John Batdorf and Michael McLean | Don't You Know

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Folk: Folk Pop Rock: Acoustic Moods: Type: Vocal
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Don't You Know

by John Batdorf and Michael McLean

Acoustic guitar driven full of great vocals. Beautiful melodies with powerful lyrical content full of hope and and inspiration . The CD's production plan was not unlike that of "Tapestry" by Carol King. Feature the songs, sing great and make it timeless.
Genre: Folk: Folk Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. She's the Girl
John Batdorf and Michael McLea
3:45 album only
2. It's Not Love
John Batdorf and Michael McLea
4:34 album only
3. Forgiveness
John Batdorf and Michael McLea
4:29 album only
4. I Will Not Be Afraid
John Batdorf and Michael McLea
3:37 album only
5. It's Only My Heart
John Batdorf and Michael McLea
4:31 album only
6. Promised Land
John Batdorf and Michael McLea
3:45 album only
7. Don't You Know
John Batdorf and Michael McLea
3:02 album only
8. Never Had to Ask
John Batdorf and Michael McLea
4:22 album only
9. Heartbeat Away
John Batdorf and Michael McLea
3:27 album only
10. How Much Rain
John Batdorf and Michael McLea
4:38 album only
11. Let It Go
John Batdorf and Michael McLea
3:20 album only


Album Notes
A Little History

John Batdorf signed his first record deal with Mark Rodney in 1970 with Atlantic Records at the age of 18. They went on to record three albums together and had a huge FM radio following before disbanding in 1975. John started a new band Silver which recorded one album for Arista and released it in 1976 with a top 20 hit "Wham Bam". In 1979 John signed a deal with 20th Century Records as a solo artist but the record was never released as the label folded. He went on to be a staff songwriter for Charles Koppleman and had songs recorded by America, England Dan, The Currie Sisters, Kim Carnes and Kalapona. The eighties John spent most of his time as a top studio singer in LA singing on many TV shows, movies and records. Late in the 80s he started producing jingles and met Michael McLean. Michael had never heard of John nor had John heard of Michael. John started producing jingles Michael wrote and later the two started writing songs together the first one being "Don't You Know" which happens to be the title of their CD. John then got hired to score "Promised Land and Touched By An Angel" which lasted seven years which contained many songs written by John and Michael. Michael had a completely different background than John. He had always written songs but also had a day gig at as a creative director at an advertising agency to support his family. During that 15 year career Michael went on to produce and direct commercials, make movies write books and put out CDs. In 1992 Michael left his job to concentrate on song writing and to pursue all his other dreams as an artist including a Broadway play he hopes to get produced in the near future. Michael, his son Scott and John did the score for a movie, "The Best Two Years" that was released this past February. The two continue to write together and hope to have a new CD out soon and are busy developing a concept for aTV show that, of course, would be music driven.

John Batdorf Bio

I have survived many careers in one lifetime. Starting with the 70's as a recording artist with Batdorf and Rodney and Silver. I made records and toured this country and Canada for most of the 70s. We headlined many shows, but as an opening act we got to play with a lot of great groups like America, Seals and Crofts, Dan Fogelberg, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, Fleetwood Mac, The Doobie Brothers, Bread, The Youngbloods, Hall and Oats, Cheech and Chong, England Dan and John Ford Coley, Pure Prairie League, Harry Chapin, John Prine, Dave Mason, Kris Kristofferson just to name a few! A great time was had by all.

I spent the 80's as a staff songwriter writing songs for America, England Dan, The Curry sisters and Kim Carnes, and as studio singer singing on hundreds of jingles, movies, and TV shows. I sang on four main titles including, "Doctor, Doctor", "Tom and Jerry Kids", "Garfield and Friends" and "Promised Land". I sang background vocals on some really great recordings by Rod Stewart, Motley Crue, Dave Mason, Eric Anderson,The Jefferson Starship, Berlin, Donna Summer, Dwight Yoakum, Boy Meets Girl, Mickey Thomas, Stan Ridgeway, James Lee Stanley, David Lee Roth, The London Choir Boys to name a few.

Then came the 90's and I started producing records and commercials. During that time I met and went on to write some great songs with my friend, Michael McLean. We have recorded 4 CDs together. In 1996 I got my first chance to score a CBS TV prime time show, "Promised Land". I composed all the music underscore for three years until the show came to an end. I went on to compose music for another CBS drama, "Touched By An Angel" which after nine very successful seasons is no longer in production. TBAA and Promised Land reruns still appear somewhere on the planet every day of the week. Soon after, I composed the entire musical score for a 2 hour made for PAX TV movie called "Book of Days" which appeared January and March of 2003. "The Best Two Years", which I also scored and wrote songs with Michael and Scott McLean, had a successful theatrical run in 2004 and is now available on DVD as well as the soundtrack on CD.

