GRAND PRIX – Grand Prix [Rock Candy remaster +3]
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. The band’s self-titled debut LP “Grand Prix” is delicious from start to finish.
Originally formed back in the late Seventies with the name ‘Paris’, GRAND PRIX was from the start a different beast in the UK scene. Their melody-rich blend of guitars and pomp-fueled keys were much more in tune with what was happening on the other side of the Atlantic ocean than anything remotely British or European sounding.
Following time spent on the live circuit they came to the attention of RCA who signed them up … on condition they change their name to Grand Prix.
With a sound steeped in American radio rock, comparisons were immediately made to Journey, Styx, Kansas, Saga.
However, Grand Prix were, it must be said, practically the only British band of the era that could hold a candle to the serious melodic sensibilities of their American cousins.
Part of the reason for this was the appointment of excellent vocalist Bernie Shaw (later in Uriah Heep), a Canadian citizen who had moved to the UK in search of new opportunities.
Released at the beginning of the Eighties, the band’s self-titled debut LP “Grand Prix” was launched to solid critical acclaim, but their music was quickly identified as being far too sophisticated to truly align them to the NWOBHM.
Like Praying Mantis, White Spirit, Tobruk and Shy, the band’s penchant for polish, melody and complex arrangements meant that they were quickly sidelined by many in favour of the more in-your-face attributes of the competition.
Grand Prix’s largely overlooked, self titled debut album, is actually one of the greatest Melodic Rock albums of the era. Immersed in Pomp and circumstance, the record contains a number of classic tracks, including ‘Waiting For The Night’, ‘Thinking Of You’, ‘Mama Says’, ‘West Wind’ ‘Feel Like I Do’, and ‘Which Way Did The Wind Blow’, amongst other gems.
The then young Shaw sounds at places like Steve Perry, Phil Lanzon creates some wonderful ivory layers with his keyboards, synthesizers and piano, while Michael O’Donoghue provide clean guitar riffs & solos.
A mandatory listen to all pomp AOR / classy melodic rock fans, “Grand Prix” is a little gem from the glorious era.
This is a great 24-bit remastering by Rock Candy from original source tapes including 3 bonus tracks, 4,000 word story of the making of the album with full involvement by the band, rare photos, all spread out over a superb 12 page full colour booklet.
01 – Waiting For The Night
02 – Day In The Life
03 – Thinking Of You
04 – Mama Sayes
05 – Which Way Did The Wind Blow
06 – West Wind
07 – Next To You
08 – You Know It Can Be
09 – Feel Like I Do
10 – The Very Last Time (Dreamer)
11 – Feels Good (Grand Prix) [B-Side]
12 – Room 155 (Unreleased)
13 – Somewhere Tonight (Unreleased)
Bernie Shaw – lead vocals
Phil Lanzon – keyboards, synthesizers, piano, vocals
Michael O’Donoghue – guitars, vocals
Ralph Hood – bass, vocals
Andy Beirne – drums, percussion
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