from KNOCK THE WALLS DOWN
Written by Steve Kipner
Steve Kipner is a very successful pop songwriter and producer. During the course of Kipner’s 40-plus year career, he has written or co-written huge hits including “Physical” for Olivia Newton John, “Hard Habit To Break” for Chicago, “Impulsive” for Wilson Philips, “Breakeven” for The Script and “Genie In A Bottle” for Christina Aguilera. His songs are recorded by a who’s who of acts comprising of America, Cher, Sheena Easton, the late Al Jarreau and Joe Cocker, Diana Ross, Huey Lewis & The News and George Benson.
Around the end of the seventies, Kipner, also an enjoyable singer, was part of the David Foster/Jay Graydon circle. Kipner co-wrote several songs with the pair including a few key tracks on their seminal 1980 Airplay album. In 1979, Graydon produced Kipner’s debut album, Knock The Walls Down, that saw Foster in the musicians’ line-up. Also included were other studio wizards like Larry Carlton, Greg Mathieson, Jerry Hey, David Hungate and the late genius of Jeff Porcaro and Victor Feldman. Knock The Walls Down was one of those “unknown” quality pop masterpieces. For the top level of its songwriting, craft and production, Knock The Walls Down quickly gained cult status among the followers of the “West Coast” music movement.
Written by Kipner, the title-track was one of those breezy soft-pop songs that could fascinate listeners for its melodic power, yet was beefed up by a jazzy arrangement and some clever tempo changes. There was an outstanding instrumental background built up by Carlton on acoustic guitar, Graydon on electric guitar, Foster on keys plus Porcaro and Hungate driving the rhythm section. Though not a powerful singer of Bill Champlin’s or Richard Page’s caliber, Kipner’s pleasant voice and energetic performance fit the bill quite nicely. “Knock The Walls” was eventually covered by soul group Tavares on their 1980 Love Uprising album. Another refined jam from Knock The Walls Down was “School Of Broken Hearts” that can be found in the archives.
- Lead Vocals: Steve Kipner
- Acoustic Guitar: Larry Carlton
- Electric Guitars: Jay Graydon
- Rhodes & Oberheim: David Foster
- Synth Strings: Michael Omartian
- Percussion: Victor Feldman
- Bass: David Hungate
- Drums: Jeff Porcaro
- Background Vocals: Peter Beckett, J.C. Crowley & Steve Kipner
- Arranged by Jay Graydon & Steve Kipner
- Produced by Jay Graydon