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original cover is black and white

Released: 1984

Rating: 3.225 out of 2 ratings

Genre: rock > neo-progressive

Quotable: “some of the cheesiest and the proggiest work [Kevin Gilbert’s] ever done” – Dan Britton,

Album Tracks:

Click on a song title for lyrics.

  1. Morning Light [3:48] *
  2. Watching Me [4:18]
  3. Goodman, Badman [4:39]
  4. Wings of Time [4:17] *
  5. Mere Image [6:41]
  6. Welcome to Suburbia [5:39]
  7. Staring into Nothing [6:00]
  8. Frame by Frame [4:22]
  9. When Strangers Part [4:06] *

Track listing based on; it appears that KG wrote all of the songs except those marked with an asterisk (*), which were copyrighted by John J. Hubbard.

Total Running Time: 43:50


sales in U.S. only --
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated --


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart --
peak on U.K. album chart --

The Players:

  • Kevin Gilbert (Lead Vocals, Acoustic Grand Piano, Prophet 5, Gleeman Pentaphonic, Roland Vocorder+, Hammond Organ, backing vocals, 6 & 12 String Guitars, Recorders, Vocal Loop Organ, SCI Drumtracks, Pots and Pans, Production Effects)
  • Jason Hubbard (Fender Stratocaster, Ibanez Artist EQ, 6 & 12 string guitars, Classical guitar, Roland Juno 60, Backing Vocals, Seiko Digital Percussion, backwards Satanic Messages)
  • Mickey Sorey (Kit Drums, Simmons SDS-5, Tympani, percussion, Laugh)
  • Bob Carroll (lead vocals, backing vocals)
  • Kevin Coyle (sax)
  • Greg Gilbert (bassoon)
  • Jaque Harper (bass)
  • Kelly and Kenny Mangini (backing vocals)
  • Ray Otsuka (violin)
Produced by Kevin Gilbert and Jason Hubbard.

Notes: The above songs, plus another seven, can be downloaded at That page shows the songs above, plus the seven bonus tracks (marked below by *), in a different order:

  1. Morning Light
  2. Watching Me
  3. Wings of Time
  4. Mere Image
  5. Welcome to Suburbia
  6. Frame by Frame
  7. Mephisto’s Tarantella – Version Two *
  8. When Strangers Part
  9. Masques *
  10. Schizophrenia *
  11. Mephisto’s Tarantella – Version One *
  12. Suitcase Living *
  13. Staring into Nothing
  14. Goodman, Badman
  15. If Ever Rain Will Fall *
  16. Tired Old Man *

No Reasons Given
NRG’s sound fit in with the keyboard-heavy new romantic sound of bands like the Human League, Thompson Twins, and Duran Duran. Still, KG’s progressive leanings were already apparent as there were songs that stretched well past the four-minute single time barrier. The band won a San Jose “Best of the Bay” radio station sponsored by KSJO with a three-song demo.

“The NRG material, recorded when Gilbert was in his late teens, was never widely commercially released” (Britton). “This release is very interesting to hear because [it is] far away from [the] mainstream” (Zickel).

“It’s clear that a lot of work went into the tracks, many of which feature multiple keyboard parts, great arranging, and a very wide number of instruments” (Britton). There are “digital synths galore, but also a lot of great proggy keyboard playing, odd time signatures, and even some lengthy songs” (Britton). “The main ingredient missing from the songs, though, is the preponderance of hooks” (Britton).

“Many songs here are influenced by Synthie-Pop” (Zickel). “Morning Light and Watching Me [are] completely typical representatives of the ‘Plastik Pop Rock’ generation…[kind of] Survivor meets Human League…good compositions” (

Goodman Badman “works, however atmospherically” (

Wings of Time “begins almost rocking” ( “with heavy guitar work” (Zickel). It is “a good, straight Neoprogger [that] delivers an ‘Aha experience,’” getting a taste at the end of Yes’ ‘Heart of the Sunrise’” (

Mere Image is a “beautiful piano ballad…which would have fit in…easily on [Genesis’] A Trick of the Tail” (

Welcome to Suburbia “then moves…back into the synth-pop corner, this time with sax and sound effects” (

Staring into Nothing is “more organic; …a very beautiful, exciting track with good percussion and…very well sung” ( It is “a great song – but in a better version appearing on The Shaming of the True” (Zickel), Gilbert’s posthumously released second solo album.

Frame by Frame also falls into the “plastic sound…somehow reminding of Elefante's Kansas” (

When Strangers Part features “acoustic guitar, good…keyboard and very beautiful singing” (

Overall, “It seems like Gilbert was still honing his skills as a ‘pop songwriter,’ and the material, though very good, isn’t as immediately appealing as all his other work” (Britton). “It’s both some of the cheesiest and the proggiest work he’s ever done” (Britton).

Review Source(s):

Related DMDB Links:

Kevin Gilbert’s DMDB page Next Kevin Gilbert album – Giraffe: The Power of Suggestion (1988)

Last updated April 2, 2008.