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Articles Home » 1983 Articles » Lake, Greg - 1983 Manoeuvres
Lake, Greg - 1983 Manoeuvres

ARTIST: Lake, Greg
ALBUM: Manoeuvres
LABEL: Chrysalis
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 2011, Rock Candy Records, CANDY092
SPONSOR: Rock Candy Records


LINEUP: Greg Lake - vocals, guitar * Gary Moore - guitar * Tristian Margetts - bass * Tommy Eyre - keyboards * Ted McKenna - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Manoeuvres * 02 Too Young To Love * 03 Paralysed * 04 A Woman Like You * 05 I Don't Wanna Lose Your Love Tonight * 06 It's You, You've Gotta Believe * 07 Famous Last Words * 08 Slave To Love * 09 Haunted * 10 I Don't Know Why I Still Love You


I was one of the few people that enjoyed Greg Lake's 1981 debut solo album. Despite the patchiness of the material, the album contained a couple of pearler tracks. Even Lake has questioned his musical direction during this period, unsure whether he was doing the right thing. Opting for a mostly AOR sound, both the 'Greg Lake' and 'Manoeuvres' LP's were a big departure from his prog rock days with ELP, but on this album in particular, it's AOR all the way, and though Lake might look back on this era and wince uncomfortably, I think Derek Oliver has made the right call in getting this reissued for Rock Candy. For the readership of this site at least, you should be laughing all the way to the bank, withdraw 12 quid or what have you, and buy this..

The Songs
Lake has retained the principal personnel involved with the debut album. Gary Moore who during this period was a bonafide star himself with his 'Corridors Of Power' and 'Victims Of The Future' albums setting him up big time, makes a big contribution to 'Manoeuvres'. The title track leads off, and it's a brilliant slice of AOR, Moore's tough riffs combining well with some tight drumming and lush keyboard lines. The lyric 'Manoeuvres in the danger zone, A stranger in distress.. Manoeuvres in the danger zone, I'm sending out an S.O.S' should appease at least one longtime writer of this website.. lol! 'Too Young To Love' harks back to the debut album, though it's a bit busier than usual. Moore again rides the range with a big keyboard presence in the background. Despite the songtitle, 'Paralysed' is another AOR tune that is a moving ball of energy, the guitar solo from Moore is very fiery too! Moore is the sole songwriter for the very bluesy sounding 'A Woman Like You'. It's very mellow with a hint of L.A west coast/R&B, a sound that was prevalent during this time period - particularly out of L.A. Cranking up the energy again is the Uriah Heep like 'I Don't Wanna Lose Your Love Tonight', a Lake/Moore co-write, which is strong on organ/keyboards. For a bit of nostalgia, 'It's You, You've Gotta Believe' includes an ELP synth/fanfare introduction, but the overall song is a lush AOR ballad that you could see a band like Asia performing. The acoustic guitar laden 'Famous Last Words' is another lush affair, mid-tempo, mellow, with grandiose layers of keyboard providing the underbelly. 'Slave To Love' is mostly a keyboard driven track with next to no drums (apart from the occasional intrusive tom-tom), while 'Haunted' is the track I least like, with it's gospel/blues like balladry and sax solo making this one the odd man out. Thankfully the album finishes the way it started - with the excellent 'I Don't Know Why I Still Love You', a stirring and emotive ballad that reminded me of 'It Hurts' from the debut.

In Summary
With some great liner notes from Malcolm Dome, don't be fooled into thinking that 'Manoeuvres' is a wipe-out, because it isn't. Despite Lake feeling indifferent about the whole thing, he would soon find himself back onto the big stage during 1983, joining up with Asia as the fill-in replacement for the recently departed John Wetton. Lake appeared on the 'Asia In Asia' live concert album, his only recorded output with the band. However, this would not be a long term proposition though, as Wetton would rejoin the fold for 1985's rather excellent 'Astra', while Lake would reassemble ELP as Emerson Lake And Powell - for their 1986 debut.

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