Arcangel - Arcangel

Arcangel – Arcangel


For those coming to this site who are familiar with the Arcangel material, I’m sure you’ll agree, this one’s a pearler!

Written by: gdmonline

ARTIST: Arcangel
ALBUM: Arcangel
LABEL: Portrait
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

LINEUP: Jeff Cannata – vocals, guitars, keyboards, drums * Jay Johnson, David Coe – guitars * Jeff Bova, Michael Soldan – keyboards * Jim Gregory, Scott Spray – bass

TRACK LISTING: 01 Stars * 02 Tragedy * 03 Wanted: Dead Or Alive * 04 Used To Think I’d Never Fall In Love * 05 Rock Me Tonight * 06 Before The Storm * 07 Sidelines * 08 Confession * 09 Just Another Romance * 10 King Of The Mountain>


I read the review of this album back in 1983 when it first came out. If I recall, the reviewer said: ‘Jeff Cannata sounds like he’s been locked in a room with a crateful of Kansas albums!’ or something to that effect. In fact he even said it sounded like the 3rd Boston album. Well as time would have it, some twenty plus years after the event, some of the comparisons haven’t quite rung true.

However, what we do agree on, is that it’s still recognised as one of the more bombastic AOR releases of the genre and appealing due to the vocal overdubs, generous keyboards and crisp drums. For me, Arcangel has more of a Aldo Nova type sound, with Jeff’s vocals heading down Jon Anderson (Yes) alley. That’s fine by me.

Cannata a native Connecticut resident cut his teeth with the unknown semi-prog 70’s outfit called Jasper Wrath, featuring that other AOR celebrity James Christian, and many of the same musicians playing on this album.

However, with this project the prog approach has definitely been dropped in favour of amazing AOR. The session lineup has got quality on it: Jeff Bova the NY keyboard god (also of Distance) puts in some great ivory tinkling.

The Songs

Keyboard bombast of the sort that Gregg Giuffria would be proud of is the prelude to the opening track ‘Stars’. There are some wonderful moments on ‘Tragedy’, strutting guitar and stabbing keyboards through the choruses. The video (below} is kinda cool, though dated.

‘Wanted Dead Or Alive’ is particularly good, where the keyboards sound similar to the stuff off Dakota‘s ‘Runaway’ opus. As an aside, April Wine did a cover of this song on their ‘Walking Through Fire’ album. The ballad ‘Used To Think I’d Never Fall In Love’ is poignant enough but doesn’t do a great deal for me, whereas ‘Rock Me Tonight’ bares some hard rock teeth.

The interlude ‘Before The Storm’ is a great bass laden instrumental which leads us into two of the highlights of the album for me: ‘Sidelines’ which has some spectacular sound effects in it, and the wonderful poppy and melodic ‘Confession’. The bombast continues with ‘Just Another Romance’ and the epic sounding ‘King Of The Mountain’.

In Summary

This is another of those albums which makes an immediate impression with melodic rockers everywhere. Despite Jeff Cannata putting out various albums under different banners over the years including Jeff Cannata and Cannata, he kept the Arcangel banner continuing on with a couple of albums released many years later.

For those coming to this site who are familiar with the Arcangel material, I’m sure you’ll agree, this one’s a pearler!



ArcAngel "Tragedy"

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