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Alpha Centauri - 1977 Alpha Centauri

ARTIST: Alpha Centauri
ALBUM: Alpha Centauri
LABEL: Salt Audio Devices
YEAR: 1977
CD REISSUE: 1996, Pacemaker Records (Canada), PACE005


LINEUP: Jess Redmon - guitars * Randy Thompson - vocals, keyboards * Garth Hannum - bass * Kurt Smith - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Hard Life * 02 One Night At A Time * 03 I'm A Rebel * 04 Earth In Motion * 05 Love Is A Curse * 06 You Shot Me Down * 07 Love Only You * 08 Make It At Rock 'n' Roll

Here's a band best remembered by that one line quote from the International Encyclopedia Of Hard Rock And Heavy Metal. The worlds best undiscovered pomp band. And since then, Alpha Centauri has appeared on everyone's wants list as the ultimate album to obtain. Was the hype worth it? IMHO, yes. This album has a number of positives. Originally from Colorado, the band travelled extensively throughout the Pacific Northwest of the USA, before settling in Alberta Canada to release their debut album. The music was hard rock with lots of keyboard and piano embellishments from Randy Thompson, and excess guitar power from Redmon. You will also need to bear in mind that this is late seventies hard rock, and as such, bound by the constraints of the era. If there are any modern day buffs trying to make comparisons to the high-tech achievements of todays AOR artists, then you'll be comparing chalk to cheese.

The Songs
Perhaps the only bands that I know who would veer into Alpha Centauri's orbit would be fellow Canadians Zon, Cinema Face and Avalon. The arrangements are technical, with similarities to style and sound. Only eight tracks abound, ranging from the hard rock intro of 'Hard Life' to the soaring keyboard masterpiece that is 'Love Is A Curse'. Elsewhere, the synths are on overdrive alert on 'Earth In Motion', while 'You Shot Me Down' is an organ filled western drama, with southern style guitar. 'Love Only You' has elements of Roadmaster circa 'Hey World' contained within the song structure. 'Make It At Rock N Roll' sees Randy Thompson emulate Jon Lord's keyboard wizardry, and the song could very well be a Deep Purple work out.

In Summary
Talking of Deep Purple, the band dedicate the album to the late Tommy Bolin who died the year before. Thankfully, the Alpha Centauri album has become easier to track down now, and is available on Pacemaker Records in Canada. As for the guys in the band, they are still around, though doing 9-5 and still involved socially at least, within music. Redmon, Thompson and Smith all still live in Colorado while Hannum has moved to Oklahoma. However, there may yet be some life breathed into the Alpha Centauri bubble once again. Lets wait and see.

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#1 | swazi on February 04 2011 14:33:18
Smile Just received the reissue today! Wasn't exactly cheap, but hey! definitely worth it!
#2 | gdazegod on February 04 2011 14:52:54
Was it the Pacemaker reissue Bernd, or from someone else?
#3 | swazi on February 05 2011 13:50:50
Yep, the Pacemaker reissue. A rare one these days ....!
#4 | trillion1999 on October 08 2011 18:19:42
I got rid of the CD ages ago.The LP-cover is very nice though.I think Love Is A Curse share some similarities with Styx Born For Adventure.I wonder if I had been such a fan of Styx when I used to own this CD had I kept it.hmm!
#5 | super80boy on May 19 2013 20:57:43
Since getting an original copy of this in pristine condition is about as rare as finding a hen's tooth, I went ahead and acquired a bargain vinyl reissue. Wow, this thing really rocks. There are generous helpings of organ/keyboard melodies and lots of guitar riffing against a solid melodic hard rock backbone. All the songs are stellar, but check out the intense jam session on 'Love Is A Curse'. Now I know why this is on everyone's want list. Great stuff indeed!
#6 | gdazegod on August 23 2014 01:39:55
Alpha Centauri has been reissued again by Pacemaker Records. All for C$9, plus C$4 postage. Sounds like a bargain!

#7 | dangerzone on August 15 2015 20:17:40
'I'm a Rebel' is such a rip off of Purple's 'Lay Down, Stay Down' it's almost painful.

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