Gino Vannelli - Black Cars

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited September 4 in year-1984

ARTIST: Vannelli, Gino
ALBUM: Black Cars
LABEL: Dreyfuss
SERIAL: 825 108-2
YEAR: 1984

LINEUP: Gino Vannelli - lead and backing vocals, drums, percussion, guitar * Joe Vannelli - synthesizers, synth bass, electric and acoustic piano * Ross Vannelli - bass, percussion, backing vocals * Mark Craney, Dave Garibaldi - drums * Jimmy Haslip - bass * Mike Miller - electric and acoustic guitars * John Messerschmidt, Lori Leiberman - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Black Cars * 02 The Other Man * 03 It's Over * 04 Here She Comes * 05 Hurts To Be In Love * 06 Total Stranger * 07 Just A Motion Away * 08 Imagination * 09 How Much


The transition period between the 1970's and 1980's was a stark contrast for Canadian vocal legend Gino Vannelli. A quiver of LP's from his 1974 debut through to his 1981 LP 'Nightwalker' (most of them released by A&M Records), saw Gino move from his progressive pop/rock origins into the world of hi-tech percussive AOR by the time 1984's 'Black Cars' arrived on the doorstep.

Now signed to the Dreyfuss label (a Polydor subsidiary based out of France), Vannelli would take audiences on an exciting ride, with brothers Joe and Ross in the background, and providing all the musical nous to reinvent their younger brother to MTV audiences around the world.

The Songs

'Black Cars' is the first song taken out of the garage, and it has a party anthem vibe in the style of 'Freeze Frame' era J.Geils Band, or even The Tubes. 'The Other Man' with its robotic bass lines for an introduction is as cool as a cucumber. The song takes some interesting twists and turns and is as hi-tech as ever.

'It's Over' is a ballad in the style of Starship and a few other mid 80's rivals, while the following 'Here She Comes' is a punchy over-produced romp that still grabs you. The big hit off the album is the radio friendly 'It Hurts To Be In Love', which razed the Billboard charts, and still sounds good today as it did then.

My favourite song on the album is the effortless AOR of 'Total Stranger', a sure-fire classic from the Gino Vannelli vault. 'Just A Motion Away' is another that demonstrates Gino to wrap melodies and lyrics into a single cohesive unit.

'Imagination' is more hi-tech quirkiness, again in the style of The Tubes; the album is completed by the hard-to-pin-down style of 'How Much'. Part ballad, part everything else. You take a listen and decide for yourself.

In Summary

A popular mid 80's album, which would be followed up by 1987's 'Big Dreamers Never Sleep'. All of his 80's material is very collectible, so too 1990's 'Inconsolable Man'. His material further into the 90's went away from AOR understandably, but some of you may find value if you dig a bit deeper into his music. Good luck!


Hurts To Be In Love

Total Stranger

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    gdazegodgdazegod Lostralia
    edited September 4

    The keyboardist in the 'Hurts To Be In Love' video is the French singer and actress Corinne Sauvage. Hottie huh? You bet. ;)

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