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Lazy Racer - 1980 Formula II
» Posted by Avatar

gdazegod
on August 26 2012, In 1980 Articles , 2 Comments , 3235 Reads , Print



ARTIST: Lazy Racer
ALBUM: Formula II
LABEL: A&M
SERIAL: SP-4808
YEAR: 1980

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Kelly Harland - vocals * Bill Lamb - vocals, guitar * Tim Renwick - guitar, vocals * Dave Markee -bass * Tim Gorman - keyboards, vocals * Henry Spinetti - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Why * 02 True Love * 03 Heart Of Hearts * 04 Carie Ann * 05 This Time * 06 Beautiful Loser * 07 Young Man In A Hurry * 08 Takes Too Long * 09 Big Bang Theory * 10 Jumpin' The Gun


Background
Some time ago, Eric provided a review of the debut 1979 Lazy Racer album. Much like The Babys, Lazy Racer were a hybrid American/British band with more than a passing comparison to fellow compadres Night featuring South African singer Stevie Lange - who themselves were also international. Whilst not setting the house on fire with that album, Lazy Racer stuck it out for a second album, the front cover album jacket coupled with the band's name and album title a pure suckerpunch for those followers of automobiles and TV show Top Gear I would suggest. The band is based around the two 'Tims'.. keyboardist Tim Gorman and guitarist Tim Renwick, both well known names in music circles back then. In search of a record deal, Gorman was persuaded to uproot from his (then) Pacific Northwest locale and head over the Atlantic to London. The rest is Lazy Racer history. Coupled with American female lead singer Kelly Harland and a sprinkling of local British musicians, there's a hint of the aforementioned Night in the Lazy Racer sound, plus the keyboard work and slightly pop rock/new wave attitude brings to mind those early albums by American outfit Spider without ever being inspired to don skinny ties. For this album, Henry Spinetti formerly of Sniff N The Tears comes in as the new drummer, replacing Kenney Jones who upon the death of Keith Moon, joined The Who. It would appear that this album vanished off the radar as soon as it arrived because there is very little to support its existence apart from the odd You Tube clip on the Net.


The Songs
The pop feel of 'Why' is a reasonable start to the album, in the vein of Brit outfit Sniff N The Tears. 'True Love' doesn't have the best guitar riff around. The song really only saved by the chorus, but only just. 'Heart Of Hearts' is one of my picks for album's best moment. True, it borders on the cheesy but Kelly Harland's vocals does enough to swing it back into the midfield. So too the AOR-lite of 'Carrie Ann' which is blessed with a superb chorus and an overall radio friendly delivery. 'This Time' is the first ballad and I guess it was sort of expected but it was far too melancholy and not very interesting. The quirky 'Beautiful Loser' has a quasi disco/pop rock vibe that is lost on me somewhat, it's followed by the percussion heavy 'Young Man In A Hurry' which also has some nifty synth parts from Gorman. Quite liked this one. Not sure about 'Takes Too Long' with its quacking bass synth sequence. I guess I can take it or leave it. 'Big Bang Theory' is also a bit 'hit and miss', the Al Stewart flavoured sound makes it slightly more palatable. Finishing up with the uptempo 'Jumpin' The Gun', this is much better, like a rockier version of the Alan Parsons Project, particularly with its use of orchestation.


In Summary
I've never heard their first album but if it's anything like this one then I'll be prepared to seek it out. Lazy Racer didn't survive beyond this second album, the personnel all going on to new pastures, Gomran especially, future stints including The Who, the shortlived but excellent San Francisco based The View (later to be renamed The Vu) as well as the more recent line-up of Jefferson Airplane/Starship. Lazy Racer are well worth an aural investigation for those into late 70's pop/rock, if not for a gawk at the excellent cover art.


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#1 | Eric on August 29 2012 09:14:50
Both albums would make for a nice 2 on 1 CD reissue.
#2 | super80boy on August 07 2017 04:39:31
I’ve always preferred this second offering over the subdued aor-lite debut. I like the added keyboard stabs in ‘Carie Ann’. The passionate female AOR ‘Heart Of Hearts’ is a standout and the seductive fade in and out female vocals in ‘Big Bang Theory’ are a nice touch. Both side openers have a new wave slant to them. Of their two albums, this platter is the much better proposition.
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