from READ MY LIPS
Written by David Foster, Fee Waybill & Steve Lukather
Read My Lips was the debut album of The Tubes’ lead singer and main songwriter, Fee Waybill. Released in 1984, Read My Lips was produced by David Foster and sounded like a textbook for the most refined AOR (Adult Oriented Rock). Foster brought his usual dream team to work on the record including famed engineer Humberto Gatica and hot session aces including Jerry Marotta, John Robinson and the late Jeff Porcaro (1954 to 1992) on drums, Larry Klein on bass with Steve Lukather and Michael Landau playing guitars.
Lukather, the legendary Toto axe-man, played a big role on Read My Lips by co-writing the bulk of the album with Waybill and Foster. Already responsible for The Tubes’ one-two chart punch of “Talk To Ya Later” and “She’s A Beauty,” the trio of writers came up with a series of solid rock numbers that were channeled through the Hitman’s trademark high-tech atmospheres and showcased various funk and pop influences. These pages were already graced by goodies from Read My Lips including “Caribbean Sunsets,” “Who Loves You Baby” and “Nobody’s Perfect.” This week, the spotlight goes on the album’s power ballad, “I Don’t Even Know Your Name (Passion Play).”
Another Foster, Waybill and Lukather co-write, “I Don’t Even Know Your Name (Passion Play)” was a killer rock ballad in a catchy style not too far from Lukather’s own legendary band Toto or the contemporary hits of Bryan Adams or Foreigner. Foster’s stamp was all over the radio-friendly arrangement; from the keyboard-driven intro to the powerful climax of the bridge with guitars and strings supporting Waybill’s heartfelt vocal performance. The veteran singer probably doesn’t have as distinctive a voice as other rock stars, but his passion and strength make up for it. Overall, the results were first class. Listening to these kinds of songs makes it easy to understand the chart potential of Read My Lips. All its musical qualities and radio-friendly appeal were killed by Capitol Records’ inexplicable decision to give the album zero support at a time when Foster ruled the North American charts. The Hitman was by the sides of Chicago, Kenny Rogers, Chaka Khan and Olivia Newton-John when many of their songs that he produced became certified hits.
Lead Vocals: Fee Waybill
Keyboards: David Foster
Guitars: Steve Lukather & Michael Landau
Drums: Jerry Marotta
Bass: Larry Klein
Percussion Overdubs: Humberto Gatica
Synthesizer Strings Arranged by Jeremy Lubbock
Produced & Arranged by David Foster