Friday, September 22, 2017

Phil Lanzon "If You Think I’m Crazy!"

Country: UK
Genre(s): Prog Related Rock/Pop
Format: CD, vinyl, digital
Release date: September 22, 2017
1. Mind Over Matter (5:57)
2. Kelly Gang (5:43)
3. I Knew I Was Dreaming (6:32)
4. I Saw Two Englands (4:40)
5. Step Overture (2:23)
6. Lover's Highway (5:26)
7. Donna & Joe (5:48)
8. Carolin (4:46)
9. The Bells (4:16)
10. The Forest (8:42)

Total Time 54:13

Phil Lanzon (Uriah Heep): Hammond B3/Piano/Rhodes/Wurly and Geoshred, lead vocals (4, 10)
Richard Cottle: Arranger/orchestrator/2nd keys
Craig Blundell (Steven Wilson, Pendragon, Kino, Lonely Robot): Drums
Laurence Cottle (Black Sabbath, Don Airey, Network, The Fents): Bass
John Mitchell (Kino, Frost*, Lonely Robot): Lead guitar, lead vocals (1, 3)
James Graydon: Acoustic guitar
Sarah Jory: Pedal steel and banjo
Joe Atkins: Piccolo trumpet
Andy Makin: Lead vocals (2, 6, 7, 9)
Andy Caine: Lead vocal (8)
    The London Telefilmonic Orchestra conducted by Richard Cottle
Levine Andrade: Orchestral contractor
Patrick Savage (Leader), Robert Gibbs, John Mills, Peter Fisher, Richard Smith, Adam Hill, Matthew Scrivener, Oli Langford: Violins
Roger Chase, Levine Andrade: Viola
Richard Harwood, Bozidar Vukotic: Cello
Capital Voices (Annie Skates [Chorus master], Mary Carewe, Lance Ellington, Kate Graham, Annie Skates, Phoebe Street, CJ Neale, Andrew Playfoot and Lucy Potterton): Choir

Phil Lanzon has been the keyboardist for Uriah Heep since 1986, but his debut solo album If You Think I’m Crazy! (2017) is outside the narrow confines of Heep music. It appears Phil had some serious prog he needed to manifest. He has a lot of pop/rock songwriting experience and had accumulated a backlog of songs that were not Heep-related. (OK, one song is Heep-ish.) This is glorious melodic/catchy prog plus some proggy ballads that probably could only have been created by someone from the first generation of British rock musicians. Lanzon grew up alongside the likes of Genesis, though he also admits to listening to and admiring Steven Wilson. Genesis may be the best single reference if one includes both their prog and pop eras, as the music here spans both. Lanzon’s songs also tend to be story-based. It’s surprising how bombastic most of this music is (‘bombast’ is an entirely positive thing to us progsters), with choirs, strings, and immaculate production yielding that larger-than-life sound. John Mitchell (Lonely Robot) had a big role on the album, playing guitar and singing some of the lead vocals. ... The whole album may make you nostalgic for the 1970s in that some of these songs would have had a chance at radio airplay then. Not now. ...If you’re like us, you skip to the longest track, in this case The Forest, although the shortest song, the instrumental Step Overture, is the most full-on prog (like the song Cinema was on Yes’s 90125), and the first song Mind Over Matter the one most likely to get lodged in your skull. (kinesiscd.com)

Also read the review by Jason Ritchie at getreadytorock.me.uk


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