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Greenway - 1988 Serious Business

ARTIST: Greenway, Brian
ALBUM: Serious Business
LABEL: Atlantic
SERIAL: 81827-2
YEAR: 1988


LINEUP: Brian Greenway - vocals, guitars, keyboards * Marty Simon - keyboards, vocals * Aldo Nova - keyboards, programming * Claude Arsanault - bass * Andy Newmark - drums

Other Musicians: Bill Beaudoin, Mike Hebic, Alex Lifeson - guitars * Scott Price, Jean Roussel, Daniel Barbe - keyboards * Alan Jordan, Michel Pegliare, Nanette Workman - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 In The Danger Zone * 02 Right Track * 03 Playin' To Win * 04 Serious Business * 05 I Can't Hold Back * 06 Let It Go * 07 R U Ready For Love * 08 I Believe In You * 09 It's Alright * 10 I Can't Say No

I've seen this album go for top prices on Ebay. It's had some very good raps from reviewers/writers out there over the years, so upon investigation I set out to see if 'Serious Business' was all that it was cracked up to be. Sadly, no. Not the class act I was expecting to hear, but admittedly, it had some very good moments. Brian is better known as one part of the guitar arsenal for Canadian rockers April Wine. When that band split up in 1986 after a long career (and one which still continues by the way), Brian went solo and released his one and only album to date. For the listeners benefit, we're talking about melodic rock in the territory of Tommy Shaw (circa 'Ambition'), and Aldo Nova (who appears on this album coincidentally) plus the early 80's era of his prior band April Wine. But in a nutshell, I would describe it as a working mans equivalent of Shaw's seminal classic 'Ambition'.. not a poor mans version by any means, as it does have some great if predictable tracks onboard. As you can see from the assembled line-up, a decent cast has turned up to play. Marty Simon is one of the keys here, playing and producing the album. Other notable attendees include the aforementioned Aldo Nova, Rush's Alex Lifeson, studio guitar king Bill Beaudoin (Eight Seconds) plus session drummer extraordinaire Andy Newmark. His playing credits are too numerous to name here, but he's played with just about everyone.

The Songs
Things start out with tempered fire and brimstone with the excellent 'In The Danger Zone', containing similar atmospherics to Shaw's 'Ambition'. The follow-up 'Right Track' is pretty good too, capped off by a catchy chorus which always help. The mid-paced ballad 'Playin' To Win' has some melting moments too. Brian kicks off the shackles with the excitable 'Serious Business'.. a hilarious tale involving crime and a court room. My fave track is the svelte 'I Can't Hold Back', nice bridge and again a great chorus. Very hummable. 'Let it Go' slows down noticeably, a ploddy drum beat keeps this one barely above the interest level. The next one 'R U Ready For Love' drops in on Simon Chase, parping keys and aggressive guitar rhythms. 'I Believe In You' is a slow to mid-paced affair followed by the AOR by-numbers 'It's Alright'.. the keyboards are quite good though.

In Summary
After a stint playing the bars and clubs of Toronto, Greenway's solo career was not able to be sustained. However, during 1992 April Wine reformed and Brian rejoined the fold. The band are still a going concern and have released a swag of albums up till the current day. But as for 'Serious Business'.. if you see it on Auction sites, don't be fooled by the extravagant high prices. It's good for what it is and the era in which it came out, if you know what I mean. I'm sure even Brian would be amazed to see how much this CD has gone for..

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#1 | super80boy on February 12 2017 16:12:48
I've also seen this album go for astronomical prices in original CD format, but that was years ago. I believe it's been reissued since and there's always the vinyl format, which is a very economical option, although Atlantic skimped and doesn't provide a nice custom inner sleeve. I like the harder edged title track with its bluesy melodies. 'Right Track' and 'In The Danger Zone' have the album single formula workings in play, both very catchy tracks. Out of the few slower tracks, 'I Believe In You' is my top choice. Other standouts are the driving 'R U Ready For Love' and the melodic guitar led 'It's Alright'.
#2 | gdazegod on August 03 2017 23:12:41
Greenway - 1988 In The Danger Zone
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