Review: “Do You Wanna Get Away” by Shannon (Vinyl, 1985)


Today’s POP RESCUE from a loveless fate, is the 1985 second album ‘Do You Wanna Get Away’ by American singer, Shannon. Does this album feel like a great escape, or like a wet weekend in a caravan? Read on…

Shannon's 1985 album 'Do You Wanna Get Away'
Shannon’s 1985 album ‘Do You Wanna Get Away’

The album opens with lead single and titular track Do You Wanna Get Away, which is a beautiful slice of early 80s music. The light layered synths and drum machines are delightful, and Shannon’s vocals sit perfectly on top as she sings about wishing she could escape from her dead-end job (watch the video!). Sadly, the single was either not released, or didn’t chart, in the UK, and so we missed out on this gem.

Doin’ What You’re Doin’ follows this, and it starts with a slightly sinister sounding bassline and synth, before electric guitars get to roar in. This is less catchy, but all the same another great slice of 80s music and builds up nicely with some nice vocals from Shannon. It reminds me of some of Ray Parker Jr’s or Diana Ross tracks from the same era.

Stop The Noise is next bursting in with a dramatic synth sound before a beat drops in with some more delicious sounding synths. Shannon comes in with some soft vocals that race with this catchy mid-tempo track. There’s some really nice vocal harmonies here with the backing vocalists too.

Second single Stronger Together brings Side One of the LP to a close. This single did make it into the UK singles chart, peaking at #46. The track bursts open with some more amazing 80’s futuristic sounds that continue throughout, before heading into hand-claps, and what sounds like a forgotten gem of a Five Star track.

Side Two opens with the third and final single Urgent, which opens with what sounds like a bit of 80s Obligatory Saxophone riffing over a racing piano synth helping to build up the urgency in this song. Shannon’s vocals are quite laid-back here though, resulting in a sound a little like a laidback Pointer Sisters song, as the urgency feels a little muted. The saxophone gets a nice solo in the mid-section before leading us to the final third. Still, it’s a nice song, and whilst this track also struck the UK singles chart, its urgency stalled, leaving it peaking at #84. It deserved better.

Up next is Why Can’t We Pretend, and this is a nice light pop rock track, giving Shannon some vocals reminiscent at times of Tina Turner. The rockier beat and electric guitar solo help with this soundalike, and whilst it feels different from the rest of the tracks so far, the track remains nice and catchy.

This is followed by penultimate track Let Me See Your Body Move which commands some mid-tempo dancing as Shannon tells us she “wanna dance with you”. Occasionally her vocal performance makes her sound like the dancier moments of Dina Carroll. Whilst I think that this is a good track, it is the weakest one here and feels like it’s a bit lost towards the fade.

The album closes with Bedroom Eyes which sees Shannon get a tender track to end the album on. 80s Obligatory Saxophone returns to remind the listener that this is a romantic number. Again, I’m reminded of Five Star with this one. As the album closes to a fade, I assume Shannon slipped her jammies on and had an early night.

Shannon’s lead single ‘Do You Wanna Get Away?’

Verdict

I’m hoping that this album wasn’t even released in the UK, rather than admit that it failed to chart because this is a wonderful 80s album. I can very easily imagine just how exciting and cutting edge it must have sounded back in 1985, and quite frankly, it is a really enjoyable listen now, and the 80s styled synths really still work.

Shannon definitely deserved more attention from the UK. Whilst she would return in 1987, she only scraped into the charts with one track. The album mostly shows us pop music until the final two tracks, and it’s a nice warm couple of songs that shows us a more mature side to her.

Also, that album artwork is beautiful, and could easily have been created just last week. Definitely worth adding to your playlist or collection.

Both she and us in the UK were robbed!

Rated 5 stars - Essential listening.
  • POP RESCUE 2020 RATING: 5 / 5
  • 1985 UK ALBUM CHART PEAK: Did not chart.
  • POP RESCUE COST: £1.75 from a Discogs.com seller.

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