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On And On


Stephen Bishop
On & On - The Hits of Stephen Bishop

MCA Records


(Stephen Bishop) 
Stephen Bishop (acoustic guitars/background vocals)
Andrew Gold (electric guitars)
Mac Cridin (bass)
Michael London (steelguitars)
John Jarvis (electric piano)
Victor Feldman (percussion, vibes, marimba)
Larry Brown (drums)
Produced by Henry Lewy and Stephen Bishop

Originally on ABC Records LP "Careless" (1977) also ABC single 12260 (1977) 

(Stephen Bishop) 
Stephen Bishop (acoustic guitars)
Reinie Press (bass)
John Jarvis (piano)
Jim Gordon (drums)
Alan Lindgren (synthesizer)
Strings arranged and conducted by Lee Holdridge
Produced by Henry Lewy and Stephen Bishop

Originally on ABC LP "Careless" (1977) also ABC single 12319 (1977) 

(Stephen Bishop) 
Stephen Bishop (guitar)
Strings arranged and conducted by Lee Holdridge
Produced by Henry Lewy and Stephen Bishop

Originally on ABC LP "Careless" (1977) 

(Stephen Bishop) 
Stephen Bishop (acoustic guitars)
Jeffrey Jones, Eric Clapton (solo) (electric guitars)
John Jarvis (electric piano)
Jeffrey Jones (bass)
Russ Kunkel (drums) 
Horns arranged by Ian Freebairn Smith
Chaka Khan (background vocals)
Produced by Henry Lewy and Stephen Bishop

Originally ABC single 12232 (1976) also on ABC LP "Careless" (1977) 

(Stephen Bishop) 
Stephen Bishop, Lee Ritenour (acoustic guitars)
Craig Doerge (electric piano)
Reinie Press (bass)
Jim Gordon (drums)
John Jarvis (piano)
Chaka Khan (background vocals)
Strings arranged and conducted by Ian Freebairn Smith
Produced by Henry Lewy and Stephen Bishop

Originally on ABC LP "Careless" (1977) also ABC single 12319 (1977) 

(Stephen Bishop) 
Stephen Bishop, Larry Carlton (acoustic guitars)
Max Bennett (bass)
John Guerin (drums)
Victor Feldman (percussion and vibes)
Tommy Tedesco (mandolin)
Stephen Bishop, Chaka Khan (vocals)
Steve Paietta (accordion)
Horns and woodwinds arranged by Ian Freebairn Smith
Produced by Henry Lewy and Stephen Bishop

Originally on ABC LP "Careless" (1977) also ABC single 12260 (1977) 

(Stephen Bishop) 
Stephen Bishop (guitars)
Bill Payne (electric piano)
David Hungate (bass)
Greg Phillinganes (synthesizers)
Rick Shlosser (drums)
Mike McDonald (background vocals)
Produced by Stephen Bishop and Dee Robb

Originally on ABC LP "Bish" (1978) 

(Stephen Bishop) 
Stephen Bishop (acoustic guitar)
Michael Sembello, Ray Parker,Jr. (guitars)
Greg Phillinganes (electric piano)
John Jarvis (acoustic piano)
Nathan Watts (bass)
Ray Pounds (drums)
Paulinho deCosta (percussion)
Leah Kunkel, Jeff Jones, Mike London, Stephen Bishop (vocals)
Rhythm chart arranged by Gene Page
Produced by Stephen Bishop and Dee Robb

Originally ABC single 12406 (1978) also on ABC LP "Bish" (1978) 

(Stephen Bishop) 
Stephen Bishop (acoustic guitars)
John Jarvis (electric piano)
David Foster (acoustic piano)
David Hungate (bass)
Rick Schlosser (drums)
Strings arranged and conducted by Marty Paich
Produced by Stephen Bishop and Dee Robb

Originally on ABC LP "Bish" (1978)/also ABC single 12442 (1979) 

(Stephen Bishop) 
Jay Berliner, Stephen Bishop (guitars)
Rob Mounsey (piano)
Paul Griffin (electric piano)
Bob Babbitt (bass)
Gary Mure (drums)
Rob Mounsey, Philip Namanworth, Stephen Bishop, Kenny Vance (background vocals)
Produced by Kenny Vance

Originally on ABC original soundtrack LP from "Animal House" (1978) also ABC single 12435 (1978) 

(Stephen Bishop) 
Stephen Bishop, Jeffrey Jones (guitars)
Steve Porcaro (synthesizers)
Art Garfunkel (background vocals)
Produced by Stephen Bishop and Dee Robb

