Jim Peterik And World Stage

Jim Peterik

World Stage Records, 2000


REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Jim Peterik is a name which might not be the most familiar to some people - though his body of work is legendary. If you've ever bobbed your head along to "Vehicle" from The Ides Of March, fantasized about being Rocky Balboa while listening to "Eye Of The Tiger" or enjoyed an album from Survivor, you're familiar with Peterik, both as a musician and as a songwriter.

Jim Peterik And World Stage serves as a method for Peterik to jam with friends he's made throughout the years as well as serve as a "best-of" package, with some new material thrown in for good measure. All in all, it's a pleasant little album, though at times one wishes that Peterik had left the classics alone.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Let's get the complaints out of the way first. "Vehicle," featuring Buddy Guy on guitar, is altered to fit the bluesman's style of playing - and while it's Peterik's song and he can do whatever he pleases with it, he is tampering with a rock legend (albeit one which isn't as heralded as it deserves to be). Likewise, "Eye Of The Tiger" has a key change, and it just doesn't have the same kind of magic as the original did. Then again, maybe I shouldn't be surprised by this; it's hard enough to capture the magic once, let alone twice.

Peterik proves that he still has the knack to write a killer song, evidenced on tracks like "Fade To Blue" (performed with Don Barnes of 38 Special - I still like the version on Live At Sturgis better), "Antenna" (with CCM star Margaret Becker) and "'Till It Shines" (featuring Henry Paul of Blackhawk). Peterik's voice might show some road scars at times, but it only adds to the character of these songs.

Ironically it's the songs that move away from the rock world that have the most punch. "We Wish" (with David Carl and Jeff Boyle) sounds like it could have been written as a theme song for any of a number of groups which preach tolerance, while "Long Road Home" (with Night Ranger's Kelly Keagy) has all the markings of being a hit, despite the fact the song is now a decade old. When a song sounds so fresh that the ink is still wet, that's the mark of a good song.

Not everything works this well on Jim Peterik And World Stage. "Zig Zag" all but hides the contribution of Cinderella's Tom Kiefer, while Rick Nielsen and Bun E. Carlos from Cheap Trick don't stand out with their efforts. Likewise, Dennis DeYoung's talents don't seem to match "To Miss Somebody" as well as Peterik might have hoped, and the performance suffers.

Maybe it's the constant parade of guest musicians and vocalists that eventually weaken this disc; had Peterik stuck with a select few, a level of stability could have been achieved. Still, there are moments on Jim Peterik And World Stage that will leave no doubt why Peterik is considered one of the best songwriters out there.

Rating: B-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2001 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of World Stage Records, and is used for informational purposes only.