ORION THE HUNTER – ST [Rock Candy remastered & reloaded]
Considered one of the greatest first half of the Eighties AOR albums, ORION THE HUNTER self-titled album received the Rock Candy Records superb 24-bit remastering from original source tapes, something this classic largely deserved.
Boston debut album album is not only regarded as one of the greatest rock albums of all time but it is also one of the biggest sellers. Its influence was all pervasive and set the standards for years to come. Behind the scenes, however, things were not going as smoothly as they seemed.
Indeed, by the turn of the Seventies the band had all but imploded, with guitarist Barry Goudreau being the first to head off for pastures new.
Initially, Goudreau recorded a well-received solo album, but a part of him still longed to be a member of a fully functioning band.With this goal in mind, he set about forming a new outfit, named, rather enigmatically, Orion The Hunter.
Featuring lead vocalist Fran Cosmo – a man who would, somewhat ironically, later go on to actually join Boston – bassist Bruce Smith and former Heart drummer Michael DeRosier, the quartet spent nearly a year crafting a selection of songs that would form the basis of a remarkable album.
Recorded at the renowned Power Station Studios in New York, the album was universally praised for its wealth of great songs, melodic arrangements and a sound built on the very foundations of Boston itself – Barry’s guitar work in particular ringing with that unmistakable tone.
“Orion The Hunter” features a breathtaking demonstration of musical ability and superior songwriting. It is an AOR milestone with an ideally balanced sound no less massive and devastating than that of Tom Scholz’s Boston.
Fran Cosmo’s performance on this album is phenomenal; his mighty, emotionally charged voice would give an airraid siren a run for its money although it’s anybody’s guess how much of this was achieved through studio magic. Brad Delp pitched in on backing vocals, while the keyboard end of affairs (organ, mellotron, memory moog, piano, synth programming) was handled by additional musicians.
From the opening chords it is clear that the listener may prepare for greatness. ‘All those Years’ amply displays all of the elements that make this such a magnificent album. Amazingly beautiful melodies are delivered with pinpoint precision on the crest of a hard rocking wave, Fran Cosmo’s stunning vocals rising above them like a beacon.
The it comes ‘So you Ran’, simply of of the finest AOR tunes from the first half of the ’80s. A killer song with a killer chorus and vocal harmonies. ‘Dreamin’ is a fast paced, steamroller of a track with a guitar solo that unfolds like an unstoppable force, “Dark and Stormy” a piano oriented power ballad with appropriate special effects.
While “Stand Up” and “Fast Talk” are your energetic, melodic rock oriented uptempo tracks, “Too Much in Love” stands out because of its poppy touch.
“Joanne” should have been a HUGE hit. Far from being the cliché “sentimental song named after a girl” it is a potentially classic rock-ballad in the finest Journey / Boston tradition.
“I Call it Love” wraps things up in a higher gear, it’s got the Loverboy seal of approval stamped all over it and a crafty piano interlude thrown in for good measure.
“Orion The Hunter” were as impressive as they were shortlived. Their one and only album blend the magic of classic Boston with the catchy US AOR style circa 1983, and in many ways the sound & style of this record influenced many acts of the genre in years to come.
Go and get this pristine Rock Candy remastering, or live in sin for the rest of your life.
A Must Have
01 – All Those Years
02 – So You Ran
03 – Dreamin’
04 – Dark And Stormy
05 – Stand Up
06 – Fast Talk
07 – Too Much In Love
08 – Joanne
09 – I Call It Love
Fran Cosmo: lead vocals
Barry Goudreau: guitars, backing vocals
Bruce Smith: bass, backing vocals
Michael De Rosier: drums, percussion
Lennie Petze: additional guitars
Steve Baker: piano
Jimmy Bralower, John Schuller, Peter Wood: keyboards, synths
Brad Delp: additional vocals
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