219. No Glasses Needed – In 3D

NO GLASSES NEEDED (1985)

In 3D

As many comments on the previously discussed In 3D album (Barrage) have attested, No Glasses Needed in a superior album. In fact, I haven’t double checked the whole list, but this band may be the only artist to record only two albums and have both of them included on this list.

A Little heavier and less “reggae/world music” than the sophomore release, NGN is a great rock album with various influences impacting the overall sound. Relatively strong production (for Refuge records) and great songwriting combined with stellar musicianship and killer vocals to combine a band that should have done much better and had a much longer career.

There are two guests worthy of noting. the first is Glenn Kaiser of Resurrection Band adds some guitar work while Jeff Pollard provided backing vocals. The Pollard inclusion is very interesting and would love to know the story about how he became involved. Pollard is one of my all time favorite vocalists. He appeared on Kerry Livgren’s “Seeds of Change” album as well as being the lead vocalist for the unfortunately unheralded Louisiana band, LeRoux. I saw LeRoux once opening up for Kansas and later learned of Pollard’s influence on Livgren’s conversion. Pollard had renounced rock music after his conversion and entering a Baptist Seminary. His inclusion here is intriguing.

There are so many great rock songs here. Memories of a Man, Can’t Stop and Livin’ In the Real World all would have been hits on Christian rock radio if something like that existed at the time. The latter would hint at the more Police style that would follow on the second album, but with a much more harsh, rock sound and great guitar work.

“It’s Up to You” always sounded like a hard rock version of “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” and am curious if anyone else ever made that connection. The verse structure is so familiar but then the chorus just rocks the house.

I have always considered the uniqueness and lack of a real “consistently commercial” sound hurt the band’s chances at success. It is not a sound that immediately grabs the casual listener and walks such an interesting creative thread, that I could see where many “metal fans and rockers” didn’t think they were hard enough while the straight ahead pop or rock fan found the album too disjointed. But it’s the disjointedness of the album that makes it such a gem.

I do not believe it ever made its way on to CD, and that is real shame given the high production values and longevity musically.

 

 

 

 

One last note – the song Under My Umbrella is freakin’ brilliant! (that is all)

 

 

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  1. Brian
    December 1, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    Under My Umbrella is freaking brilliant!
    I love almost everything on this one. It had a sound that was meaty and serious. Not a pop rock and not a metal rock. Aspiration of what CCM could have become.
    Can’t Stop should have been the hit from the album, if radio were up to it. it was the first catch for me.
    I also liked the story line of Please No.

    One of the enjoyments of In 3D are the bass-lines on this project especially on PLEASE NO. The quality recorded from an album to CD-r still rivals some CD conversions of other CCM music to this day. I think of Please No as an allegory of saving someone from drowning as to saving someone spiritually….Please don;t let it be me….the classic crossroads of closet Christianity.

    Missed opportunity for CCM overall.

    Just One Question, Under my Umbrella and Please no fall into one grouping for me of solid rock, solid doctrine, solid quality and pure creativity. Definitely a “fresh” album of its day.

    Living in The Real World, Never Again, Lookin’ To YOU (nice soft bass intro), and Goin’ On are another group of songs I learned to appreciate after multiple listens…they are very strong efforts.

    Exit 47, Neurotica, & It’s Up To You are the weakest tracks IMO but still stronger than most releases of the day.

    I would be so over this one if it were ever released on CD…I like it that much

    • low5point
      December 1, 2010 at 11:24 pm

      Glad to see someone else realizes how brilliant Umbrella is!!! It is such a gutsy and powerfully passionate song…nothing in mainstream or CCM that even compares.

  2. Brett C
    December 2, 2010 at 6:46 am

    This album is a absolute cracker and a real shame that it has never made it to CD. It’s another album I would be happy to buy all over again if on CD.
    I bought this one souly because the cover look so interesting in the store against allot of the other CCM dros at the time. When I got it home it imidiatly became a favourtie and I still listen to it regulary.
    I echo the comments about the tracks that the other commenters have said.
    Definilty one to seek out if you have never heard it.
    Oh one other thing, I would have this in the top 100 though 🙂

    • TMc
      December 7, 2010 at 8:57 pm

      Its so refreshing to find someone else who bought it because the cover looked cool. I’d still take a few of them back if it wasn’t for the collector in me but this one was a great find. Another album that I thought required more of an active engaged listener to really appreciate.

  3. jamie woody
    January 10, 2011 at 11:13 am

    what a great album! i have it on cassette tape, and do not even have a cassette deck anymore!

    i’d love to find it on vinyl or cd (was it even released on cd?!!). is there a free download site for this?

    if there is a weak link, it would be the stigma of comparisons to the police. but, i don’t care, every band has influences!

    the strong ponts are the song writing, instrumental prowess of the bass player, as well as the other band members.

    did this band ever tour or play live? i notice there are 2 drummers in the credits. glenn kaiser played on a track!

    anyhow, this album i own but need a backup of, so i can actually hear it! help if you can, please!

  4. Garland Owensby
    February 4, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    I have this on CD. It was an official release too. Bought it a couple of years ago. It may have been an import.

    • Kevin Jewell
      September 19, 2012 at 1:52 am

      What are the chances of you burning a copy for me. My cassette is toast and I can’t find a CD anywhere!

      • todd moriarty
        September 20, 2012 at 4:59 am

        I’d like a copy too…I played on that album, my records got stolen.

  5. Sundog
    February 17, 2011 at 6:54 am

    This project blew my mind when I first heard it. I still have my original cassette, too, but have since placed it in an archive of music that is very precious to me. I eventually spent time recording this from the cassette to WAV files and then editing and enhancing the sound and converting it to MP3 for my iPod. I did the same with another favorite, The Front. I’ve since found other MP3’s out there which seemed to be ripped from CD and replaced my lesser quality versions. Thanks for including this! The only other person I know of who knows about this project is my best friend, who was with me when I purchased it.

