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Articles Home » 1984 Articles » Little River Band (LRB) - 1984 Playing To Win
Little River Band (LRB) - 1984 Playing To Win

ARTIST: Little River Band (LRB)
ALBUM: Playing To Win
LABEL: Capitol
SERIAL: SJ-12365 (LP), P 7 46061 2 (CD)
YEAR: 1984
CD REISSUE: 1996, One Way Records, 72438 19076 27


LINEUP: John Farnham - vocals * Graham Goble - guitars * Stephen Housden - guitars * David Hirschfelder - keyboards * Wayne Nelson - vocals, bass * Steven Prestwich - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Playing To Win * 02 Reappear * 03 Blind Eyes * 04 Through Her Eyes * 05 When Cathedrals Were White * 06 Relentless * 07 Piece Of The Dream * 08 Don't Blame Me * 09 One Shot In The Dark * 10 Count Me In

WEBLINKS: www.littleriverband.com

This is the definitive AOR album from LRB, or Little River Band as most people know them. After a string of popular MOR contemporary albums, which saw them get gradually better and rockier, it culminated in a series of great albums released on the US Capitol/Pasha label during the mid eighties. This being the second, following on from the previous years release 'The Net'. 'The Net' was the first album to feature Australian vocal god John Farnham (as a replacement for the long standing Glenn Shorrock). Though that was a good album, this follow up 'Playing To Win' moves them into new territory, where the music is prime time AOR and a long way removed from their previous efforts, though both 'The Net' and the 'Time Exposure' album from 1981 gave hints of the promise to come. 'Playing To Win' also features on a fulltime basis the extremely talented keyboardist David Hirschfelder, and new drummer Steve Prestwich who was ex Cold Chisel.

The Songs
The heavy handed Spencer Proffer and Duane Baron production pitched this album right at the melodic rockface, and perhaps alienated LRB's existing fan base, but really the songs are bloody good, even when compared to some of their earlier hit material. It's hard for me to spot a bad song in all honesty. The title track is a pompous masterpiece, while other standouts include 'Reappear', 'When Cathedrals Were White' (which sounds like a pomp version of Kansas), the delightful 'Relentless', and the AOR drive of 'Count Me In'. Most of the other tracks are great too and could probably deserve a mention in any other review. Farnham's vocals are really the icing on the cake on most of these songs, and turns what could've been ordinary songs into something special.

In Summary
LRB followed this up with the fantastic 'No Reins' album from 1986, where they continued to move away from their 1970's MOR sound, and settle quite comfortably, parked up high and dry on AOR Boulevard. All of their 1980's albums from 'Time Exposure' through to 'Monsoon' are well worth collecting.

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This article has been tagged
#1 | jeffduran on May 04 2008 07:10:33
#2 | dangerzone on May 04 2008 08:30:32
Agreed. Farnham was on top of his game here. 'Piece Of The Dream' is sone of the best AOR cuts you're ever likely to hear.
#3 | DEMONAOR on July 21 2008 10:32:21
Great Album with killer vocals from mister Farnhamscore 9
#4 | reyno-roxx on February 14 2013 19:27:41
Finally grabbed the One Way CD reissue of this for a bargain price. Brilliant record!
#5 | super80boy on July 07 2013 01:40:57
Farnham does a good job on the vocals. The title track reached #15 on the US Billboard mainstream rock chart. It has a lot of driving up-tempo tunes.
#6 | swazi on January 20 2016 18:58:07
Pretty amazing AOR release! I definitely need to complete my LRB CD collection. But some of them are rather pricey.
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