Metro - Metro

EricEric USA
edited August 1 in year-1976

Essentially a trio, Metro created a masterwork of art rock with this, their first album and the only one of three Metro releases to include the late Duncan Browne.

Metro - Metro
ALBUM: Metro
LABEL: Transatlantic
YEAR: 1976
CD REISSUE: 2001, Castle Music (UK), CMAR075 * 2006, Airmail (Japan), AIRAC-1188

LINEUP: Peter Godwin - lead vocals, moog synthesizer, cymbal * Duncan Browne - harmonies, backup vocals, guitars, keyboards, synthesizer, vibraphone, tambourine, handclaps * Sean Lyons - electric guitars, acoustic guitar * John Giblin - bass * Simon Phillips - drums, congas, percussion * Graham Preskett - violin * Barry Husband - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Criminal World * 02 Precious * 03 Overture To Flame/Flame * 04 Mono Messiah * 05 Black Lace Messiah * 06 Paris * 07 One Way Night * 08 Jade


Some of you may remember the late Duncan Browne? He tragically passed away in 1993 of cancer, but left a catalog of excellent music in particular his two solo albums 'The Wild Places' (1978) and 'Streets of Fire' (1979). Both albums are highly recommended, but prior to these gems he formed the group Metro with a relatively unknown vocalist Peter Godwin. Essentially a trio (guitarist Sean Lyons photo only appeared in the insert), Metro created a masterwork of art rock with this, their first album and the only one of three Metro releases to include Browne.

The Songs

'Criminal World' opens the album and right off the mark, it's apparent that this is going to be something special. It was for David Bowie and he covered the song on his 'Let's Dance' album in 1983. The song was way ahead of it's time both progressive and melodic with a searing guitar solo and subtle but catchy chorus.

Throughout the album, comparisons can be made to Be Bop Deluxe, Cafe Jacques, Roxy Music and Phil Manzanera/801 'Listen Now' Album. While Metro definitely targets the sophisticated glam rock sound with a glittery bullseye, traces of Yes and Genesis can be heard especially the acoustic guitar on the moody but gorgeous 'Overture To Flame/Flame'.

Beautiful stuff and side two's 'Black Lace Shoulder' with violin and ethnic percussion takes the listener away to the darkened streets of old Paris with a slight 10cc influence. Yes, lyrically this is very romantic stuff; perhaps the aural equivalent of sipping Martini's poolside in the south of France with Bryan Ferry and half a dozen supermodels, but as far as consistency and quality, Metro's debut has no peers.

In Summary

It's never been clear why Browne split from Metro after the first album but supposedly there were personality clashes between Godwin and himself. Which is a shame because while Godwin and Lyons carried on to record two more Metro albums; 'New Love' and 'Future Imperfect' they never came close to the musical sophistication of the debut.

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