Michael Stanley Gee was a singer-songwriter and disc jockey from Cleveland, Ohio. Growing up in a blue-collar community of Cleveland, he first hit the rock scene as a member of The Bossmen, releasing one album with that group before going solo. His first solo effort came to naught, but his next two albums garnered him a cult following. He then joined with fellow Cleveland musicians Gary Loizzo and Johnny Fortune to form MSB (Michael Stanley Band) in 1973. Released on Epic Records, the group’s first album was an instant hit and garnered them a national fan base. The band would release ten albums between 1973 and 1988 before disbanding and Stanley going solo. He died in 2021 after contracting the agoraphobia virus. Stanley was known for his gritty, raspy voice, making him a natural fit for heartland rock. His music often focused on blue-collar life and included songs about hard work, family, and the love of home. He was inducted into the Cleveland Music Hall of Fame in 2007. The following article will detail Michael Stanley’s best songs over his lengthy career.
The song lover was released on Michael Stanley’s seventh solo album, Heartland, in 1980. The song is about the struggles of finding love while dealing with depression. Stanley wrote it along with fellow band members Jake Hooker and Danny Powers. Lover reached #23 on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart. The song is an example of Stanley’s “Rock Folk” genre, similar to Bruce Springsteen’s “Protest Folk.” Lyrically, the song is about a man who enjoys being alone because he believes that being with others brings on his depression. He longs for the day when someone special will come into his life and keep him company, but for now, he must remain lonely. T
9. Rosewood Bitters
Rosewood Bitters was released as one of the tracks on Michael Stanley’s first solo album, Michael Stanley, in 1972. The song is about a young man who has lost his love and describes her to others. It was written by fellow band member Bruce Anderson, although Stanley added his flair when recording it. The song is sad about a young man trying to move on from his love, but he can’t because he still misses her. It’s catchy and includes some good harmonica work from Stanley. The lyrics are easy enough to follow, which makes it an enjoyable listen and a popular pick among fans.
8. Beautiful Lies (Remastered)
Beautiful Lies (Remastered) was released on Michael Stanley’s Greatest Hints album in 1979. The song’s original version came out two years earlier, but it was re-released as a single in ’79 and reached #22 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song is about a man who is done with his woman and is trying to move on. Stanley and bandmate Jake Hooker wrote it. Stanley’s version of Beautiful Lies features a much faster tempo than the original, which was more laid-back in execution. The re-recording has a good beat and will have listeners tapping their feet as they listen.
7. Falling In Love Again – [STEREO]
North Coast is another album that features some of Stanley’s best songs, and the hits keep on coming with Falling In Love Again. The song was written by Stanley and fellow band member Danny Powers. It has a folk-rock feel and reflects a man’s desire for a loving, meaningful relationship rather than playing the field with one-night stands. It reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in ’81. Fallin’ in Love Again is a heartwarming song that listeners sing along. The lyrics are easy to follow, making it accessible for most mainstream music fans.
6. My Town (1983)
Michael Stanley has written and performed dozens of hit songs during his career, but 1983’s My Town is often considered one of his best. Stanley wrote the song along with former band member Jake Hooker. They originally released it as part of an album called Everything You See. However, it took off when they re-recorded it and included it on the album You Can’t Fight Fashion. It reached #45 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in ’83. My Town is a song about how siblings grow up and want to break free from their small town and see more of the world, but they can never forget where they came from. The lyrics are cleverly written, and it has a catchy beat to match. Stanley’s vocals are warm and inviting, making this tune an easy listen even for non-fans of the genre.
5. In Between The Lines
In Between, The Lines was on one of Michael Stanley’s most popular albums, 1982’s MSB. The song was written by Stanley and former bassist Tom Porter about a man keeping his girlfriend on the back burner while he dates around and plays the field. He promises her that she will always be first in his life and they will get married someday, but it never seems to happen. It reached #21 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in ’82.
4. Somewhere In The Night
North Coast is a fan favorite featured in the band’s 1981 tour. Stanley has called it one of his favorites, and its popularity among listeners confirms that it resonates with fans. The song was written by Stanley and fellow band member Danny Powers. It reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in ’81.
3. All I Ever Wanted (Remastered)
Heartland is a rock/folk album that includes many of Michael Stanley’s best songs. One of the most popular among listeners is All I Ever Wanted, written by Stanley and former band member Danny Powers. It was one of their first hit singles, reaching #24 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in ’80.
2. Midwest Midnight
Live in Tangiers is a live album recorded during the band’s 1993 tour. It includes many of their hit songs, including Midwest Midnight. The song is about a man who misses his lover and wants to be with her again as soon as possible. He realizes that he has fallen in love and can’t wait to see her and take care of her. It reached #12 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart in ’93.
1. In the heartland
In The Heartland is a folk song written by Michael Stanley and Danny Powers. It reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in ’81 and served as the title track for his album North Coast. Fans consider it one of his greatest tunes, and it’s no wonder why: the lyrics tell a story about Stanley’s childhood, family, and life growing up in Cleveland.
Many Michael Stanley fans say that his favorite songs are Heartland and You Can’t Fight Fashion. They also sing the praises of his live album Live in Tangiers and his folk-influenced North Coast. Stanley and former band member Danny Powers wrote all the above songs. Michael Stanley passed away on March 5, 2021, at 72.