Thursday 5/6/21 12am ET: Feature LP: Al Stewart – Russians & Americans (1984)

Russians & Americans is the tenth studio album by Al Stewart released in May 1984. The album featured many of the musicians from his short-lived backing band, Shot In The Dark, along with a number of studio musicians. The album was released on LP and then CD in both the United Kingdom and the United States. The US version deleted two tracks found on the UK version of the album and substituted two new tracks in their stead. In 1993, EMI (UK) released a compilation with tracks from both versions and three live tracks from “The Blue Album”.[1] The album was re-released on the Collector’s Choice label in 2007, with all tracks from both issues.

The track “1-2-3” is a cover of the Len Barry hit from 1965. However, instead of the romantic lyrics put forth with the original, Stewart has altered them using the context of political overreach and how such victimises other nations and indigenous peoples. In fact, very few of the song’s lines escape change excepting: “One, two, three, that’s how elementary it’s gonna be” and “…Like taking candy from a baby.”

Known for his songs that use historical events as inspiration, Stewart instead focused on the very real tensions between the two superpowers of 1983.

“The One that Got Away”
“Rumours of War”
“Night Meeting”
“Accident on the 3rd Street”
“Strange Girl”
“Russians & Americans”
“Cafe Society”
“One, Two, Three (1-2-3)”
“The Candidate”
“The Gypsy and the Rose”
“Lori, Don’t Go Right Now”
“Valentina Way”
“Year Of The Cat”
“Pink Panther/Song On The Radio”

Al Stewart – vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, keyboards
Denny Carmassi – drums
Steve Chapman – drums
Lynn Davis – backing vocals
Mike Fisher – percussion
Mike Flicker – percussion
Joyce Kennedy – backing vocals
Phil Kenzie – saxophone
Robin Lamble – bass, acoustic guitar, accordion
Marcy Levy – backing vocals
Marc “Caz” Macino – harmonica
Charity McCrary – backing vocals
Harry Stinson – drums
Peter White – accordion, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, keyboards
Adam Yurman – electric guitar
Len Barry- vocalist, songwriter, and record producer