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Articles Home » 1982 Articles » Poco - 1982 Ghost Town
Poco - 1982 Ghost Town

ALBUM: Ghost Town
LABEL: Atlantic
SERIAL: 80008-1
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 2005, Wounded Bird (USA), WOU 8008


LINEUP: Paul Cotton - vocals, guitar * Rusty Young - vocals, guitar * Charlie Harrison - bass * Steve Chapman - drums * Kim Bullard - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Ghost Town * 02 How Will You Feel Tonight * 03 Shoot For The Moon * 04 Midnight Rodeo (In The Lead Tonight) * 05 Cry No More * 06 Break Of Hearts * 07 Love's So Cruel * 08 Special Care * 09 When Hearts Collide * 10 High Sierra


Following the massive success of 1978's 'Legend', Poco continued to release consistently superior albums on the cusp of AOR brilliance. Efforts such as 'Blue And Gray' and 'Cowboys And Englishmen (also released in 1982)' have all but been forgotten over the decades, but each contained moments of melodic excellence. With veteran members Cotton and Young at the helm this was always to be expected and in 1982 the band conjured up one of the best recordings of their career with 'Ghost Town'. Here the band perfected their timeless blend of country and rock, only this time with the AOR sound magnified more than ever. It was still in line with their lengthy past, but amazingly this only reached 195 on the charts, a sad fate for an album better than anything by The Eagles if you ask me.

The Songs
This is easily one of the most atmospheric albums I've head the pleasure of listening to. That's a term thrown about here at Glory Daze regularly, but it describes the music here best. The laid back and smooth melodies are some of the most pleasing any melodic rock fan could ever want to hear. The infusion of country elements is still evident, especially on 'Cry No More' but the chorus is prime AOR territory. The title track is a lost classic, doing its best to convey its subject matter through impressive harmonies and does so with ease. The AOR of 'How Will You Feel Tonight' is magnificient with noticable synths in the mix and the same can be said of 'Shoot For The Moon', another country-rock track which is flawless in all areas. There's plenty of twang in the guitar work of 'Break of Hearts', yet another consumate workout. The future sound of 'Inamorata' is hinted at on 'Love's So Cruel' without the high-tech arrangments, while 'Special Care' is a rocker of sorts with Southern overtones. Another effective AOR cut is 'When Hearts Collide', pretty much textbook stuff, before the Wild West themed instrumental 'High Sierra' rounds out what is to my ears a perfect set of melodic rock.

In Summary
The band would upgrade their sound for 'Inamorata' to move with the times, introducing more contemporary AOR sound, but it can't compete with 'Ghost Town'. This type of melody might not appeal to every AOR fan, but for those that find favor with the music Firefall were producing in the same period, then this is essential. The only difference is how superior Poco were.

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#1 | gdazegod on July 30 2011 13:22:43
I really like this LP. Considering that 'Cowboys And Englishmen' was released the same year (so too an MCA compilation called 'Backtracks'), 'Ghost Town' is a far superior album. Atmospheric is an apt term, the sound on a par with Firefall and also LRB, who recorded a bunch of excellent albums between 1981 and 1986.
#2 | Eric on July 30 2011 13:23:53
Really nice album and sadly, the Wounded Bird reissue is out of print.
#3 | kim_hp on September 06 2013 13:11:25
Supposedly a classic, I just don't hear it. But then again this is a lot more country than anything AOR in my opinion.
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