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Articles Home » 1980 Articles » Holmes, Rupert - 1980 Adventure
Holmes, Rupert - 1980 Adventure

ARTIST: Holmes, Rupert
ALBUM: Adventure
YEAR: 1980


LINEUP: Rupert Holmes - lead vocals, synthesizer, keyboards * Dean Bailen - guitar * Phil Budhos - piano * John Caruso, Seth Glassman - bass * Benny Grammatico - drums, percussion * Chrissy Faith - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Adventure * 02 The Mask * 03 Blackjack * 04 The O'Brien Girl * 05 Crowd Pleaser * 06 You'll Love Me Again * 07 Cold * 08 Morning Man * 09 I Don't Need You * 10 Special Thanks


Observing Rupert Holmes on the cover of 'Adventure' it's absurd to even comprehend a middle-of-the-road guy like this getting a major label record deal in the year 2003. Back in 1980 there were a slew of male solo AOR artists on the rise and Holmes was more interesting than most. English born Holmes spent much of the early 70's writing for many artists, including Gene Pitney and The Partridge Family, later claiming to have written over 300 songs by his early 20's, none of which he liked. Adding to this Holmes doubled as a playwright and author, but in 1974 turned to a music career of his own, that same year releasing his debut 'Widescreen'. In 1979 Holmes hit the top with the classic 'Escape (The Pina Colada Song)', an all time AM soft rock classic. Following up with 'Adventure' in 1980, the AOR aspect had worked its way comprehensively into Holmes sound, resulting in a quite superb outing.

The Songs
Opening to a flurry of swirling keyboards, the title track is pomp of some clarity, the synths running the show in impressive fashion. Noticeably 1980 here, with an almost disco bass backing at odd moments in the verses. 'The Mask' differs little from late 70's Billy Joel at the onset, but is more AOR inclined, especially a marvellously far fetched chorus, where Holmes screams 'tear the mask off!' in a suitably Broadway manner. AOR heights are scaled with 'Blackjack', disregarding the Steely Dan like harmonies however. Mammoth hook, with Holmes playing it cool with his vocals. The guitar solo is melodic to a tee also, an obscure classic here. 'The 'O' Brien Girl' is slower and reflective, certainly not poor, but easily forgotten as opposed to 'Crowd Pleaser', magnificently changing direction from mellow to mean in a second. Yet another faultless hook, very steeped in the late 70's with killer backing harmonies. Holmes treads the melodramatic Barry Manilow tightrope with 'You'll Love Me Again', his vocals the best part, sounding as though he's reading a script. High on soaring vocals, there's more melody than humanly possible here, light in sound but very addictive. Personally, I can never get enough of this stuff...'Cold' is ultra moody AOR, Holmes playing the famed 'undercover lover' role. The album peaks with 'Morning Man', and its ever-shifting melody lines, which almost defy logic. You might be pressing the rewind button frequently as the chorus takes one jump after another, a pleasant surprise. 'I Don't Need You' and 'Special Thanks' barely rate following this, Holmes finally running out of melody.

In Summary
Holmes gained moderate sales with this album, following up with 'Full Circle' in 1981, which was his last album up till now. Since then Holmes has concentrated on his playwriting, writing several-acclaimed Broadway plays and is the recipient of numerous Tony Awards. Truly a talent to be reckoned with. It's quite a shame Holmes dispensed with his music career when he did, one can only wonder what a 1983 album might have sounded like, considering the advances in AOR by then. 'Adventure' is caught between the 70's and 80's, with nods to the new decade it was released in and the years preceding it. Nevertheless, true class never dates, and 'Adventure' is the product of a master craftsman.

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#1 | gdazegod on July 20 2015 06:01:38
That 'Pina Colada Song' (Escape) is on repeat play at the moment, on Melbourne's easy listening Smooth FM, 91.5 on the dial.. lol! Great radio station I gotta say, many of my favourites are played here..
#2 | gdazegod on November 26 2016 04:39:44
That track 'Blackjack'.. wow that is killer stuff!
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