by Don McLeanDon McLean


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Don McLean released several albums between 1981 and 1991, but all of them could be considered side projects, including a live record (Dominion), a compilation containing some new tracks (Greatest Hits Then & Now), a couple of collections of covers (For the Memories and For the Memories, Vols. 1 & 2), a country LP (Love Tracks), and a holiday release (Christmas). What he did not do for ten years was make an album like the ones he was known for, consisting entirely or mostly of his own original material. Headroom, with ten new McLean compositions, was his first such recording since 1981's Believers. On it, this 45-year-old '60s liberal looked at America a decade into the Reagan/Bush years and did not like what he saw. His criticism began with the lead-off title song, which featured topical lyrics touching on such contemporary matters as the Savings & Loan scandal, set to a rock & roll arrangement. The second song, "Fashion Victim," had a synthesized dance/pop sound, all the better to support a lyric attacking media trends in the social and political realms. "How did the land of Jefferson, how did the land of King/Become the land of hamburgers and raisins that can sing?," McLean asked. "Roosevelt was crippled, Lincoln was a geek/They'd never get elected, their clothes were never chic." The musical track might have sounded like something on MTV, but it wasn't likely to turn up there, and that was the idea. Next came the ballad "1967," in which a man recalled his friend who went to Vietnam with him and never came back. After this trio of socially conscious and bitter songs, the album turned somewhat more philosophical and occasionally romantic, including the love songs "One in a Row" and "Siamese Twins (Joined at the Heart)," but Headroom remained, on the whole, a collection of bitingly critical songs on which McLean, with his usual eloquence, set out his indictment of the state of things, circa 1991.

Product Details

Release Date: 12/03/1991
Label: Curb Special Markets
UPC: 0715187742727
catalogNumber: 77427
Rank: 122663


  1. Headroom
  2. Fashion Victim
  3. 1967
  4. Infinity
  5. One in a Row
  6. You Who Love the Truth
  7. Lady in Waiting
  8. Have You Seen Me
  9. Siamese Twins (Joined at the Heart)
  10. A Brand New World

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Don McLean   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
George Binkley   Strings
Mark Casstevens   Acoustic Guitar
Bill Cuomo   Synthesizer,Keyboards
Carl Gorodetzky   Strings
Brent Mason   Electric Guitar
Terry McMillan   Harmonica,Percussion
Louis Dean Nunley   Background Vocals
Dave Pomeroy   Bass
Alan Umstead   Strings
Biff Watson   Acoustic Guitar
Tommy Wells   Drums
Richard Wesley   Acoustic Guitar
Tony Migliore   Synthesizer,Keyboards

Technical Credits

Don McLean   Arranger,Producer
Joseph Bogan   Engineer
Dave Burgess   Producer
Joe Bogan   Engineer
Tony Migliore   Composer,Horn Arrangements

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