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Grand Prix - 1982 There For None To See



ARTIST: Grand Prix
ALBUM: There For None To See
LABEL: RCA
SERIAL: RCALP6027
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 2000, Zoom Club (UK), ZCRCD52 * 2006, Lemon Records (UK), CDLEM 83

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Robin McAuley - vocals * Michael O Donoghue - guitar * Ralph Hood - bass * Andy Beirne - drums * Phil Lanzon - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Heaven To Hell * 02 Troubador * 03 Take A Chance * 04 Paradise * 05 Keep On Believing * 06 Taking Your Life Away * 07 Runaway * 08 Tough Of The Track * 09 Atlantis * 10 Relay


Background
Elsewhere on this website is a gushing review devoted to Grand Prix's third album 'Samurai', which rightfully pegs them as one of the finest British AOR acts of the decade. Such is the superiority of this, their second album and follow up to the 1980 debut, that there's precious few bands of their ilk that can stand next to the seamless AOR consistency caught here. This was recorded in acrimonious circumstances, as original vocalist Bernie Shaw was dismissed in favour of McAuley, who the band bought in to record over Shaw's original vocals, without Shaw's knowledge. Shady indeed, but it can't take away the fact McAuley provided another superb AOR voice. Looking at early photos of Grand Prix they resembled another NWOBHM contender, but nothing could be further from the truth. This album is the AOR lovers dream, with pompish keyboards overflowing next to choruses that bear repeating again and again..


The Songs
There's a lot to talk about with all ten tracks, so in reality it's probably pointless to try. But I will. Everything here could have been a hit, and the single lifted from it, 'Keep On Believing' saw minor chart action, and here we have the UK answer to Journey, check out that soaring hook for what an anthem should sound like. There's a ton of exciting escapades, 'Heaven And Hell' again heavy on syntheisizer atmosphere, and try forgetting that chorus, what class. 'Troubador' is full of pomp keys that represent the title, and the flow is pleasant, the vocal harmonies well crafted, buzzing and humming. On the tougher side is the Gillan esque 'Take A Chance', and I'm willing to bet not even Magnum could compete with this kind of instant AOR genius, this one very American. Unbelievable stuff. The ballad 'Paradise' is indeed that, and Taking Your Life Away' is on par with anything from Journey's 'Escape', it has that same Schon-Cain interplay, with the requisite stadium chorus. There's no shortage of superlatives that can be applied to 'Runaway', with everything in the red, especially the lazer synth effects. Three minutes of bliss. Heavy pomp is heard during 'Tough Of The Track', with 'Atlantis' following in its tracks, showing a metallic side. When considering great album closers, keep 'Relay' in the back of your minds, the whole affair is upfront and heavy, and once again the band strikes with a mammoth melodic breakdown when it comes to the chorus, followed by a string of solos from Donoghue and Lanzon.


In Summary
By 1982 UK standards, only Uriah Heep's 'Abominog' can really compete with this for a superior blend of intelligent AOR meets hard rock. This is far more on the AOR side and this completely blew me away when I really sat down and listened to it peoperly. Furthermore it demonstrates how good McAuley is, but the material he had to work with in MSG never came close and this is the sort of AOR you would want Survivor to write, but we know that's as likely as a Grand Prix reformation. It is refreshing that Bernie Shaw found his feet in Praying Mantis and Uriah Heep (with Lanzon) and I'd be curious to hear how this sounded with his vocals. What resulted could hardly have been more perfect. One CD everyone should own, easily among the best UK AOR albums of all time.


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Tags: Grand Prix 
 
Comments
#1 | gdazegod on May 25 2007 00:14:34
This Grand Prix album has seen a re-release on Lemon Records. Not sure what the audio quality is like though. Anyone have any idea? hmm!
#2 | Nick C on May 26 2007 23:37:57
Grand Prix did 3 excellent albums ... gonna have to dig my CD's out over the next few days and give them a spin. I really like the 1st album too, the track Which Way Did the Wind Blow just blows (sic) me away.
Not sure about the Lemon release, the copies I have were by Zoom Club and are really good quality wise.
#3 | reyno-roxx on June 30 2008 09:42:49
Saw Grand Prix at The Marquee Club not long after this album came out. They were excellent. Bizarrely played the current single 'Keep On Believing' twice though....
 
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