IAN MATTHEWS Walking A Changing Line (The Songs Of Jules Shear) (1988)

Walking A Changing Line (1988)
Matthews Sings Shear

It had been eight years since his last album. Five since his label refused to even release the previous LP he submitted. Trying everything from folk to power pop, Ian Matthews threw his hands up in disgust and decided, after leaving his label, to record an album of somebody else’s songs… Jules Shear’s. Oddly enough, Shear was having his own record company problems after the two solo albums under his own name (and a few more as Jules And The Polar Bears) failed to ignite the public’s consciousness. Give Matthews credit for relying on Shear’s compositions for this album’s power. The mostly simple musical focus (acoustics punctuated with synths) puts the emphasis on Matthews’ vocals and Shear’s word-rich melodies. Matthews even adopts the flighty, stream-of-consciousness quality of Shear’s own delivery, making it a crowd pleaser for Jules fans. Just as it originally was for Matthews’ own fans, wondering, by 1988, if he’d ever return. Long of out print Windham Hill CD, it’s still at Amazon.

Dream Sequence (1:58)
Standing Still (6:02)
Except For A Tear (4:46)
Following Every Finger (3:53)
Alive Alone (5:15)
Smell Of Home (3:32)
On Squirrel Hill (3:17)
Shadows Break (6:20)
This Fabrication (4:39)
Lovers By Rote (3:32)
Only A Motion (3:23)
Why Fight (3:13)



  • Willard
    June 21, 2011 - 10:25 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • Anonymous
    June 21, 2011 - 13:24 | Permalink

    Thank you, Willard! Had a cassette of this back in the day: tasty stuff. IM’s vocals a little liteweight for my taste, but Jule’s songs are great.

  • Willard
    June 21, 2011 - 14:58 | Permalink

    Yeah, Matthews isn’t as fearless a vocalist as Shear is, but this album seems to work out OK.

  • JB
    June 21, 2011 - 15:03 | Permalink

    There’s a lot of good Shear out there. I’m a fan of “Raisins in the Sun,” a project that included Shear, Chuck Prophet, Jim Dickinson, and Harvey Brooks (one of the greatest bass players ever). “Raisins” is an overlooked gem; but so are most of Shear’s albums.

  • Willard
    June 21, 2011 - 16:04 | Permalink

    Great idea, JB.
    Enter The Wormhole for Raisins In The Sun.


  • LizDexia
    June 21, 2011 - 18:12 | Permalink

    Loved this, but, like a lot of material from that era, I only had it on cassette and, well, cassettes fall apart with age. At least I’m holding together – roughly! Thanks for this. Any chance you have the Jules Shear/Marty Wilson-Piper album in the queue?

    • Willard
      June 22, 2011 - 10:28 | Permalink

      Here you go.
      Enter The Wormhole for Jules Shear’s The Third Party.


  • Anonymous
    June 22, 2011 - 11:46 | Permalink

    Another great Jules is his album of love song duets “Between Us”. Very nice, with the stellar guest list giving a lot of variety

  • June 23, 2011 - 13:34 | Permalink

    Fearless is a good description of Jules’ vocal style.

  • Willard
    June 23, 2011 - 19:12 | Permalink

    I really love the old Polar Bears vocals. That nearly frantic, seemingly out of control wailing he sometimes does. And when he’s naked with just a guitar, like on Unplug This, you really get a chance to hear how off beat his voice is.

  • billy budapest
    June 29, 2011 - 12:27 | Permalink

    A more recent album by Jules called “Dreams Don’t Count” is simply unreal.

  • Ron
    July 2, 2011 - 15:35 | Permalink

    Thanks for this and the Hiatt (Which I also have on vinyl)

  • bp
    July 8, 2011 - 01:52 | Permalink

    Good to find you again. I thought you were gone like Kurtz. And the Matthews/Shear collaboration is something I’m glad to have found again.

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