Paris - Paris

edited August 1 in year-1976

Here we step into the realms of an album being overrated to the point of overblown, while 'Paris' isn't a bad album by any means it is far from the classic it is purported to be and descriptions of the band as one 'of the most devastating power trios ever' are somewhat laughable.

Paris - Paris
ARTIST: Paris
ALBUM: Paris
LABEL: Capitol
SERIAL: ST-11464
YEAR: 1976
CD REISSUE: 2001, Zoom Club (UK), ZCRCD56 * 2012, Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY152

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA Flag
England Flag
LINEUP: Bob Welch - guitar, vocals * Glenn Cornick - bass, keyboards * Thom Mooney - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Black Book * 02 Religion * 03 Starcage * 04 Beautiful Youth * 05 Nazarene * 06 Narrow Gate (La Porte Etroite) * 07 Solitaire * 08 Breathless * 09 Rock Of Ages * 10 Red Rain

WEBLINKS: Site Link

Background

Here we step into the realms of an album being overrated to the point of overblown. While 'Paris' isn't a bad album by any means it is far from the classic it is purported to be and descriptions of the band as one 'of the most devastating power trios ever' are somewhat laughable.

Paris were formed by ex Fleetwood Mac member Welch and Cornick, who had played with Jethro Tull and Wild Turkey. Welch had aspirations of moving in a hard rock direction and with his profile as a former Fleetwood Mac mainstay he had no trouble obtaining a major label deal for his new band, this album being released in January 1976.

More than thirty years later I'm not sure the album has aged well, and to be brutally honest, compared to the likes of The Who this is remarkably tame. In that regard it probably isn't the bands fault this fails to live up to expectation, more so the rock journalists who blew it up to heights it could never reach.

The Songs

This is far from a bad outing however, and 'Religion' is a powerful Led Zeppelin influenced start, with the same Jimmy Page stop-start riffing of 'Black Dog', with Paris adding their own take successfully to the stale classic. Welch was heavily into religion which explains some mysterious and esoteric lyrics along the way, but it doesn't get in the way of basic 70's hard rock.

Like 'Black Book' or the heavily keyboard flavoured 'Starcage' for instance and its myriad use of assorted beeps and bizarre space noises. 'Nazarene' sounds like something Rush attempted in their early years and 'Narrow Gate (La Porte Etroit)' uses some drifting and haunting atmospherics, gaining heaviness along the way and losing effect as it does.

Tracks like 'Solitaire' lack variety and simply plod and it's impossible to escape further Led Zeppelin comparisons for 'Rock Of Ages' which unlike 'Religion' comes off as a clone. 'Red Rain' isn't dissimilar, and for me there isn't enough escapism in the music as some of their peers from that era, just a bludgeoning riff without any rhythm section explosions adding to the guitar work.

In Summary

For 70's rock enthusiasts this is a must own and is probably owned by many who either were present at the time or heard of its reputation as I did years later. My main problem with the legend afforded 'Paris' is that other acts had done it so more powerfully and with more innovation years before. The Who without Roger Daltrey were a power trio and the noise they made is something Paris could never match, even in a studio setting.

For the mid 70's there is some worth in what Paris were trying to do, but the overwhelming notion that they were second tier is the inescapable truth. Paris released one more album, 'Big Towne 2061' which was released eight months later in August 1976, and then they folded, with Welch releasing several solo albums in the coming years. I recommend 'Paris', but expect to be letdown.


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