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Articles Home » 1991 Articles » Riddler - 1991 All The Way To The Top
Riddler - 1991 All The Way To The Top

ARTIST: Riddler
ALBUM: All The Way To The Top
LABEL: Riddler/ Capture It Productions
YEAR: 1991


LINEUP: Kevin Cozzolino - lead, backing vocals * Chris Hassler - keyboards, backing vocals * Brad Padula - rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar * Bill Trujillo - bass, backing vocals * Stan Gurule - drums, percussion * Curtis Pacheco - lead guitar, acoustic guitar

TRACK LISTING: 01 Life Goes On * 02 Love Is An Endless Game * 03 Without You * 04 Treats You Like A Fool * 05 Ruby Red Dress * 06 I Knew A Lady * 07 Guardian Angel * 08 Had To Let You Go * 09 Gone Away * 10 Listen * 11 Runaway * 12 All The Way To The Top

Here's a superb American band that have a foot in the AOR camp from the previous decade, plus a hi-tech keyboard sound from the early nineties. It is easy to compare these guys to outfits like Departure, Tradia and Sing Sing, where melodic guitars swing in tandem with rich keyboard textures. The band originated from Pueblo Colorado, and according to dialog on the Net, the album was produced mainly as a demo CD which would then be onsent to studios for their reaction. As a result, the material was not over-produced, and also contained many varying styles to give potential listeners and suitors an idea as to what Riddler were all about. If that was the case, then I'm sure if the band were put into a decent studio environment then all merry mayhem could've broken loose, as some of these songs are superb.

The Songs
The album, contains twelve tracks, and as mentioned, varies in content. Firstly we'll focus on the rockers. Things open up promisingly with the terrific melodic onslaught of 'Life Goes On'. This one has a big full sound, and is a great intro for the band, particularly if you were an A&R man hearing this lot for the first time! Guitars are on full-alert with the rampant 'I Knew A Lady'. This one would've put name-bands to shame. Riddler's AOR abilities shine through on 'Had To Let You Go' while not far behind that effort is 'Runaway' - another track where the guitars and keys hog the limelight. The remaining tracks are a cross between ballads and mid-paced efforts, and as such, probably don't show the band to its truest potential, due to the under-production aspect. 'Love Is An Endless Game' and 'Listen' are two of the heavier mid-paced rockers, while the keyboard and piano playing of Chris Hassler comes to the fore on tracks such as 'Guardian Angel' and the title track 'All The Way To The Top', which sounds like a story not too dissimilar to Riddler's origins.

In Summary
Most of the guys in the band still live locally in Pueblo. Padula in particular is heavily involved with Capture It Productions, a multimedia company. According to vocalist Kevin Cozzolino, there was some talk that Riddler would reappear and play locally once again. If that is the case, I would suggest redoing some of those demos again, particularly the heavier ones, and pitch them at European labels. Give American labels a miss. The real action is in Europe, and a waiting audience beckons, judging by this material..

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#1 | swazi on February 04 2010 16:34:06
Just recently I got my greedy little hands on this overlooked gem. Great stuff!
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