236. Love and War – Robert Vaughn


Robert Vaughn & the Shadows

One of the great crimes in the history of CCM was the sudden disappearance of Robert Vaughn and the fact that this amazing record was all but ignored. It may be the most significant AYSO on this entire list!

There have been a few different incarnations of Robert Vaughn with different backing band names, but the husky, edgy and utterly unforgettable voice is pure Vaughn. Labeled initially as Americana rock and roll and compared to Springsteen, Mellencamp and Petty, there is much more originality here and a totally different musical landscape. Musically the most immediate comparison I ever mention is Hothouse Flowers with the soulful, expressive music and vocal stylings.

This album was part of the short-lived Exit Records/IRS experiment that saw only The 77’s receive any deep distribution. This album and the self-titled Charlie Peacock never really saw the light of day, let a lone placement in Tower Records. That is a shame as RVaTS could have been a great success given any support for radio and touring.

I saw them once at a showcase with Charlie Peacock and The 77’s and, if not for Mark Tootle’s guitar smashing antics, RV may have stolen the show. He was great live and much more passionate musically then even what appears on this great project. Everyone I know that owns this album has asked not “if” this album will make the list, but rather “where” as for those who own it know it is a total no-brainer for the album to be included. The rest should find a way to track it down!

  1. James
    November 23, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    As one of those who asked not ‘if’ but ‘where’ this album would be placed, I can say that I am glad you ranked it this high! It deserves it! Great album that indeed was sadly completely ignored by Exit/Island Records back in 1987.

    “Bye Bye Moon” and “Spanish Rebels” are masterfully crafted rock songs that any fan of rock and roll would probably have agreed should have been hit singles back then! Then again the same can be said of any of those artists from Exit Records!!

  2. Shawn McLaughlin
    November 24, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    Again…..got this a little after it came out and really loved their indie “Songs From the Riverhouse” which I think is a stronger album. I don’t think the band totally found their sound yet with Love and Shadows, but it was, easily, one of the 10 best things released that year.

  3. Shawn McLaughlin
    November 25, 2010 at 6:16 am

    Wow….hard day for errors…..Love and War.

  4. adam
    June 2, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    I picked this up as a demo because I hated the cover…. but what an album! Love it! I don’t think it was ever released on CD, though… 😦

    • low5point
      June 2, 2011 at 8:18 pm

      Yes it was…Island released it on CD, LP and cassette…I have one 🙂

  5. Tim
    September 28, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Listening to it for the first time, I think RV’s voice sounds like a mix of Bob Dylan, Mark Knopfler, & Bryan Adams. Very entertaining record beginning to end all these years later.

  6. Greg
    April 1, 2013 at 4:14 am

    I first received this album, in cassette form, in the late 80s. Had it for many years then lost it. One day I went looking for it on the Internet and just happened across a copy of it and now I have it again. Just burned it to CD so I wouldn’t loose it again. I love this album and have never grown tired of it. The music is so, so, so… GREAT!!! 🙂 Thanks Robert, for a great album. I wish I could find more albums by you. Go with Jesus, Brother.

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