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Little River Band (LRB) - 1990 Get Lucky




ARTIST: Little River Band (LRB)
ALBUM: Get Lucky
LABEL: Curb, MCA
SERIAL: MCAD-6369
YEAR: 1990

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Glenn Shorrock - vocals * Graham Goble - guitars, keyboards, backing vocals * Stephen Housden - guitars * Wayne Nelson - vocals, bass * Derek Pellicci - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 If I Get Lucky * 02 There's Not Another You * 03 Second Wind * 04 Every Time I Turn Around * 05 I Dream Alone * 06 Time & Eternity * 07 Two Emotions * 08 As Long As I'm Alive * 09 The One That Got Away * 10 Listen To Your Heart

WEBLINKS: www.littleriverband.com


Background
One of our long time favourites here at GDM are Australian AOR's finest exponents Little River Band, widely referred to as LRB. We know they achieved massive stateside success in the late 70's with some laid back MOR flavoured rock, so much so that comparisons to country rock icons The Eagles abounded. By 1981 though, the 'Time Exposure' album had seen LRB rise out of this nondescript style, adding much needed AOR power to their already legendary vocal harmonies. Success continued, for a while at least. The John Farnham era of the band saw somewhat of a commercial decline, though I wouldn't suggest he did anything wrong, in fact 'Playing To Win' and 'No Reins' remain two of the finest examples of 80's AOR. Shorrock was back for 1988's excellent 'Monsoon' album, somewhat of a return to commercial form and a label change to MCA. In 1989 LRB recorded the main theme track to 'Karate Kid III', and we'll get get to that track as it's included on the album at hand, 1990's 'Get Lucky'.


The Songs
Title track 'If I Get Lucky' gets out some acoustic strumming which soon gives way to mid-tempo AOR, and I detect just the slightest twang in the guitar sound at times, referring back to their late 70's sound but only to a small extent - there's far more punch and momentum on display here, best evidenced by a chorus that's as simple as it is effective. Good start. 'There's Not Another You' is next, an atmospheric start eventually building up to high stepping mid-tempo AOR not miles from what Antipodean mates Dragon were doing around their 'Bondi Road' album. I have to admit I really enjoyed the chorus which seems to wash over the listener like a crisp stream. Some inch perfect keyboard flourishes and a slow burning guitar solo add the finishing touches to another superb AOR track. 38 Special territory is invaded on 'Second Wind', snappy AOR with that gun-slinger guitar approach going on. A trademark LRB chorus is in place, hitting the coffee meter at the essential AOR level. 'Every Time I Turn Around' is next, a Beckett/Lambert tune that tugs out their Player past to great effect. This sounds for all the world like one of those great ballads from the 'Spies Of Life' album, though LRB add extra crunch at chorus time. 'I Dream Alone' is pleasant enough I suppose, featuring powerful lyrics. It doesn't excite me though, seeming never to rise out of it's sedentary tempo, ending up fairly sleep inducing. The first and only let-down on show.

'Time And Eternity' brings power and crunch back to proceedings, all the instruments have the elbow room to thrive in the spacious AOR settings provided. An all time LRB chorus seals this one's classic AOR status, so much so that 'In The Spirit Of Things' era Kansas comes to mind. Surely Graham Goble must be near the top echelons in terms of AOR songwriters? Two emotions keeps the momentum surging, a bouncing rhythm propelling us to yet another of those AOR choruses LRB seem to reel off as a matter of course. A blistering, even dangerous solo sends this one into the red zone with ease. 'As Long As I'm Alive' brings new levels of crunch to the AOR mid ballad format, this chorus could flatten the Himalayas with it's huge guitar sustain and pompous keys supporting a wrecking ball of vocal attack. Critical AOR. 'The One That Got Away' ushers Toto into the comparison stakes, managing to build some West Coast tendencies into a mid-tempo AOR framework without losing any power in the process. The synth hook is pure magic in the verses, and very pleasing guitar presence in the chorus make for yet another winner. LRB close the album with an outright classic, 'Listen To Your Heart' being the soundtrack song mentioned above. It came out in 1989 but happily they managed to include it here. Starting life as a power ballad, it switches course mid song and becomes a mid-tempo AOR stunner. That hook could rival a Tasmanian Devil's teeth and the lush wall of chorus vocals indicate pure anthemic AOR. A genuine classic if I ever heard one, the Steinberg/Kelly song-writing partnership striking gold again.


In Summary
'Get Lucky' seemed to fare no better than ok, which is a great shame as it's filled to bursting with exactly the kind of AOR we at GDM love so much. In my estimation, it continues the golden AOR run started by the 'Time Exposure' disc way back in '81. LRB would follow this with a compilation called 'World Wide Love', mostly a combination of tracks from 'Monsoon' and 'Get Lucky'. Lineup changes and animosity abounded thereafter but it's fair to say LRB gave us one of the great canons of 80's AOR, and 'Get Lucky' can take it's place therein with pride.


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Comments

#1 | gdazegod on January 21 2014 13:18:00
Good album., A couple of these songs ended up on Graham Goble's 'Stop' CD in 1995. 'Two Emotions' and 'Time And Eternity'.
#2 | richardb on January 21 2014 20:27:50
I must admit 'Playing to win' is the only album I've bought of theirs previously, though on the strength of your review Lee, you've definitely got me interested in this one.

Thumbs Up
#3 | AOR Lee on January 23 2014 04:49:04
Great to hear that Richard, I find myself returning to this one pretty often, always a good sign!

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