December 06, 2018

Gino Vannelli - A Pauper In Paradise (1977) - Lp

Release:  1977
Genre:  Art rock, Progressive Rock
Format:  LP
Label:  A&M Records
Catalog#  AMLH 64664
Prijs:  €10,00

A Pauper in Paradise is the fifth studio album by Italian-Canadian singer Gino Vannelli.

Gino Vannelli was surfing on a monster wave, he was one of the most creative heads in Pop music during the mid-seventies. By 1977, he felt the need to adapt his sound a bit to what was going on around him. Stylistically, this album stands between the two or three previous albums and the next album, one of his most acclaimed records, Brother To Brother, anticipating in a way that album's sound.

For instance, Gino has female background vocals now instead of dubbing his own voice; those background vocals make a bigger difference than you'd think. And Valleys Of Valhalla and One Night With You are already influenced by that L.A. studio sound brought to fame and fortune by folks like Jay Graydon, a sound which in itself was an derivation of Earth, Wind & Fire's epic sound.
And in retrospect, this move seems to be a first hint at impending doom, the path Gino would take after Brother To Brother - all on a high level, it should be understood. This and songs, which are not as inspired as similar compositions on the last albums, therefore only two and a half stars for Side One of A Pauper in Paradise.

Side Two is another story.
Hiring a symphony orchestra was one of the fads in Pop music in the seventies. Gino Vannelli jumped on that wagon rather late. His concept was more closely related to film soundtrack than to Rock music.
The opener, Black And Blue, is a fine ballad. The title track is an instrumental suite in four movements and Claus Ogermann comes to mind. That's not really far fetched: both Claus Ogermann and Gino Vannelli love rich and sweeping harmonies, in the way of the French Impressionists and of Hollywood during the fifties.
As the suite carries on, there's a busy part that fuses Vannelli with Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman. Towards the end, the orchestra walks back in and Gino sings a few lines.

Side A
A1.  Mardi Gras - 3:26
A2.  Valleys of Valhalla - 4:23
A3.  The Surest Things Can Change - 4:35
A4.  One Night with You - 4:18
A5.  A Song and Dance - 3:37

Side B
B1.  Black and Blue - 4:21
B2.  A Pauper in Paradise (In Four Movements) - 15:14

Vinyl: Goed
Cover: Goed

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