Alan Gordon

Band members                             Related acts

- Alan Gordon (RIP 2008) -- vocals, keyboards


  supporting musicians:

- Peggy Castro -- backing vocals

- Bruce Caton -- percussion

- Steve Douglas -- sax

- Tim Drummond -- bass

- Venetta Fields -- backing vocals

- Carl Hall -- vocals, backing vocals

- Doug Katsaros  -- backing vocals

- Danny Kootch -- lead guitar

- Charles May -- backing vocals

- Elliott Randall -- lead guitar

- Emil Richards -- percussion

- Paul Schaeffer -- keyboards

- Alan Schwartzberg -- drums, percussion

- Rich Zito -- lead guitar




- The Barracudas

- Gary Bonner

- Elmo & Almo

- The Extragordinary Band

- The Magicians

- The Parrots

- The Planotones


Genre: pop

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Alley & the Soul Sneekers

Company: Capitol

Catalog: SW 11845

Country/State: Natick, Massachusetts

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: sealed; cut out hole top right corner

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 1281

Price: $30.00


Outside of hardcore collector circles, it's unlikely many folks have ever heard of the late singer/songwriter Alan Gordon.  That's a sad testament to ever changing public tastes since Gordon (frequently with songwriting partner Gary Bonner), was responsible for a slew of '60s and '70s hits for the likes of The Turtles 'Happy Together', Three Dog Night's 'Celebrate', Barbara Streisand's 'My Heart Belongs To Me', and scores of others.    Even unknown to most collectors is the fact Gordon recorded a series of rare solo LPs.



Not to sound mean-spirited, but you can make a good case that the title and art work adorning 1978's "Alley & The Soul Sneekers" alone guaranteed instant obscurity.   Produced and arranged by Jack Nitzsche, the album showcased an all-original collection heavy on ballads and MOR-ish pop tunes.   The good news was that Gordon had a very nice voice (particularly when he stayed away from his strained falsetto), and exhibited a knack for crafting catchy, highly commercial tunes.  The problem was material like 'I'm Comin' Down with a Thrill, 'Running Away Like a Child' and 'Let the Music Begin' was very MOR-ish, falling squarely into the same cutout bin as such mid-'70s cloy-masters as Morris Albert, Stephen Bishop, Christopher Cross, Rupert Holmes, etc.   In fact, listening to this set you came away with the impression these were polished demos intended to place Gordon tunes with outside artists.  The album certainly wasn't bad, just kind of middling and anonymous - even more so given Gordon's considerable talents.


"Alley & the Soul Sneekers" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Love Breakdown   (Alan Gordon) - 3:41

A lovely keyboard propelled ballad, 'Love Breakdown' was quite commercial, but must have sounded extremely old-fashioned when released.   The song's abrupt transition into a disco-tinged mid-section didn't really do much to improve the song.   Put it in the same category as Christopher Cross, Barry Manilow, and other MOR-ish mid-'70s acts.   For some reason Capitol tapped it as a single.  



- 1978's 'Love Breakdown' b/w 'Running Away Like A Child' (Capitol catalog number P-4678) rating: *** stars

2.) I'm Comin' Down with a Thrill   (Alan Gordon - Carole Bayer Sager) - 2:53

Poor guy - guess he didn't know that anything co-written by Carole Bayer Sager was going to be insipid and instantly forgettable.   The sappy, Caribbean-tinged ballad 'I'm Comin' Down with a Thrill' wasn't an exception to the rule.  Remember radio dreck like Rupert Holmes' 'Escape (The Pina Colada Song)' ?   This sounded like it was inspired by the same source.   rating: ** stars

3.) Cheater's Honeymoon    (Alan Gordon) - 3:15

4.) Caught In Another way with Love   (Alan Gordon) - 2:45

5.) Soul Sneekers   (Alan Gordon) - 2:27


(side 2)
1.) Understand Your Man   (Alan Gordon) - 2:27

2.) Over the Airwaves   (Alan Gordon) - 3:12

3.) Running Away Like a Child   (Alan Gordon) - 2:30

Geez, I remember thinking this one sounded like a Stylistics tune ...   I like The Stylistics and this had a beautiful melody, but the lyrics were nauseating and indulgent.   rating: *** stars

4.) Liberation   (Alan Gordon) - 2:44

5.) Let the Music Begin   (Alan Gordon) - 3:23

The falsetto was definitely an acquired taste, though the Gospel-tinged ballad was actually quite good; kind of a Gamble and Huff feel.  Would have been better in a lower key and striking the heavy orchestration.   rating: *** stars


Capitol catalog number SW-11913


I'm not sure why, but in 1979 Capitol reissued the album credited to Alley and the Sneekers.  Same track listing but a new if equally bland and off-putting cover art ...  Needless to say the album enjoyed the same commercial success as the original release.



Only 64, Gordon died of cancer in 2008.  


His son Christian has a nice tribute website with a short biography at: