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Fortune - 1985 Fortune

ARTIST: Fortune
ALBUM: Fortune
LABEL: Camel
YEAR: 1985
CD REISSUE: 2004, Gypsy Rock Records, GRR325 * 2011, AOR Heaven Classix, 0009


LINEUP: L.A (Larry) Greene - vocals * Richard Fortune - guitars * Roger Scott Craig - keyboards * Bobby Birch - bass, sax * Mick Fortune - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Thrill Of It All * 02 Smoke From A Gun * 03 Stacy * 04 Bad Blood * 05 Dearborn Station * 06 Lonely Hunter * 07 Deep In The Heart Of The Night * 08 Stormy Love * 09 Out On The Streets * 10 '99' In The Shade * 11 Home Free * 12 Breakin' Down The Door * 13 Heart Of Stone

One of the definitive pomp classics is this one and only album by the Los Angeles based band Fortune. Very much in the same mould as Giuffria or early House Of Lords, without the over the top guitar heroics. A band that was able to create a textured sound with lots of intricate keyboard work meshing nicely with layered guitar. Not much known about the guys in their formative history, apart from Roger Scott Craig who was previously with UK 70's popsters Liverpool Express. But we certainly know a bit about them during and after this album that's for sure. The big Kevin Beamish production was responsible for bringing out the best in these guys, and it tells on the songs.

The Songs
Most of the album's arrangements were done by keyboardist Roger Scott Craig, and you hear his influence throughout precedings. A couple of pomp masterpieces get us going in the form of 'Thrill Of It All' and 'Smoke From A Gun'. We undertake a ballad interlude with 'Stacy' which holds us up for a moment before we storm back into the trademark Fortune sound with 'Bad Blood'. Most AOR'sters will know the pomp classic 'Dearborn Station', it's one of the highlights on the album. The pomp assault continues with 'Lonely Hunter', 'Deep In The Heart Of The Night' and 'Stormy Night'. Another highlight is '98 In The Shade', a real moody number which finishes the album off in style.

In Summary
In typical 'one album wonders' fashion, the band went as fast as they came. No real promotion of the album was forthcoming. I suspect their style was quite hard to promote, because it was so uniquely different. Therefore, they became an automatic entry in the AOR Hall of fame!! Since then, Greene and Craig got back onto the AOR path with the superb Harlan Cage (refer MTM Records), while Bobby Birch has played with the Mark Ashton Band, as well as Warpipes (featuring Elton John's backing band a la Davey Johnstone, Guy Babylon etc) and is still the resident touring bassist with Elton John's band. As for the Fortune brothers, from which the band owes its name, they are still involved in the industry where Richard is now a music producer. During 2004, we finally saw the re-release of this great album on the bands own Gypsy Rock Records, which features three extra tracks. Do yourself a favour and track this essential CD down before it too disappears off into the sunset.