Originally on ABC LP “Bish”(1978)

12. SOMEWHERE IN-BETWEEN (Theme from "China Syndrome") 
(Stephen Bishop) 
Paul Griffin (piano)
Jeff Jones (bass)
Chris Parker (drums)
Unknown percussion
Produced by Stephen Bishop

Previously unreleased from Columbia Pictures soundtrack from "China Syndrome" (1979) 

(Stephen Bishop)
Stephen Bishop (acoustic guitars)
John Tropea (electric guitar)
Dean Parks (electric guitar fills)
Mike Maimed (vibes and synthesizers)
Lenny Castro (percussion)
Dennis Belfield (bass)
Steve Gadd (drums)
Arnold McCuller, Jeff Jones, Stephen Bishop (background vocals)
Special thanks to Gene Page
Produced by Mike Mainieri and Tommy Lipuma

Originally Warner Bros. Records single 49595 (1980) also from Warner Bros. LP, "Red Cab To Manhattan" (1980) 

14. ONLY LOVE (from "Arthur") 
(Burt Bacharach-Stephen Bishop-Carole Bayer Sager)
Lee Ritenour (guitar)
Andrew Gold (guitar solo)
Burt Bacharach, Mike Lang (keyboards)
David Hungate (bass)
Mike Baird, Jeff Porcaro (drums)
Strings arranged hy Burt Bacharach
Produced by Burt Bacharach, Stephen Bishop & Carole Bayer Sager

Originally on Warner Bros. Records soundtrack from "Arthur" (1981) 

15. IT MIGHT BE YOU (Theme from "Tootsie") 
(Alan Bergman-Marilyn Bergman-Dave Grusin)
David Grusin (keyboards)
Mitch Holder, George Doering, Paul Jackson, Jr. (guitars)
Ian Underwood (synthesizers)
Steve Foreman (percussion)
Carlos Vega (drums)
Abraham Laboriel (bass)
Stephen Bishop (background vocals)
Produced and arranged by Dave Grusin

Originally Warner Bros. single 29791 (1983) also on Warner Bros. original soundtrack LP from "Tootsie" (1983) 

16. SEPARATE LIVES Acoustic Version 
(Stephen Bishop)
Stephen Bishop (acoustic guitar)
Produced by Stephen Bishop

Newly recorded/Previously unreleased/original version "Love Theme from 'White Knights'" motion picture (1985) 

(Stephen Bishop)
Ronnie Caryl (guitars)
Adrian Lee (keyboards)
Phil Collins (drums)
Mo Foster (bass)
Phil Collins (background vocals)
Produced by Phil Collins and Hugh Padgham

Originally Atlantic Records single 88830 (1989) also on Atlantic Records LP "Bowling In Paris" (1989) 

(Marc Shaiman)
Andrew Gold (all instruments)
Arranged by Claude Goddette and Andrew Gold

Produced by Andrew Gold
From the MCA Records Soundtrack LP "Heart And Soul" (1993) 

Stephen Bishop - lead vocals (all tracks) 
Compiled by Stephen Bishop and Cary E. Mansfield 
Compilation produced by Stephen Bishop and Andy McKaie 
Art Direction: Vartan /Design: Junie Osaki 
Photo Research: Geary Chansley 
Photo Credits: front: Lynn Goldsmith, back: MCA Files, pg. 3: Howard Rosenberg, pg. 5: David Alexander, pg. 7: Jerry Wynkoop, pg. ll: Pattie Boyd Clapton. 

Special Thanks to: Stephen Bishop and Scott Welch


Ask Stephen Bishop about his background, and you'll learn of a dedicated Beatles fan and hardworking professional songwriter whose work has been recorded by artists ranging from Phil Collins to Barbra Streisand; from Eric Clapton to the Four Tops. Listen to many of his songs, and you might think you're privy to the innermost feelings of the world’s champion hopeless romantic.

Meet him, and you'll encounter a man whose wit and colorful fashion sense have led to distinctions including John Belushi breaking a guitar over his head in a memorable scene in National Lampoon’s Animal House, and Dick Clark asking him to co-host a nationally-telecast CBS network variety series. Along the way, he's recorded several albums on his own, and written songs for numerous motion pictures.

Yes, "Bish" is a man who's as complex as he is accomplished. On and On - The Hits of Stephen Bishop presents eighteen of Bishop's best-known songs; a portrait of a musician and performer whose work is destined for the long run.