  6. Dogma Jedi
    March 7, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Man I used to love this album. The cover alone is what got me to buy it, and I’m sure glad I did. However, it’s been years since I’ve heard it. Anyone know of a place to find a copy?

  7. Deadbolt
    July 21, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    Love this stuff, haven’t been able to find it anywhere.
    Anyone know where I can get it?

    • low5point
      July 22, 2011 at 12:59 am

      You can check some the links listed on this site as some have the album/s available

  8. Todd Moriarty
    April 14, 2012 at 6:24 am

    Uh…I played drums on “Under My Umbrella” and Can’t Stop”…Jim was a great song writer. I don’t have vinyl either. Let me know if anyone finds it? -Todd Moriarty

    • Tom Commons
      July 29, 2012 at 4:39 am

      Hey Todd, I played drums for these guys in the earlier days, actually right before you. It,s fantastic that both the albums made the top 500 list. Tom Commons

      • todd moriarty
        September 20, 2012 at 5:04 am

        Hey Tom, Awesome to see your name up here. I heard about you, did we ever meet. Hopefully I find this on vinyl somewhere. If I do I’ll burn you a copy. May God bless you as you bless him.

      • Tom Commons
        September 20, 2012 at 9:48 pm

        Hey Todd, Thanks for the reply. I remember meeting you once only I think. You brought your drums over to John’s place. It was a practice studio out in back of either his place or a relative of his. Very dampened with carpet and maybe even some empty egg containers on the wall for sound absorbtion. previous to that place we practiced in his basement when he & Pam lived on Melrose ave. in Waukegan. I had the no glasses needed album. Don’t think anymore. Cleaning out the basement soon. If it turns up I’ll let you know for shure. Going to Lake Geneva this weekend for a district mens retreat, drums in tow. Playing for the sunday service. Nice to get em out once in awhile. Take care and God bless you and those you love.
        Tom

      • todd moriarty
        September 20, 2012 at 5:11 am

        Typo? Also- Tom thanks for paving the way.

  9. Julie Woodward-Trenker
    May 15, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    I have a cassette of this album which I have just about worn out. One of my favorites of all time. Brilliant music. Wish they could remaster it to cd, or at least post the music for download. I lOVE THIS BAND and the NO Glasses Needed ablum.

  10. Greenchili
    June 1, 2012 at 6:46 am

    Listening to this album now… for the second time? Anyways I can kinda see the “Police” similarities. Anyways it’s a suprisingly great album. It just kinda sneaks up on ya. 🙂

    • todd moriarty
      September 20, 2012 at 5:06 am

      If you have the album and want to sell, consider selling it to me. I played drums on two songs of that record. Todd Moriarty.

      • todd moriarty
        October 3, 2013 at 10:40 pm

        I received this album now from a friend, I correct myself…I played on 3 songs.

  11. Mike B
    June 1, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    “Memories of a Man” IMHO one of the best rock compositions ever.

  12. October 2, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Greetings In3D and CCM Fans. In3D’s Album “No Glasses Needed” is now on Sound Cloud.

    In3d Facebook:
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/In-3D/278788975494218?ref=hl

    Your kind and generous comments are much appreciated!

    • todd moriarty
      October 3, 2013 at 10:43 pm

      “The Man”

      • Tom Commons
        October 5, 2013 at 11:29 pm

        Just bought the Barrage album from a lady in Washington State. Came in the mail today.

      • todd moriarty
        October 7, 2013 at 2:24 am

        Tom, That’s great. Never heard any of the other material. I can find out where my friend bought the In3D Album if you would like?

      • Tom Commons
        October 7, 2013 at 2:45 am

        Todd, I’d love to get a hold of NGN on vinyl. I bought 1 cassett new in original wrap and it played badly. We’re talking new but old cassetts here. The guy kindly sent me another one (no charge), and it played well. Gave it to my brother in-law to transfer to cd and one song on side A turned out not good. It’s great that John put NGN on Sound Cloud but I don’t think you,re suppose to download anything to your computer. Thanks. Look me up on facebook.

    • Tom Commons
      October 5, 2013 at 11:33 pm

      John, Good to hear from one you guys again. I’m listening to and really loving this music all over again. It was wonderful being part of Timepiece in the early days and now enjoying the music of In3D.

  13. John
    November 11, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Loved this band and still do. They are one of the few I’ve never tired of. Saw them in Detroit open for Rez and chatted with them for a while after the show. Seemed like great guys. I own No Glasses Needed on Vinyl and burned it to cd back when I had a high end turntable and a Marantz burner. Excellent sonics, excellent musicianship, and excellent writing. Thought I heard one of the guys formed the band Yonderboy, but I never heard them. Wish they continued on.

  14. KEVIN FREED
    June 12, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW IF ANYONE IS MAKING COPIES OF THIS ALBUM ON CD

  15. Dan E.
    March 13, 2015 at 3:06 am

    The vinyl version of the album does show up on ebay from time to time. Also, on discogs.com as well. http://www.discogs.com/In-3-D-No-Glasses-Needed/master/807115

  16. May 19, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    That newsletter I picked up about the band 30 some-odd years ago was very informative. IIRC, a chunk of this album appeared on the band’s EP, “Separate Planes.” I wish I’d ordered a copy of that while I had the chance.

    I had this album on cassette and vinyl. Kicking myself for letting go of the vinyl. I saw a release of this album and “Barrage” on one CD, but I think the “Barrage” tracks appear first on that compilation. I saw it once on ebay.

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