Tesh Takes the Yellow Jersey on this one!
L.A. Scene | Indian Trail, NC USA | 05/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Before he was a musician, before he was the host of Entertainment Tonight, John Tesh was a Sportscaster for CBS Sports. Back in the early 80s, CBS Sports broke ground by broadcasting highlights of the Tour De France bicycle race. John Tesh was the anchor of what would be about 30 to 40 minutes of weekly highlights of the bicycle race from 1983 - 1986. For many Americans and cycling fans, the voice of John Tesh doing the Tour was something to remember. Tesh was a master storyteller and had a real art for describing the race. What supplemented the great storytelling of the race was some spectacular music. What many people did not know was that the architect and composer of that music was Tesh himself. So in 1988 I was pleasantly surprised when Tesh released a CD of this spectacular music called "Tour De France". Little did I realize that this would be the beginning of a great music career for this multi-talented individual.There are two ways to appreciate "Tour De France" and either way comes up a winner for this collection of 8 songs. The first is if you are a fan of the Tour, you can map Tesh's music back to images of the race in your mind. You'll find that Tesh came up with a great way to really capture the parts of the race in music. For example, the piece "That Ole Deamon Meaness" was a piece that was used on the CBS coverage to capture some of the comedic and carnival like aspects of the race. Everytime I hear it, it plays over and over in my head. The collection's signature piece is "A Thousand Summers" and it was often used in the intro/recaps of the race - and that is exactly what it does, it gives you a feel for the Tour De France. What might be the best piece on the album is "Mike Mercurie" which conjurs up images of the battle between Greg LeMond and Bernard Hinault in 1985 (although I can't remember if that piece was used during that segment or not). "Olympus 2008" has a "final showdown" feel to it and is the perfect close to this collection. Finally in the piece "You Are Here", it reminds me of another day in the peleton and features (what I believe to be) some off Tesh's broadcasting partner, world famous cycling announcer Phil Liggett speaking in slo-mo - "now see where exactly are we".The second way to appreciate "Tour De France" is to separate from the race itself and just judge it on the high quality of the music. If you are a fan of great modern day instrumental music, this album has it all. The signature song "A Thousand Summers" has been heard many times outside of the Tour coverage. In fact back in 1990, I attended a local Corporate Kickoff Meeting for IBM and the marketing presentation used it! Even if you didn't know about the Tour, you'd be entertained by Tesh in the song "You Are Here" or you'll feel the intensity of a "Mike Mercurie". "Day One" is also a beautifully composed number that is just a great song that has some great segues. "Jazzis" is awesome - just listen to the way Tesh integrates the Saxaphone into this song.It is also worth noting that Tesh did a full digital recoding for this album. When CD's first came out in the 80s, they were recorded three ways: 1) AAD - Analog Recording, Analog Mix, Digital Transfer; 2) ADD - "Analog Recording, Digital Mix, Digital Transfer", 3) DDD - Digital Recording, Digital Mix, Digital Transfer. Tesh's work is DDD and even in 1988 this wasn't very common. I give Tesh a lot of credit because he recorded this CD under his own label "Private Music" and then had it distributed on RCA. By recording this on DDD, Tesh took no shortcuts.This album might just fall short in one area - liner notes. Although the credits are in there, I would have liked to find out a little more background on some of the songs on this album. Perhaps this is because Tesh was working on his own label. I am disappointed that this work by John Tesh seems often ignored by him in his concert work. "A Thousand Summers" is always a part of his performance, but its a shame many of the other songs are forgotten. If you are a John Tesh fan and don't have this in your collection, shame on you - this is John Tesh at his finest. If you are new to Tesh, great place to start - although this album may be tough to find."
One of my personal favorite albums of any artist!
L.A. Scene | 02/15/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am by no means a John Tesh "buff", but I have acquired two his CDs, this one and "Live At Red Rocks" (four stars). This CD is fantastic. I enjoy listening to this CD from start to finish; it has no "bad" songs. Each track is so dramatic and powerful. It inspires me as an athlete just the same. This may sound overly dramatic, but one must hear the album for oneself. So, without a doubt, this CD deserves five stars. The only improvement that can be made to this nearly consummate CD is an augmentation to its total time length. P.S.: E-mail me if there is another John Tesh CD as or nearly as great as this one!"