Grand Prix – Samurai (1983)

GrandPrix_Samurai4 out of 5 Stars!

After releasing two albums that went nowhere, this U.K. band created one final album, which, in my opinion, was its best.

With Robin McAuley (future McAuley Schenker Group) behind the microphone and occasionally sounding like Yes’s Jon Anderson, Grand Prix delivered this collection of ultra-catchy “stadium rock” that, in a perfect world, should have thrust the group into the big time.

Many of the tracks that feature keyboardist Phil Lanzon (future Uriah Heep), have an American, AOR-like flavor, such as “Give Me What’s Mine,” “Somewhere Tonight,” “Shout,” “Freedom,” “50-50,” and “High Time,” and might have seemed perfectly appropriate on albums by Styx, Foreigner, or Survivor, whereas several other tracks such as “Countdown To Zero” and especially the album’s title track—a masterpiece in its own right—took on a semi-progressive style.

All in all, Samurai is terrific, with every song, regardless of style, being memorable and making me wish the band had stayed around a while longer.

By the way, not sure how this album always gets labeled with the “Heavy Metal” or “NWOBHM” tags, but those genres are horribly misleading, so fans of those genres who take a chance on this album will be sorely disappointed.

Get The Album Now!

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