Certain Songs #961: Lone Justice – “East of Eden”

Album: Lone Justice
Year: 1985

Oh man, there was SO MUCH HYPE around Lone Justice in 1985.

And while it was clear that Maria McKee was absolutely a force of nature and deserved every inch of the voluminous praise heaped upon her, it also seemed like their Jimmy Iovine-produced debut was too slick by half, like he didn’t quite trust their roots rock in the first place.

So I thought Lone Justice was good, not great, right down to its Campbell/Petty written lead single — itself a sign that Iovine didn’t trust them to write their own hit. And the only things I really loved on it were the rollicking cowpunk of “Soap, Soup and Salvation” and the opening track, “East of Eden,” which opened the album with an Diddelyized adrenaline shot of McKee-led call-and-response.

“Well should I go north?!?!?”
“NO!!!”
“Should I go south?!?!?!”
“NO!!!
“Should I go west?!?!?”
“NO!!”
“Should I go east?!?!?
“YEAH!!!!!”

And with that, they were off to the races, traveling east right past Eden and straight into one of the most thrilling choruses of the year.

Everybody needs to rely on somebody
Everybody needs to rely on someone
Even you, even me!!
I’m gonna follow my feeling
I’m gonna follow my senses
I’m gonna follow my compass

When McKee hits the “Even you, even me!” part and the whole band comes crashing down around her, you can hear why there was so much hype around Lone Justice, and it seems like they could go anywhere, do anything.

And maybe that was why I found the Lone Justice album somewhat underwhelming: the rest of the record never lived up to its overpowering opening track.

“East of Eden”

“East of Eden” performed live in 1985

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