes I & II). Scarecrow Press: Lanham, Maryland. Page 574.

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First posted 12/26/2022; last updated 1/13/2023.

Monday, March 20, 1989

Mother Love Bone “Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns” released

Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns

Mother Love Bone

Writer(s): -- (see lyrics here)

Released: March 20, 1989 (album cut)

First Charted: --

Peak: 3 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 9.8 video, 19.94 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns” was grunge before grunge was a thing – or least before the term became widespread as shorthand for “rock bands from Seattle dressed in flannel.” In reality, grunge can be dated back to as early as 1984 and the birth of Green River, a band who was a predecessor to Mother Love Bone.

When Green River disbanded in 1988, singer Mark Arm and guitarist Steve Turner went on to form Muhoney while bassist Jeff Ament, guitarist Stone Gossard, and guitarist Bruce Fairweather formed Mother Love Bone with singer Andrew Wood and drummer Greg Gilmore. In 1989, the group released the Shine EP which featured “Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns.”

The song is about Wood’s heroin addiction and Xana La Fuente, his fiancĂ©. To support the pair while he tried to break into the music industry, she took a job at a strip club (hence the title “Chloe Dancer”) but only lasted an hour. She said the song “is about a relationship ruined by drugs. He wrote it about our near breakup and how I tried to control him and the drugs.” SF

Wood seemingly got it under control for four months, but on March 19, 1990, he took heroin again and died from an overdose. His death meant the demise of Mother Love Bone right on the cusp of the release of their debut album, Apple. However, Ament and Gossard would go on to form Pearl Jam in 1991 and would also be part of Temple of the Dog, a tribute project for Wood.

Mother Love Bone wouldn’t get much attention until the grunge movement had kicked into high gear in 1992 because of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and others. Because Temple of the Dog merged members of the latter two bands, it gained attention and that subsequently raised the profile of Andrew Wood and Mother Love Bone. “Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns” specifically emerged as the go-to song for the band when it was included on the 1992 soundtrack for Singles, a Cameron Crowe-directed film set to the backdrop of the then-emerging Seattle music scene.


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First posted 12/16/2023.