Jon Butcher Axis | An Ocean In Motion - Live in Boston 1984

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Rock: 80's Rock Rock: Classic Rock Moods: Featuring Guitar
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An Ocean In Motion - Live in Boston 1984

by Jon Butcher Axis

Legendary driving classic rock that wraps up the old and the new in a complete package of originality.
Genre: Rock: 80's Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Ocean In Motion
2:54 album only
2. Victims
4:56 album only
3. Life Takes A Life
4:42 album only
4. Fairlight
4:42 album only
5. Sentinel
6:24 album only
6. Walk Like This
3:15 album only
7. Walk On The Moon
5:23 album only
8. New Man
4:46 album only
9. It's Only Words
3:30 album only
10. Not Fade Away
3:11 album only
11. Don't Say Goodnight
4:28 album only


Album Notes
This CD captures the raw energy that always existed at JBA concerts, but was never truly captured on their studio releases. Recorded in 1984 at Boston's The Channel Club.

By: Scott Kinnison

Originally based in Boston, 80's rocker Jon Butcher is alive and doing well in the Los Angeles area. With a new Jon Butcher Axis CD just released, via Jon's web site (, we caught up with Jon to talk about his past, present and plans for the future......

According to Jon, the Jon Butcher Axis, which consisted of Jon on guitar and vocals, Chris Martin on bass and Derek Blevins on drums, paid it's dues in the early 1980's by playing all over the greater Boston/East coast area. "We got our big break in two ways. One by being played on Boston's WBCN, who was great at the time for promoting local music. Secondly, the J Geils Band, specifically Peter Wolf, became a fan and got us signed to open for the J Geils Band on a national tour.

This was all before we even had our first record out. So we went from playing anywhere that would pay us, to 10 to 12,000 people at the Boston Garden. It was quite an experience at the time."

Due to the exposure created by the Geils opening slot, the Jon Butcher Axis signed with Polygram Records and released two critically acclaimed albums, Jon Butcher Axis in 1983 and Staring At The Sun in 1984. Several songs, such as Life Takes A Life, Don't Say Goodnight, Ocean In Motion and Victims, received successful FM radio play and/or rotation as videos on MTV.

In fact, Jon's video for Life Takes A Life, from the self-titled album, was one of the first, by a black artist, to receive airtime on MTV. This was over five years before black rock artists, such as Living Colour, were commonly played on the music channel.

In 1985 the band moved to EMI/Capital Records and released Along the Axis. A song on that album, The Ritual, earned Jon a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. Singles and videos were released for The Sounds of Your Voice and Stop. It also marked the last time the Jon Butcher Axis moniker was used (prior to the just released album).

The following releases, Wishes (1986) and Pictures From The Front (1988) were simply under the Jon Butcher name. Jon reflected on the reason for the change. "After Chris (Martin) and Derek (Blevins) were no longer part of the band, it didn't seem right to keep the Axis name. Because the three of us were the Jon Butcher Axis."

Wishes would turn out to be Jon's most successful album, eventually reaching Gold sales status. "There are a lot of strong songs on that record. It is also an album where I had a lot of control and I think the album turned out better for that fact. Wishes, Holy War and Goodbye Saving Grace still get a lot of radio play to this day," Jon commented.

Pictures From The Front contained the popular songs Send Me Somebody and Waiting For A Miracle, but according to Jon "with that album there were a lot of forces telling us what we should be and what we should sound like."

In 1991, while touring with INXS, the Jon Butcher Axis ceased to exist. "The band had run it's creative course, just like any band does, including the Beatles. In addition, there was the strain of me living in California, versus the East coast. Along the Axis was recorded in the Los Angles area and after it was completed, I decided to stay in California." Jon stated.

Looking at the years from 1983 to 1991, Jon was asked why the Jon Butcher Axis never obtained multi-platinum sales success. "Of course I think we deserved to sell millions of records (chuckle), however I believe the problem stemmed in the diversity of the music we made. Diversity can be a blessing and a curse.

Diversity helps with your critical success, but it is probably not a good thing for a young band trying to make a name for itself to the masses. But I love all types of music and it is hard for me to not reflect that into the music I produce."

Jon spent the 1990's on several projects. In 1994, he led a group called Barefoot Servants, which released a self-titled album on Epic Records. The band included Leland Sklar on bass, Ben Schultz on guitar and Roy Brinker on drums. "This group was a lot of fun," according to Jon. "We did two tours together and Leland and Ben are great guys and great musicians, so this time in my life has many fond memories."

Jon added, "but all of us in Barefoot Servants had careers outside the band, that pulled us in different directions and meant that the group wasn't going to be a long term thing."

