TRICKSTER was founded in Birmingham, UK around 1976 by singer Phil Bates who previously played in Kwil and other local acts (He would release the terrific album 'Power' with the band Atlantic in the '90s). Trickster was signed by Jet Records, the same of ELO, so it isn't strange that after the debut album in 1978 Trickster toured Europe supporting them. For the second LP "Back To Zero" the band turned their sound into a more sophisticated affair adding strong Melodic Rock and AOR elements to their music following the trend arriving from America at the end of the seventies.
Many of Airto Moreira's records from the late 1970s and early '80s get an undeserved bad rap because of their obvious – and intended – commercial appeal. Though he came to prominence in America as a member of Miles Davis' early electric bands, Moreira was an established artist in Brazil; one who sought to marry the sounds of his nation's folk traditions with all kinds of popular music. 1979's Touching You…Touching Me was recorded during his Warner period, and is perhaps his most polished record. Self-produced, he learned much of the technique he employed from the best-selling recordings of the time in all pop genres.
Year Zero: The Silent Death of Cambodia is a 1979 British television documentary written and presented by the Australian journalist John Pilger, which was produced and directed by David Munro. The film recounts the bombing of Cambodia by the United States in 1970 during the Vietnam War, the subsequent brutality and genocide that occurred when Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge militia took over, the poverty and suffering of the people, and the limited aid since given by the West. Viewers were so moved by the plight of the people that they donated £45 million to the station in aid.
A young girl (Katja Beinert) has a junkie boyfriend who prostitutes himself to chickenhawks down at the bus station. After he apparently accidentally kills a john, the heroine considers dabbling in prostitution herself to help him out. She hooks up with an older friend who is a stripper and amateur prostitute. Meanwhile, another thread of the story follows a male classmate of the heroine, who is love with her, and another girl who is in love with him.
The title track to 1979's Crusader is not only this album's crowning glory, but also serves as one of de Burgh's finest songs. Its narrative is based on the courageous efforts of Richard the Lion-Hearted and his spirited battle against Saladin, the king of the Saracens during the crusades that took part between the 11th and 13th centuries. Broken into four separate parts, its detailed story line and moving musical passages exemplify de Burgh's talent as an intriguing anecdotist. His seriousness and passion build the song until the very end of the "Finale," in which the moral of "Crusader" is revealed through his soft-spoken final words…
This is the best recording so far of Partenope. Krisztina Laki is splendid in the lead role as is Helga Muller-Molinari as Rosmira and John York Skinner as Armindo. Rene Jacobs in the counter-tenor role of Arsace does a fine job considering the date of this recording. The orchestra plays with great vitality. This is the recommended recording of this opera.