Photoglo – Photoglo (1980)

Jim Photoglo, born James G. Photoglo, who also performed simply as Photoglo, is an American pop/soft rock singer from Inglewood, California. He released two charting albums in the early 1980s and had two hit singles

Followers of the West Coast/pop scene will need no introduction to Jim Photoglo. The former Los Angeles native, now permanent resident in Nashville TN has led a wide and varied career, but it is with this debut album that his career took off. Never one to be pigeon-holed, Photoglo’s music is as diverse as some of the many countries he’s travelled to. Mostly melodic, he dabbles in pop, jazz, country, the new styled fusion country (or ‘new’ country as some call it), bluegrass, dixie, and of course traditional blues. Sometimes it’s just a melting pot of all these styles. His early years were spent experimenting with many styles. Jim didn’t decide on becoming a full-time musician until into his twenties. Before going pro, Jim ventured out into the wilderness to discover his musical calling. Armed with guitar and sleeping bag, he hit the road to find his niche. Upon his return to ‘civilisation’ so to speak, he managed to obtain a record deal with 20th Century Fox. This was during 1979, Photoglo released his debut the following year.

Some excellent players were assembled for his debut release. Bassist Denis Belfield has played bass on many rock projects (do a Google search on him, you’d be amazed at who he has played with!), George Marinelli Jnr has played with Bruce Hornsby And The Range and more recently Bonnie Raitt, Bill Cuomo (another L.A session veteran) has played with nearly everyone, and fellow West Coast artist Bill Meyers will be a familiar name to GLORY-DAZE readers. Brian Neary appears and produces the album as well. I guess the album is best known for the hit single ‘We Were Mean’t To Be Lovers’, but other highlights include: ’20th Century Fool’, the light boogie tones of ‘Steal Away’ and the Lee Ritenour soundalike ‘I Don’t Want To Be In This Movie’. Admittedly, the album has a few gentle moments. I found these to be too lame for my tastes, preferring instead the moments when the tempo is slightly upbeat, which is not often unfortunately.

However, for what it’s worth, the album is appealing for its melodic intent, despite the mellowness of it all. These days, Jim is busier than ever. Writing engagements and involvement in many musical ventures has kept him on the go. Certainly, a full-time songwriting career is possible when you look at the creative output of a guy such as Jim Photoglo. Check his discography, but for fans of lite AOR and West Coast, ‘Photoglo’ and his second ‘Fool In Love With You’ are well worth a musical dabble.


1.  “We Were Meant to Be Lovers”  (Brian Francis Neary / Jim Photoglo)  – 3:35
2.  “Best That I Can Be”  (Brian Francis Neary / Jim Photoglo)  – 3:30
3.  “20th Century Fool”  (Brian Francis Neary / Jim Photoglo)  – 3:45
4.  “Steal Away”  (Brian Francis Neary / Jim Photoglo)  – 2:54
5.  “Beg, Borrow or Steal”  (Brian Francis Neary / Jim Photoglo)  – 3:52
6.  “When Love Is Gone”  (Steve Nelson)  – 2:51
7.  “I Don’t Want to Be in This Movie”  – 3:13
8.  “Faded Blue”  (Brian Francis Neary / Jim Photoglo)  – 3:15
9.  “Young Girl”  (Brian Francis Neary / Jim Photoglo)  – 4:00
10. “Don’t Be Afraid to Love Somebody”  (Jim Photoglo) – 3:29


Release Date: 1980
Genre: Pop, Funk
Duration: 34:24
Produced for Brian Neary Productions
Mixed At Sunset Sound And Dirk Daltons Studios.
Special Thanks To Neil Portnow For His Wisdom, Michael Stewart For His Advice, Ed Couppee For His Dramatic Vocal Coaching And Dennis Belfield For His Arrangements, his Creative Energy And His Support.
Additionnal Thanks To Special Friends-Mergie, S. Gould, Don Burke, Bob Neary, Steve Wilkins, Dana Howes, Susanne Russell, Clem Molony, Syn Anderson, Scott Grevemberg And Pat Belfield, Our “Surrogate” Mother.

Label – 20th Century Fox Records

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