Ignored Obscured Restored
In the early ‘90s, a British band called The Blessing released a pretty damn good album called Prince of the Deep Water. The band was led by vocalist and songwriter William Topley. Their best-known song, “Highway 5”, is today’s SotW.
Topley’s soulful vocals are terrific on this cut. When he gets to the pre-chorus, the timber of his voice changes to sound like Roland Gift of Fine Young Cannibals – and that’s a good thing! And that soaring chorus is catchy.
Baby got lost on Highway 5 and called my name out loud
Said she broke down and cried about how we can’t live apart
And all the people they were driving by they watched her like she was mad
But she knew she would never suffer from the madness that they had
I always wondered if “Highway 5” was a reference to Interstate 5 (“the 5”) in California. Although Topley is British, part of the album was recorded in Hollywood, CA.
According to the album liner notes a large cast of superstars contributed “their help in making this record,” including Robben Ford, Nicky Hopkins, Bruce Hornsby, Steve Khan, Hugh McCracken, Jeff Porcaro, and Soozie Tyrell, among others. According to Wikipedia Rickie Lee Jones also participated but I can’t find her name anywhere in my CD liner notes. It’s also too bad that those artists aren’t given credit for the specific songs they contributed to.
The Blessing broke up after two albums, but Topley continued to record and perform. His latest release was Back at the Napoleon House (2020).
Enjoy… until next week.
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