Orion The Hunter - 'Orion The Hunter' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 10, 2012    
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A very good AOR record that any self-respecting fan of the genre should own.

Dating back to 1984, Orion The Hunter's sole disc came about directly from former Boston guitarist Barry Goudreau's 1980 solo album, when wary of it seeming too much like a Boston record Goudreau brought in vocalist Fran Cosmo to sing three of his own songs alongside the others sung by Boston's Brad Delp. However, it didn't really cut much ice with Boston leader Tom Scholz, who pulled strings at Epic to get promotion of Goudreau's album stopped and later sacked the guitarist from his band. Undeterred, Goudreau and Cosmo continued to work together, picking up Cosmo's friend Bruce Smith on bass and former Heart drummer Michael Derosier, and unable to use the shorter name of Orion due to it already being owned, they settled on Orion The Hunter and recorded this album.

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Self-produced by Goudreau and CBS A & R legend Lenny Petze, the music still had the high vocals and soaring guitar harmonies that you would associate with Boston, but the band had a much more modern sound with all manner of hi-tech keyboard and guitar sounds punctuating the songs. As strong as Barry Goudreau's solo album had been, Orion The Hunter was much better, chock full of memorable songs with uplifting melodies, pure high vocals and searing guitar work. 'All Those Years', 'Dreamin'', 'Fast Talk', 'Stand Up' and 'I Call It Love' are all high-energy melodic AOR songs with big harmonies, catchy choruses and superb instrumentation, whilst the dramatic 'Dark And Stormy' is a stirring epic and 'Joanne' is the great crossover pop/rock single. The best of the bunch is the minor hit single and MTV-aired video 'So You Ran', with its a capella intro, "chuka chuka guitar" and awesome arrangement, and the worst is the ill advised reggae backing of 'Too Much In Love', which Cosmo is at pains to point out in the sleeve notes wasn't their idea.

Despite the relative success of 'So You Ran' the label again cut promotion before the second single, 'Joanne', could be released. In Dave Cockett's excellent sleeve interview it's obvious that Goudreau has his own ideas about why this happened, but it's nice to see that he's not bitter about it anymore and doesn't rule out the possibility of he and Cosmo working together at some point on a second album. With an excellent remaster that gives the bass and drums a bigger role than previously, 'Orion The Hunter' is a very good AOR record that any self-respecting fan of the genre should own.

Phil Ashcroft

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Berny said:

FANTASTIC ALBUM - bought it second-hand on vinyl almost 15 years ago. Looking forward to the mastered version! smilies/cool.gif
March 10, 2012
Votes: +1

Franco Cerchiari said:

While Boston was an AOR wonder, (at least their first three releases were,) there are some great side projects of Boston band members that have all held up nicely even some 30 years later. The Brad Delp/Barry Goudreau 1989 project RTZ (Return to Zero)release Face the Music, is sensational and Boston vocalist Fran Cosmo had a great project of his own called Cosmo that also featured his son. Boston drummer John "Sib" Hashian played with Barry Goudreau in Sammy Hagar's The Waboritas, and Fran Sheehan was active in the music industry until his leaving the profession due to a hand injury.

Orion the Hunter will forever be known as the purveyors of their classic radio hit (even if it isn't heard on the radio anymore...ugh...) "So You Ran." Sad to say few people remember the other songs on this long lost (and mostly forgotten release,) but there were some great other tracks as well. "Dreamin'" (not to be confused with the track "Dreams" from Barry Goudreau self titled CD,) "Fast Talk," that reminds me of the 80's keyboard heavy act The Outfield, and the closing track, the lively, raucous "I Call It Love."

Released in May of 1984, Orion the Hunter would climb to number 57 on the Billboard Top 200 and the single "So You Ran," would find it's way to the top 10. Featuring long time Heart drummer Michael DeRoiser, and fellow Boston front men Brad Delp and Fran Cosmo who each sang on different tracks, this is a great piece of yesteryear. Sounding crisp and clear it has stood the test of time well. But sadly with passing time it's getting talked about less and less - and that's not right.
September 21, 2013
Votes: +0

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