After playing together in the Santana band, GREGG ROLIE & Neal Schon founded Journey in 1974, with Rolie taking the lead singer and keyboardist slots. When Steve Perry was chosen as new vocalist, he lost prominence.
Unhappy with his role, Rolie left the band in 1980.
GREGG ROLIE released two solo albums during the '80s, but it’s the second one, “Gringo” (1987), that is regarded as his finest solo moment.
For the production of that album he teamed up with two famous knob twiddlers: Richie Zito and David Kershenbaum, and with songwriting contributions by eminences such as Bob Marlette, Martin Page (Starship), Peter Beckett, Andre Pessis (Eric Martin, Mr. Big) among others, nothing can go wrong in that department as well.
Add to this the help of an impressive list of musicians, a lot of them known as famous L.A. session players for various artists: Vinnie Colaiuta, Nathan East, Dan Huff, etc.
Stylistically you can shelf “Gringo” right next to Robert Tepper’s 'No Easy Way Out', Van Stephenson’s 'Suspicious Heart' or The Arrow’s 'The Lines Are Open'.
All tracks are lovely '80s AOR tunes played with class and style, being my favorites “The Hands Of Time”, “Talk Talk” (known from The Arrows), the intimate “I Couldn’t Lie To You” (featuring Dann Huff on guitars) and the excellent “Fire At Night”, on which you can hear Carlos Santana & Neal Schon trading awesome guitar solos.
This re-issue, remastered version of “Gringo” by AOR Heaven Classix series is another jewel to own.
It’s not the first time that “Gringo” is getting re-released. Labels like Point Music and Wounded Bird brought the album under our attention in respectively 1997 and 2006. Why Point Music retitled the album into 'Hands Of Time' is beyond me, because personally I think that “Gringo” (the nickname Rolie was given by his Santana colleague José Chepito Areas) is a far better title.
Anyway, if you still don’t own a copy of this classy '80s album, then it’s about time you check it out.
01 - The Hands Of Time
02 - Don't Wanna Be Alone Tonight
03 - Talk Talk
04 - I Couldn't Lie To You
05 - One Of These Days
06 - Too Late, Too Late
07 - Fire At Night
08 - You Make It Hard On Me
09 - I Will Get To You
Gregg Rolie: lead vocals, keyboards, synths
Bob Marlette: keyboards, guitars
Gary Chang, Arthur Barrow: keyboards
Dan Huff: guitar
Neal Schon: guitar
Carlos Santana: guitar
Stef Birnbaum: guitar
Vinnie Colaiuta: drums
Nathan East: bass
Jerry Hey, Charles Loper, Mark Russo: horns
Joe Pizzulo, Maxine Waters, Edie Lehman: backing vocals
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