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#1 | Vincenzo on November 24 2007 23:02:08
The reissue by Gypsy Rock is a MUST HAVE but...but the sound quality is obscene. I think that they has reissued it pouring an old LP directly into CD. This is mad for me. Though the reissue is indispensable.
#2 | gdazegod on November 25 2007 00:51:24
Perhaps some others might like to offer an opinion on the Gypsy Rock recording of this album. It wouldn't surprise me that the band have taken affairs into their own hands, after not getting any help from their previous (unhelpful) label. I know one of the reasons why Roger Scott Craig opted out of the music scene is because of the state of the music industry, both in terms of record labels and intellectual property ownership of your own music, but also the consumer side, particularly the illegal download situation.
#3 | Vincenzo on November 25 2007 18:59:38
Perhaps i can be wrong, but i think that the band and Gypsy Rock was forced for this presumed (for me) vinyl transfer, because the previous (unhelpful) label maybe loses the master. Thus, if that were the case, Gypsy Rock and the band are justified.
#4 | Jez on June 13 2008 10:39:19
I like this alot and for years had a vinyl copy until the re-issue a couple of years ago. But,put this up against other 'classix' of the time & it does fall short for me, I think due to the sameness of some of the material - (my same critic of the Harlan Cage stuff). That being said, it does contain some excellent tracks, and the new remastering job sounds great.The new studio track i like aswell. Definately one to add to the collection, but a classic is overdoing it a little for me.
#5 | george_the_jack on June 28 2008 18:01:38
This album is a FLAG of AOR music shining in the middle of that glorius decade! An one-way ticket to the paradise of the 80's...
#6 | reyno-roxx on June 28 2008 19:05:36
Mr Jack, are you sure you're not AORPOMPY in disguise? That sounds just like our old friend Freddy, whose input is sadly missed.
#7 | DEMONAOR on July 21 2008 11:22:18
Mega Mega AOR Albumgunsgunsgunsscore 10guns
#8 | jeffduran on July 22 2008 17:37:41
This was the first AOR I tracked down as a little nard. A bit overhyped although some of these cuts are just amazing! Mega AOR indeed!
#9 | george_the_jack on May 21 2009 20:07:20
GREAT GREAT album but who's Freddy? This is a favorite of mine.Still don't dare to compare it though with (the well known) British AOR milestones! Where's Mr Ouesy with my all time classic Virginia Wolf debut? music
#10 | trillion1999 on October 19 2011 12:30:27
My favorite-tracks are Smoke From A Gun and Stacy.I always wonder if Richard Fortune is the same one that does in my opinion rather abysmal music for PLAYBOY-videos.*blushing*
#11 | gdazegod on October 19 2011 13:33:00
Playboy you say Trillion? Shock
#12 | trillion1999 on October 19 2011 13:44:10
Yes! I always see that name appear in the credits.Well I hope he makes a fortune thru royalties.For being involved in this classic he truly deserves it all.
#13 | george_the_jack on December 02 2011 20:58:40
Some rediculous people out there.. http://www.ebay.c...1168wt_742
#14 | gdazegod on December 02 2011 21:29:05
The Gypsy Rock version is not that great. Come to think of it, nor is the AOR Heaven version, which has been discussed at length on the forum somewhere..
#15 | george_the_jack on December 03 2011 00:35:37
I remember that you George (and some others) were talking about the new AOR heaven version on the soutbox section some weeks ago....Well, what can one buy? A vinyl maybe?
#16 | rkbluez on May 23 2012 23:35:50
Great album but it needs to be released on CD with better quality...used to sell the ones RSC put out independently and remember him telling me it was from various sources and not master tapes.

I'm sure someone can make this thing sound killer....Rock Candy over to you.
#17 | gdazegod on January 14 2013 14:37:45
Can't make it killer without the master tapes. Perhaps MCA flogged them off for peanuts? That would be a shame.
#18 | melodiapositiva on July 04 2015 12:04:40
i have a japanese version (japanese rock reissues)and it sounds terrible with no bonus tracks.So i decided to buy the vinyl version and it doesn`t sound fine at all.i think that the production of this record is weak from the begining.And its a pity because this is a top ten aor album.
#19 | jefflynnefan on July 04 2015 19:42:39
I have both the Gypsy Rock and JRR versions of this cd. I like the JRR version better because the Gypsy Rock version seems dragged down and slow to me. Maybe the master tapes are lost. I know a animated cartoon from the 80s that has a song just like 'Stacy'.
#20 | Nick C on December 10 2015 18:38:02
Stacy?? Her mom has got it going on...apparently Grin
#21 | richardb on January 03 2016 12:55:08
It has all the staple ingredients you'd expect from a AOR classic, though it never did captivate me in the same way as other bands have done over the years. As you rightly say Jez it lacks variety.
#22 | swingkingandy on December 26 2017 13:34:26
to be honest I find this album generally boring. it has a few moments but not enough to rate it as a classic! And don't get me started on Harlan Cage Frown

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