SERIAL: PE 34979
CD REISSUE: 2009, Renaissance Records (USA), 2 on 1 (with 'Nightwork'), RMED-264
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: John Vinci - lead vocals * Richie C - guitars * Mike Coxton - keyboards * George Bitzer - keyboards, synthesizers * Howard Davidson - bass * Mike Ricciardella - drums * Jean Paul Gaspar - percussion, vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 You Lied * 02 So Far Gone * 03 Save Me Save Me * 04 Holly * 05 Without You * 06 Go Find Another Lover * 07 Don't Leave Me Alone Tonight * 08 Fly Away * 09 Backseat Driver
This was a New York band comprised of personnel who were already seasoned veterans (The Illusion
, Wiggy Bits
) prior to the recording of this album. The band line-up referred to above is as described on the album liner notes so therefore includes the name changes enforced upon some of the band members as a result of a rather dubious policy conducted by the suits at Epic. Apparently their real names were 'too Italian' thus for example Rich Cerniglia became 'Richie C' and Butch Poveromo became 'Jean Paul Gaspar' and so on..
As with the majority of US AOR/hard rock bands of the mid 70's, Network's sound is very much 'of their time' but then again that's all part of its charm isn't it? The debut is more lightweight than their sophomore effort 'Nightwork' (reviewed elsewhere on this site) probably because producers Albhy Galuten and Karl Richardson (Andy Gibb
, The Bee Gees
) had more of a 'pop' rather than 'rock' background. Opener 'You Lied' takes on a funky vibe with the keyboard intro and rhythm section, but the keyboard flurries and guitar power chords on the instrumental bridge are pure unadulterated AOR. 'So Far Gone' is unremarkable (just a little too 'disco') but the Barry Gibb
penned 'Save Me, Save Me' renews the interest with a memorable chorus and some strong guitar work from Rich Cerniglia. The ballad 'Holly' has sufficient instrumental bombast (courtesy of Rich Cerniglia) to qualify as borderline pomp and side one closer 'Without You' is a slow burning rocker with some fine guitar/keyboard interplay. 'Go Find Another Lover' continues the momentum on side two with fiery lead guitar and a punchy chorus. However proceedings stutter on the cheesy 'Don't Leave Me Alone Tonight' though matters are salvaged by the tasteful acoustic and keyboard swirls on the soaring 'Fly Away'. Matters are brought to a close with 'Backseat Driver' which has a funky 70's theme though with sufficient clout in the guitar department to place it firmly in the rock camp.
Some of you will not have the stomach for this album especially as in places it teeters dangerously close to 70's pop/disco mush. However the band are musically tight, with lush harmonies, tempered guitar and plenty of tasteful keyboards. It will surely appeal to those nostalgic AOR fans who favour polished, mid 1970's AOR in the vein of Player
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