Although the Crusaders could not have known it at the time, their recording of "Street Life" (which features a memorable vocal by Randy Crawford) was a last hurrah for the 20-year old group. Their recordings of the next few years would decline in interest until the band gradually faded away in the '80s. However this particular set is well worth picking up for the 11-minute title cut and there is good playing by the three original members (Wilton Felder on tenor, soprano and electric bass, keyboardist Joe Sample and drummer Stix Hooper) along with guitarist Barry Finnerty; horn and string sections, plus additional guitarists are utilized on Sample's commercial but listenable arrangements.
The title track to 1979's Crusader is not only this album's crowning glory, but also serves as one of de Burgh's finest songs. Its narrative is based on the courageous efforts of Richard the Lion-Hearted and his spirited battle against Saladin, the king of the Saracens during the crusades that took part between the 11th and 13th centuries. Broken into four separate parts, its detailed story line and moving musical passages exemplify de Burgh's talent as an intriguing anecdotist. His seriousness and passion build the song until the very end of the "Finale," in which the moral of "Crusader" is revealed through his soft-spoken final words…
This is the best recording so far of Partenope. Krisztina Laki is splendid in the lead role as is Helga Muller-Molinari as Rosmira and John York Skinner as Armindo. Rene Jacobs in the counter-tenor role of Arsace does a fine job considering the date of this recording. The orchestra plays with great vitality. This is the recommended recording of this opera.
Prior to Lovedrive's recording, the Scorpions' lineup had a major change when their lead guitarist, Uli Jon Roth, quit the group (not to mention, the rock genre was rapidly changing). With this in mind, the band not only highlighted the album with the licks and riffs of three guitarists (Rudolf Schenker, Michael Schenker, Matthias Jabs), but they also dramatically changed their style to sound more like that of Van Halen. This change is quite welcome; not only are the performances more unpredictable, but the lyrics and melodies are better written. In fact, some of the Scorpions' best songs, such as "Loving You Sunday Morning," "Holiday," and "Coast to Coast" are found here, making it one of their finest.~ Barry Weber (All Music Guide)
Vocalion's reissue of classic 1970s albums by famous French orchestra leader/arranger/composer Paul Mauriat. Remastered from the original stereo tapes for Vocalion's trademark crystal-clear sound quality.