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Articles Home » 1977 Articles » Frank Marino (And Mahogany Rush) - 1977 World Anthem
 
Frank Marino (And Mahogany Rush) - 1977 World Anthem



ARTIST: Mahogany Rush, and Frank Marino
ALBUM: World Anthem
LABEL: CBS
SERIAL: PC 34677
YEAR: 1977
CD REISSUE: 1998, Sony (Rewind), 489445 2

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Frank Marino - vocals, guitars, synthesizer, percussion, timpani * Paul Harwood - bass * Jim Ayoub - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Requiem For A Sinner * 02 Hey Little Lover * 03 Broken Heart Blues * 04 In My Ways * 05 The World Anthem * 06 Look At Me * 07 Lady * 08 Try For Freedom

WEBLINKS: www.mahoganyrush.com


Background
By 1977, my musical tastes had expanded vastly. It really was the breakout year for me in terms of melodic hard rock discovery. However, one man I hadn't quite gotten around to hearing was Canadian guitar-hero Frank Marino. His band Mahogany Rush might've have been big on the U.S arena circuit and he was now signed to CBS Records, but he was still Mr Invisible down under. Those early Mahogany Rush albums were pretty experimental for their time, and we reviewed one of them (1976's 'IV') too! I did see that LP in one of the bargain cut-out bins of my home-town back then, but passed on it. That experimental approach rears again for 1977's 'World Anthem'. Not quite commercial radio oriented material I'm afraid, with three tracks (out of eight) over the six minute mark. It's varied, a nod to jazz here and there, the obvious blues references, some synth dabbling too, giving it a space rock dimension. Marino hadn't totally gone into guitar overdrive yet, but it seems there was a vast difference between his studio work and live arena shows, as evidenced by some of the OTT video on YouTube.


The Songs
The synths are immediate on the opener 'Requiem For A Sinner', phasing in and around the song structure. The guitar solos are heavily processed, while the song itself seems to ebb and flow from slow folky like passages to hard driving fare. 'Hey Little Lover' is strong on percussion and what sounds like psychedelic parts. Somewhere along the way, we were bound to get a blues-based track, and 'Broken Hearted Blues' is it. It just happens to be what Marino does best, an album highlight, with strong vocals and 'out there' guitar work. 'In My Ways' is the second lengthy track encountered thus far. It rolls along much like a 'jam' oriented piece, where Marino's soloing can come in from any angle. 'The World Anthem' is probably the best known song from the LP, a progressive sounding effort, with synths and guitars intertwining. It appeared on CBS's 'Killer Watts' compilation in 1980. 'Look At Me' is a complete change-up, a jazz/blues work-out with no hint of distortion anywhere! It's an easy-on-the-ear tune, that shows Marino in a different light altogether. 'Lady' is also not the standard sort of Frank Marino fare. The guitar tone is mostly clean, Eric Johnson in parts, though the style is not Texan blues. The epic song on the album is the eleven and a half minute effort 'Try For Freedom'. It doesn't reach a fast tempo, and is kept in check speed wise. The middle sections feature some flanger heavy guitar parts which sound very 'wet'. There's not a lot of energy here, the song rolls along on its own momentum. It's a reasonable tune nonetheless.


In Summary
There's nothing here that truly stands out as being exceptional. From my perspective, the material here was too much of a mixed bag. Only 'Broken Hearted Blues' stood out for me. Thankfully, Marino would gradually hone his craft and improve things musically over the course of the next few albums. His live album the following year was pretty good, but 1980's 'What's Next' was truly amazing. If wanting to immerse yourself in Marino's discography, choose wisely.


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Comments
#1 | rkbluez on November 02 2013 10:26:57
George the fist side of this album was killer IMO...classic Marino all the way...but I'm a huge fan...the second half I agree was an still is a bit of a disappointment to me...to many mellow tunes and not enough of the trademark Marino guitar gymnastics.
#2 | tompa on November 02 2013 20:16:31
Agree with Steve, first side is great classic Mahogany Rush while the second is a whole different story. Do love the synth solo on "Lady", though.
I woulld like Frank Marino to do new album in the vein of side one; a great mix of guitars AND synthesizers.
#3 | sabace on November 03 2013 13:23:13
I really like this lp - good stuff
 
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