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19-11-2017 09:44
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Articles Home » 1983 Articles » Grand Prix - 1983 Samurai
Grand Prix - 1983 Samurai

ARTIST: Grand Prix
ALBUM: Samurai
LABEL: Chrysalis
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 1993, EMI (Japan), TOCP-8086 (Burrn Legendary Masters Series) * 2012, Rock Candy Records, CANDY124
SPONSOR: Rock Candy Records


LINEUP: Robin McAuley - vocals * Michael O'Donoghue - guitars * Phil Lanzon - keyboards * Ralph Hood - bass * Andy Bierne - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Give Me Whats Mine * 02 Shout * 03 50/50 * 04 Here We Go Again * 05 Countdown To Zero * 06 Somewhere Tonight * 07 High Time * 08 Never Before * 09 Freedom * 10 Samurai * 11 Keep On Believing (bonus, RC reissue) * 12 Feels Good (bonus, RC reissue)

Now this is more like it. I love this album by Grand Prix from 1983, but I admit too not having heard their previous two outings. I secured a Japanese copy on CD of this release from an associate a few years back, and have listened to this album at least once a week since. For what it's worth I rank this in my all time top 30 AOR releases. Everything from the music to the artwork is indicative as to what's best about this period in the history of rock history. But on to the music. If you love superlative Brit pomp rock in the vein of Magnum and early FM then look no further than this majestic slice of AOR. Sound like I'm raving? Maybe, but I recommend this to anyone who is a lover of the aforementioned acts. This album is woefully underrated, and it is very rare that you can find a review in any of the regular e-zines (except this one of course! Ed). Comparisons are Magnum's 'On A Storytellers Night', FM's 'Indiscreet' and Asia's 'Astra'.Yes it's that good, don't you agree George? (too bloody right mate! Ed).

The Songs
The album features Robin McAuley on vocals, after replacing Bernie Shaw (who went on to work with Stratus, Praying Mantis, and of late Uriah Heep). And he does a fine job too! A definite highlight is Phil Lanzon's keyboard playing. Very similar in places to the talents of Gregg Giuffria, with a classic warm analog sound not far removed from Gregg's OTT pomp days in his own band. Listen to '50/50' to see what I'm talking about. All the songs are highly melodic, and there is some primo song writing on offer here. 'Give Me What's Mine' and 'Somewhere Tonight' being prime examples. The album has even been garnered with the esteem of being included in the Burrn 'Legendary Masters' CD back catalogue, along with the likes of the self titled Zeno and White Sister classics. One thing though, this album is from 1983, so don't expect production in the league of late eighties counterparts such as Valentine or Tour De Force (incidentally 'Samurai' is produced by John Eden).

In Summary
They just don't make 'em like this anymore. Essential for lovers of early eighties Brit pomp, if you can get your hands on a copy. Footnote: you can indeed get yourselves a readily available copy thanks to the luscious 2012 reissue from Rock Candy Records.

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#1 | super80boy on March 19 2016 23:13:31
The album gets off to a rousing start with lead off 'Shout', a fist in the air hard rocker, followed by 'Give Me What's Mine', a pompous keyboard feast. Both songs are highlighted in the accompanying hype sticker on my vinyl copy. '50/50' is pure class with its catchy as hell chorus. The title track rumbles along with a grandiose effect coupled with nice helpings of pomp. Great keyboard and guitar work in the melodic rockers 'High Time' and 'Never Before'. Big harmonies, Big Pomp = Highly Recommended.
#2 | swazi on March 21 2016 22:34:53
I listened to this one in my car just the other day and I was surprised about how good it was. Somehow it didn't do the trick a few years ago when I heard it for the first time, but there are some really great tracks on here!
Highly recommeneded, I agree!
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