In the mid 90's, Jon released two solo blues albums, Positively The Blues and Electric Factory. Jon stated these albums were the result of his desire "to better the capture the style and energy of how we played live. These two albums are more basic than the stuff done earlier in my career and they are a result of the desire to do less tinkering and experimenting in the studio.

I look back on my recording career and I try not to be too critical, but there are a few things that make me cringe. It is easy to get into the studio and get into the trap of being too cute with something. I really like the raw energy of playing live and letting natural things come out, versus studio tricks."

1998 saw the release of The Best of Jon Butcher - Dreamers Would Ride, which mostly featured EMI/Capital material. In 1999, a 1987 King Biscuit Flour Hour concert was issued and is a strong testament to the live energy that Jon previously mentioned.

In November 2000, Jon released his first CD via his web site. The disc, called A Long Way Home, is "the long, lost Jon Butcher album." According to Jon, "nine songs on the CD were recorded a few years after Pictures From The Front and were meant to be on the 6th Jon Butcher, Jon Butcher Axis release. But they never saw the light of day until a few years ago."

Jon added two new songs to A Long Way Home. The first is an acoustic performance of Wishes and the other is a new song called Mule Driver, which is in the vein of tracks released on Positively The Blues and Electric Factory.

Present day, there is a new Jon Butcher Axis CD, A Stiff Little Breeze. It has been released on a new independent label, ATOM Records, and is being sold primarily through Jon's web site, But other outlets, such as and are also carrying the release.

Jon tells how the new disc evolved. "I found a tape box of things recorded in the early years and after listening to them, I was surprised how good they sounded. The tunes weren't released at the time for various reasons, none of which were quality based, but rather politics or some other crazy reason that seemed logical at the time.

I still get e-mail, from people all over the world, who have been touched by my music and I thought that those fans would enjoy a little deeper perspective on my recording career. I've also thrown in some new things that I think will surprise people."

A Stiff Little Breeze is a solid offering that should appeal to Jon's fans from all eras of his career. Fans of his early music will enjoy The Heart Beats Once and Love Is A River. Wishes era material is widely represented, with Big Guitars, High Road To Heaven, Money (Don't Mean A Thing) and Tie The Devil Down.

There are strong blues influences with Red House and the instrumentals Stiff Little Breeze and Beal Street. One of the strongest tracks on the CD is a new song called The Tiger In The Tall Grass. It doesn't sound like anything Jon has done in the past and it has a melody that will stick in your head for days.

In addition to the new CD, Jon's main focus today is scoring for television and film (some of these efforts are represented on the new disc). Jon accomplishes this, with business partner Andrew Rollins, through their Electric Factory Studios, and Brothers West Production Company.

Jon said scoring work keeps him extremely busy, so except for occasional performances at music festivals and periodic "mini-tours," you probably won't hear him in a nearby concert hall. But you may hear him in your local movie theatre or on your television set.

When Jon talks about scoring for television and film, there is a definite excitement in his voice. "I have always included instrumentals on my Axis albums and with scoring, my musical diversity is rewarded by being a blessing and a necessity. There has always been a visual sense with my music, even in the early Axis days and my current work lets me fulfill that vision."

After nearly 20 years in the music business, Jon is a man who is comfortable with his past, enjoys what he is doing today, and is excited about what the future will bring. Butcher concluded, "the internet opens a lot of doors for an artist to directly reach people. It's a change that I openly embrace. The new CD, from my web site, won't be the last time you'll be hearing from me."



to write a review

Alan Camp

Live And Loud And You Are There
Live And Loud And You Are There. Just Put On This CD And Enter A Hot Club With Great Music. There Is More Fun Going On In This CD Than Any Other Live CD Available Today. Ocean In Motion Kicks Off 11 Great Songs That Put You In The Middle Of The Show. (Welcome To The Rock Show)

Pat Flynn

John, Derrick, Chris,

This brings us all back to the good old days when you guys ruled the concert scene in Boston. Reunion any time soon?


A Must Own CD!!!
A great example of a great band. This CD took me right back to the time I saw this band live. They rocked, just like this CD rocks. If you want to become a fan to J.B.A. this is a great disc to start with. If you're an old fan like I am, then you'll know why you SHOULD get this disc.

Tom Connor

Awesome CD; Quality and Clarity are top notch
It was absolutely necessary to capture the incredible experience of hearing Jon Butcher Axis live and this CD has succeeded in doing that and more. I was actually at that show in Boston, as I was at nearly all of JBA's live performances during the 80's, so I believe I am more than qualified to make such a defining statement. The editing, the quality and the clarity of this CD are fantastic. It's a superb recording and the perfect tribute to an outstanding band.