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Articles Home » 1990 Articles » Gowan - 1990 Lost Brotherhood
 
Gowan - 1990 Lost Brotherhood



ARTIST: Gowan
ALBUM: Lost Brotherhood
LABEL: Atlantic
SERIAL: 82117-2
YEAR: 1990

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Larry Gowan - vocals, keyboards, piano * Alex Lifeson, Steve Shelski, Ken Greer - guitars * Ken Greer - pedal steel * John Webster - keyboards * Tony Levin, bass, stick * Greg Critchley, Steve Kendry - drums * Jerry Marotta - drums, percussion, backing vocals * Eddie Schwartz, Terry Gowan - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 All The Lovers In The World * 02 Lost Brotherhood * 03 Call It A Mission * 04 The Dragon * 05 Love Makes You Believe * 06 Fire It Up * 07 Out Of A Deeper Hunger * 08 Tender Young Hero * 09 Message From Heaven * 10 Holding This Rage

WEBLINKS: www.gowan.org


Background
Transplanted Canadian Lawrence Gowan (originally from Scotland) must be the chameleon of the 80's. The keyboarding frontman has had more rebranding, name changes, stylistic changes plus musical minders in his career - enough to lose your sanity! Just a brief recap: Gowan is a classically trained pianist, he did a five year sojourn with local Ontario band Rhinegold - a three piece combining the sound of Queen and Supertramp, when that fell over he did a couple of stints as the ivories man with a Klaatu side band called Funn plus he became Ronnie Hawkins keyboard player. Through the 80's, he was noticed by CBS, signed, and released his debut album in 1982. It was during this phase that Gowan was put through the wringer, as label personnel hummed and hah'ed about marketing his obvious talent within and outside of Canada. Despite the excellent 'Strange Animal' album in 1985, and 1987's 'Great Dirty World', CBS still had no idea, so they offloaded him to Anthem Records, the home of Rush, hoping for better luck in the USA. Previous producer David Tickle was no longer part of the picture when 1990's 'Lost Brotherhood' was released, Gowan opting instead for Eddie Schwartz and also Mike Howlett. A harder rocking affair, 'Lost Brotherhood' was an obvious attempt at yet further rebranding, as Larry's image seemed to be pointing to the hard and hair rock image of the pre-grunge era of the early 90's. The lineup did contain previous personnel from those earlier Gowan albums; namely Jerry Marotta and Tony Levin, but mostly it's the guitars from former Red Rider member Ken Greer, ex Coney Hatch six-striner Steve Shelski and Rush's Alex Lifeson that give this album a lift.


The Songs
Enjoyable from the outset, 'All The Lovers In The World' showcases Gowan's new style working alongside Schwartz, the chorus in particular ensuring things get off to a winning start. The title track 'Lost Brotherhood' rocks along and is augmented by some solid tapping piano throughout. Things start heating up for the superb 'Call It A Mission', you can hear what sounds like someone panting like a dog (listen carefully), but overall this is an upbeat track with a load of energy. There's a mystical entrance to 'The Dragon', Asian influences obviously, and one would think that this is what the song is about.. 'the coming of the Dragon..'. The acoustic ballad 'Love Makes You Believe' is heartfelt, though the lyrics and vocal delivery are strong. 'Fire It Up' is a brief but stop/start affair, staccato all the way. The album's third semi-ballad 'Out Of A Deeper Hunger', which has a decidedly midwest feel to it, something Larry would explore on later albums. Listening to 'Tender Young Hero', if you read lyrics carefully enough, it could read like an ode to the late great Tiger Woods! 'Tender Young Hero, bound for zero, you'll be shot back down, so soon that famous face, will fade forever, will fall from grace'.. 'Message From Heaven' starts out nice and melancholy, but ends up as a very dark and dramatic musical event, great song though! The closing 'Holding This Rage' is a powerful statement, more lyrically than musically, with pointers to a terrorist attack. Even though this written nearly twenty years ago, it still has relevance in the current day.


In Summary
The album proved once again his pulling power at home, with three singles lifted from the album, plus a video, and numerous sold out dates throughout Canada. The USA was a harder sell unfortunately, and again, Gowan was unable to breakthrough into that market. One more album for Anthem ('You Can Call Me Larry') and then he opted to release his own music. By the end of the decade, Larry was tagged by Styx's Tommy Shaw to fill in for an absent Dennis De Young. Within a short while, he was the new keyboardist/lead singer for the Chicago supergroup, where he remains to this day. Gowan's solo material is very collectible, ensure that 'Lost Brotherhood' is part of your collection.


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Comments
#1 | swazi on January 18 2010 18:26:16
Just one single word is enough: Awesome!
#2 | gdazegod on March 27 2010 09:28:44
Sleeveface.. very clever, very cool. http://www.sleeve...m/?cat=560
 
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