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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Greg Lake and Geoff Downes

Ride the Tiger

Review by Gary Hill

Apparently this album was recorded in the 80s, but has never before been released. I have to say that’s a shame. There is some solid music here. It’s definitely progressive rock, but on the AOR side of that equation. I’d say this is far closer to what you’d expect from Greg Lake than it is what you’d expect from Geoff Downes, but both men are represented well by it.

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Track by Track Review
Money Talks

I like this. The keyboards at times almost sound like Keith Emerson. In fact, in a lot of ways this feels like it could be an ELP song. It’s hard rocking and very tasty. The instrumental break leans towards heavy metal. Some of this does have a bit of an 80s sound to it, but overall it’s quite a strong cut.

Love under Fire
This starts mellower. It has moments that are powered up, but overall is more of a balladic cut. It’s much more of an 80s sounding cut than the opener was. Yet there are also ELP-like moments. I love the funkiness that sometimes comes out in the bass work.
Affairs of the Heart
Another balladic piece, this is part ELP, part 80s music and a little bit Asia to me. It’s among the most mainstream moments here. It does feel a bit dated, but I like it.
Street War
There is a rather classical vibe to this cut. I love how the percussion seems to drive the whole war vibe at times. This is creative and bombastic. It calls to mind ELP a lot, but more Emerson, Lake and Powell than Emerson, Lake and Palmer. This is the most directly prog piece here. It’s dynamic and very cool. It’s one of my favorites on the album. The powerhouse jam mid-track is a high point of one of the disc’s high points.
Check It Out
There is almost an R&B vibe on this cool rocker. It might not be prog, but it’s both fun and classy. There are some proggy moments here and there, too. That’s particularly true of the second half of the song.
Blue Light
A slower moving cut, this is incredibly powerful. Sure, there are things that reference this to ELP, but there is a lot more going on than that. It’s evocative and potent. It’s a bit 80s in terms of the mix and sound, but it’s not enough to mar it at all.
Love under Fire (alt mix)
If anything I think I like this version better. The rocking section might not work as well, but the mellower movement seems much more powerful here. I think I like the instrumental section here better, too.
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