Stephen Bishop's musical epiphany came one day while he, a seventh-grader in his hometown of San Diego, was selling newspapers on a corner. "A bunch of cars were waiting at the stoplight,” he recalls, "and in one of them, a couple were making out. There was music coming out of the car radio. It was the Beatles' 'I Want to Hold Your Hand,’ and it sounded magical to me - very different from what I had been playing as a clarinetist in my school band.”

He received his first guitar, a Rodeo electric model, from his older brother, Dennis, who had bought it at Unimart, a discount department store. "The strings were high enough from the bridge for a tightwire walker. My brother converted his stereo to an amp for me to play through, much to the dismay of my step-father, who hated rock and roll - he had been an opera singer, was then working in a hardware store. My brother and my mom used to think that one of the things that kept me going was that my stepfather hated rock and roll ... The last time I saw him, he still hated my songs.

"I always had daydreams. When you're real young, you sit with your best friends and fantasize; we'd fantasize about walking into Horace Mann Junior High with our English-style black turtleneck shirts, and the girls would swoon and think we were the coolest ... It was all about impressing girls.”

Stephen and some friends formed a band, The Weeds, and his older brother Denny served, as their manager and agent, "getting us gigs at fraternity parties and Battle of the Bands, that kind of thing.”

The Weeds were "just a high school band, fashioned after the Beatles and the Stones" and distinguished from most of their competition by the fact that they played original material. Original Stephen Bishop material. "I really started writing songs because I didn't have the knack of picking out chords for other people's songs.”

He admits that it wasn't top-notch material, but that didn't matter. "Songwriting back then for me was a real liberating, thrilling kind of experience. I'd write ten songs in a month, and was so into it - it was just a real special time. I'd created my own little world through my songs. 'I Know That She Loves Me,’ repeated over and over 'til everybody got sick; 'Surf's Turf' was my surf instrumental ... By the time I was sixteen, I'd written a hundred songs. Most of the time I'd have to go into the closet to sing them, because my step-father wouldn't let me have a guitar in the house.”

The Weeds lasted only a few years. "Back then none of us knew the realities of the record business. We heard of this place where they had a studio, rode our bikes there, and the guy showed us around. He said it would cost 25 bucks to make a record, and I thought, 'Man, all we need is 25 bucks to make a record, and we’ll be stars.’ But we couldn't get the $25.”

In 1969, after the Weeds disbanded, Bishop at 17-and-a-half moved to Los Angeles. “I remember walking up and down the street, knocking on doors and telling everybody that I had 200 songs.” At Hollywood's legendary Gold Star Studios, he found a girl behind a desk, eating lasagna. She suggested that Bishop contact Edwin H. Morris Publishing, a venerable New York company. "The same day I met with Milt Rogers at Dot Records. He told me he didn't hear anything commercial; I didn't even know what 'commercial' meant. I was just about to walk out the door, and played him one last song I was working on, 'Daisy Hawkins.' He slammed his fist on the table and said, 'Kid, that's a hit!'"

On the strength of that commendation and under the watchful guidance of Steve Morris, Bishop was signed to Edwin H. Morris, through their Los Angeles office. Jerry Cole recorded "Daisy Hawkins" on the Happy Tiger label. "They put girls and strings on it ... it was awful. But it was
my first record. I'd go to Wallich's Music City record store just to look at my name on the label.”

Bishop was earning $50 per week draw against royalties from Morris, "which to me at the time was big money." Sidney Goldstein at Morris "was one of the last of the great publishers, and I'd come to him with these silly songs - 'Benny the Wharf Rat,’ 'I'm So Miserable Without You, It's Almost Like Having You Here,’ 'Dump the Spitoon Over Natty's Head,’ he'd say, 'How am I going to take that to Cher, you crazy kid?'"

To augment his songwriting income, Bishop signed on with a show band led by singer (and former circus aerialist) Zella Lehr. "I spent eight and a half months with her, playing guitar and doing little skits in Canada, Elks' Clubs in Seattle, Lake Tahoe ... there's a screenplay in there. I made $160 a week, then they'd take expenses out of that. It was an interesting time, mostly smoking pot and eating pizza at four in the morning. But I was a young man on a mission.”

Bishop eventually quit the band - Lehr would go on to record a chain of country hits - and both James Lee Stanley and Megan McDonough recorded Bishop songs for the RCA-distributed Wooden Nickel label.

