Saturday, January 21, 2017

Orion The Hunter (1984)

Orion The Hunter was a short-lived band led by Barry Goudreau, who was an original guitarist for Boston. Their only album was the self-titled Orion The Hunter, released in 1984. Boston lead singer Brad Delp sings background vocals on three of the tracks (“All Those Years”, “Stand Up”, and “Joanne”), and had a hand in co-writing five, but you would think his role was bigger than that. Orion’s lead singer was Fran Cosmo, who sounded similar to Delp, but with a higher vocal range. Cosmo had previously sung on Goudreau’s self-titled 1980 solo album, and later joined Boston’s lineup, performing on the albums Walk On (1994) and Corporate America (2002). The quartet was rounded out by bassist Bruce Smith and former Heart drummer Michael De Rosier.

Orion The Hunter was cut from the same cloth as the aforementioned solo album by Goudreau, which sounded so Boston-like that it was hard to believe Tom Scholz was not involved with it. Orion The Hunter is just a shade less Boston-like than that album, with a tad less technical sophistication than the better-known band but with no less musical skill on display, offering melodic arena-rock that is nearly equal to that of the first two Boston albums. Goudreau produced the album, and co-wrote eight of the nine songs with Cosmo. “So You Ran” has the most immediate pop appeal, and was a minor radio hit, but “All Those Years”, “Dreamin’”, and the power pop number “Too Much In Love” are almost as good. “Stand Up” has a Jefferson Starship feel, with phasing and sound effects; “Fast Talk” uses some effects as well, but has plenty of hard rock energy. “Dark And Stormy” resembles too much of its decade’s pop-metal, but “Joanne” is a better ballad, co-written and co-sung by Cosmo and Delp. The excited “I Call It Love” gives the album a strong finish.

Any fan of Boston who has not acquired Orion The Hunter is advised to search it out. If you’ve ever wished that an additional Boston album had been recorded during the stretch between Don’t Look Back (1978) and Third Stage (1986), then Orion The Hunter is the second-closest thing you’ll find besides Goudreau’s solo album.


Orion the Hunter - Orion the Hunter

Orion The Hunter “Orion The Hunter” (Portrait BFR 39239) 1984

Track Listing:

1. All Those Years – (Goudreau/Migliacco/Delp)
2. So You Ran – (Goudreau/Migliacco)
3. Dreamin’ – (Goudreau/Migliacco)
4. Dark And Stormy – (Goudreau/Migliacco)
5. Stand Up – (Goudreau/Migliacco)
6. Fast Talk – (Goudreau/Migliacco/Delp/Percy)
7. Too Much In Love – (Goudreau/Migliacco/Delp)
8. Joanne – (Migliacco/Delp/Smith)
9. I Call It Love – (Goudreau/Migliacco/Delp)


See also RTZ (Return To Zero) .

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