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Zon - 1978 Astral Projector
» Posted by Avatar

gdazegod
on August 19 2003, In 1978 Articles , 6 Comments , 3128 Reads , Print



ARTIST: Zon
ALBUM: Astral Projector
LABEL: Epic
SERIAL: 90442
YEAR: 1978
CD REISSUE: 2003, Escape Music, ESM-091 (2 on 1 reissue with 'Back Down To Earth')

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Denton Young - vocals * Brian Miller - guitars * Howard Helm - keyboards * Jim Samson - bass * Kim Hunt - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Put On The Show * 02 Time For Your Love * 03 Point Of View/Where To Spend My Dollar * 04 Man In The Mirror * 05 Talkin' About * 06 Melody * 07 On The Road * 08 Astral Projector * 09 Hollywood


Background
This is the debut album by the much loved Canadian outfit Zon. Described to me previously by Moxy's Earl Johnson as a 'fairies and wizards' band, this was an obvious humorous jest at their pompous and overblown sound. Lots of keyboards, and galloping guitars, resembling a cross between Queen and Styx, and doing a great job too. The lineup remained stable all through their shortlived career, and it was probably this one album which stands the test of time among their discography. It's heavily reliant on the absorbing ivory tinkling provided by keyboard god Howard Helm, though the remainder of the band do a great job keeping pace. The vocal gymnastics of Denton Young rambling about all sorts of weird lyrics probably proves Earl Johnson right in his apt description.


The Songs
The highlights for me are the timeless tracks 'Talkin' About', the impressive opener 'Put On The Show', and of course the classic title track 'Astral Projector'. The keyboard and organ work of Helm stand out a mile on these tracks, as do the special effects. 'Melody' is a straight ahead piano based romp, which reminds one of Neal Doughty's work with REO Speedwagon. The metronome is turned up for the pacy 'Time For Your Love' while the adjoining 'Point Of View' and 'Where To Spend My Dollar' borders on the epic, in a seventies sort of way. The latter features some zany vocal flurries from Young, as if he was in a theater performance!


In Summary
A great album, but definitely one for those who like pompous arrangements and keyboards to boot, and a taste for things from the seventies. Their follow up albums are reviewed elsewhere on the site. The talk is after all these years that Zon just might get their act together to release some new material, that is if all the members can come together when time and space permits. Lets wait and see..


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Comments
#1 | Nick C on January 21 2006 20:57:52
I read in an interview recently that singer Denton Young co wrote Blinding Light Show by Triumph. I checked...he did!!!

Zon were great though this has to be one of my favourite albums of the genre, their other releases are worth checking out too. By the time their 3rd album 'I'm Worried About the Boys' came out their pomp edge was all but gone, replaced in favour of a more radio friendly approach.
#2 | tompa on April 22 2006 23:27:25
Very close to Styx, especially on the first track, only with more interesting use of the synthesizers. Last track on the album, Hollywood, startes out as any ballad only to turn into prog rock of the finest order. Up there with Roadmaster and Starcastle as true champions of Pomp Rock!
#3 | Jez on June 12 2008 15:42:56
Classic late 70's Pomp ala Styx, Roadmaster, Trillion etc. The debut is the slightly more pompy of the 2 and contains the classic title track and the brilliant 'Put On The Show'. Great disc indeed.
#4 | sabace on August 04 2008 02:56:07
YEA ! GOOD STUFF !
#5 | rostoned on August 04 2008 03:27:11
This sports one of the best artwork ever. The original LP was released in a glossy, kinda die cut (around the eyes) gatefold sleeve and, at least in Canada, this came out on blue vinyl. Glorious or what?
#6 | super80boy on April 15 2013 03:24:25
A great listen full of keyboards and big chourses. You can really hear the Styx references coming into play on a variety of songs, like 'Talkin About'. Like the jacket artwork as well.
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