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Avalon - The Richie Zito Project (CD)

The Richie Zito Project
by Grigoris Chronis at 01 September 2006, 9:08 AM

Richie Zito worked in LA, USA as a successful session guitarist in the late 70s. Richie Zito has worked with the likes of Elton John, Neil Young, Steve Lukather, The Cult, White Lion, Bad English, Mr. Big, Tyketto and Heart as a 'top' composer/producer. Richie Zito was behind the console for Cheap Trick's incredible sound on 1988's Lap Of Luxury album. Richie Zito is the guitarist (before)/producer (after)/composer (always) occupied in small quantities but with gigantic qualitative results. Haven't heard from him for a long time…
Not aware if the man's 'taken' the last years but - as I can recall - Avalon must be Richie Zito's first actual project. Released via Frontiers Records (as if such an album could be issued from anyone else), Avalon sees Zito handling guitars, bass, synths while from the rest of the playing team only Greg Bissonette (ex-David Lee Roth) is a familiar - to me - name. On the other side, take a look at the track listing above and stiff upper lip with the names Zito's cooperating with in this album. No questions asked but the singing performance, of course.
The album is - of course - AOR-orientated with mostly slow-to-medium-tempo tunes. Good 'individual' songwriting from Zito, appropriate production (of course, again) but mediocrity regarding the CD's vividness as tracks go one by one; these are the 'key' points to Avalon's release. Foreigner, The Babys, Eric Martin's solo career and some of Survivor. Highlights include Is He Better Than Me, Nigthmare (kick-ass!) and Forever I Will in a set of equally 'rated' cuts but…
…only for die-hard lovers of the AOR sound. The rest will find Avalon completely 'mellow' (hence the grade, for a Hard Rock/Heavy Metal magazine). Whoever is admirer of Zito's works from the past should purchase this one with eyes closed. Otherwise, with names like Cheap Trick and Bad English being totally unknown to you, please do not even attempt to hear this effort.

2 Star Rating

Blue Collar (featuring Hugo)
Is He Better Than Me (featuring Joe Lynn Turner)
Nightmare (featuring Eddie Money)
Oh Samantha (featuring Joseph Williams)
Avalon (featuring Danny Vaughn)
Life Got In The Way (featuring Eric Martin)
Blue Monday (featuring Giorgio Moroder and Hugo)
Forever I Will (featuring Richie Kotzen)
I Can't Forget You (featuring Philip Bardowell)
I Put My Life In Your Hands (featuring Eddie Money)
Good Things Take Time (featuring Philip Bardowell)
I Don't Want To Want You (featuring Eric Martin)
Richie Zito - Guitars, Bass, Sinthesizer, Mandolin
Tommy Decker, Greg Bissonette - Drums
Davey Duke, Ken Pacheco - Backing Vocals
Jason Turbin - Strings
Joey Carbone - Piano
Marcus Brown - Keyboards
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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