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Games - 1977 Stargazer

ALBUM: Stargazer
LABEL: Cascade Court
YEAR: 1977


LINEUP: Colleen Fitzpatrick - lead vocals * David Miller - bass * Stan Tatkin - drums, percussion * David Tatkin - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Stargazer I * 02 Don't Let Me Down * 03 A Wold Of My Own * 04 A Need To Be Frail * 05 Feeling This Feeling * 06 Dream Him Here * 07 Stargazer II

An incredibly rare collectible 'Stargazer' has been going for big money in recent years and for good reason, but first a little history.. Games were from Southern California and one of the biggest bands on the late 70's Los Angeles club circuit. In fact, many future hopefuls from that scene including The Knack, Billy Vera & the Beaters and The Motels found themselves as opening act for Games while Capitol Records, west coast hero Paul Davis and even Mick Fleetwood expressed interest in the band. Under the direction of keyboardist David Tatkin and featuring the stunning Colleen Fitzpatrick on lead vocals, Games released just one album on their own Cascade Court label in a rather nondescript cover and did fair amount of promotion on their own throughout the Western U.S with mixed results. Always close to a major deal, the band began to fall apart with the tragic death of bass player David Miller. An unfortunate end to Games, but at least we have 'Stargazer' and what an album it is!

The Songs
Games were certainly original. Imagine a mixture of 10cc's progressive pop blended with The Carpenters circa their shamefully overlooked 'Passage' album (released the same year by the way) and ABBA's knack for clever arrangements all wrapped up in a beautifully produced collection of songs that still sparkle and shine 29 years later. Vocalist Colleen Fitzpatrick is the star of the show with a remarkable voice that at times shows similarities to both Olivia Newton John and Kate Bush. This is especially so on side one's 'Don't Let Me Down' with a breezy chorus that gently washes over the listener. 'A World of My Own' is a dramatic ballad with some very nice keyboard work from David Tatkin bringing to mind prog rockers Renaissance late 70's work. Very nice and side two continues with quality material including the opening pomp-like 'A Need to be Frail', again featuring Tatkin's ample talents on keys and sounding a little bit like Keith Emerson on this particular track.

In Summary
I can safely say you won't hear anything quite like 'Stargazer'. Games worked to create a new sound away from the norm and they succeeded admirably. After this album was released the groups sound moved further into commercial realms with material closer to ABBA, Desmond Child & Rouge, RCR and Teri De Sario's 'Caught' album. I have heard some of this and in a perfect world could have and should have found a wide audience. They came so close, so many times, even recording a song for the film 'Airplane!' which was never used among other near misses. In the years since Colleen Fitzpatrick has appeared in several films including 1992's 'The Mambo Kings' as well as Broadway and currently is working as an understudy for an Elton John production, while the remaining members of Games have pursued other successful vocations. They can all be proud of 'Stargazer', a remarkable work that receives my highest recommendation!

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#1 | gdazegod on April 26 2008 12:12:18
As at end of April 2008, this LP was up for auction on Ebay with an asking price of US$450!
#2 | Eric on April 26 2008 16:17:27
I have seen some vendors offer it up for $800, but with the downturn in the economy and downloads it's now far more affordable! lol!lol
#3 | jeffduran on April 26 2008 16:41:47
Gotta love 'A World Of My Own'! I remember buying this at a mom and pop in San Diego around eight years ago. The ex-girlfriend took some of my vinyl and this gem was part of it. Damn! bugs
#4 | Eric on October 28 2008 20:07:32
Paul Davis wanted these guys on his Bang label, but it fell through. From what I was told he wasn't too happy about it. A second album would have been cool based on the demos.
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