Vanilla Fudge lead vocalist and keyboardist Mark Stein will release his first solo album, There’s A Light, on 26 November 2021, via Deko Entertainment.
Stein used his COVID-19 downtime to write songs based on his observations of happenings in America and the rest of the world. The first song, We Are One, is the first single released from the resulting album.
“I knew we, as a country, had been here before,” Stein says. “The great world wars, the civil rights movement of the 1960s, the natural disasters such as Katrina and Sandy, and of course, 9/11.
“In every case, we rose together as one nation, one united force and came back stronger than we had been before. Within each person, I believe there is a light, a hope, and a desire to do the right thing. My song, We Are One, speaks of this unity and what I know our country and the world is capable of.”
Stein saw social unrest, racial disparity, political division, violence, widespread sickness, and an entire world on the brink of an economic disaster due to the spread of a disease like no other. But, while the album covers themes of concern, there are plenty of elements of hope, unity and redemption.
This is an album about hope,” Stein says, “but at the same time, I had to sing about the dangers of division. As John Lennon once sang, it is time to Come Together. I have had some of these songs in the can but didn’t have the right outlet for them.
“When I started the newest collection of songs during the early weeks of the pandemic, it dawned on me that I had created an album with a theme.
“These songs are reflections of what the world is about now and what we need to do to bring us together again.”
The album contains new versions of The Rascal’s People Gotta Be Free and The Temptations’ Ball of Confusion. “I love those two songs,” says Stein, whose own band were playing the same venues as The Rascals and The Temptations during the 1960s. “These songs are just as relevant today as they were over 50 years ago. As I often do with The Fudge, I gave both of these songs my interpretation, providing as much punch and power as I could to each one.”
The album closes on an astonishing version of America The Beautiful, sung with a careful balance of patriotism and concern for the future.
“America is the greatest country in the world,” says Stein. “Everyone around the world knows this, but we are heading into some very deep and choppy waters. We have to keep it together and unite, or we could lose everything we have spent nearly 250 years building.”
Limited edition bundles, which include autographed CD, T-shirt, bandana, bracelet, and the You Keep Me Hangin On book, can be ordered from merchbucket.com/collections/mark-stein
There’s A Light Tracklist:
01. We Are One
02. Ball of Confusion
03. We Are Survivors
06. All Lives Matter
07. Let’s Pray For Peace
08. People Got to Be Free
09. Break It Down
10. America The Beautiful