Alpha Band, The

Band members               Related acts

- T Bone Burnett - vocals, guitar, keyboards (1976-79)

- David Mansfield - guitar, mandolin, dobro, violin,

  keyboards (1976-79)

- Steven Soles - vocals, guitar, keyboards (1976-79)



- T Bone Burnett (solo efforts)




Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Spark In the Dark

Company: Arista

Catalog: AB-4145

Year: 1977

Country/State: US

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: original inner sleeve

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4449

Price: $8.00

Cost: $66.00


I remember hearing great things about this group when I was in high school, but being rather disappointed when I heard their first two albums at a friend's house.  Thirty years later I'm probably a little less critical and a little more musically open, though I'll readily admit I still don't know what all the fuss was about. 


From what little I can remember, singer/guitarists T Bone Burnett, David Mansfield and Steven Soles first met while supporting Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Review.  The resulting publicity attracted the attention of Clive Davis and Arista Records, which supposedly signed the band to a staggering $6 million contract.


Produced by Soles, 1977's "Spark In the Dark" had it's moments.  That said, the first time I heard this album I distinctly remember thinking these guys seemed to have a pretty high opinion of themselves.  Given my friends and I were into cultured bands such as Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top, this outfit seemed a little too academic and sophisticated for my tastes.  Judging by tracks such as ''Born In Captivity' and the Japanese novel 'Silver Mantis', I'll stick with those earlier comments, though this time around I'll readily admit that 'East of East', 'Adrenanlin' and 'Not Everything Has a Price' are all pretty good.  Having owned all three of their album, I'll also tell you this is the most accessible (particularly side two).  One thing I've always wondered about was the dedication - "This music is humbly offered in the light of the triune God."  I know it refers to God in the form of the holy trinity, but never knew which of the three principals was deeply devote.  Anyone know?


"Spark In the Dark" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) East of East   (T Bone Burnett - Steve Soles - Bob Neuwirth) - 

2.) Born In Captivity   (Arthur Buster Stahr) - 

3.) Blue Lonely Nights   (Steven Soles) - 

4.) Silver Mantis   (T Bone Burnett - J. Fleming) - 

5.) Honey Run (instrumental)   (K. O. Thomas) - 


(side 2)

1.) Adrenanlin   (Steven Soles - T. Bone Burnett - Jim Ganzer) - 

2.) You Angel You   (Bob Dylan) - 

3.) Not Everything Has a Price   (Steven Soles - T. Bone Burnett) -    

4.) Love and Romance   (Steven Soles) - 

5.) Mystified   (T. Bone Burnett) - 

6.) Spark In the Dark (On the Moody Existentialist)   (T. Bone Burnett) - 

7.) Jazz Hymn (istrumental)   (B. Ham) - 





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