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Bighorn – Bighorn [1978]

BIGHORN_BHCountry USA          

Style Melodic Rock/AOR

Rating 78/100

Band Members Bob Marcy – Woodwinds,Lead/Backing Vocals, Joe Shikany – Guitars,Lead/Backing Vocals, Michael Ipsen – Bass,Backing Vocals, Peter Davis – Piano,Keyboards,Lead/Backing Vocals, Steve Adamek – Drums,Backing Vocals

Tracks 01. Penny For Your Dreams (4:37), 02. (I Love You) I’m Not Afraid Anymore (3:03), 03. Star Rocker (4:36), 04. Mary-Anne (3:00), 05. Tried Every Trick (2:54), 06. Stand Up (3:19), 07. Sparrow (4:24), 08. Helen Betty (3:38), 09. Sunday Boy (3:04), 10. I Know (4:13)

Profile The end seventies were the golden days for pomp rock in the USA. At this time, a lot of bands played this kinda music but most of them operated in the underground scene.  One of the best groups playing this style in the Pacific Northwest area (Seattle) was BIGHORN. After many line-up changes (some early members join another pomp act; Aviary) the band toured extensively the western states with great success, being signed by a Vancouver major label subsidiary. That’s why some people think this band is from Canada.

Basically, Bighorn plays pomp-AOR, but blended with commercial light prog and some vintage classic hard rock. One of the remarkable aspects of their sound are the stupendous vocal harmonies arrangements (3 people sharing the lead vocals). That’s evident on the first pompous track “Penny For Your Dreams”, really really classic ala STYX, a very well orchestrated tune. One of my favorites is the proto-power ballad – this category didn’t exist at that time – “(I Love You) I’m Not Afraid Anymore”, again with excellent vocal parts, a melodic great guitar solo and good lyrics. Next, the Grand piano based “Star Rocker” is a cool commercial melodic rocker with KANSAS scent, featuring very nice backing vocals at the end.

Track 4 “Mary-Anne” is another highlight. Believe or not, this commercial light-prog / pop tune sounds a lot like ALAN PARSONS PROJECT earlier works. The synth – piano – orchestra arrangement is first class. Love it.  But Bighorn also rocks. “Tried Every Trick” and “Helen Betty” can be compared to the late LED ZEPPELIN, both are sophisticated anthemic hard rockers, very polished but strong. “Stand Up” has a commercial poppy melodic rock sound with a bit of pomp, while “Sparrow” returns to classic pomp reminding me AVALON (USA) or again, STYX. The hot rocker “I Know” closes the disc in great form, this guitar driven track displays the skills of Steve Adamek (one of the founder members) on drums and the transcendent chops of Shikany on the six strings.

“BIGHORN” is a very classy, varied collection of songs outstandingly engineered and produced by british producer Martin Shaer who worked with Sweeney Todd and Bryan Adams among others. Still sounds great today. Recommended…



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Rating: 9.2/10 (12 votes cast)
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Bighorn - Bighorn [1978], 9.2 out of 10 based on 12 ratings
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