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Articles Home » 1979 Articles » Nightrider - 1979 Nightrider
Nightrider - 1979 Nightrider

ARTIST: Nightrider
ALBUM: Nightrider
LABEL: CBS (France)
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 1992, Musea, FGBG 4059.AR


LINEUP: Bobby Salazar - lead vocals * Herve Guido - keyboards, acoustic piano * Frederic Rossoni - synthesizers, keyboards, bass * John Woolloff - lead guitar * Oliver Marina - electric & acoustic guitar * Jean Louis Bianchina - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 A Change In Time (Explosion, Storminess, Snowy Day) * 02 Juggernaut * 03 Blinded * 04 Hardrock Kid * 05 Nightrider * 06 Albatross * 07 Angel Heights

With an English lead vocalist and connections to Soft Machine as well as former Trust manager Bobby Bruno pulling the business strings, French band Nightrider and their progressive hard rock had loads of potential but were too late in the game to have much of an impact. More to the point, after their sole self-titled album was released in 1979, CBS France in their infinite wisdom and an eye on the coming new wave thought the band should drop their elaborate song style for straighter, heavier approach as well as adopt French lyrics. Odd considering the album was selling significant copies as an import in both Spain and Scandinavia but record companies always know best as we've seen time and time again..

The Songs
Recorded in Switzerland at Aquarius Studios, owned by Patrick Moraz, Nightrider's sound is comparable to Kansas, Magnum and 'Fallen Angel' era Uriah Heep. Lots of guitar courtesy of John Wolloff formerly of Soft Machine and Swiss heavies Spot, classically influenced keys and solid melodies, it's an impressive pomp-laced album just a little left of center. This is largely due to vocalist Bobby Salazar's unusual style which is a mix of Gentle Giant's Derek Shulman and Blues Traveler's John Popper but don't let that last very un-Glory Daze reference throw you off as opener 'A Change In Time (Explosion, Storminess, Snowy Day)' is a heaven-sent masterpiece of prog AOR. 'Blinded' hints at both Genesis and Kayak while 'Hard Rock Kid' has Salazar occasionally pre-dating a Black Metal growl which is unsettling and with the Magnum-esque riffing, a little surreal. 'Albatross' shows Nightrider's softer side in a jazzy mid-tempo excursion while 'Angel Heights' uses every tool at their disposal for the albums grand finale injecting both Kansas and Jethro Tull into their already sophisticated and dynamic fare.

In Summary
Nightrider gigged frequently in and around Paris as well as much of France and produced a video which aired on French TV. The album sold 10,000 copies and in 1980 the band recorded a song called 'The Patrol' to entice an already disinterested CBS. The label passed on its option and by 1981, Nightrider ceased to exist.

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#1 | gdazegod on April 08 2013 14:44:08
YouTube Video:
#2 | gdazegod on April 08 2013 14:46:49
These guys sound like 70's NZ prog rockers MOTHER GOOSE! The vocals in particular at the intro..
#3 | Eric on April 08 2013 18:17:51
Yeah they do now that you mention it. G- I have you to thank for turning me on to Mother Goose, great stuff!
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