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Articles Home » 1982 Articles » Ritenour, Lee - 1982 Rit II
Ritenour, Lee - 1982 Rit II

ARTIST: Ritenour, Lee
ALBUM: Rit 2
LABEL: Elektra
SERIAL: 60186
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 1994, Discovery (WB), 71017 * 2005, Collectables, COL-CD-6550


LINEUP: Lee Ritenour - guitars, keyboards * Eric Tagg - vocals, keyboards * Don Grusin - keyboards * Nathan East - bass * Harvey Mason - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Cross My Heart * 02 Promises Promises * 03 Dreamwalkin' (Along With Me) * 04 Keep It Alive * 05 A Fantasy (Instr) * 06 Tied Up * 07 Voices * 08 On The Boardwalk * 09 Road Runner * 10 Malibu


Lee Ritenour just barely scrapes into this site by virtue of his reputation, notwithstanding the fact that some of his albums are incredible slices of West Coast pop. By and large, a lot of his material is guitar based jazz fusion not unlike his contemporaries Larry Carlton and to a lesser extent George Benson. However, his 1981-1984 period generated some wonderful moments, and perhaps was a reflection of the times when his genuine talent could be seen for crossover potential into the general pop market. So, with that in mind, Eric Tagg was recruited to give the vocals some prominence. Tagg had previously sung in the band Medusa, a mid-west band who released a worthwhile self titled album back in 1978. He also had a solo album released in Germany called 'Smilin' Memories'. It was via this association that Lee wanted him to do some work with him. Added to this was a whole host of the best LA session musicians available to do the rest. The album 'Rit' released a year earlier in 1981 was when Tagg first appeared, and was another great West Coast album and just as good as this one being reviewed. However the progression from that one to 'Rit/2' was pretty much similar, the songs being infectious pop based material which was great for radio airplay or even dance clubs.

The Songs
The opener 'Cross My Heart' is a wonderful introduction, mixing Tagg's heartfelt vocal delivery to the pop based beat. 'Promises Promises' is a hi-tech workout which crescendo's with some fiery Ritenour guitar solos! The mellow 'Dreamwalkin' meanders along in melodic fashion, while the album highlight for me is the fantastic 'Keep It Alive'. A simple song really but delivered with the best intentions! Another hi-tech blast is 'Tied Up', the verses are quite moody but they brighten up on the choruses. Another moody track is 'Voices' where the theme throughout is quite intense and dramatic. The keyboard stabs and Ritenour's guitar spikes at the end embellish the effect. The remainder of the album is made up of a series of guitar instrumentals, namely 'A Fantasy', 'On The Boardwalk', the George Benson flavoured 'Roadrunner' and the subtle brilliance that is the album closer 'Malibu'. Luscious being an understatement!

In Summary
The best AOR oriented albums to find from Ritenour are 'Rit', 'Rit/2' and 'Banded Together'. All his other ones (and there are plenty of them) are really for collectors or severe fans of his work.

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This article has been tagged
Tags: Lee Ritenour 
#1 | gdazegod on August 18 2015 13:02:22
I'd go out on a limb and declare this as one of the greatest West Coast albums of all time. Absolutely drop dead perfect. 10/10!
#2 | gdazegod on August 18 2015 13:03:44
Lee Ritenour - 1982 Keep It Alive
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