Six years after Steve Cropper co-created The Detroit-Memphis Experiment with Mitch Ryder, he helped coordinate Rising Sun for Yvonne Elliman. Though it yielded no hits, coming in the five year period between her first and second Top 30 adventures, it is a very musical and multifaceted recording. Elliman contributes two titles, "Steady As You Go" and the sublime "Who's Gonna Save The World?," where she sounds like Jackie DeShannon, a real departure for the Yvonne Elliman people knew from Jesus Christ Superstar. She covers Rick Danko of the Band, a wonderful rendition of "Small Town Talk," adventurous music which was more hip than the adult contemporary packaging would lead one to believe. The piano-heavy remake of the Eagles' "Best of My Love" would seem like a Johnny Mathis move, "let's put familiar tunes on an album to sell it," but this is Steve Cropper at the helm, and like Doris Troy performing "Lyin' Eyes," it has its own majesty separate from the familiarity of the Eagles. The singer also draws from two of Barry Manilow'd songwriting sources, taking David Pomeranz' "If You Walked Away" and giving it a performance which deserved to top the adult contemporary charts as her cover of Barbara Lewis' "Hello Stranger" would two years later, and issuing Will Jennings and Richard Kerr's "Somewhere in the Night," doing so almost simultaneous with Kim Carnes' version (they shared some of the same players, Lee Sklar and Mentor Williams to name two), both women beating Barry Manilow and Helen Reddy to the punch (Reddy hit with it in '79, Manilow in '76). But maybe the real find on this album is Todd Rundgren's "Sweeter Memories"; with Rundgren, Moogy Klingman, and Ralph Schuckett, it's Booker T. meets Utopia, sounding nothing like either, but a blend that creates an as yet undiscovered classic. There are so many potential pop hits on Rising Sun, classy material and top-notch players, it is truly an enigma that it wasn't a monster. Simply amazing work.