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Articles Home » 1980 Articles » Gomez, Ray - 1980 Volume
Gomez, Ray - 1980 Volume

ARTIST: Gomez, Ray
ALBUM: Volume
SERIAL: 134387-S
YEAR: 1980


LINEUP: Ray Gomez - guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals * Jimmy Haslip, Will Lee - bass * Narada Michael Walden, Kaspar Winding, Vinny Appice - drums * David Sancious, Chris Palmaro - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 West Side Boogie * 02 Waiting For The Big Time * 03 Make Your Move * 04 USA * 05 Blues For Mez * 06 Love At First Sight * 07 Summer In The City * 08 The World Will Keep On Turning


A much heralded album from a guitarist not well-known in the mainstream, but who has reaped acclaim on a level similar to Eddie Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton in his field. Gomez was born in Morocco, his family moving to Spain where he became a teenage 'prodigy' with his band the Pop Tops who had huge success. This led him to the US where he went on to play with an endless line of musicians, too tedious to be repeated here! Regardless, Gomez developed a liking for jazz/boogie fusion, his performance on Stanley Clarke's 1976 'School Days' now legendary in the genre. It all led to this, Gomez's only solo album until 2000! 'Volume' is an engaging album which dabbles with blistering fusion, West Coast style AOR and outright jazz. According to Gomez himself the albums promotion was a disgrace as it was on the verge of taking off. He was of course right, the album now a sought after obscurity when it should be anything but.

The Songs
'Make Your Move' was a massive hit on St Louis radio, the melodic hard rock strains catching ears, thanks to a hook which could be deciphered as AOR but beefed up considerably by Gomez's not so subtle riffs, lending a rough edge to a great track. 'Waiting For The Big Time' is AOR however, the harmonies straight from LA's best, even though Gomez was situated in New York. The funk backing gives it variety as not to pigeonhole it entirely. 'U.S.A.' is an anthem that has to be heard, it could serve as the nations rallying cry! This track appeared on the CBS compilation 'Killer Watts', where Gomez's reputation started making inroads among hard-rockers it would seem. The booming chorus has overtones of MC5's 'Back In The USA' period, only updated late 70's style. 'West Side Boogie' is a fusion meltdown instrumental that compares favourably to Gary Moore's best work with Colosseum II and Jeff Becks 'Blow By Blow' and Wired' albums of the mid 70's. It almost eclipses them, the mixture of keyboards, riffs and fusion drumming taken to another level of speed and technical precision. The Lovin' Spoonful cover 'Summer In The City' disrupts the momentum, but with the backing of a horn section and Gomez's speedy soloing it becomes entirely listenable. It's back to simmering AOR for 'Love At First Sight', this time with a laid back Pablo Cruise feel, so much I could swear this is from their 'Part Of The Game' album from 1979, the only difference being this takes the honours with melody so complete I have no comprehension how Gomez did it! Southern guitar work dominates 'The World Will Keep On Turning', all of it acoustic, vaguely reminding me of Led Zeppelin's folk fetish on the 1970/71 years. 'Blues for MEZ' is self explanatory in it's direction, a blues instrumental which takes various twists in it's near seven minutes, most of the fusion kind again. It truly showcases Gomez's authority of the guitar, his soloing burning and epic.

In Summary
Gomez was adamant the albums treatment was a 'disgrace' as he said in an interview, the albums progress impeded by poor management and to Gomez record executives who didn't think an artist with a latin surname would be appropriate for the market. Totally absurd. Gomez was dropped, a ridiculous situation which deprived the world of a follow up which would have been a must hear. Gomez bowed out of the business for a while with substance abuse problems and a defeated self image. He reappeared to do more session and live work, with a new album in 2000. His legacy is complete with 'Volume', a statement of impeccable talent, which should please almost all with its varied approach. I wouldn't mess around if you happen to find this! A classic overdue for a relaunch.

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#1 | sabace on March 30 2006 14:28:40
brilliant lp pity he did'nt make it to the big time!
#2 | The Clone Ranger on August 30 2006 11:28:04
I totally agree with this review. That's one of the great underrated/overseen albums of its time.
The only thing I'd have to add is that imho 'Summer in the City is far more than just listenable. This song must have been covered more than a hundred times, but I can't think of a better version than Gomez'!
#3 | Nick C on April 02 2007 01:28:26
I remember buying this solely because it was paired up in an advert in a music magazine along with Joe Perrys debut, both artists sharing the same label CBS/Columbia. Anyway the advert went on to shout something along the lines of guitar mayhem (haha) so I had to grab it. Now this is another of my missing album mysteries...I had this and now I haven't it seems a few of my albums went missing between the mid 80's to mid 90's....some of which I have replaced...some I haven't. This is one I haven't BUT this will be rectified bloody quickly as this was a great release....I have to agree with T C Ranger in that the version of Summer in the City on this is the best version I have EVER heard. Time to search eBay! Grin
#4 | Eric on April 02 2007 10:13:32
Actually it was 'Make Your Move' that recieved the most airplay off the album and believe it or not, can still be heard on classic rock radio, at least here in the Twin Cities. Gomez did some dates with Judas Priest in 1980 supporting the record, but I agree-it should have been bigger than it was.Smile
#5 | rkbluez on April 05 2007 21:34:59
I really like this album also...had to do it from vinyl...but it was well worth the trouble...hope some label decides to reissue this gem...but I won't hold my breath. Hard to believe Ray never had the chance to do a follow up.
#6 | gdazegod on April 07 2007 01:05:00
Probably many people don't realise that Ray Gomez was also the lead guitarist out on tour with Patty Smyth And Scandal. It's a bit of a departure for him no less, I wonder how he would have made Scandal's basic formularized material (still good though) that much more interesting with his abundance of guitar-talent. Anyone here ever see Scandal live with Gomez strutting the boards on guitar?
#7 | reyno-roxx on June 23 2008 16:11:09
As Nick states, the album was promoted in the UK along with the first Joe Perry Project album. If you bought both records together you got a free cardboard guitar!
#8 | Nick C on September 26 2010 08:15:34
Oh No! I missed out on a cardboard guitar.... real sad haha! Actually I picked up the JPP on import quite a few months before it was released over here so I wouldn't have been in the running for grabbing it in the deal. If I'd known I might have bought it twice hmm!
#9 | gdazegod on September 26 2010 09:01:04
Nick, how come you lose the odd CD over time? Surely the missus is not tossing them out as frisbees or something? Surely not? Grin
#10 | Nick C on September 26 2010 13:03:05
No this was a whole 12" album..I used to lend them out and take 'em to parties...and I guess some just went astray. I have a copy of Jon Andersons Olias of Sunhillow that isn't mine that never got returned to it's owner some 30 years ago! I dare say my original Ray Gomez is lying in some old pals collection.
A few years ago I lent my Steelhouse Lane CD's to a friend - who promptly moved house and I never saw again, I mean the CD's are good but moving house so they don't have to give 'em back! That's just going a little too far in my book.
#11 | gdazegod on September 26 2010 13:39:42
Yes I know the feeling. There is a certain chap who lives in Wolverhampton who supposedly borrowed my Jap copy of White Sister - never to be seen again. Isn't that right Mr Birch? middle finger
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