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Player - 1980 Room With A View




ARTIST: Player
ALBUM: Room With A View
LABEL: Casablanca
SERIAL: NBLP 7217
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: 2002, Universal (Japan), UICY-3345

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Peter Beckett - vocals, guitars * Ronn Moss - bass, vocals * John Freisen - drums, vocals

Guest: Miles Joseph - guitars, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Room With A View * 02 It's For You * 03 Upside Down * 04 Who Do You Think You Are * 05 Bad News Travels Fast * 06 All Tied Up * 07 Givin' It All * 08 It May Never Happen * 09 Tip Of The Iceberg

WEBLINKS: player-theband.com


Background
Player is group that gets it's fair share of praise here at Glory-Daze and rightfully so-with top notch AOR platters that still sound as vibrant and fresh as they did when released in the late 70's, early 80's IMHO. Player came out of the gate with a significant amount of attention being signed by RSO in early 1977 - a label which was producing successes on the pop charts never before seen by the recording industry at the time. At one point in 1978, the label boasted an unprecedented 6th consecutive #1 singles on the Billboard (US) pop charts, holding the top spot for 21 consecutive weeks! Player's debut single 'Baby Come Back' was no exception in terms of chart success, earning the group the honor of being voted Billboard Magazine's Best New Single Artist for 1978. 'Baby Come Back' was immediately followed by another top 10 smash, 'This Time I'm In It For Love'. Both songs appeared on their self titled debut (Also reviewed here at GD). Keeping with the momentum Player quickly released a second album also on RSO, called 'Danger Zone'. The later produced the hit singles 'Prisoner Of Your Love', which made the US top 40 as did the rocker 'Silver Lining'. Where the debut 'Player' was drenched in a mellow but tantalizing California pop sound, 'Danger Zone' was an obvious foray into hard rock - as RSO pushed the band to toughen up their sound with more emphasis on guitars. Both releases were a success and Player hit the road with the likes of Eric Clapton, Heart and a headline tour of theatres. As high as RSO was flying in 1978, the disastrous commercial and critical failure of the movie 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' crippled the company. As a result Player found themselves on the chopping block. As RSO Records folded, Player signed with another flash in the pan label Casablanca Records (infamous for providing cocaine and prostitutes as incentives for some acts to sign up. Casablanca's rise and fall was similar to RSO as its demise came after the movie disappointment 'Thank God It's Friday' and Disco diva Donna Summer's exit for Geffen Records). Before the end was near, Player managed to release it's third album, 'Room With A View' in 1980, which Peter Beckett co-produced with Tony Peluso. 'Room With A View' was a combination of soft, romantic melodies of the debut and heavier rock tunes from 'Danger Zone'.


The Songs
'Room With A View' - Picking up on the toughened sound Player touched on with 'Danger Zone', the title track refrains this in spades on this fiery opener complete with it's frantic rhythms and guitars pushed to the forefront. There is an interesting video of this on Youtube worth checking out, click here.

'It's For You' - Things slow down for this sultry west coast number which is as smooth as a shot of top shelf bourbon on the rocks. Beautiful arrangements and a definite album highlight. The song put the band back on the charts cracking the US Top 40.

'Upside Down' -Another highlight capturing Beckett at the absolute peak of his powers as a songwriter and musician.

'Who Do You Think You Are' -Doobie like strumming sets the tone for an absolute stunning melody and out of this world hook! Westcoast/AOR at it's finest!

'Bad News Travels Fast' -A beautiful romantic ballad echoing lost love and heartache. Beckett's voice is soothing as is the accompanying melody.

'All Tied Up' - One of Player's finest. Opens up with grand piano and then erupts in a sonic flurry of bombastic keys and Brian May-like fret work. Hard edged AOR at it's finest and classiest!

'Givin' It All' - Amazing synths take hold here with Beckett's vocals almost touching on Michael Mcdonald at times. The chorus is obviously an attempt to recapture 'Baby Come Back'. Thankfully the jazzy arrangements (complete with sax) takes this beyond a retread of their 1977 hit single.

'It May Never Happen' - A bright, bouncy number brimming with radio friendly chorus and a killer refrain. Not far from what Firefall and Ambrosia were doing at the time.

'Tip Of The Iceberg' -An epic sounding rock number in every sense of the word as Beckett sings with amazing power and punch like never before with a chorus that's pure AOR bliss. Shredding guitars and pounding skins make this one of Player's heaviest songs. A fitting end to a superb set of tunes.


In Summary
Beckett sang and wrote every song on 'Room With A View' with 'It's For You' being the only modest chart success cracking the US Top 40. By the end of the supporting tour longtime member Ronn Moss' quit the band to make films in Italy. By the early 80's, Peter Beckett kept the Player banner flying high and collaborated with Dennis Lambert on the fourth Player release and AOR classic 'Spies of Life' - released on RCA Records in late 1981. From that album came the single 'If Looks Could Kill'. Peter Beckett has written hit songs for many artists including: Heart, Olivia Newton-John, Cliff Richard, Survivor, and more recently Vanessa Hudgens of 'High School Musical' fame!?!. Definitely one of my favourite Player releases with 'Spies..' not far behind - 'Room With A View' comes highly recommended along with Beckett's solo release (also reviewed here at GDM). Essential.


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Comments

#1 | rostoned on August 06 2008 07:16:43
I've listened to this one again recently but I just can't get it, IMO it is vastly inferior to the previous 'Danger Zone' and to the following 'Spies Of Life' too. This was their only LP that didn't chart at all in the US in the Billboard Top 200 album chart and the single 'It's For You' peaked at #46 in reality, just outside the Top 40. Issued on CD only in Japan but now way out of print there.
#2 | DIGITAL on October 18 2008 03:22:00
ive always liked tip of the iceberg
#3 | dangerzone on December 08 2008 03:22:54
'It May Never Happen' is simply the pinnacle of AOR perfection. This album is worth its weight in gold.
#4 | kim_hp on April 26 2012 22:10:16
'I can see that you've got class, thru my new binaculars'...haha great psychopatic lyrics not to mention great song! As far as the album goes this is just great early AOR/Westcoast ala Franke and The Knockouts, Ambrosia and the likes. Great band and I love the follow-up 'Spies Of Life' as well.

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