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Tai Phong - 1979 Last Flight



ARTIST: Tai Phong
ALBUM: Last Flight
LABEL: Warner Bros
SERIAL: 56740
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 1994, WEA, 4509-96265-2 WE835 * 2007, Warner Music (Japan), WPCR-12522

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Khanh - vocals, guitars * Michael Jones - guitars, vocals, bass * Pascal Wuthrich - keyboards * J.J Goldman - vocals, guitars * Stephen Caussarieu - drums, percussion, guitar, vocals * Johnny Sehlhoff - acoustic guitar * Michel Gaucher - tenor sax

TRACK LISTING: 01 End Of The End * 02 Farewell Gig In Amsterdam * 03 Sad Passion * 04 Thirteenth Space * 05 Last Flight * 06 How Do You Do


Background
The French progressive rock scene has produced its share of classic bands over the years. Atoll who at one time included John Wetton in their line-up, Pulsar and the Genesis influenced Ange come to mind right away, but there were many other lesser known bands worthy of your attention including Tai Phong. Formed in France by Vietnamese brothers Kahnh and Tai Ho Tong in the early 70's, the group released two major label albums in the Camel vein before Tai hit the road disenchanted with the 'musical differences' enveloping the band. Tai Phong recorded their final album, the appropriately titled 'Last Flight' and called it a day, but they remain a cult favourite among prog rock fans. That is to say, their first two albums are favored while 'Last Flight' gets short shrift for being 'too commercial' and is therefore perfect Glory Daze material if you ask me!


The Songs
'End Of An End' kicks off the album with a Starcastle meets Rush and Genesis inspired track featuring Kahnh's high pitch vocals trading off with that of Michael Jones and I have to say I prefer Jones vocal style much more although your mileage may vary. 'Farewell Gig In Amsterdam' is not a live track, but a high powered prog rock song with instrumental bits reminding me of Supertramp which is really nice. On the third track 'Sad Passion' Tai Phong go crazy with a Queen/10cc influenced little ditty which I am sure is much of the reason this album is trashed by so many progheads who think they know better. 'Thirteenth Space' takes on a light fusion sound with nice Asian touches while the title track dives into pure progressive rock in the Pink Floyd mould. Again, nicely done but for my money they saved the best for last with 'How Do You Do'. A beauty of a tune reminiscent of Supertramp (again), Barclay James Harvest as well as early pomp rockers Hush and their first album on the ASI label.


In Summary
All three Tai Phong albums have been reissued several times over the years and are easy to locate through any good prog dealer. While the first two are good if slightly derivative, 'Last Flight' gets my vote as their most interesting and listenable record and is worth having in any collection.


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This article has been tagged
Tags: Tai Phong 
 
Comments
#1 | Eric on April 12 2008 14:05:20
It seems Tai Phong's JJ Goldman wrote several hits for Celine Dion? What!?
 
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