But Bishop's luck wasn't all good. He remembers 1974 as a particularly low point. "I was broke, my Volkswagen got smashed, and I got arrested for switching prices on a turkey roll. But I became friends with Leah Kunkel, who liked my songs and was very supportive.” From her husband, prominent session drummer Russ Kunkel, Bishop heard that Art Garfunkel needed some new songs for his second solo album, which Richard Perry was producing. Through Russ, Leah gave Garfunkel a tape of Bishop's songs, and Art recorded "The Same Old Tears On A New Background" and "Looking for the Right One" on 1975's Breakaway. "It was like climbing a ladder, each rung takes a while - sometimes a year or two.”

Through another friend, Richard Holland, Bishop met Bob Ellis. Even more doors opened as Ellis took on Bishop's management. "I went to Diana Ross's house and played her 20 songs and Smokey Robinson came by ... to Barbra Streisand's house, Melissa Manchester's studio, Helen Reddy's house, Bette Midler's house ... in my vw, all on one tank of gas:'

He began selling songs to major artists, which led to his first recording contract with ABC Records.

Simon & Garfunkel's producer Roy Halee, then working in the label's A&R department, signed Bishop. "It didn't work out with Roy;' the singer recalls, "so he produced part of it, and Henry Lewy and I co-produced the rest. Henry, who had produced several Joni Mitchell records, was just wonderful to work with.” Friends appearing on Careless included Eric Clapton, Art Garfunkel and Chaka Khan, whose collective presence helped bring the album to the attention of press and radio. That's Clapton on lead guitar on "Save It for a Rainy Day.” "Eric came in feeling no pain," notes Bishop. "I was impressed with his girlfriend, Patti (Boyd) Harrison, because of her connection with the Beatles.”

The song "One More Night" was already something of a standard, recorded by Helen Reddy on her Ear Candy album, Barbra Streisand on Songbird, and by British singers Cleo Laine and Sandie Shaw. The backing musicians on "Little Italy" included bassist Max Bennett and guitarist Larry Carlton, who'd worked with Lewy on many of those Joni Mitchell sessions.

"When Careless was completed,” says Stephen, "ABC put out 3,000 copies, not expecting it to do anything; it sold out immediately. It kept selling out, and we went out on tour. I toured with Ronstadt, Randy Newman, Fleetwood Mac, Heart ... all of those.”

"Save It for a Rainy Day,” the first single from Careless, made it to #20. ABC's executive staff was in flux at the time, and the president du jour felt that Bishop's choice for the next single, "On and On,” wasn't strong enough. "But there were people who wanted to release it. It wound up on the charts for nearly seven months. Even now, someone will come up to me in the supermarket and say, 'Puts on Sinatra, and starts to cry - great line, man.’ And then I'll go back to shopping for eggplant.” Careless would become Stephen's first gold album.

Stephen's second album, Bish, was primarily recorded at Cherokee Studios in Hollywood, co-produced by Bishop and engineer Dee Robb. "I didn't have a girlfriend right before starting the album, and just missed the feeling of being in love. I was going back to San Diego with the aim of writing a real romantic album, retracing my steps when I used to walk along the cliff with my high school girlfriend. The album was originally called Name Dropper; I'd planned this cover shot of me at the piano with all the celebrities I knew gathered around.

"We wound up with a couple of good people on that, too - Michael McDonald, Chaka, and Natalie Cole among them. Marty Paich did a great arrangement on 'Looking for the Right One.” On the day we recorded the string overdubs at Western Recorders, we had 40 string players ready to go when someone spilled a Coca-Cola on the control board, and they had to spend hours taking the console apart and cleaning it up, with the musicians sitting there while they planned their Hawaiian vacations.”

Shortly after the release of Bish, ABC Records disintegrated. Before signing, with his next label, Warner Bros., he had begun writing for film soundtracks. A meeting with producer Bruce Gilbert led to "Theme from 'The China Syndrome." Recalls Bishop, "They already had a temporary song on the film that I thought was terrific. I asked him why he was replacing such a great record, and he said that it didn't fit the movie.” The record, not yet a hit, was the Doobie Brothers' "What a Fool Believes.”

He'd known Animal House director John Landis, Bishop says, since 1971, and still owns the guitar that John Belushi broke over his head, signed after the fact by all the cast members. "Only the Heart Within You" was written for the 1978 film Straight Time. Says Bishop, "I had a meeting with the director, Ulu Grosbard, and loved the film. Ultimately, they decided that they didn't want any songs; the score was all instrumental.”

The album Red Cab To Manhattan was recorded in New York, co-produced by Warner Bros.’ Tommy LiPuma. It included "Send a Little Love My Way,” which had been inspired by "What You Won't Do for Love,” Bobby Caldwell's 1978 hit.

