This is my favourite Robby Valentine album, and that says quite a lot about this record as his releases throughout his career have all been nigh on perfect.
Written by: Explorer
ARTIST: Robby Valentine
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Netherlands
LINEUP: Robby Valentine – vocals, keyboards, guitars, bass, drum programming* Rob Winter – guitars, backing vocals* Arthur Polini – bass, vacking vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 God * 02 Where Do We Go From Here * 03 Never Be Lonely * 04 Take My Hand * 05 In the Arms of Loneliness * 06 Eyes In The Mirror * 07 Morinezumi * 08 The Morning Minstrel * 09 All Messed Up And Nowhere To Go * 10 The Supernatural Sign * 11 Just For Fun * 12 Ma Cherie * 13 Dreams Never Die * 14 ! * 15 Remi
WEBLINKS: Official Website
The 90’s saw the rise of, in my opinion the frankly awful Grunge movement and as such quality Melodic/Pomp rock was a little thin on the ground. But enter one Robby Valentine, a Dutch keyboard player who had done time with the likes of Line, Zinatra and 1st Avenue. He ventured out on his own in 1991 and with a deal with Polydor in hand he went on to release a string of quite brilliant albums during the 90’s decade.
Apart from fleeting success in his native homeland with the magnificent ‘Over And Over Again’ single, and of course the obligatory success in Japan, his albums would only resonate with a very select audience. In another era Robby Valentine would more than likely have gone on to be a worldwide household name, but the musical climate at the time simply didn’t cater for such an artist.
From the opening Bo Rap sound-alike ‘God’ all the way through to the brilliantly titled’!’, and beyond (there’s a secret track too), this album sees Robby at his most inventive. Supremely catchy, overly bombastic and at times seemingly outdoing his heroes Queen with harmonies stacked high and mighty, what’s not to love about it?
Arrangement wise everything is thrown in there and the sheer variety of material from mock opera, to out and out rock, balladry and even a dash of Prog makes this an enthralling listen. Best tracks? Well so many but I’ll single out ‘Just for Fun’ and ‘Dreams Never Die’ both being pomp rock of the very highest order.
Robby continued to use a band to some degree on this album, but had started to handle much of the instrumentation himself as well as the production side of things too, such was his prodigious talent. I do find myself at times drawing comparisons with this album and Queen‘s ‘A Night At The Opera’, but that’s purely down to the many styles on display and I’m sure a comparison that Robby would be flattered to hear about.
This is my favourite Robby Valentine album by far, and that says quite a lot about this record as his releases throughout his career have all been nigh on perfect. He never did recapture the early successes that he had, and he has been an artist who has seemingly never bowed down to trends either, but followed his heart, which is probably why the real success never materialised. An artist with a vision and he stuck with it, and for that I love his music and he is still creating new and (more importantly) fresh music to this very day.
Dreams Never Die