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Fabulous Flip Sides – Interview with Jude Cole

We discuss songs from Jude Cole’s 1990 breakthrough album A View from 3rd Street, his new 5 song EP, and share a brand new demo. We also talk about Silver Condor, Del Shannon, Lifehouse and his long-time friend, Kiefer Sutherland.

By Warren Kurtz

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GOLDMINE:In early 1990, vinyl disappeared from the record stores and we were forced to purchase CDs or cassettes, including cassette singles. I wondered if rock and roll was going away too. Rod Stewart and Phil Collins offered softer sounds. There were some beautiful female voices too, including Wilson Phillips, but the danceable electric guitar driven edge seemed to be missing until one day that spring I heard you singing on Chicago radio, “If I ever needed your arms to hold me, baby, it’s tonight. If I ever needed your eyes to heal me, baby, it’s tonight.”

JUDE COLE: I grew up in driving distance from where you first heard “Baby, It’s Tonight,” in the Quad Cities’ East Moline area. I got my first guitar when I was six and began playing professionally when I was eleven. I was 29 when “Baby, It’s Tonight” debuted in the Top 40 and became a big radio record. I appreciated the success and I heard myself more like Matthew Sweet at the time.

GM:I like the arrangement that John Corey brought to “House Full of Reason.” I became familiar with him through the band Silver Condor and his Top 40 composition, “You Could Take My Heart Away.”

JC: Wow! Silver Condor, with Earl Slick on guitar and Joe Cerisano with a voice so strong. I moved to California in 1978 and there was a time when Joe and I were practically roommates. In 1981, Silver Condor released their first album and by the end of that year Del Shannon entered the Top 100 with his cover of “Sea of Love.” The following year, his album Drop Down and Get Me, produced by Tom Petty, was released and I was on the tour to support that album.

GM:That album, which consisted of mainly Del Shannon originals, also included his cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Out of Time.” Speaking of “time” songs, your “Time for Letting Go” became your second Top 40 hit single. When I listen to “I’ll Miss You” from your new In Plain Sight EP, I am reminded of “Time for Letting Go.” The flip side of “Time for Letting Go” was the final number on your A View from 3rd Street album, “Prove Me Wrong,” with a Beatles mid-‘60s guitar sound.

JC: I always liked that one and felt “that’s me” where other songs may have sounded like what other people wanted.

Jude Cole

Flip side: Prove Me Wrong

A side: Time for Letting Go

Top 100 debut: August 4, 1990

Peak position: 32

Reprise 19743

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GM:On your 1990 CD, you wrote “very special thanks” to Kiefer Sutherland, who my wife Donna and I enjoyed watching on ABC television earlier this year in “Designated Survivor.”

JC: I have known Kiefer since 1987 and we became best of friends immediately. I scored three of his films. We started a recording studio and a small record company called Ironworks. We look for artists who put everything in it. We have a few acts on the label, including Lifehouse.

GM:I remember Donna driving around Nevada, listening to Lifehouse’s “You and Me” on the radio, a song that you co-wrote.

JC: Yes. I co-wrote that one with Jason Wade from the band and it became a Top 10 hit in 2005. When he was seventeen, he was signed to Dreamworks. I kept being asked to manage them. I helped the band, and they broke through in 2001 with “Hanging by a Moment,” which was their first Top 10 hit.

GM:I can hear a touch of Lifehouse on the opening number, “Taking Away my Home,” on your new EP and perhaps a bit of a Peter Gabriel influence on “Wax Wings.” “Only Far Way” is a nice acoustic pop song and my favorite track is the moody, synthesizer driven “The Dark.”

JC: Those last two are Pink Floyd inspired. I am a super fan of their music. With “The Dark,” I thought about their use of space in a song, that you don’t have to fill up all the space on a record. “Only Far Way” is a guy/girl song with the music inspired by Pink Floyd’s 1970 album, Atom Heart Mother. My son Jesse plays piano on the song and my son Ethan did the EP collage artwork.

GM:The eerie Pink Floyd-like sound continues on your newest song “Light Years Away,” which you are sharing on your website.

JC: This song was inspired by the romantic sci-fi film Passengers. I’ll have a more professional version soon, but in the meantime, this is the demo to share with the fans and Goldmine readers. Look for more music from me in the new year too.

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Listen to "Light Years Away" - Jude Cole (demo):

Warren Kurtz is a Contributing Editor at Goldmine, known for “Fabulous Flip Sides” along with giveaways, interviews, CD, DVD and book reviews. “Warren’s Fabulous Flip Sides” can be heard most Saturday mornings, in the 9 a.m. hour, Eastern time, as part of “Moments to Remember” at or iHeart Radio – search WVCR.