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Articles Home » 1982 Articles » Wrabit - 1982 Tracks
Wrabit - 1982 Tracks

ARTIST: Wrabit
ALBUM: Tracks
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 1993, MCA (Japan), MCVM-351


LINEUP: Lou Nadeau - vocals * John Albani - guitars * Chris Brockway - bass * Gerald O'Brien - keyboards * Gary McCracken - drums, simmons drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Run For Cover * 02 Soldier Of Fortune * 03 I'll Never Run Away * 04 See No Evil * 05 Bare Knuckler * 06 Don't Lose That Feeling * 07 Unsung Hero * 08 Don't Stop Me Now * 09 There Was A Time * 10 Castles In The Sky


Well what can I say about this one then? Absolute corker! Starting out as a Toronto outfit named Telleman (should've kept the name guys), they ended up with this horrible handle Wrabit. Just as well the music is superb AOR from a time when Canadian acts ruled supreme. Following on from their acclaimed debut 'Wrough And Wready' (or just s/t depending which album you've got), 'Tracks' is a vast improvement (and that's on the back of a superb debut in any case!!), with a more dynamic lineup, superb songs, and the talented Paul Gross at the production helm. I loved that debut, don't get me wrong, but this blows it out of the water. There were some line-ups changes. Keyboardist Les Paulhus makes way for Gerald O'Brien, who is a bit of a prog meister player, and was involved with other Canadian acts beyond Wrabit, plus former Max Webster alumni Gary McCracken takes over from Scott Jefferson Steck on drums. The addition of Simmons drums is a unique sound to Wrabit's musical arsenal. Many people who have commented on the album in various forums in the intervening years have complained about them. For me, I don't think it's detrimental at all, just another instrument to be used. What is noticeable, is that Lou Nadeau is an absolutely amazing vocalist, perhaps criminally ignored in 1982, but certainly not in the years following, where his stocks have risen among the melodic rock critics. Though he might have ended up as a Tom Jones tribute act, he is certainly well admired by many in our favourite sub-genre, most noticeably Peter Sundell of Sweden pomp grandmasters Grand Illusion.

The Songs
Having played these songs ad nauseum during the 80's, the tracks on 'Tracks' (excuse the pun), reads like a photo album of my life during 1982 and 1983. The album kicks off with all guns blazing on 'Run For Cover', with guitars and keyboards duelling all over the show. McCracken also adds to the rollicking entertainment with some fine drum work, but it's the vocals of Nadeau that are the star of the show. The epic 'Soldier Of Fortune' follows on in grand style, ebb and flow passages and some amazing vocal harmonies. John Albani really does shine on this one. Turn it up loud!! The first ballad 'I'll Never Run Away' is clothed in swathes of beautiful piano and keyboard lines. the mid-section guitar solo from Albani soars into hyperspace. It's followed by the brooding 'See No Evil', with the classic line 'only time will tell if the victory bell will toll, born against once more the greatest story ever told'. John Albani's guitar solo is immense. I'm sure he's using a Boss Octaver pedal to get such deep tones. The pugilist song 'Bareknuckler' is another to feature some fiery playing from Albani, his punch-drunk solo is one for the ages. Listen to his fluid finger work. Onto Side two. The radio friendly 'Don't Lose That Feeling' is a dose of mid-tempo magnificence, and I remember this song permeating my senses immeasurably during 1982. 'Unsung Hero' is a tougher track, and sees the band pushing the boundaries in terms of their limitations. Brockway and McCracken provide a solid foundation.. 'he's here today.. he's gone tomorrow with the sun, sign of the age, the unsung hero..'. The brief but totally AOR keyboard solo from O'Brien melts the soul. The defining ballad moment on 'Tracks' is 'Don't Stop Me Now'. It's majestic for sure, just about a near throwaway, but Lou Nadeau gives it a polish like a Memphis shoe-shine boy, and the sax solo from Arrows sax player Earl Seymour is icing on the cake. However the defining moment for me on this album is the eternal classic 'There Was A Time'. An absolute stunner of real class. The keyboard solo from Gerald O'Brien is as good as it gets.. sensational. The closer 'Castles In The Sky' has a progressive vibe, a drawn out affair, but not without some exciting moments... 'defending castles in the sky, I've been fighting for so long, never a child was born to cry, wipe his tears away his life will be soon be won'..

In Summary
A really great album, and one I played for years on end - it ended up being my best friend for decades, even until this day - timeless in fact. This got a Japanese release on CD back in 1993 and didn't hang around in the marketplace for very long. An extremely difficult disc to find now, but this is one essential slab of melodic rock to own. Let it be said that all Wrabit releases are essential acquisitions for the Wrabit fan.

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#1 | Jez on June 13 2008 04:17:39
My love for this band is unparalleled in the melodic rock world (well that may be pushing it a tad!), but this is one magnificent album. After the mighty debut,i could not believe my ears when i first heard this. How could they better the Perfect debut album!not possible i thought. How wrong was I. 'Tracks' is awesome and i mean AWESOME, slightly tougher than the debut, but still full of melody, power, class, songs to die for and the lord God Nadeau on vocals. The best Canadian AOR album ever,ever ever.You get my drift - oh my overenthusiasm!
#2 | gdazegod on June 13 2008 11:35:37
One of my top 5 albums of the 80's, along with Bon Jovi s/t, White Sister s/t, Billy Satellite and Orion The Hunter. Aldo Nova, Danger Danger s/t, Night Ranger 'Dawn Patrol' and M Bolton EC all close too.
#3 | RobLynott on July 31 2009 08:38:11
Has somebody heard the Renaissance reissue by now? I'm really curious about the quality hmm!
#4 | rostoned on November 24 2009 16:27:26
"I'll never run away" is one of my favourite melodic rock ballads! Even if I DO run away sometimes and girlfriends get's more fun fellas Smile
#5 | gdazegod on November 24 2009 21:49:45
Jez and I are on the same wavelength. A truly fantastic AOR album, even after all these years. Still gets regularly played in the house of GDAZE. score 10
#6 | dangerzone on April 05 2014 05:55:01
One of the greatest AOR albums of all time. Incomprehensible how an album can be so good and never grow stale after so many years of listening.
#7 | super80boy on June 15 2014 20:47:50
They band added more edge on this second outing. Both side lead off songs are stunning mixes of AOR, melodic rock and pomp. Agreed, 'There Was A Time' is the album masterpiece. I'm already looking forward to spinning this again very soon!
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