I am currently devoting most of my time promoting the All Wood And Stones CD with James Lee Stanley. The CD was rereleased on Aezra/EMI in September 2005 and we have been on and off the road doing our best to spread the word about this fantastic CD on into the new year. I also just completed my first solo EP, "Side One" that I am very proud of...................

Michael McLean Bio

Michael McLean is a songwriter, composer,author,performer,playwright, film producer and director.

As a songwriter Michael has written music and lyrics for more than 20 albums and has sold over a million tapes and CDs since his first release in 1983(see the discography). They include You're Not Alone, Stay With Me,Celebrating the Light, A New Kind of Love Song, One Heart in the Right Place, You've Always Been There for Me, and the best- selling Collections Volumes 1 and 2 and The Forgotten Carols.

As an author he's written three books, each with accompanying CDs. Distant Serenade, Hold On The Light Will Come: And Other Lessons My Songs Have Taught Me, and The Forgotten Carols Since its release in 1991 Michael has performed a theatrical version of The Forgotten Carols to sold-out audiences throughout the United States.

As a filmmaker Michael was the original story writer, producer and director of the film Nora's Christmas Gift starring Academy Award winner Celeste Holm . He was also Producer and original story co-writer of the holiday television classic Mr. Krueger's Christmas starring film legend Jimmy Stewart. Other films Michael's written and directed include Together Forever, What Is Real? and The Prodigal Son.

Early in Michael's career he made commercials for radio and television, primarily for Bonneville International where he was active in the creation of the award-winning Home Front radio and television commercial series. During his 17 years with Bonneville, Michael received numerous national and international awards for advertising including the prestigious Clio Awards, National Addy awards,New York ad club's Andy Awards, two National Emmy Finalist awards as well as the Bronze Lion at the Cannes Film Festival.

As a playwright, Michael's Celebrating the Light ran for five seasons at The Promised Valley Playhouse before going on a 25 city tour. In addition to making theatrical adaptations of Distant Serenade and The Forgotten Carols in September 2000 his stage musical The Ark, written with Kevin Kelly, was featured in the Festival of New Musicals on Broadway in New York City. Participation in the festival is by invitation only. (You can check out the history of this musical as well as the status of various productions of The Ark, including a production planned for New York City on this web site.) Some of his other best-selling works include The Garden, (an allegorical oratorio in collaboration with Merrill Jenson and Bryce Neubert; which premiered in Jerusalem,has been performed by orchestra and choirs from Los Angeles to New York and has been translated and performed in France, South America and Russia.) As a film composer: Soundtracks: Original Themes from Favorite Films, And most recently the soundtrack to the 2004 independent feature film The Best Two Years

Michael and his wife Lynne have three children and an adopted dog named Grace.



to write a review

Jeanette A. Lundgren

It's About Values, a fan review
You live your life, day-to-day. Sometimes it's not easy and sometimes it's easier. You can go on for a very long time, just putting one foot in front of the other, your head down to the elements, just to survive and keep the people and things in your life who/that mean the most to you. But sometimes it gets really difficult. Sometimes we need inspiration. That's where the music comes in.

This CD - and, I'm discovering, most of the music composed in partnership by John Batdorf and Michael McLean - is about values, morals and ethics, accentuating the `good' in life; an all-encompassing value I can get along with.

I've said once before, in another review, that I am a lyrics fiend. I will be predisposed to liking a song if I read the lyrics and they go along with either my beliefs or my values or hit a chord from something in my life that rings true. It's the lyrics that draw me in. A song can be pretty as all get out, but if the words suck? You won't hear/see me wasting my time with it.

Sometimes you'll hear a lyric that will just be so brilliant that you can't help but note and remember it. Such is the case with the song that starts off this CD, "She's the Girl". Whoever was lucky enough to have this song written for her, wow, okay? The lyrics in here are lovely and my especial favorite is "she's the brush strokes in every Monet" ... being a Monet fan and having been to the gardens that inspired his brushstrokes, well ... what a high compliment.

The brilliant lyrics don't stop here. No, they keep going all throughout the CD, song by song, and that's one of the things that make 'Don't You Know' one of my newest favorites.

There's something about this CD that tells me that you can't "get it" with regard to the emotions and values put forth here unless you've lived some. To back up this thought is the second song, "It's Not Love", which isn't something you're going to really understand unless you'd been there and done that and made it last. It just makes sense. Infatuation, lust, and other possible beginnings to a relationship just don't become real love until the two of you have been at the starting line, run the race, stumbled, fallen and helped each other up and strove to finish the race together.

