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Articles Home » 1978 Articles » Wagner, Richard - 1978 Richard Wagner
 
Wagner, Richard - 1978 Richard Wagner



ARTIST: Wagner, Richard
ALBUM: Richard Wagner
LABEL: Atlantic
SERIAL: SD 19172
YEAR: 1978

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Richard Wagner - lead vocals, guitars * Steve Hunter, Domenic Troiano - guitars * Bob Erzin, Paul Griffin, Phil Aaberg, Fred Mandel, Dave Tyson - keyboards * Whitey Glan, Allan Schwartzberg - drums * Prakash John, Bob Babbitt - bass * Jim Maelen - percussion * Ernie Watts - sax

TRACK LISTING: 01 Some Things Go On Forever * 02 Don't Stop The Music * 03 Nightwork * 04 Heartlands * 05 Oceans * 06 Go Down Together * 07 Small Town Boy * 08 Hand Me Down Heartaches * 09 Motor City Showdown

WEBLINKS: www.wagnermusic.com


Background
Here's a forgotten classic that blew past most of us at the time and probably should have been pushed much harder by Ahmet Ertegun and his now legendary Atlantic Records hit-making machine. Who knows why the label dropped the ball, but part of the problem surely had to be the record's presentation with a stylish gold embossed line drawing on the front cover giving the impression of an MOR album while hardly representing the contents within or the fact Richard Wagner was actually guitarist extraordinaire Dick Wagner formerly of Detroit heavies The Frost, Ursa Major and Alice Cooper's band. A glance through Wagner's web site and we find Richard was at one time a hot property, penning some of Cooper's biggest chart hits and raking in what had to be some serious cash for session work with Aerosmith, Kiss and Hall & Oates. This 1978 album was his first crack at a solo album and although he's recorded several in the years since, from what I gather this is widely considered to be his best.


The Songs
The biggest surprise considering Wagner's loud 'n heavy past, the music is not exactly the heads down riff-fest one might expect but a classic pop record that's consistent and likeable. The Andy Pratt penned 'Some Things Go On Forever' kicks the album off in a restrained but classy style and dramatically orchestrated by producer Bob Ezrin; the tone is set. Songs like the vibrant 'Don't Stop The Music' and the deeply gorgeous 'Ocean' are loyal to Elton John and Billy Joel's take on high-end pop balladry although never fear - Wagner's tasteful and arty guitar prowess is amply on display throughout. Yeah, there's no shame tapping your foot to the light-hearted 'Small Town Boy' or pulling out the proverbial hanky for 'Hand Me Down Heartaches' which recalls the better moments of Elton John's too often maligned 'Madman Across The Water' album and though nothing here is shockingly original, it's a thoroughly enjoyable listen with a confident thumbs-up recommendation.


In Summary
Unless I missed it and I pray I didn't, this record has never been reissued on CD although it's long in need of the digital treatment not only because to its undeniable quality, but the status of Richard Wagner as both a songwriter and guitarist.


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Comments
#1 | gdazegod on October 14 2011 22:36:39
I don't think this has seen a CD reissue yet. Perhaps it could be a Wounded Bird contender, considering the Atlantic connection. Someone should alert WB's Terry to this one.. RKBluez, whaddya think? pray
 
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