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Thomas, Ian - 1981 The Runner

ARTIST: Thomas, Ian (Band)
ALBUM: The Runner
LABEL: Anthem
SERIAL: ANR-1-1032
YEAR: 1981


LINEUP: Ian Thomas - vocals, guitars, keyboards * John Zazlow - guitars * Peter Cardinali, Steve Hogg - bass * Hugh Syme - keyboards * Dick Smith - percussion * Jorn Anderson - drums * John Johnson - saxophone

TRACK LISTING: 01 Hold On * 02 Stringin' A Line * 03 Chains * 04 Embers From The Fire * 05 When I Need Someone * 06 Borrowed Time * 07 I Am The One * 08 Goner * 09 Freefall In Stardust * 10 The Runner


This was Ian's first album for the Anthem label, after his association with the GRT label ended in 1980. 'Still Here' and 'Glyder', were released the prior two years and were reasonably successful albums in their own right. The mix of songs on 'The Runner' is definitely commercial and radio friendly, not unlike lighter bands of that era such as Ambrosia, Pablo Cruise or Firefall. Being Canadian, you'd think there was some local influence, but not really, as this stuff was tailor made for FM radio.

The Songs
The opening pair of 'Hold On' and 'Stringin' A Line' are rich in layered harmony vocals and clever mid paced arrangements. Ian has the uncanny ability to put a slight twist in his bridges and choruses which ultimately makes the songs stand out more. 'Embers From The Fire' has a laid back west coast feel to it with the Rhodes piano chiming in. 'When I Need Someone' reminds me of early Charlie, while 'Borrowed Time' is a light and refreshingly breezy workout with the saxophone sidling up to the mic for attention. 'I Am The One' moves in the same direction as Ambrosia's 'One-Eighty' album, whilst 'Goner' could be a contender on Firefall's 'Elan' album.

In Summary
Overall, this is a mellow listen, and is definitely going to be of interest for fans of the aforementioned bands, and those who appreciate those multi part vocal arrangements made popular by the likes of the Doobie Brothers (circa Michael Mc Donald era). Ian went on to release many more albums for Anthem, and during the early nineties, he formed The Boomers, and they released three albums which were quite popular in Europe.

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#1 | reyno-roxx on July 03 2008 07:37:12
The title track was covered by French songstress Sheila on her 'Little Darlin' album.
#2 | swazi on November 22 2011 22:48:41
It's about high time that this guy's releases get a proper re-issue on CD! What's the issue ?!?!
#3 | Jez on August 24 2013 12:32:39
It's finally here along with 'Glider' from the Rock Candy boys. Absolute bliss!
#4 | swazi on January 21 2016 20:19:05
A very mellow affair, but highly enjoyable! A very nice reissue package by Rock Candy.
#5 | gdazegod on January 21 2016 22:39:58
As mentioned by Alun (dangerzone), 'Hold On' was also covered by SANTANA on their 'Shango' LP the following year.
#6 | swingkingandy on October 26 2017 18:52:30
think song The Runner was covered by Manfred Man?

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