Matt | WI United States | 02/25/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had recently gotten my turntable hooked up the stereo system I have in my home office. This album was among my mom's collection. She had bought it for the hit "Holdin' On To Yesterday", which IS a great song in its own right, but it wasn't the first one I listened to.
No, I had to let the needle come down at the first track on Side A.
The next 36 minutes or so, I never got up to stop this album from playing...only to flip the LP to Side B for more greatness. Not one track was filler, and the production (done by one Alan Parsons) rivals that of his engineer / production work with the likes of his own group, Al Stewart, and Pink Floyd, among many he's done work for.
To think, if the band had been left alone to their own ideas and ambitions, rather than bowing to record label pressures, we would have gotten a lot more beyond just the first two albums, especially perhaps, more like the debut. This and the second album were originally on 20th Century Records, whom in turn was swallowed up by Warner Bros. shortly before the band's 3rd album was to be made. They basically demanded "give us a hit single". We all know that Ambrosia did just that with 'How Much I Feel', but the band had to leave their roots behind them until their 5th and final album (where they finally reverted somewhat back to their progressive / pop-rock roots of the debut) before calling it a day.
Why Warner Bros. waited to reissue this one on CD (and more recently now, MP3) boggles my mind, but better late than never. After listening to the whole LP, I went and got this CD for both easy access to the songs on a digital format, and to put them straight to my iPod.
The whole album is a great slice of progressive rock without over-indulgence that the genre is known for, meets pop / rock without the overproduction that it was known for (especially with the likes of Fleetwood Mac and others of the era). I can't place a finger on what band to closely relate this music to. To my ears it's unique in itself. The standout tracks for me (if you only could download a few) are easily "Time Waits For No One" with its harmony-layered chorus being the hook that just ropes you in....I dare you to listen to it and NOT be blown away, as well as the ballad "Lover Arrive", with its near-chilling downward chord progression in the verses.
Trust me though, you hear those tracks, you'll want to buy the whole album on CD or download the rest of the MP3s offered here. Or just download the whole album in one fell swoop.
The "Original Recording Remastered" bit is a little misleading. The CD / MP3 reissue sounds just like how my mother's LP, which 'was' played on a high-end turntable and a powerful, clear sounding two-speaker system by the way. Not that 'remastering' is really needed. Parsons' production abilities were way ahead of the times back in the 1970s, nearly eliminating the need to clean up tape hiss, background hum or other noise, or ramp up the volume to the point where the EQ stays at peak and the sound gets distorted.
I know this much...Ambrosia's debut is one that must not be left to be forgotten by the masses. If nothing else, get it for the radio hit, but do what I did and start from "Nice Nice, Very Nice". You won't want to stop it until it's played the whole way through, just as I didn't with the LP, and now this CD."
One of the Best Ever!
DLM | California | 06/28/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been hooked on Ambrosia since I first discovered this debut albumn in a stack of my roommates records back in 1975. I started to listen to it, lifting the LP needle from track to track when I came upon "Holdin' On To Yesterday". I must have listened to that one song 25 times in a row that night. This debut albumn is one of the finest ever. EVERY song on it has something special. Even if you bought it only for "Holding' On To Yesterday", it would be worth every penny! Once you start listening to Ambrosia's music, you have to hear it over and over...it's simply addicting. The band's members were and are each accomplished musicians and their music was very complicated for the day, in a time of syrup-y love ballad bands. Unfortunately, I think many people wrongly grouped them into that genre, as they were well ahead of their time."
Bill Your 'Free Form FM Handi Cyber | Mahwah, NJ USA | 05/23/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I don't know too many die hard Ambrosia fans. If you were a kid in the 1970s, you probably remember Ambrosia as a singles band for tracks like "How Much I Feel."
So when I got this on LP for a buck and played it, it came as quite a nice surprise. This album has a lot of good songs, but these tracks are hardly 1970s AM singles. Each of these self-contained tracks combine great songwriting with prog keyboard and a 1970s perfection that comes close to, but does not match, Steely Dan. A lot of unexpected detours that make the songs engaging--you have to listen more than once--but that don't compromise them as songs.
I have always loved progressive rock that augments the song format more than I have long, classically based suites like those of ELP. Patto and Cressida are great examples.
So is Ambrosia. Get this."