1980COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: LINEUP:
Mick Rogers - , vocals, guitar * Clive Bunker - drums, percussion * John G. Perry - bass, taurus pedals, vocals
Additional Guests: Vivienne McAuliffe, Carol Stocker, Betsy Cook - background vocalsTRACK LISTING:
01 Way Of The World * 02 The American * 03 Turbulence * 04 Ovation * 05 Fallen Star * 06 Track Eleven * 07 Get Your Rocks Off * 08 Strange Worlds
British band Aviator were short lived during the late 70's and early 80's. Their personnel all came from diverse backgrounds, encompassing the jazz rock and progressive genres. Their first album was (apparently) a mix of these genres. Not having heard the first LP, my take on this band might be a little different. Though these boys are decidedly British, there is a quirky appeal to some of their songs on this their second LP 'Turbulence', despite eventually leaning toward their progressive roots as we move through the album. Certainly Charlie
are a reference point (as Eric eluded to in his review of the debut), but I also hear other bands such as Lake
when they lighten up, but because there are only 8 songs, 'Turbulence' is kept tightly wrapped within the prog/pop rock framework. Having toured with Steve Hillage
the year before (and also because drummer Clive Bunker was an ex-member), comparisons can probably be made with the Hurdy Gurdy Man himself. Co-founder of the band Jack Lancaster left the band after the 1979 tour, and does not feature on this album.
I enjoyed the lead off 'Way Of The World', here you can listen to the band working in that aforementioned quirky style, though it would only be for this one track. The cool and cruisy sounds of 'The American' beckons a Rupert Holmes
approach, and it would that two tracks in, Aviator are flying off in a different direction altogether. Fine by me though! The title track 'Turbulence' features some deep-seated keyboards though it ends up as a varied arrangement, in keeping with their jazz rock/prog background. 'Ovation' is something else altogether. An acoustic ballad mostly, it does have a stinging guitar solo within this meandering piece. 'Fallen Star' at over 7 minutes is the longest track on the LP. It plods for the first 4 minutes, waking up with some tasty jazz rock/fusion lead guitar. The brief instrumental 'Track Eleven' is a whole bunch of drum work put through an echo machine. As a track made up of effects, it works. As an instrumental with any serious meaning on the album's musical content, it's a failure.. lol! 'Get Your Rocks Off' is a cover of the Bob Dylan
song, which ironically he never recorded on any of his solo albums (it appears on a Basement Tapes compilation). However, Manfred Manns Earth Band
recorded it on their 1973 album 'Messin', which is probably how it turned up here, considering that Rogers was an ex member. 'Strange Worlds' is a befitting end to this album, as it is a full on aural bombast, touching on all of the members past bands in the space of 7 minutes.
Despite releasing two reasonable albums, Aviator crash-landed in 1980, with the members moving onto other projects. In fact, the entire band from the first Aviator record all re-convened on Jack Lancaster's 1981 solo LP 'Skinningrove Bay'. In case you hadn't noticed, the album cover is just about the same used for the 1983 album by American pomp/pop rockers Storm
! What the hell?
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