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Articles Home » 1979 Articles » De Burgh, Chris - 1979 Crusader
De Burgh, Chris - 1979 Crusader

ARTIST: De Burgh, Chris
ALBUM: Crusader
SERIAL: SP 394746
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 1990, A&M, 4746-2


LINEUP: Chris De Burgh - lead & background vocals, six & twelve string acoustic guitars * Ian Bairnson - guitars * David Paton - bass * Stuart Elliot - drums, percussion * Mike Moran - piano, organ, synthesizers * Andrew Powell - piano, choir, orchestral arrangements

TRACK LISTING: 01 Carry On * 02 I Had The Love In My Eyes * 03 Something Else Again * 04 The Girl With April In Her Eyes * 05 Just In Time * 06 Carry On (Reprise) * 07 The Devil's Eye * 08 It's Such A Long Way Home * 09 Old Fashioned People * 10 Quiet Moments * 11 Crusader: a) The Fall Of Jerusalem b) In The Court Of Saladin c) The Battlefield d) Finale * 12 You And Me


Best known for 'The Lady In Red', an immensely popular 1986 MOR single that women swooned over and most rockers wish they had never heard. Its unfortunate the song became Chris De Burgh's calling card as a romantic balladeer; especially in the U.S. considering the Argentinian born-Irish raised singer released several interesting albums ranging from soft progressive rock on his early albums to AOR and won considerable chart success with his 1982 classic 'The Getaway' as well as a spot on Asia's ill-fated 'Alpha' tour. It was that album and the radio hit 'Don't Pay The Ferryman' that turned me on to De Burgh's music although I can't say the majority of his 80's albums did much for me as they increasingly became exercises in adult contemporary boredom.

The Songs
More appealing are his early releases which took a direction akin to Al Stewart, using historical references wrapped in a folky light prog style. 'Crusader' was produced by Andrew Powell, the man responsible for orchestrating Stewart's biggest albums as well as the Alan Parsons Project, John Miles, Ambrosia's 'Somewhere I've Never Traveled' LP and produced the critically acclaimed Kate Bush debut 'The Kick Inside'. A good portion of Alan Parsons Project appears on the album and some of that vibe predictably bleeds into the music as well as The Moody Blues and a host of late 70's progressives and while De Burgh's voice can be challenging, he handles the majority of material with aplomb. 'Carry On' kicks off the album as its first single and as a mid-tempo rocker it should have pleased many an AOR programmer although 'I Had the Love in My Eyes' and the charmer 'Something Else Again' which happily reminds me of The Strawbs, both lean towards the type of balladry we've grown accustom from De Burgh. Powell's wonderful orchestrations are front and center on the Barclay James Harvest influenced 'Just In Time' and it's the first tune where De Burgh actually starts to rock. Over to side two and the 'The Devil's Eye' while dark lyrically is the album's strongest cut and bookended with the four movement title track which covers the European crusades in a nearly nine minute prog rock extravaganza; 'Crusader' is a superb record and perfect for a bit of escapism on a gray Sunday afternoon.

In Summary
Already a big deal in Europe; De Burgh took on North America during the summer of '79 with an extensive tour supporting Supertramp, Peter Frampton and Gino Vannelli. It didn't push 'Crusader' to the top of the charts and appeared out of style looking back at the new wave and disco trends that dominated the year. Still, it's a fun listen with a timeless quality and very much in print on CD. Get it while you can.

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#1 | dangerzone on November 30 2011 02:50:34
I honestly had no idea this album existed before I read this. Just the album cover and title alone are classic. I thought perhaps it was a Wishbone Ash album for a few seconds.
#2 | gdazegod on November 30 2011 02:56:02
Might be worth checking out, considering all the Pilot and APP alumni involved..
#3 | englandashes on December 03 2011 11:30:45
Eric, what have you turned me into? never would I had thought that I would be sitting listening to 'Crusader' and 'The Getaway' and enjoying them! They slot in well between my Dead Soul Tribe and Dimmu Borgir cd's. Ha Ha!
#4 | Eric on December 03 2011 14:11:58
I think 'The Lady In Red' kills any interest in De Burgh's catalog which is totally understandable. His pre- 'Crusader' albums including the 1975 debut 'Far Beyond These Castle Walls', 'Spanish Train And Other Stories' and '77's 'At The End Of A Perfect Day' are all worth hearing as his the 1980 'Crusader' follow-up 'Eastern Wind'.
#5 | swazi on June 02 2012 23:29:33
"Spanish Tain and other Stories" is a classic! I still remember that I scratched for and collected every Rand (South Africa) and cent just to buy this LP. After I bought it in Pretoria I played it on my father's stereo and to my big surprise he paid me back the whole amount, because he liked it so much himself. Ahhh ..., memories ..!
#6 | gerard on March 16 2014 20:46:17
He sure has some nice albums. Besides the ones that have already been mentioned, I like 'Man on the line' too.
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