[Review] Patrick Moraz: Out In The Sun (1977)

A progressive pop album mixed with Brazilian percussion? Imagine a cross between Elton John and Chick Corea, only worse.

Kronomyth 2.0: Jackson, light.

After the ambitious, conceptual tower of I, Patrick Moraz scaled things down for an album of progressive pop music. Again recorded in Brazil with many of Story’s characters (John McBurnie, Ray Gomez, Andy Newmark), Out In The Sun suggests Elton John south of the border.

Outside of the ending on “Silver Screen” (shades of “Starship Trooper”), nothing under this Sun inherits anything from Yes. Those looking for a link to progressive rock will have to settle for a Steve Hillage soundalike (“Love-Hate-Sun-Rain-You”), a Wakemanic walk along the Steinway (“Time For A Change”) and a nod to Jon Anderson’s poppier pursuits (“Out in the Sun”).

Progressive rock keyboardists usually try their hand at a mediocre pop album at some point: Tony Banks, Pete Bardens, Anthony Phillips, Rick Wakeman, etc. These tend to fall into the more successful DIY camp (Phillips’ 1984, The Fugitive) or the generally awful ad hoc band approach (Sides, A Curious Feeling, Speed of Light). Out in the Sun is the latter, kind of a Jackson Lights, what with McBurnie on vocals. “Tentacles” and “Nervous Breakdown” are pretty terrible, “Silver Screen” and “Back to Nature” too. Honestly, I’d probably be ripping this one a new sunspot if it weren’t for the instrumentals. “Kabala” is a sweet Corean confection and the instrumental half of “Time For A Change” offers some mind candy for contemplation. The rest of the record, if not regrettable, is forgettable. Tellingly, Moraz waited seven years before reuniting with McBurnie for the equally coolly received Timecode.

Original elpee version

A1. Out in the Sun (Patrick Moraz/John McBurnie) (4:25)
A2. Rana Batucada (Patrick Moraz) (5:30)
A3. Nervous Breakdown (Partick Moraz/John McBurnie) (3:20)
A4. Silver Screen (Patrick Moraz/John McBurnie) (4:28)
B1. Tentacles (Patrick moraz/John McBurnie) (3:31)
B2. Kabala (Patrick Moraz) (4:55)
B3. Love-Hate-Sun-Rain-You (Patrick Moraz/Francois Zmirou) (4:48)
B4. Time For A Change (9:00)
1. Time To Fly (Patrick Moraz)
2. Big Bands of Ancient Temples (Patrick Moraz)
3. Serenade (Patrick Moraz)
4. Back To Nature (Patrick Moraz/John McBurnie)

CD reissue bonus track
9. Batucada XXX

The Players

Patrick Moraz (polymoog, Oberheim Polyphonic, minimoogs, vocals, piano, synthesizers, Vibrotronic Bubbletron, Taurus bass pedals, voice box, Steinway grand piano, Fender Rhodes, ARPS, Polyphonic polymoog, Hammond C3 organ, vibraphone, tambourine, Fender Rhodes 88, AKS effects, clavinet, Overheim polyphonic 4 voice and 8 voices, double moog, ARP 2600 & pro-soloists, Micromoog bass sequencer, digital sequencers, voices, birds, orchestrations), Ray Gomez (mando guitar 8 strings, lead guitar, electric guitar), Wornell Jones (bass, electric bass), Vivienne McAuliffe (harmony vocals, vocals), John McBurnie (lead vocals, harmony vocals), Andy Newmark (drums) with Jean-Luc Bourgeois (Chinese gongs, Balian gongs), “Chacal” (congas, assorted Brasilian percussion), Isla Eckinger (acoustic double bass), The Percussionists of Rio de Janeiro (percussion), “Professeur” Jean Ristori (Gibson electric bass, cover photographs and inner bag), Philippe Staehli (tympanis, Indian finger cymbals), “Testa” (pandeiro, assorted Brasilian percussion), Francois Zmirou (lead vocals on B3). Produced by Patrick Moraz and Jean Ristori; engineered by Jean Ristori.

The Pictures

Cover photographs and inner bag by Jean Ristori. Artwork by A.D. Design. Art direction by Frank Sansom. Logo by Liane Gondim Monteiro.

The Plastic

Released on elpee in April 1977 in the UK (Charisma, CDS 4007), the US (Import records, IMP 1014), Canada (Charisma, 9211 4007), France (Charisma, 9103 119), Germany (Charisma, 9124 013) and Japan (Charisma, RJ-7282) with lyric sleeve.

  1. Re-issued on compact disc in 1991 in Japan (Virgin, VJCP 23031).
  2. Re-issued on compact disc on April 22, 1994 in the Netherlands (Virgin, 839540).
  3. Re-issued on compact disc in 1995 in the UK (Virgin, CDOVD 445).
  4. Re-released on expanded, remastered compact disc on August 15, 2006 in the UK (I-Disk/TimeWave, 866982) and in 2006 in Japan (Arcangelo, ARC-7170) with one bonus track.

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