Monday, May 1, 2017

Chris Mancini

Origin: Hollywood, California (USA)

Chris Mancini
Chris Mancini

Chris Mancini [No strings - 1983] aor melodic rock music blogspot full albums bands lyricsNo strings - 1983


- This is a real underrated album in the AOR scene. Not many AOR fans realise how good this album is and not many AOR publishing magazines have wrote about it, so a review in our magazine is necessary. I can’t tell much about CHRIS MANCINI, because I don’t have any information about him. He is probably a New Yorker from Italian origin.

On his only (?) LP release ‘No strings’ from 1983 on the major recordlabel Atlantic Records, Chris proves to be an excellent AOR performer. Besides, he sings and wrote all the 10 songs himself, he also plays guitar and synthesizer. Still the list of additional musicians on the LP is huge and impressive. On drums appear Carmine Appice ((KING KOBRA), Jeff Porcaro (TOTO) and Anton Fig (SPIDER).

On guitar are RICK DERRINGER, Stephen Geyer and Waddy Wachtel (STEVE PERRY). Mike Porcaro (TOTO) and Lequint Jobe appear on bass. Roy Bittan (BON JOVI/Bruce Springsteen), who also played keyboards on the LP, produced the album. If you get the help of such musicians then you can’t go wrong.

The 10 songs on the LP are all very impressive and from a very high class. The LP is up there with the classic AOR releases of DAVID ROBERTS, BERNIE LABARGE or STAN MEISSNER. The album opens with “City girl”, a great laid back AOR song that is sounding like DWAYNE FORD. Next up is “(Here comes that) Hurt again”, a nice poprocker like DWIGHT TWILLEY.

Things really get going with the next track “Gonna find me a girl tonight”, this is very impressive prime-time pure AOR rock with all the ingredients to be a winner. The song sounds like BERNIE LABARGE. After this song, “Lovers in love” take things slower and this is a beautiful AOR ballad like VAN STEPHENSON in many ways.

Closing track on side-A is the sublime uptempo AOR/Radiorocker “Wild eyes” that is sounding like DAVID ROBERTS on his rockiest moments. Side-B opens with a nice hi-tech AOR song that comes close to CELLARFUL OF NOISE. “Where’s that feelin’” is one of those great laid-back AOR songs you play on a hot summernight. The song is similar in style to FRANKE AND THE KNOCKOUTS, ALLIANCE (1982), THE AUTOMATIX…

The following track “Hot streets” is a lovely uptempo AOR/Radiorocker based on the US Radiorockstations of the early 80’s. “Hot streets” is sounding like a mixture of STAN MEISSNER and STEEL BREEZE. “Let down easy” is again that laid-back AOR sound and a comparison to BERNIE LABARGE here is possible.

Closing track of this wonderful album is the wonderful AOR Ballad “I never believed” that sounds very much like VAN STEPHENSON and this song also has a lovely bridge that quite reminds me of SURVIVOR on their calmer songs. Concluded we can say that this LP is very much recommended to every AOR fan. Mostly, this LP is pure AOR and can best be compared to David Roberts’s solo-album ‘All dressed up’ without the Westcoast influences. -


- When you've got a pedigree like this guy, you'd be asking yourself, why isn't he following in the footsteps of his famous dad? You see, the man in question Chris Mancini, is none other than the son of.. yes.. the legendary Henry Mancini. In the world of musical score for film back in the day, Mancini Snr was the go-to guy. And still today, Henry Mancini is as well known for his works as he was in the past. Romeo And Juliet Love Theme, the Pink Panther and more.. Chris on the other hand, still in his veritable youth when this was released, probably saw this as an opportunity to express his musical output in one form or another. Due to the family name and connections, there was no problem with finding session musicians to lend a hand, nor a record label. Tis a pity then this album sat around on the shop-floor, as it was (for the day) an excellent slice west coast oriented AOR.

There are many flavors here that would tease the artery hardened AORster. Thrash a few names around like Franke And The Knockouts, David Roberts, Dwayne Ford and you'll understand where Chris is coming from. Vocally, Chris is a deadringer for Larry (L.A) Greene from Fortune and Harlan Cage. All those influences get a look in on the opener 'City Girl' - three and half minutes of period AOR. Taking the sweeping Meatloaf approach to songwriting is 'Here Comes That Hurt Again' (I'm sure Mr Steinman would be very happy with this one) while 'Gonna Find Me A Girl Tonight' blazes away in true Rick Springfield pop rock fashion. Taking a breather is the melodrama balladry of 'Lovers In Love' - not the most convincing ballad, but probably would've died in lesser hands. On 'Wild Eyes', this is where Chris sounds like L.A Greene. On any other day, he could've auditioned for Fortune and got the job!! 'Suspicions' is full of pumping keyboard and is an aggressive arrangement overall. For those of you stuck in a 1983 timewarp, check out the delicious 'Where's That Feelin', with a magic chorus that transports you back in time. 'Let Down Easy' has a commercial Atlanta Rhythm Section vibe about it, whereas the closing keyboard workout 'I Never Believed', sort of sounds like Twenty Twenty, but with less pomp.

This would be the one and only album that Chris would release. Still involved with music these days, Chris would say it might be best to look for the next generation of Mancini's to carry on the family legacy. Chris' son Luca Mancini looks set to blaze a name of glory for himself. Keep an eye on that name in the near future. -


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