Voice of America is the second solo album by Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul released on May 7, 1984, four weeks before Bruce Springsteen released Born in the U.S.A.
This album traded in the horns and the R & B influences of the previous Men Without Women for a raw, garage rock sound. Politics came to the lyrical forefront, with the general theme being opposition to Ronald Reagan-era American foreign policy.
"Out of the Darkness", a synthesizer-led anthem with sweeping arena rock and hair metal atmosphere, garnered some airplay, as well as music video play on MTV, and was effective in concert, while the somewhat softer and evocative "Checkpoint Charlie" also received considerable radio airplay. "Los Desaparecidos" gained praise as an effective protest song on behalf of the 1970s and 1980s victims of state-sponsored forced disappearance in South America. On other songs, the political viewpointing became more strident and was criticized as somewhat artless.
"I Am a Patriot", which held roughly that dissent was not disloyalty, became a favorite song of Jackson Browne, who covered it on his 1989 album World in Motion and who frequently performed it in his concerts. In 2004, the two would duet on the song during the last of the Vote for Change shows. Pearl Jam has covered the song as well.
In 2019, the album was remastered for release as part of Van Zandt's career-spanning box set Rock N Roll Rebel: The Early Work. The digital deluxe edition of the album was released on October 25, 2019 containing 10 bonus tracks, including the studio outtake "Rock N Roll Rebel", which was written following Van Zandt's 1983 removal from Disneyland due to he and his band's clothing being deemed inappropriate. The digital deluxe edition also includes the reissued Vote! bonus EP.
Label: Wicked Cool Record Co. B0032031-01
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue, Remastered
Genre: Rock, Pop
Style: Hard Rock, Pop Rock
A1 Voice Of America
A3 Checkpoint Charlie
A5 Out Of The Darkness
B1 Los Desaparecidos (The Disappeared Ones)
B3 I Am A Patriot (And The River Opens For The Righteous)
B4 Among The Believers
B5 Undefeated (Everybody Goes Home)