GRAND PRIX – Samurai

Rock Candy

In the early 80s Grand Prix were one of Britain’s premier pomp rock outfits, mixing the Britishness of Magnum with US influences from the likes of Kansas, Styx and Journey. 1983 and Samurai was the band’s third album, with new vocalist Robin McCauley (later of MSG) replacing Bernie Shaw. From the outset it’s classic pomp, and second track “Shout” features one of the most memorable crunchy rock riffs you’ll ever hear. There’s a full sound, some great guitar (solos, riffs, harmonies, they’re all here). And there’s some pretty fantastic keyboards from Phil Lanzon who, like Shaw, would later turn up in Uriah Heep. Yes this band had lots of pedigree.

“50/50” is more melodic, almost balladic, the vocal range is good and solid on the high notes. “Countdown” is more of an all out rocker, and “Never Before” is a real foot stomper. And the title track is a superb track with plenty of vocal harmonies, some great guitar and keyboard lines and a driving rhythm.

Another fantastic package with band interviews in the sleevenotes and two bonus live tracks.

****

Joe Geesin


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