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The Running Man biography

One of 1972's one-shot bands was THE RUNNING MAN, genuinely credited as a project overseen by Ray RUSSELL or, simpler, one of his numerous records. On the other hand, there's enough to talk related to the experience of this band and its good work - washed away by the insignificant reception - or its key interest in classic prog (slightly different from Russell's Canterbury-fusion other teasers), fixated within the album's highlights.

Except Gary Windo's (Centipede, Carla Blay, projects with Nick Mason) exotic sax and Russell's distinct guitar, vocalist Alan Greed (also playing piano or bass), Alan Rushton on drums and Jeff Watts on bass even out the sound. There are close ties between Russell and all the other musicians, given either prior collaborations (like Rushton being part of Russell's Quartet from '68), either further ones (Rushton again and Windo resuming roles on Secret Asylum, Alan Greed appearing on the Live At The I.C.A. retrospective, or Jeff Watts joining on another side-project, Mouse).

Released by RCA Records' Neon, The Running Man is mostly an art-rock expression, perhaps extending a bit towards jazz-rock as well. References to it are rather peculiar, from CREAM, hints of David BOWIE or Clark Hutchinson to PROCOL HARUM or BJH, something that highlights the soft, "crossover" counterpart of the music. In other words, a mixture of "catchy melodies, harsh rock singing and jazzy improvisations", of a central prog brew to which not-so-focused more minor styles or the dizzy rock sound all express cut-and-dried contrasts and loosening.

The LP rarity has been recently reissued on CD, with a bonus track.

:::Victor Bach (Ricochet):::

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2.76 | 19 ratings
The Running Man

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 The Running Man by RUNNING MAN, THE album cover Studio Album, 1972
2.76 | 19 ratings

The Running Man
The Running Man Eclectic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

2 stars A friend of mine told me about this obscure one shot project led by english guitarrist Ray Russel (more well known for his other, Cantenbury/fusion styled, works) . A long time collectorīs item , the original LP was reissued in CD by WorldWide Records in 1993 and then by Angel Air Records in 2005 with an excellent remastering (plus a bonus track). However I did not share my palīs enthusiasm. Basically what you have on this record is the very common hard rock/blues style that was so popular in the late 60īs, early 70īs, plus some gospel and jazz influences here and there.

The Running Man sounds like a mix of Traffic, Ten Years After, Cactus, Robin Trower, Taste and the like, only without their class and creativity. The playing is quite good, specially the guitar and bass parts. Vocalist Alan Greed has also a fine voice for the style. Unfortunately the songwriting is not very outstanding, nor are the arrangements: most tracks are way too short (around the two minute mark) and the long ones fall in the typical 70īs excess traps, like the opener Another which wastes about the whole second half of its 10 minute duration with a pointless bass riffing (I canīt call that a solo) that just drags on and on.

Best track is the powerful Look & Turn which, in its 3 minute format, is neither too short nor too long for this kind of music (good guitar solo and fine bass runs). Some maniac sax solos on Hope Place and the bonus Spirit are also of notice but canīt really say they saved the day. Production on the other hand is quite good for the time.

Conclusion: The Running Man is for fans of blues rock only. And even then, I donīt think they were that good at that, which makes their quickly disappearance from the music scene hardly surprising. There were dozens of better bands doing similar (and superior) stuff at the time. But if you like the aforementioned bands it may worth it to check this album out. Just donīt expect too much. Good, but not enough to reach a 3 star rating. Two stars: fans and collectors only.

Thanks to Ricochet for the artist addition.

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