Friday, June 29, 2018

Carl Anderson

So shelter me
In all your loving ways
Help me forget about
All those painful nights and days

– From "If Not for Love"

For "music night" this evening at The Wild Reed I share "If Not for Love" by singer and actor Carl Anderson (1945-2004). Written by David Foster and Linda Thompson, this particular track is from Carl's 1992 album Fantasy Hotel.

I dare say that for most people, Carl is best remembered for playing Judas in the Broadway and film versions of Jesus Christ Superstar. Beyond this memorable role, however, Carl had a long and prolific (if not always commercially-renowned) career in music. Among discerning music lovers he remains today, fourteen years after his death at age 58, a revered vocalist, one who artfully blended jazz, soul, pop, and R&B influences into his own unique and unforgettable style.

Over the past few months I've been collecting Carl's music on CD and/or vinyl. As I continue to collect and experience Carl's recordings, I've realized he's become my favorite male vocalist. There's just something about his voice that does it for me. In addition, from everything I've read about him, Carl Anderson embodied a very kind and generous soul.

I plan on writing more about Carl and his career in a future post. For now, though, here's one of the many stand-out tracks from Fantasy Hotel, which is probably my favorite of Carl's nine albums. Enjoy!

At the following is noted about this track:

“If Not For Love” was a treasure first recorded in 1991 by David Foster and Warren Wiebe for the soundtrack of One Good Cop, starring Michael Keaton and Rene Russo. The beauty of its melody attracted producer Andre Fisher who, one year later, was producing the new album, Fantasy Hotel, by talented and versatile r&b/jazz singer Carl Anderson. Fisher used Foster’s perfectly smooth and refined arrangement and invited him to guest on the electric piano. He enlisted keyboardist Brad Cole who performed the jazzy piano licks. To complete the ensemble he recruited Neil Stubenhaus, Michael Thompson, Rick Marotta and Rev. Dave Boruff, who plays the hot sax solos exactly like he did on Foster’s original take. Anderson beautifully sings the lyrics with power, class and a note of melancholy. This is truly a magnificent song [and] Fantasy Hotel has several other good tunes, including a cover of Kenny Loggins’ sexy ballad “Love Will Follow” and “All I Wanna Do,” both produced by Russ Freeman, the leader of the fusion group The Rippingtones.

For more of Carl Anderson at The Wild Reed, see:
Revisiting a Groovy Jesus (and a Dysfunctional Theology)

Related Off-site Links:
Carl Anderson – Jazz Legend: The Official Website
Carl Anderson Memorial Page
Carl Anderson at – Ron Wynn (
Carl Anderson, Superstar's Judas on Stage and Screen, Dead at 58 – Kenneth Jones (Playbill, February 24, 2004).
Obituary: Carl Anderson, 58; Actor Played Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar – Elaine Woo (Los Angeles Times, February 25, 2004).
Obituary: Carl Anderson, 58, Judas in Rock Opera – Reuters via The New York Times (February 27, 2004).
Carl Anderson Brought Judas to Life – Hank Stuever (Washington Post via Los Angeles Times, March 2, 2004).

Previously featured artists at The Wild Reed:
Dusty Springfield | David Bowie | Kate Bush | Maxwell | Buffy Sainte-Marie | Prince | Frank Ocean | Maria Callas | Loreena McKennitt | Rosanne Cash | Petula Clark | Wendy Matthews | Darren Hayes | Jenny Morris | Gil Scott-Heron | Shirley Bassey | Rufus Wainwright | Kiki Dee | Suede | Marianne Faithfull | Dionne Warwick | Sam Sparro | Wanda Jackson | Engelbert Humperdinck | Pink Floyd | Carl Anderson | The Church | Enrique Iglesias | Yvonne Elliman | Lenny Kravitz | Helen Reddy | Stephen Gately | Judith Durham | Nat King Cole | Emmylou Harris | Bobbie Gentry | Russell Elliot | BØRNS | Hozier | Enigma | Moby (featuring the Banks Brothers) | Cat Stevens | Chrissy Amphlett | Jon Stevens | Nada Surf | Tom Goss (featuring Matt Alber) | Autoheart | Scissor Sisters | Mavis Staples | Claude Chalhoub | Cass Elliot | Duffy | The Cruel Sea | Wall of Voodoo | Loretta Lynn and Jack White | Foo Fighters | 1927 | Kate Ceberano | Tee Set | Joan Baez | Wet, Wet, Wet | Stephen “Tin Tin” Duffy | Fleetwood Mac | Jane Clifton | Australian Crawl | Pet Shop Boys | Marty Rhone | Josef Salvat | Kiki Dee and Carmelo Luggeri | Aquilo | The Breeders | Tony Enos | Tupac Shakur | Nakhane Touré | Al Green | Donald Glover/Childish Gambino | Josh Garrels

1 comment:

Lyn Yount said...

Such a gift, such a loss. Thanks for sharing, Michael.