"Only Love" was commissioned for the Dudley Moore comedy, Arthur. Excited at the prospect of working with songwriter Burt Bacharach, Bishop met Bacharach and lyricist Carole Bayer Sager at their home. Bacharach sat down at the piano and played what Bishop jokingly refers to as "an unbelievable L 29th M-minor-diminished chord.

"I excused myself, went into the bathroom, looked into the mirror, and said 'You idiot, that's Burt Bacharach out there.’ His songs started coming to me - 'Anyone Who Had a Heart,’ 'Walk On By,’ 'Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head' - I was starting to lose it. I finally came out of the bathroom and wrote the song. Burt played piano on the track of 'Only Love.”

When Bishop first saw a rough cut of Tootsie, the scratch soundtrack was filled with Kenny Loggins music. Bishop met with composer Dave Grusin, and first heard the melody for what would become "It Might Be You,’ co-written by Alan and Marilyn Bergman.

It had been back in 1978, while staying at Eric Clapton's house in England, that Bishop first met with Phil Collins. "Patti had introduced us in the kitchen. He had heard my first two albums. I really didn't know he was a singer at that point, just a drummer. But I thought he was a great guy. When it came time for him to do his first solo album, Face Value, he asked me to sing backgrounds to 'This Must Be Love." Bishop also sang all the backgrounds to Phil's #1 hit, "Do You Remember,' years later.

Collins immediately took to "Separate Lives.” "The song was mostly written about the breakup of me and this actress,” related Bishop. "She'd fallen for another guy, but still wanted to be friends. One day when I was in New York, she called me up in my room at the Parker Meridian and asked, 'So how ya doin'? How ya feeling these days?' I replied angrily that 'You have no right to ask me how I feel,’ which wound up being the first line of the chorus. I sat there on my bed in the hotel and wrote the song. On the rough draft, I wrote" 'My true song.’ Later on I threw some stuff in for the movie.”

Recorded by Collins as a duet with Marilyn Martin,"Separate Lives" was used as the theme for the 1985 film White Nights, with Gregory Hines and Mikhail Baryshnikov. Rising to #1, it was nominated for an Academy Award.

"I thought at the time I really had a shot, but Lionel Richie won for 'Say You, Say Me, Say I'm Gonna Steal Steve's Award.’ Later at a party after the Awards at Spago, Lionel was clutching his Oscar in his hand. I swear the Oscar winked at me and, in a high voice said, 'I want to go home with you, Steve."

"Walking on Air" was from the album Bowling In Paris. "I could never explain that title,' Bishop says, "I just liked it.” Phil Collins produced the record with Hugh Padgham as well as playing drums and singing on the tracks. "Walking on Air" was used in the 1986 film The Boy Who Could Fly.

"Heart and Souls,” produced with Andrew Gold, was written for the film of the same title. "I've done 14-15 film songs,” says Bishop. "I like doing it. It's always fun sitting there in the movie house, hearing your song.”

As these notes are written, Bishop is living in a handsome Hollywood Hills home with his beautiful new wife, Rebecca, and their two golden retrievers, Raybeez and Vaxine. Bishop is working on a new album with Andrew Gold entitled Blue Guitars, and is completing a book, Songs in the Rough, relating other songwriters' experiences behind their hits, and reprinting original rough drafts of the songs.

Looking back at his struggling years, Bishop declares that "I really feel that all the work I did in my early days as a songwriter gave me the luxury of not having to worry as much today. All the work I did then was due to a dedicated sense of drive. It seems so much easier now - some bands on MTV make my high school band look like the Stones.”

- TODD EVERETT, January, 1994


"Somewhere In-between (theme from 'China Syndrome')" courtesy of Columbia Pictures, Inc. 

“Send A Little Love My Way (Like Always)” (p) 1980 Warner Bros. Records, Inc. “Only Love” (p) 1981 Warner Bros. Records Inc. and “It Might Be You” (p) 1982 Warner Bros. Records Inc. produced under license from Warner Bros. Records Inc.

“Separate Lives (acoustic)” (p) 1994 Stephen Bishop Music, courtesy of Stephen Bishop Music

“Walking On Air” (p) 1989 Atlantic Recording Corp., produced under license by Atlantic Recording Corp.


(p) 1994, 1993, 1978, 1977, 1976 © 1994 MCA Records, Inc.
Universal City, CA 91608. Distributed by Uni Distribution Corp. WARNING: All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws. Printed in U.S.A.

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