Following the massive success of 1978’s ‘Legend’, Poco continued to release consistently superior albums on the cusp of AOR brilliance.
Written by: Dangerzone
ALBUM: Ghost Town
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Paul Cotton – vocals, guitar * Rusty Young – vocals, guitar * Charlie Harrison – bass * Steve Chapman – drums * Kim Bullard – keyboards
TRACK LISTING: 01 Ghost Town * 02 How Will You Feel Tonight * 03 Shoot For The Moon * 04 Midnight Rodeo (In The Lead Tonight) * 05 Cry No More * 06 Break Of Hearts * 07 Love’s So Cruel * 08 Special Care * 09 When Hearts Collide * 10 High Sierra
WEBLINK: Site Link
Following the massive success of 1978’s ‘Legend’, Poco continued to release consistently superior albums on the cusp of AOR brilliance. Efforts such as ‘Blue And Gray’ and ‘Cowboys And Englishmen (also released in 1982)’ have all but been forgotten over the decades, but each contained moments of melodic excellence.
With veteran members Cotton and Young at the helm this was always to be expected and in 1982 the band conjured up one of the best recordings of their career with ‘Ghost Town’. Here the band perfected their timeless blend of country and rock, only this time with the AOR sound magnified more than ever. It was still in line with their lengthy past, but amazingly this only reached 195 on the charts, a sad fate for an album better than anything by the Eagles if you ask me.
This is easily one of the most atmospheric albums I’ve heard the pleasure of listening to. That’s a term thrown about here at Glory Daze regularly, but it describes the music here best. The laid back and smooth melodies are some of the most pleasing any melodic rock fan could ever want to hear.
The infusion of country elements is still evident, especially on ‘Cry No More’ but the chorus is prime AOR territory. The title track is a lost classic, doing its best to convey its subject matter through impressive harmonies and does so with ease.
The AOR of ‘How Will You Feel Tonight’ is magnificent with noticeable synths in the mix and the same can be said of ‘Shoot For The Moon’, another country-rock track which is flawless in all areas. There’s plenty of twang in the guitar work of ‘Break of Hearts’, yet another consummate workout.
The future sound of ‘Inamorata’ is hinted at on ‘Love’s So Cruel’ without the high-tech arrangments, while ‘Special Care’ is a rocker of sorts with Southern overtones. Another effective AOR cut is ‘When Hearts Collide’, pretty much textbook stuff before the Wild West themed instrumental ‘High Sierra’ rounds out what is to my ears a perfect set of melodic rock.
Poco would upgrade their sound for ‘Inamorata’ to move with the times, introducing a more contemporary AOR sound, but it can’t compete with ‘Ghost Town’. This type of melody might not appeal to every AOR fan, but for those that find favor with the music Firefall were producing in the same period, then this is essential. The only difference is how superior Poco were.