On this live set, Gino chooses songs from eight of his nine previous albums, in addition to one tune from a subsequent release; therefore, he wisely covers his whole career. Included are his three Top 40 hits: "Living Inside Myself," "People Gotta Move" and "I Just Wanna Stop." Gino and his three piece band bring new life to three tunes that were on the lackluster Big Dreamers Never Sleep
This release from the BGO label combines two of Gino Vannelli's albums for A&M, Powerful People (1974) and Storm at Sunup (1975). Both releases peaked in the Top 60 of the Billboard 200, while “People Gotta Move” – the lead song on the former – was one of Vannelli’s biggest singles and narrowly missed the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100. Those who pick up a well-chosen Vannelli compilation can get the essential songs, but soft rock diehards can obtain a fair amount of Vannelli’s choice album-bound material right here.
Ranging from soul to soft rock, singer and songwriter Gino Vannelli earned several hits during the 1970s, including "People Gotta Move" and "I Just Wanna Stop." Vannelli learned to play the drums early in life and studied music theory at McGill University. He formed an R&B band with two brothers, but later began recording solo material for RCA in 1970. He became popular four years later when A&M released his hit single "People Gotta Move," from the Powerful People album.
The stories that Gino tells in this work, his 14th album, seem to be clearly reflective of life experiences of an "inconsolable". Gino looks deeply into the mirror at his own reflection, and that of the culture he lives in, critically relfects on what he sees, and lyrically and musically expresses his insights.
Romantic progressive pop with layered piano and synthesizer atop outrageously pretentious lyrics about love and war. Those who can get past lines like "A post-war eunuch/A lover that is lame" will find some relaxed, smoky melodies here, especially the closer "Summers of My Life." "Fly into This Night" was a minor FM hit that lands a hefty keyboard punch courtesy of his brother, Joe Vannelli. Instrumentally, this is perhaps Vannelli's best effort. The lyrics are quite amusing, though that might not have been his intention.
Gino Vannelli's musical creativity reached a high point in 1977 with the release of his fifth album "A Pauper In Paradise". Like his previous album, "Gist of The Gemini", "Pauper.." is high on dynamic musical arrangements and showcases Vannelli's vocals at their very best.
In the mid-'70s, Vannelli automatically got to the forefront of R&B due to his soulful vocals and the melodic musical arrangements. The only problem with work of Vannelli is that it often veered from the ridiculous to the sublime with absolutely no middle ground. On the bright side, whenever his lyrics hit the right note they were matched by his near-operatic vocals. 1975's Storm at Sunup, his third A&M effort, offers a lot of instances on the yin and yang. The atmospheric "Love Me Now" perfectly captures Vannelli as one of the more wishy-washy and self-absorbed singers as he croons "take me as I am/the storm in your life." The album's best song, "Keep on Walking" beautifully captures a sense of bleak romanticism as Vannelli turns in a mesmerizing vocal.
Gino Vannelli is one of the few artists to effortlessly navigate between pop and R&B. With the songs "Walking," "The Surest Things Can Change," and his 1978 classic "I Just Wanna Stop," Vannelli's work is always filled with both skill and passion. After six successful years at A&M he signed with Arista in 1981. Nightwalker is his label debut. During the three years between albums, not only did pop music come into vogue again, but he grew as a writer and singer. This album reflects the change. The dramatic title track has him singing overripe lyrics like "I can't live in this world without love, without you." The powerful "Put the Weight on My Shoulders" has him doing some good vocal riffs. Although most of his albums took a tumble when he decided to pick the pace, Nightwalker is actually better for its faster tracks.
The music and singing are pleasant enough on this Montrealer's second outing. He avoids embarrassments like "Mama Coco" from the following year's Storm at Sunup, but lyrics are not his strong point. This release includes two of his stronger tunes in "People Gotta Move" and the title track. His heart is in the right place, as in a tribute to Jim Croce. Still, Vannelli should have left social commentary to others, or joined forces with a better lyricist.