There’s a few Gino Vannelli fans here at GDM, his music changed from the mid 70’s but his appeal remained steadfast, even when evolving into the 80’s.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Gino Vannelli
ALBUM: Big Dreamers Never Sleep
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada
LINEUP: Gino Vannelli – lead vocals, co-production * Joe Vannelli – keyboards, sequencing, co-production * Ross Vannelli – drum programming, co-production * David Garibaldi – drums, percussion, drum programming * Mike Miller – guitars * Jimmy Haslip – bass, drum programming * Marc Russo – sax * Lisa Fischer, Maxayn Lewis, Marilyn Scott, Alfie Silas – backing vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 In The Name Of Money * 02 Time Out * 03 Wild Horses * 04 Young Lover * 05 Down With Love * 06 Persona Non Grata * 07 Something Tells Me * 08 Shape Me Like A Man * 09 King For A Day
WEBLINKS: Site Link
There’s more than a few Gino Vannelli fans here at Glory Daze. His music did tend to shift with each passing decade starting out during the mid 70’s but his appeal remained steadfast, even when evolving into the world of hi-tech AOR, as with this album. This notable change in direction started with 1981’s ‘Nightwalker’ album, and was consolidated by 1984’s superb ‘Black Cars’ effort. Taking a few years off, Gino returned in 1987 and picked up where he left off in 1984 with this near copycat release, though perhaps with the songwriting not quite to the previous level.
Let’s not beat around the bush here. There is a load of keyboards and drum programming going on within these nine songs, and as a reminder, this is not ‘Gist Of The Gemini’ nor ‘Brother To Brother’ revisited, just in case anyone was hoping for a repeat performance. No folks, this album has settled into the heart of the hi-tech 80’s and it ain’t budging anytime soon.
This is no more apparent than on the first two tracks ‘In The Name Of Money’ and ‘Time Out’, the latter featuring some prominent saxophone work. ‘Wild Horses’ was the best known track, and shuffles similarly to the Bruce Springsteen hit ‘I’m On Fire’. Refer the video below. ‘Young Lover’ is the first of the slo-mo tracks (or as some other website labelled this style as ‘downtempo’), it’s soon overtaken by the percussion driven ‘Down With Love’ which is punchy and upbeat in the style of Robbie Nevil.
‘Persona Non Grata’ takes a mixed approach from the arrangement angle. It’s got a bit of everything, what we call a licorice all-sort. Still kinda catchy but strange too. ‘Something Tells Me’ is the second slo-mo tune, this could sit quite nicely on Gino’s future album ‘Inconsolable Man’ as it literally drips in emotion. ‘Shape Me Like A Man’ leans toward an AOR style albeit with an energetic rhythm section, while closer ‘King For A Day’ is fuelled by an overload of synth and drum programming, perhaps too much to be honest.
My guess is that most long-time Vannelli fans would rate this album somewhere toward the bottom of his back-catalogue. It contains none of the charm of those 70’s classics and when compared to its closest 80’s sibling ‘Black Cars’ it gets nowhere near its rear bumper. Gino would opt for a complete change for 1990’s ‘Inconsolable Man’, where the tempo is slowed, and the music borders on tearjerkers. Ironically its one of my favourite albums of his. Go figure.