1987, Capitol, CDP 7 48450 2 (with bonus tracks)COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: LINEUP:
Tom Cochrane - lead vocals, guitars, arrangements * Ken Greer - guitars, vocals, arrangements * Rob Baker - drums, percussion * Jeff Jones - bass, vocals * Steve Sexton - synthesizers, pianoTRACK LISTING:
01 Light In The Tunnel * 02 Power (Strength In Numbers) * 03 Human Race * 04 Can't Turn Back * 05 Napoleon Sheds His Skin * 06 Walking The Fine Line * 07 Winner Takes All * 08 Sights On You * 09 Crack The Sky (Breakaway) *10 Work OutWEBLINKS: www.redrider.comDiscogs Ref: Discogs Info
This 1983 album by Canadian band Red Rider was interesting to me upon its release. Strange as it may seem, Red Rider, along with a number of other Canadian bands, received airplay down in New Zealand courtesy of their debut album. The single 'White Hot' was often heard on radio thanks to my local station 2ZG, and I followed the band when I left home and headed off into the working world. As far as GDM is concerned, Eric has written an article on that debut album 'Don't Fight It' while Alun wrote one about their 1984 LP 'Breaking Curfew'. So I'll straddle the fence and come in between with 'Neruda'.
The album was named after Chilean diplomat, poet and writer Pablo Neruda, who won a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. He died in 1973, but ten years later he became the inspiration for Tom Cochrane and his team, and this album. The quite lush cover art was designed by Denise Sexton; who I assume to be a relative of the band's keyboardist Steve Sexton. I like the way Ken Greer's guitar work is placed here, very stark and atmospheric at times. Listen to the opening instrumental 'Light In The Tunnel' and then 'Human Race', which is the best track on the LP for mine. It was one of three singles taken from the album, 'Can't Turn Back' and 'Napoleon Sheds His Skin' being the other two, the latter the closest to what the industry termed art-rock back in the day. 'Power' was a song lyrically based around mob mentality, and this was in an era decades before Social Media! haha.. Sexton's synth work on 'Neruda' adds an extra layer to Red Rider's dynamics, probably more so than Peter Boynton's work on the first two RR albums. 'Winner Takes All' takes Red Rider into genuine AOR territory, while 'Sights On You' features some moments of bombast, including thunderous drum parts and dramatic arrangements. 'Crack The Sky (Breakaway)' is another of those tunes that is so 80's in delivery, the final track dips into a modern (near new wave) style, something which would be more prominent on their next LP 'Breaking Curfew'.
It's ironic that I listen to this album more now than I did back in the 80's. When I consider I have more albums nowadays to listen to, and I find it increasingly difficult to commit time to, the same could've been said back in 1983. Back in those days, I didn't have a walkman (that would arrive a few years later), so I wasn't able to mobilise my record collection as I can now. Now, I can refamiliarise myself with my record collection, and rediscover some old favourites like 'Neruda'.
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