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Valentine, Robby - 1996 Robby Valentine

ARTIST: Valentine, Robby
ALBUM: Robby Valentine
LABEL: Polydor
YEAR: 1996


LINEUP: Robby Valentine - vocals, keyboards, guitars, bass, drum programming* Rob Winter - guitars, backing vocals* Arthur Polini - bass, vacking vocals

TRACK LISTING:? 01 God* 02Where Do We Go From Here* 03Never Be Lonely* 04Take My Hand* 05In the Arms of Loneliness* 06Eyes in the Mirror* 07Morinezumi* 08The Morning Minstrel* 09All Messed Up and Nowhere to Go* 10The Supernatural Sign* 11Just for Fun* 12Ma Cherie* 13Dreams Never Die* 14 !* 15 Remi

WEBLINKS: Official Website | FB Page

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 in the likes of Zinatra and 1st Avenue. He ventured out on his own and with a deal with Polydor in hand he went on to release a string of quite brilliant albums during that 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 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.

The Songs
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 thats purely down to the many styles on display and I'm sure a comparison that Robby would be flattered to hear about.

In Summary
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. He never did recapture the early successes that he had, and he has been an artist who has seemingly never bowed down to trends 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.

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#1 | gdazegod on December 01 2017 22:46:06
Haven't really given this one a great deal of attention in the past (less so than the first two), so might have to drag it out for a reappraisal.
#2 | Eric on December 06 2017 22:31:13
The first Robby album I owned. Great stuff!
#3 | Emda on December 11 2017 20:59:55
All his albums from the classic 1992 AOR debut up to the brilliant Believing Is Seeing in 2000 are masterpieces. I can honestly say I don�t know which of these albums I think is the best, it always changes from time to time and I still play them regulary on a weekly basis. If you check Amazon most of these are now cheap as hell and you get the great Valentine Overtures as bonus tracks on the first two (Japanese editions).

With "Most Beautiful Pain" and "Misanthropolis" onwards he started to sound to modern for my taste sometimes, but nonetheless these albums are great too but don�t reach the highs his early albums least for me Smile

He�s a great talented but very much underrated musician and I hope we will see a new album coming out soon with more classic over the top Valentine stuff and less modern jingling. He deserves much more success.

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