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Titanic - Return Of Drakkar CD (album) cover




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2.95 | 13 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Return of an organ

With their recording contract with CBS now over, Titanic moved to the rather smaller Barclay records for the release of their fifth studio album in 1978. Once again, the line up was to alter significantly, with John Williamson and Andrew Poulton both departing. Back came John Lorck on drums, to be joined by the wonderfully named basist Saintclair Brunet. More significantly though, the line up once again boasted a keyboard player in Claude Chamboissier.

While the album displays some of the pop rock traits which hampered the disappointing "Ballad of a rock 'n' roll loser", it does at least see the band attempting to turn the clock back towards their fine early albums. The opening "Blue train" is a pleasant but largely prosaic piece of guitar rock. The following (appropriately named) "Flashback" however reintroduces the fine organ sounds, the track being a fairly blatant attempt to create a "Sultana part 2". In a nod toward progress, synthesiser also appears on the track. The remaining tracks on side one (note that the sides are reversed on the rear sleeve) also feature the welcome return of keyboards, but are rather lightweight pop affairs. "Sparkly brown" is especially pop orientated, bordering on the bubblegum.

The side two opener "Jack Knife" is a sort of blend of "Sing fool sing" and "Underbird" from the band's early career, the frantic percussion and driving Hammond reminding us of the band's glory days while offering something fresh and interesting. "Mr. Hyde" has a Mountain (the band) feel to it, the harsh Leslie West like vocals suiting the rock and roll rhythm well. "Haunted house" is an uncomplicated acoustic song, but its strong melody and fine vocal performance make it an album highlight.

The closing "Cascade" is the longest track at just over 6 minutes. The song is a fine organ drenched ballad with a top notch vocal performance by Roy Robinson. It features some effective high backing vocals and some impassioned lyrics.

In summary, a much better album than its predecessor, but "Return of Drakkar" still falls well short of the first three albums released by the band.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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