Orr, Benjamin - 1986 The Lace

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited August 2 in year-1986


ARTIST: Orr, Benjamin
ALBUM: The Lace
LABEL: Elektra
SERIAL: 60460-1
YEAR: 1986
CD REISSUE: 2006, Wounded Bird, WOU460


LINEUP: Benjamin Orr - vocals, bass * Larry Klein - keyboards * Elliot Easton, Mike Landau - guitars * Diane Page Grey - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Too Hot To Stop * 02 In Circles * 03 Stay The Night * 04 Skyline * 05 When You're Gone * 06 Spinning * 07 Hold On * 08 The Lace * 09 That's The Way * 10 This Time Around


Benjamin Orr was better known as the bass-playing co-singer with Boston rockers The Cars. A distinctive style, Orr's vocal candy can be heard on many of their best remembered tunes, all played on US radio today.

During the mid-80's after their super successful 'Heartbeat City' album, Orr ducked off to record a solo album. Some of the other members had done so themselves (Ric Ocasek and Greg Hawkes) but Orr was a few years later in getting this one and only solo album out into the marketplace.

It's a shame we are only graced by the one album, as it is a pretty cruisy set, just forget the fact that there is no drummer, 'The Lace' is populated by a heap of programming, which does detract slightly.

The production however is awesome, all thanks to Mike Shipley, who has twiddled the dials for many of the best acts in the AOR genre.

The Songs

'Too Hot To Stop' gets us underway, big drums, quirky effects and a multitude of vocals coming at you.

Gotta love the keyboards on 'In Circles', the whole thing sounding very similar to The City, a band featuring Billy Trudel and Peter McIan (ex Men At Work).

Some of you might remember the single 'Stay The Night'; this was probably the best remembered tune here. Trainspotters will also know this track was covered previously by Chicago elsewhere.

Listening to 'Skyline' will transport you to AOR Central, a rich vein of melody accompanying you at every turn.

Orr slows up the tempo on the captivating 'When You're Gone', using a cascade of bell effects and harmonicas to add to the atmosphere.

'Spinning' takes a stab at The City style of AOR crossed with Simple Minds dynamics.

'Hold On' is sort of similar, but the title track 'The Lace' borders on quirky, the keyboard lines out of key in places while the following track 'That's The Way' is fast paced and slightly manic!

The album concludes with the mid-paced smoothness of 'This Time Around', a great way to sign off.

In Summary

I have to admit that I prefer this album to just about all of The Cars material, with the exception of the 1978 debut.

As most of us are aware, Ben Orr died of pancreatic cancer in 2000. I'm sure he would be highly amused if he was still with us, but for some funny reason, the album had been known to sell for very high prices on Ebay. Upward of $75 according to reports.

That is until Wounded Bird Records came along in August 2006, the album is now readily available. If you are a Cars fan, go off and order 'The Lace' from Terry over at WBR.

If you are fan of hi-tech AOR with a heap of keyboards and an excellent singer, then 'The Lace' should be a compulsory acquisition.

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