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Australian Only Re-issue after Being Out of Print for Some Time. Features Vocals by John Farnham.
Playing To Win This release, with John Farnham singing lead, displays the best harmonies you will hear in pop/rock music. That and the writing give Playing to Win a Queen-esque feel on many of the tunes.Playing to Win and No Reins did not do well, and Farnham (the biggest selling artist of all time in Australia) has been blamed by some. It may have more to do with a change toward more keyboard-based tunes. Regardless, the gent on keys, I believe his name is David Herschfelder, is a great musician.I think this and No Reins are the best LRB have ever done.I love it! I'm a LRB fan but I especially love this one as many of the songs are a cool departure musically speaking. Blind Eyes and When Cathedrals Were White and the title track are my faves.
PLAYING TO WIN was a brave risk for the Little River Band. Released in 1985, the band strayed from its typical soft pop/rock to a much harder edge. Unfortunately, fans didn't embrace this harder sound. I must admit that my initial reaction was "What the---this can't be the LRB!" But as I listened more, I realized it was just an extension of the band trying a different style. Althiugh Beebs Birtles was gone, those tight harmonies were still there. John Farnham's amazing voice was in full glory; The songs are well written and flawlessly performed; the band plays impeccably---Stevie Housden's searing guitar; the brilliant keyboards of David Hirschfelder; Steven Prestwich's powerful drumming; and Wayne Nelson's bass and alternative lead vocals. Under Spencer Proffer's apt production, LRB proved they could rock with the best. Along with the title track, my favorite tracks: BLIND EYES, RELENTLESS, WHEN CATHEDRALS WERE WHITE, ONE SHOT IN THE DARK and DON'T BLAME ME.LRB is my favorite rock/pop band and although PLAYING TO WIN wasn't commercially successful, it's a great album and I appreciate their daring effort to widen their horizons.Playing To Win album is one of the best albums ever on earth ... at least, for me.This is an astoundingly great album that no one ever heard. This was Graham Gobel's LRB's short-lived foray into something different, magnificent, and great. However, very few LRB fans and nearly no one else on earth were ready for this album. Sadly, too bad.All I can say is listen to this album and you might agree that this is a great album. However, at to , no album is worth this much.If the price comes down, get this album. You won't be disappointed.
Little River Band changed members and styles; not the first time an established band has done that. This change was to the field of Power Pop, with all the audio signal processing that comes with that genre. Personally, I liked this album best, with second place (for the Little River Band) going to their next album No Reins. Production and mixing was top notch for Playing To Win and No Reins. I found the early Little River Band too syrupy for my own tastes, not to knock what others liked about that era of their music. I did love those early vocal harmonies, but prefer the Latin backbeats the Playing To Win offered. Power Pop with a lot of Latin backbeats and powerful vocals (not metal influenced) really sparked for me. This music paved the way for other Power Pop bands that followed. As the audio signal processing advanced technologically, other Power Pop bands borrowed from the styles that Little River Band presented on these two albums. I'd like to hear what Peter Gabriel thought of these two albums in their time. So if you like Playing To Win or No Reins, make sure to hear the other of the two; I feel they saved the best for last. Later albums were odd regroupings of past versions of the band. And that First Christmas album by Wayne Nelson and Steve Vaus, under the name of the Beat Boys, was inspired in a totally separate way; but good of type. But I have a soft spot for Steve Vaus anyway. I feel a lot of Power Pop bands of the late 80's owe a debt to the pioneering work of Playing To Win and No Reins. Hint: the description of modern American life in No Reins' Paper Paradise is still relevant today. Maybe more now than when it was written! Enjoy! (And thanks to Bruce F. for turning me on to this album!)This is the album where band member Graham Goble made the mistake of trying to turn LRB into a harder rock band,and was rejected by the fans.Beeb Birtles had left the band and his harmonies,and songs,were sorely missed.It still has some interesting tracks,such as the brilliant John Farnham vocal on "blind eyes",but the harder rock style was not suited to Little River band.I'm a huge LRB fan, but this album represented the low point in their long, distinguished history. The guitar-dominated, layered harmony sound they were known for is conspicuously absent on this release, being replaced by an electronic synthesized sound filled with strange chord combinations. BLECH! The one exception is the song "When Cathedrals were White", one of my all-time LRB favorites.
My favorite album fom LRB. My tape was lost by a friend long ago and I would truly love to have a CD of it. Please please please please please re-release it. Audiologist By Day By Night Hard Core Gamer Gaming Gift Pullover Excellent Quality CDs Vinyl => Pop => Soft Rock