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Lake, Greg & Geoff Downes: Ride The Tiger

In 1983 while Asia were touring Japan Greg Lake stepped in for a few shows. That's when Downes and Lake met for the first time. A few years later the duo got together again and recorded a few songs that never saw a proper release although a couple of tunes ("Affairs of the Heart" and "Street War") were recorded by ELP and one by Asia ("Love Under Fire"). "Money Talks" would also appear on ELP's Black Moon album as "Paper Blood".

Although there are only seven tunes, including an alternative mix of "Love Under Fire", it is nice to see these songs get a proper CD release as was intended all those years ago.

The songs were recorded in '89/'90 and are certainly a product of their time but that doesn't make the album any less enjoyable. Two things jumped out at me after my first couple listens; Lake's vocals and Downes' keyboarding. First off, Lake's voice is in top form here. His comfortable warm inflection and tone are all over these tracks. As for Downes' keyboard work he certainly employs an '80s sound palate but his quirkiness really comes through and takes the music in some unexpected directions. The first track "Money Talks" is a heavy hitter with big keyboard orchestrations and intense riffs. The Asia influence is easily heard. On "Love Under Fire" Lake's tuneful vocals frame a lovely keyboard melody. Again, the Asia influence is unavoidable. With "Street War" Lake's angst-like vocals and Downes' keyboards are laced with intensity, making for a much darker sound. Another winner is the poignant ballad "Blue Light" featuring Lake's warm vocal delivery and Downes' softer keyboard landscape.

While not incredible, Ride The Tiger is still very enjoyable, proving these two veteran musicians had plenty of chemistry. Easily recommended if you are a fan of either artist.

Track Listing:
1. Money Talks
2. Love Under Fire
3. Affairs of the Heart
4. Street War
5. Check It Out
6. Blue Light
7. Love Under Fire (alt. mix)

Added: March 22nd 2016
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist Official Site
Hits: 1421
Language: english

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