And then comes "Forgiveness" and here comes another value that may be difficult for many of us, including myself. This is a pretty awesome song and I often wonder about its origins; however, it's fairly generalized. Like I said at the beginning of this paragraph, forgiveness is one of the hardest things to conquer. I have a fence or two in my own background that never really got mended and may never get that repair in the traditional sense. Sometimes, though, you just have to walk away and let it go (but that's another song ... funnily enough, on this very CD!).

After which comes "I Will Not Be Afraid" which now ranks up there with my top favorite songs of all time. When I first heard the song and then bought the CD it became a very big help to me at the time. It remains my belief that certain songs come into your life exactly when you need them and that's what happened with this one. I think I may have worn this track thin. The other impressive thing about this song is that I have noticed that it is on all three available Batdorf and McLean CD's, and John almost always plays it during his live solo spots.

Walking away after you've had your heart broken has never - in my experience - been defined so well in a song until I heard "It's Only My Heart". In my experience, however, I have tended to be the heartbreaker. Which doesn't make the experience any easier; it still hurts, either way. There was one instance that has affected my entire life afterwards. And when I remember how hard it was for him ... I can listen to this song now and understand what he went through. At the same time, I can hear this song from either direction, and understand the pain.

"Promised Land". This is the only song on this CD that skates a little too close to things I'd rather not discuss in public. My promised land is probably a whole helluva lot different from yours. However, the song does address this in sort of an abstract fashion. It's personal. It's inside you. There's no address. You don't have to go to a concrete building and hobnob with costumes and ancient rituals to find it. And that's all I'm going to say about that (because I've probably already said too much already).

"Don't You Know", "Never Had to Ask", and "Heartbeat Away" are three songs that have held up my writing of this review and I realized that it's because I like to listen to them but they're less meaningful to me at the moment than the other songs herein. They're experiences I haven't been close to in a while, so the songs kind of fall across me like mild water until I get to the ones that mean a lot to me.

"How Much Rain". This song comes as close to sarcasm as I've ever heard from John. However, I like it a lot, and it probably defines why the previous three songs don't really make that much of a difference for me right now. For the past 25-odd years I've approached life from a business- and caretaker- perspective. It feels right to me if I'm taking care of my friends and, in reverse, when those people that I count as friends have made a difference for me. But for anyone to try and go deeper than that - well, that's where this song comes in - no one can count that high, no one can go that deep, and no one should even try.

"Let It Go" is the final song on this CD and what a wrap-up to a whole boatload of emotions and inspiration. It does my soul good to know that something that came hard won to me after many years of guilt and soul-searching, is not the mistake that people outside of the experience always told me it was. Sometimes you just have to forgive yourself and then you just have to have the courage to walk away. Forgiveness is not necessarily the same as letting it go; but when you finally do allow yourself the freedom to let go, no matter how painful, you can move forward with your life. Oh, yeah, I've been there once or twice, and learned from it. So it's soul-satisfying to hear "Let It Go" now from musicians I truly respect because it just reinforces something I learned the hard way.

John's voice blows me away. Seriously. It's sort of rough and tumble in a way, slightly reminiscent of singers like Bryan Adams and Don Henley, but with a quality, resonance, and timbre all its own. He sings every song as if he believes in the words he's singing and I have no reason to think that he doesn't. This is not a dishonest person, or an actor singing songs meant to get to you but without feeling behind it. I just think that John and Michael write songs they believe in and John sings them the very same way. Not only does that honesty come across, but it also makes the songs even more inspirational. It makes me want to stop and listen carefully to what's being said.

And then comes the music itself. I think it's important for a song to have a melody that's fairly catchy in order for it to have life beyond the initial writing of it. I can love the lyrics all I want, but if the song as a whole doesn't impress me, then I won't listen to it as often. I can't think of one song, yet, of John and Michael's, that I don't like - it's just that there are some songs that speak more to me and my personal experience than others. I have a lot of CD's and there are specific single pieces of music I listen to when I need to (among them are songs by CSN, Judy Collins, Amanda Marshall, Melissa Etheridge, and Jim Byrnes), things that work well on long drives (Jeff Beck, Jan Hammer, Talking Heads, Indigo Girls, Yes, Genesis, and Van Halen come to mind), and otherwise. There are musicians who are pure perfection in their words and how they stretch their voice and in the execution of their created music. I love bluesy music and bluegrass and some jazz, but none of these have constant staying power for me. None (well, there is one other but his first CD is still forthcoming) till now have come this close to something meaningful to my life - something I can listen to all of the tracks of and get reinforcement from while enjoying the melodies and the voice and the lyrics all at the same time. This is music that will never get old.

