ZINATRA - THE GREAT ESCAPE (1990, MERCURY/PHONOGRAM)
Joss Mennen - vocals
Gino Rerimassie - guitars
Robby Valentine - keyboards
Ron Lieberton - bass
Ed Rockx - drums
A superb slice of Dutch melodic rock, which is about as classy an effort coming out this side of the Zeider Zee. For all AORsters who have a certain liking for keyboard laced rock, the mere mention of the name Robby Valentine is enough to send shivers down the spine. It does for me! Combined with the production talent of Wisselord regular Edwin Musper and some songwriting assistance from Canadian rocker Paul Laine
, sees Zinatra 'upping the ante' on this album and moving into the big league.
Quite literally there are some amazing songs onboard here, where Rerimassie's full frontal guitar is tempered by the synth blanket laid down by Valentine, while Mennen's voice though a little out of control at times powers in over the top. A regular playlist of Zinatra songs would include the Paul Laine
penned and keyboard dominant 'Take It To The Top', 'Two Sides Of Love' and 'Only Your Heart' while the delicately arranged 'There She Was' climaxes with a memorable chorus. Valentine decides to have a bash at singing on 'Love Never Dies' and you can immediately hear his Freddy Mercury
vocal leanings on this power ballad. The pace quickens to Pretty Maids
type speed on 'Unknown Skies', where the old ticker really needs to keep in time to the beat of the double bass drums! 'Too Blind To See' is another great melodic rock workout, then there's the rollicking 'Candyman' despite the dubious song title, which is pretty good too! Big vocal chants on the choruses stand out on 'Jekyll And Hyde' while the album closer 'The Roaring Silence' is astounding for the fact that the song bears no resemblance to it's title and wimpers out without raising a breath or a heartbeat, even when they decide to heavy it up at the end..
However, for all you melodic rockers you can't go past the majority of this effort, and it quite rightly deserves a place in your CD collection. Both Mennen and Valentine went on to respective solo careers, the former plying a solid HM type road while the latter produced some fantastic AOR.
01 The Great Escape
02 Take It To The Top
03 Two Sides Of Love
04 There She Was
05 Love Never Dies
06 Unknown Skies
07 Too Blind To See
09 Hold On
10 Only Your Heart
11 Jekyll And Hyde
12 The Roaring Silence
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