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Shaw, Tommy - 1987 Ambition



ARTIST: Shaw, Tommy
ALBUM: Ambition
LABEL: Atlantic
SERIAL: 781-798-1
YEAR: 1987
CD REISSUE: 2007, American Beat (USA), 24402


COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Tommy Shaw - vocals, guitars * Terry Thomas - guitars, keyboards, drum programming * Felix Krish - bass * Wix - keyboards * Tony Beard - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 No Such Thing * 02 Dangerous Game * 03 The Weight Of The World * 04 Ambition * 05 Ever Since The World Began * 06 Are You Ready For Me * 07 Somewhere In The Night * 08 Love You Too Much * 09 The Outsider * 10 Lay Them Down

WEBLINKS: www.tommyshaw.com


Background
This is a case of third time lucky for Tommy Shaw, main guitarist behind seventies super heroes Styx. If you had heard his prior two albums 'Girls With Guns' and 'What If', you would be mistaken for thinking it was going to be 'just more of the same'. Because in effect, those two albums were not great efforts by any stretch of the imagination, fairly lack lustre by comparison. However, with 'Ambition', in steps Terry Thomas, 'the man from Charlie' as luck would have it, to lend his somewhat significant production expertise to this project. And boy it pays off big time!


The Songs
This album is a belter, and the production really lifts Shaw's game to another sonic level. Produced in London during 1987, and with help from Thomas' great mate Felix Krish, 'Ambition' is literally 'one out of the bag'. The songs are lush, delivered with oomph, and range between all out rockers and atmospheric arrangements. Compare then the upfront opener 'No Such Thing' to one of the albums classic moments 'The Outsider', or the subtle 'Somewhere In The Night' to the cover of Survivor's classic ballad 'Ever Since The World Began' (off 'Eye Of The Tiger'), or the superbly funky 'Love You Too Much' compared to the dynamic 'Weight Of The World'.


In Summary
All great songs which sound better on CD as you can hear the subtleties of Thomas' production in the mix. Little things like warm blankets of synths in the background or those special little percussion arrangements which add depth to the songs. Well, I like this album a lot. And so do a lot of other AOR and melodic rock fans worldwide. So much so, this album is starting to become as rare as rockinghorse shit. Good luck if you can find it. You will not be disappointed!


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Comments
#1 | jeffrey343 on January 01 1970 01:00:00
Another one that I just recently discovered. Definitely some good tunes on here, with my favorites being 'Dangerous Game' and 'Love You Too Much'.

'Ever Since The World Began'... I was part of that discussion about covers vs. originals with the Jeff Paris / Vixen albums. Both the Survivor and the Tommy Shaw versions of this song are excellent. I gotta admit that ESTWB is actually possibly my favorite song off the 'Eye Of The Tiger' album, maybe even supplanting 'Eye Of The Tiger' itself. But Shaw does sing the heck out of it here. His version is technically superior, I'll give him that. I may call that one a tie.
#2 | rostoned on May 28 2008 20:39:26
officially reissued on CD by US label American Beat
#3 | Jez on June 13 2008 15:57:55
The best of the 4 Tommy Shaw solos. 'Ever Since The World Began' blows the Survivor version out of the water (not that their's was bad in any way). All the material on this album is very strong, featuring a mega buck production job that finishes the whole thing off perfectly. Felix Krish is on here aswell (mega bass player) so it must be good!
#4 | gdazegod on July 01 2008 07:54:27
I love Tommy's version of 'Ever Since The World Began'. The Survivor version is merely dog tucker against this version. The other awesome song here is' The Outsider'.. 'Jimmy was the son of a sailor.. another lonely military brat.. Norfolk, Virginia, Vallejo.. bags always packed'.. Aah classic stuff..
#5 | rostoned on August 09 2008 16:16:08
This album didn't enter the Billboard 200 album chart at all although his two previous solo platters both did.
#6 | JuniorNB on August 15 2008 15:11:33
This album was a bit of a paradox. I thought that both 'Girls With Guns' and 'What If' had better singles, but Ambition was the better all around record.

The problem was, in my neck of the woods anyway, was that none of Ambition's songs were heard on the radio. Many people probably didn't even know Shaw had an album out. I am fond of Thomas' production in general, and this album certainly benefitted from it. Somewhere In The Night is my favorite from this one.
 
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