I've only heard one other CD of late that comes as close as this one to being a constant favorite of mine. That's one that recently became available, also from John and Michael: 'Batdorf and McLean: The Early Years'. But that's a whole `nuther review (to come).

Tom M.

Great acoustic guitars and beautiful harmonies.
I've been searching for years for Batdorf & Rodney on CD. And no, this isn't "Off The Shelf", but it's almost as good. Where have I heard She's The Girl before I got this CD?? But would somebody please please PLEASE bring out "Off The Shelf" on CD?! Hell, I'd buy at least 6 of them, 'cause I'd wear out at least 3 of them in the first month or two!

A music fan

Looking For BatDorf and Rodney
While looking for Batdorf and Rodney this transplanted midwesterner was disappointed that Off the Shelf is not available--but this may be the next best thing!

A music fan

Acoustic guitar and smooth harmonies at their best!
After recently stumbling across some old Batdorf and Rodney albums, and being reasonably impressed, I decided to search on-line music stores for their music on CD. I was surprised to see that John Batdorf had a fairly recent release with a different partner. Although skeptical of purchasing the CD without hearing any of it, I took the chance and was not disappointed. This is one of the finest acoustic guitar playing with great harmonies' CDs that I have heard in years. If you like Batdorf and Rodney, or Brewer and Shipley, (or even if you don't), you will love this CD. It is Batdorf and Rodney with 20 years' musical maturity thrown in.


New Tunes From An Old Friend
In the early seventies, college radio embraced the duo of Batdorf & Rodney. Now, twenty some years later, it is great to hear the familiar voice of John Batdorf with partner Michael McLean on the cd "Don't You Know". The album features top notch pop writing and clean harmonies reminiscent at times of early Lennon/McCartney.

Highlights include "It's Not Love","Don't You Know",and "Promised Land". All in all worth a very listenable c.d.


CD Baby is awesome!
I have been looking for this CD forever! I've always loved Batdorf and Mclean. I was so happy to finally find it on the internet! CD Baby did such an awesome job. They had the CD shipped to me so fast, and in perfect condition!! I will for sure use CD Baby's services again anytime in the future. They really truly care about whether or not it gets to the person. I'm really lovin' my CD, and it's mostly thanks to CD Baby. So..............thank you.


Worthy of a listen!

5 out of 5 stars Don't You Know, February 13, 2003
Reviewer: A music fan
This CD has great acoustic guitar work and a familiar voice, if you're a fan of Batdorf & Rodney's earlier music. I long to hear B&R's earliest recordings again on CD format. The album is a great acoustical recording with sincere lyrics written by John Batdorf & Michael McLean. McLean adds much to the finished work with his vocals and keyboard additions. This is a polished recording worth a listening too.

5 out of 5 stars Good But It's Not Batdorf&Rodney !!!!, February 1, 2002
Reviewer: Edward L. Tims (LasVegas, Nevada United States) - See all my reviews
This CD has a lot of good music and is worth adding to the collection,But it cannot compete with the Batdorf&Rodney albums from the 70's.Those three albums that Batdorf&Rodney made back then are great and the music is timeless.With all the Batdorf&Rodney fans that are still around and with the potential of adding new fans to the mix,You would think that someone would release all three of Batdorf&Rodneys albums on quality mastered CD,s

5 out of 5 stars You guys are right!, October 9, 1999
Reviewer: Brandon R.MacDuff (High Sierras) - See all my reviews
I am absolutely amazed to see there are other Batdorf & Rodney fans out there. I thought I was the only one. I saw them several times, at the Troubador and the Golden Bear in HB. Two guys and two Martins. I still play their stuff when I get my guitar out. You can find their records at "Recycled Records" in Reno, Nv. Contact me if you want me to check it out for you!

5 out of 5 stars I've waited more than 25 years for this!, August 17, 1999
Reviewer: (Seattle, WA) - See all my reviews
In 1971-72 I had the good fortune to see Batdorf & Rodney in concert with Pure Prairie League at a small venue in Dayton, Ohio, my home town, and also with Harry Chapin at Wright State University. I've purchased four additional copies of "Off the Shelf" since 1971 at used record stores. I've just about worn out my original copy.

I've long awaited more music from John Batdorf. It's heartening to see that he has been busy, working with other artists. This is a great CD, especially if you're familiar with Batdorf & Rodney. I'll be watching for a tour!