Joseph Anthony “Joe” Vitale (born 2 April 1949) is an American singer, songwriter, composer and multi-instrumentalist. In a career spanning more than 40 years, Vitale has played with many of the top names in music during a career dating back to the 1970s
Vitale pursued a solo career and released his debut album Roller Coaster Weekend in 1974.
Vitale started his professional music career with the Echoes, who signed with Warner and became the Chylds (1964–68). He gained valuable experience with the band and sang vocals on their single “I Want More (Lovin’).” He eventually enrolled at Kent State University and was attending during the May 4, 1970 shootings. His first national break came when Ted Nugent hired him to play drums in the Amboy Dukes in 1971. That fall Vitale was invited by his former Kent State classmate Joe Walsh to join Barnstorm, a new band being formed by Walsh in Colorado. The band recorded two albums together and Vitale and Walsh began a longtime partnership although Barnstorm broke up in 1974.
After the breakup, Vitale was the temporary original drummer for the Michael Stanley Band (before Tommy Dobeck), and he recorded his first solo album 1974’s Roller Coaster Weekend, produced by Ron & Howard Albert, with guitar solos contributed by Walsh, Rick Derringer and Phil Keaggy. He then joined the Stills-Young Band for the Long May You Run sessions.
On this, his first solo album, he’s responsible for most of the music, playing everything from drums and keyboards to flute and tympani. Filling out the other slots is a mini-guitar army of Rick Derringer, Walsh, and Phil Keaggy. Yet, despite such luminaries, it’s not a guitar show-off album. Rather, it’s a song-oriented album, and the three guitarists always work in service to the songs. Yet, the songs are not particularly strong and, despite the production team of Ron Albert and Howard Albert (Derek and the Dominoes’ Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, the Allman Brothers’ Eat a Peach, and other legendary albums), the album never quite gets off the ground. One standout, however, is “Falling,” which was borrowed in part for Walsh’s later “At the Station.”
The song “Falling,” was borrowed in part for Joe Walsh‘s song “At the Station”, later recorded and released on Walsh’s fourth solo album But Seriously, Folks… (1978)
1. “Roller Coaster Weekend” – 2:58
2. “(Do You Feel Like) Movin'” – 3:38
3. “Mad Man” – 4:23
4. “Take a Chance On Love” – 3:07
5. “School Yard” – 4:47
6. “Shoot ’em Up” – 3:29
7. “Feeling’s Gone Away” – 3:31
8. “Two of Us” – 3:29
9. “Falling” – 4:02
10 . “Interlude” – 1:03
11. “Step On You” – 3:14
All tracks written by Joe Vitale.
Credits are adapted from the album’s liner notes.
- Joe Vitale – lead and background vocals; drums; bass guitar; keyboards; piano; synthesizers; vibraphone; flute; finger cymbals; gong; timpani; additional percussion
- Additional musicians
- Joe Walsh – guitar
- Phil Keaggy – guitar
- Rick Derringer – guitar
- Nelson “Flaco” Padron – congas; additional percussion
- “Howie” (Howard Albert) – handclaps
- “Ronnie” (Ron Albert) – handclaps
- Production team
- Howard Albert – producer; engineer
- Ron Albert – producer; engineer
- Joe Vitale – producer
- Alex Sadkin – audio mastering
- Arman Kachaturian – design; art direction
Recorded: Studio Criteria Recording Studios, Miami, Florida
Label – Atlantic Records