July 10, 2023

Michael Thompson is a name that is synonymous with high quality music and his name adorns more albums that you could possibly count as he has been a session guitarist to the stars for many years, quite simply, If he is involved in your project then you know that he brings a smooth quality and gravitas that takes professionalism to another level.

Thompson was born in New York in 1954 but it is in Los Angeles that he has made his name, being a stalwart of the session scene, and credits with the likes of Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Phil Collins, Rod Stewart, Scorpions, Vince Neil, Christina Aguilera, Michael Bolton, Mariah Carey, Bette Midler, Madonna, Stanley Clarke and Ricky Martin speak volumes about the standing in which he is held and the fluidity and flexibility of his musical styles. He has also run his own solo career alongside this with a particular emphasis on West Coast flavoured AOR that is super smooth and glossy being very much in the same style as bands like Toto, Foreigner, Survivor, Mr. Mister and Cutting Crew. He is a master guitarist paying slick and insightful solos and breaks and always keeping within the framework of the song so that a note is never wasted and shredding is quite simply left for other guitarists to indulge in.

The first Michael Thompson Band album, How Long, was released way back in 1998 (reissued with bonus tracks in 2007) and this rapidly became an acknowledged AOR classic and if you haven’t done so already then this is a must hear record. The album also featured the sumptuous voice of Moon Calhoun (The Strand, Moon Over Paris) and he has returned to the fold seamlessly picking up his partnership with Thompson making them almost the perfect voice and guitar combination. Thompson has written the songs with his bassist Tom Croucier and they are all class filled affairs and would have filled the airwaves back in the ’80s when it was all about the music and not the cult of personality or the next big boy/girl band! The record follows on from the mighty fine Love & Beyond which came out in 2019 and is an extension of the great work on that album and shows that Thompson is in great form.

If you like prefer your music to be of the sophisticated, AOR/melodic variety then this album could virtually be the template for quality and professionalism and sets the bar at the highest level for any wannabees. ‘Dad rock’ maybe but it simply does not get better than this from a musician who has contributed so much to the rock world.

The Love Goes On

  1. The Love Goes On (5:29)
  2. Whispers And Dreams (4:58)
  3. War Of The Hearts (5:16)
  4. In Your Arms (4:36), All Of It (4:25)
  5. Just What It Takes (4:58)
  6. My Forever June (5:29)
  7. Higher (4:57)
  8. Out Of Nowhere (4:57)
  9. What Keeps You Alive (4:58)
  10. A Picture Of You (4:55)
  11. Wheelchair (bonus track) (4:31)