LITTLE RIVER BAND Reissues The Store For Music (2005)
If you want to hear a great little album from a band that's been going since the 80s check out the reissued Where We Started From. (Store For Music SFMCD026)
With only two members remaining from a 1980 incarnation, this album could have so easily been a perfunctory run-through former glories.
Whilst it does nod to the past, with the inclusion of a few reworked 'classics' it's the quality of the songwriting on offer and wonderful hooks that really impress.
OK, so it's a little 80s but it's so well done you can't really grumble. Just skip to the reworked 'Night Owls', a simply wonderful groove, which will give you a measure of what's on offer here. This song is one of that rare killer breed that, in the right circumstances, can make hairs stand on end.
On a ballad like 'Just You And I' things could become somewhat saccharine and ever so boy band if they weren't careful, but the song has a twist in the bridge which is irresistible. ****
2001's One Night In Mississippi (Store For Music SFMCD029) is a celebratory trawl through back catalogue. Apparently they only aimed to record one track for a compilation but decided the concert was worth a release in its entirety. Right decision.
Well recorded, this would be a good enough introductory compilation for the unconverted and culls tracks from their previous albums. Excellent musicianship, of course, and particularly good vocals from Wayne Nelson. ***½
I always confused Little River Band with Little Feat, needless to say on this showing they bring to mind The Cars with the strong harmonies and jangly guitars, or contemporaries Orleans and Air Supply, and their brand of melodic pomp rock also puts them in Kansas, Styx and Toto territory at times.
LRB first caught on in Australia before having success in the States. They raised their profile in 1983 when John Farnham joined on vocals. They never broke the UK market and in truth they're unlikely to with these CDs. However, they will please many of those in the know, and all who recognise quality when they hear it.