Saturday, September 26, 2009

FSOTD #34/Love Is A Night (1975)

The year was 1975.  Woodstock-era rock was transitioning.  New wave was still below the horizon.  Jazz-fusion was definitely making its mark.  And, of course, sister disco was about to explode.  Enter Gino Vanelli.  That year, the clean living, darkly handsome Canadian released his third album Storm at Sunup, on which today's FSOTD "Love Is A Night" is found.  Vanelli was difficult to classify: Not a rocker nor a jazz man, he nonetheless displayed influences of both genres.  His sex appeal and sense of style made him a darling of the nightclub set, yet he was no party hound, nor would you ever associate him with the word boogie.  He made serious music.  Avante-garde is an appropriate description.  Unique, too, although the passing years have obscured that particular quality.

Aided by the keyboard and production talents of his brother Joe, Vanelli had scored a US hit with "Powerful People" in 1974, which rose to #22 on Billboard's Hot 100 (#17 AC).  His highest chart positions and greatest sales came in the late '70s and early '80s, including two top-10's.  By then, his sound was solid pop, polished smooth and sexy, perfect for the Adult Contemporary crowd. The music industry had caught up to Gino Vanelli.   But in the mid-70's he seemed somehow untamed, even exotic.   His back-to-back albums Powerful People and Storm at Sunup remain vibrant and poignant testaments to both his talent and the times.  They clearly set the table for his later, greater success.

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