May 142017
 

from LIVE

written by David Foster, Carole Bayer Sager & Peter Allen

In 1984, veteran superstar Johnny Mathis released a new record simply titled Live. Recorded in London the previous year, Live presented a nice selection of Mathis’ evergreens like “The Twelfth Of Never,” “Misty,” “Chances Are” and “A Certain Smile.” A smart twist to the tracks was given with the inclusion of well-dosed covers of modern pop songs like Kenny Loggins’ “I Believe In Love,” Albert Hammond’s “99 Miles From L.A.” and the late Peter Allen’s (February 10, 1944 to June 18, 1992) “Fly Away.” The classy production by Denny Diante enriched the sound with deluxe arrangements courtesy of the gifted pens of the late Eugene “Gene” Page (September 13, 1939 to August 24, 1998) and Michel Colombier (May 23, 1939 to November 14, 2004) plus Mathis’ band members Larry Steelman and Gil Reigers. Allen’s “Fly Away” was co-written by Allen with David Foster and Carole Bayer Sager and was one of the highlights of Live.

The original recording of “Fly Away” was in 1980 by Allen on the late singer/songwriter overlooked, Foster-produced gem Bi Coastal. “Fly Away” entered Billboard’s Hot 100 twice. First with Allen’s single then, in 1981, with a silky cover by the late Stephan “Stevie” Woods (July 2, 1951 to January 28, 2014). Both versions were previously reviewed and can be rescued in our archives. Woods was a very good singer with a phrasing and tone quite similar to Mathis’. Woods went on to release a string of smooth soul albums in the eighties. Arranged by pianist Steelman, Mathis’ take on “Fly Away” followed the lines of Woods’ version in both its elegant instrumental scenario and the revered singer’s vocal performance.

Live was the second of a three album collaboration between Mathis and Diante. The two other works, A Special Part Of Me and Right From The Heart, were studio recordings and delicious adult pop/soul collections. All three recordings had great songwriting and arranging that bore more than a musical reference to the deluxe sounds of the Al Jarreau camp. Check them out!


Listen

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Lead Vocals: Johnny Mathis
Bass: Michael Bach
Drums: Joe Lizama
Guitar: Gil Reigers
Piano: Larry Steelman

Conductor: Jim Ganduglia
Produced by Denny Diante


Lyrics

You’re an anchor, I’m uptight
You’re what gets me through the night
You keep me steady and on course
Til’ I found you I was lost
But you’re the earth and I’m sky
And sometimes if I go to high
Well then you pull a string that pulls me back
If not for you I might lose track

And I might fly away
Oh I might fly away, and go my own way
To places that we’ve never been together
I might fly away (fly away), take to the sky some day
But not for now, not today
Nobody here is flyin’ away, away

You have reasons, I have dreams
So we’re perfect, so it seems
You talk fortunes, I tell the truth
Kept me from my crazy youth
When you’re near me I fee-eel whole
I don’t have to rock and roll
I don’t worry, I don’t think
But baby hold me close and I won’t break

I just might fly away
Oh I might fly away, and go my own way
To places that we’ve never been together
I might fly away (fly away), take to the sky some day
But not for now, not today
Nobody here is flyin’, flyin’ away
Oh I might fly away (fly away)
I might fly away (fly away)
But not for now-ow, not today
Nobody here is flyin’ away (flyin’ away)
Oh I might fly away (flyin’ away)
I might fly away, take to the sky some day
But not for now, not today