Saturday, October 6, 2018

"Sounds of Your Voice" by Jon Butcher Axis

Song#:  2549
Date:  11/30/1985
Debut:  94
Peak:  94
Weeks:  3
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Blues/rock guitarist Jon Butcher (born Jon Toombs) started making a name for himself in the Boston-based band Joanna Wild. After garnering a solid fan base, Butcher then branched out and started his own career with his band Jon Butcher Axis. The band became popular around the Boston/New England area and that led to an opening slot on the J. Geils Band's Freeze Frame tour. Labels came knocking and by 1983 Butcher and his band were signed with Polydor. Their first two albums charted thanks to a couple of minor radio hits and that led to a deal with Capitol. Their third album, Along the Axis, contained the #31 Rock track "Stop" and this single that found its way to the Pop chart. It would only be on the chart for a few short weeks, but the two songs helped the album get to #66, which would be the band's highest peaking on the chart. The next two albums would just be credited to Jon Butcher and would each feature a #7 Rock track. Butcher ended the band in 1991. He would then work in another band called Barefoot Servants and also do some solo projects. He also built his own recording studio and has been involved in scoring music for TV shows, films, and games.

ReduxReview:  This pop-leaning ballad is a bit different from Butcher's usual rock tracks and it nearly sounds like a definite stab at grabbing a more mainstream audience. It didn't quite work out since the song ended up being a blip on the Pop chart, but he had a loyal following that kept albums selling. It's a lovely tune with a guitar part that kind of reminds me of The Police's "Every Breath You Take." While it's not strong enough to be a Top 10'er, it should have done better. It's too bad AC didn't pick this up as it could have done well on that format.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Also included on the Along the Axis album was an instrumental closing track titled "The Ritual." Written by Butcher along with band member Thom Gimbel, the song would received a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. They would lose to Jeff Beck who won for his album track "Escape."


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