GRAND PRIX – Samurai [Rock Candy remastered + 2]

GRAND PRIX - Samurai [Rock Candy remaster] (2012)

Pioneers of the UK pomp / melodic hard rock scene, the two more celebrated albums by GRAND PRIX remastered with bonus tracks by Rock Candy Records have been requested here. Samurai is their last album, another superb slice of melodic rock / AOR.

Grand Prix tenure with RCA produced two albums – their eponymous debut with original vocalist Bernie Shaw was particularly memorable, and a really good follower finally released several years later due a conflict between the label and the band.
But it will be for their swansong LP “Samurai” that the band are best remembered, released via Chrysalis Records in 1983.

Before the recording of Grand Prix’s second album Shaw was dropped in favour of Robin McAuley (later to achieve international fame with Michael Schenker), and perhaps the superb singer was the catalyst for the band to record one of the most memorable pompous AOR Melodic Rock albums of its day.

GRAND PRIX - Samurai [Rock Candy remaster] booklet

“Samurai” showcased a newfound maturity in the songwriting department and a glossier sound aimed squarely at the American market.
From the moment crescendo-driven opener “Give Me What’s Mine” kicked in it was clear that Grand Prix had evolved into a band with a truly international pedigree and then some.
Boasting more hooks than most rock&pop bands could muster, tracks like the smouldering power ballad “Here We Go Again”, rabble rousing “Freedom”, the swaggering “Countdown To Zero” and shimmering title track “Samurai” were a bold revelation, affirmation that the UK finally had a serious contender to the likes of Styx, Journey and Foreigner.

That the band never went on to achieve fame and fortune (indeed, they split soon after the album was released) is once again testament to the ineptitude of the clueless executives who ran the record industry at the time.

GRAND PRIX - Samurai [Rock Candy remaster] (2012) back cover

Lovingly rescued from the vaults, “Samurai” is brilliantly remastered by the ever dependable Jon Astley and presented with all the usual Rock Candy Records trimmings.
Great packaging with extensive sleeve notes about the making of the album and a couple of previously unreleased live bonus tracks taken from their Reading Festival appearance in ’82.
“Samurai” is a prime example of British Pomp infused AOR at its best, and as such is utterly indispensable in your collection.


01 – Give Me What’s Mine
02 – Shout
03 – 50/50
04 – Here We Go Again
05 – Countdown To Zero
06 – Somewhere Tonight
07 – High Time
08 – Never Before
09 – Freedom
10 – Samurai
11 – Keep On Believing (Live) (Bonus Track)
12 – Feels Good (Live) (Bonus Track)

Robin McAuley – lead vocals
Michael O’Donoghue – guitar, backing vocals
Phil Lanzon – keyboards, backing vocals
Ralph Hood – bass, backing vocals
Andy Berne – drums, percussion



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