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Articles Home » 1988 Articles » Little River Band (LRB) - 1988 Monsoon
Little River Band (LRB) - 1988 Monsoon

ARTIST: Little River Band (LRB)
ALBUM: Monsoon
YEAR: 1988


LINEUP: Glenn Shorrock - lead vocals, keyboards * Graeham Goble - guitars, backing vocals * Stephen Housden - lead guitar, backing vocals * Wayne Nelson - bass, lead and backing vocals * Derek Pellicci - drums

Additional Musicians: Jai Winding - piano * Chong Lim - synthesizers * John Capek - keyboards * Paulinho DaCosta - percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 It's Cold Out Tonight * 02 Parallel Lines * 03 Love Is A Bridge * 04 The Rhythm King * 05 Face In The Crowd * 06 A Cruel MAdness * 07 Inside Story * 08 Son Of A Famous Man * 09 Soul Searching * 10 Great Unknown * 11 Shadow In The Rain


The 80's period for the Little River Band was a highlight for me. Sure, the band went through a heap of line-up changes, by the time John Farnham was recruited in 1982, the band were into their third major incarnation. After the release of 1986's 'No Reins' album, Farnham, keyboardist David Hirschfelder and drummer Steve Prestwich had left the band. Farnham pursued a solo career, which went through the roof during that same year with the release of his mega-successful 'Whispering Jack' LP. The revolving door situation with personnel reared its head once again; Glenn Shorrock coming in from the cold, as did drummer Derek Pellicci - both former members of old. Shorrock was reintroduced to the band at the behest of then MCA boss Irving Azoff. The resulting album 'Monsoon' which was released on MCA, is probably the most underrated album in the entire LRB catalog. It's one I hold dear, alongside the pre-Farnham releases such as 'Time Exposure' and 'First Under The Wire'. The move to bring back Shorrock an obvious attempt to recapture singles success, which was (unfortunately) sadly lacking during the Farnham era. The producer for this album was John Boylan, familar to fans of Boston, Sharon O'Neill and many more acts.

The Songs
The reunion of songwriters Goble and Shorrock saw a bunch of new songs materialize. 'It's Cold Out Tonight' is a bit of brash opening rocker, big pumping bass lines and trademark vocal harmonies see the band back in form. Also quite big sounding is the excellent 'Parallel Lines', one of my pet favourites on this album, another infectious rock-out. The single lifted from 'Monsoon' was the smooth radio friendly 'Love Is A Bridge', for which there was a video made. Changing tack slightly is the very funky hi-tech of 'The Rhythm King', where Wayne Nelson drives some amazing bass lines, amid the brassy choruses. Interesting to note that LRB decided on an alternative version of 'Face In The Crowd', which was the lead track from the 'No Rein's album two years earlier. LRB fans get to hear both Shorrock and Farnham deliver their separate versions on either album. 'A Cruel Madness' is a tightly produced affair, similar in style to the first two tracks on this album.The vocal harmonies are the standout on 'Inside Story' while the song 'Son Of A Famous Son' is dedicated to Julian Lennon - an interesting subject title which I'm sure Julian would be quite ill at ease with. LRB ease up with the gorgeous smooth delivery of 'Soul Searching', before setting sail again with the hardwired determination of 'Great Unknown', which talks of the great migration to Australia of the white man during the 18th century, and the impact on the indigenous peoples. Signing off with 'Shadow In The Rain', this one has a pop rock/rockabilly sound, which despite the description, works damn well!

In Summary
Ironic really that the familiar voice of Shorrock and a slight change in fortune recouped some of the lost ground incurred during the Farnham era. The minor success of 'Love Is A Bridge' helped LRB reclaim some face value with audiences and media alike, but it was nowhere near the level of success they had at the start of the decade with three hit singles lifted off 'Time Exposure' as a comparison. Signing to MCA was a good move, but by the time LRB were ready to promote the album, champion Irving Azoff was no longer leading the MCA ship, and so new 'suits' had come in and determined a different outcome for the band in terms of promotional support and follow-up, meaning that LRB would get none. This line-up would complete one more album for MCA: 1990's 'Get Lucky' before parking up the boat temporarily in the 90's. The band still exist today, but are far from the force they once were.

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#1 | Eric on June 14 2009 00:10:52
Arguably thier best 80s album. Azoff, no matter what you think of him-has a feel for the pulse of what's happening and bringing Shorrock back was a wise decision (as it was a decade later with Perry-Journey despite the ending), but it's too bad the public never picked up on it.

Still love those Little River Band 70s albums though! Thumbs Up
#2 | gdazegod on June 14 2009 00:17:21
A few of those 70's releases are in the pipeline Eric, but would like to do 'Time Exposure' and 'The Net' as well.
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