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Ambrosia

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Ambrosia - Ambrosia [20th Century Records T-434] (February 1975)

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ITEM# SR-20T434
Ratings: C=VG; LP=VG

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Artist:

Ambrosia

Title:

Ambrosia

Released: February 1975
Label: 20th Century Records
Catalog: T-434
Genre: Rock, Soft Rock, Prog Rock


T R A C K L I S T:
01 Nice, Nice, Very Nice
02 Time Waits For No One
03 Holdin' On To Yesterday
04 World Leave Me Alone
05 Make Us All Aware
06 Lover Arrive
07 Mama Frog
08 Drink Of Water
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Album Review

Ambrosia is the self-titled debut album by Ambrosia. It was released in 1975 on 20th Century Fox Records. It spawned the top 20 chart single ''Holdin' on to Yesterday'' as well as the minor hit ''Nice, Nice, Very Nice''. The latter sets to music the lyrics to a poem in Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle. The album was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Engineered Recording (other than Classical). Alan Parsons was the engineer for Ambrosia's first album and the producer for their second. [wikipedia.org]


Ambrosia - Somewhere I've Never Travelled  [20th Century Records T-510] (1976)

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Artist:

Ambrosia

Title:

Somewhere I've Never Travelled

Released: 1976
Label: 20th Century Records
Catalog: T-510
Genre: Progressive Rock
Note: Santa Maria Pressing, Pyramid Cover
Note: Front cover has some tears on it


T R A C K L I S T:
01-And...
02-Somewhere I've Never Travelled
03-Cowboy Star
04-Runnin' Away
05-Harvey
06-I Wanna Know
07-The Brunt
08-Danse With Me George (Chopin's Plea)
09-Can't Let A Woman
10-We Need You Too
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Ambrosia 1978 Life Beyond L.A. (Warner Bros BSK 3135)

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ITEM# SR-WABSK3135
Ratings: C=NM-; LP=NM-

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Artist:

Ambrosia

Title:

Life Beyond L.A.

Released: 1978
Label: Warner Bros
Catalog: BSK 3135
Genre: Rock / Progressive Rock
T R A C K L I S T:
01 Life Beyond L.A.
02 Art Beware
03 Apothecary
04 If Heaven Could Find Me
05 How Much I Feel
06 Dancin' By Myself
07 Angola
08 Heart To Heart
09 Not As You Were
10 Ready For Camarillo
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Album Reveiw

by Tim Griggs [allmusic.com]

Ambrosia's third album (and first for Warner Bros.) is more commercial and less conceptual than their first two releases, Somewhere I've Never Travelled and the self-titled Ambrosia. The album opens effectively with the title track, which is about life, or the lack thereof, in Los Angeles. The better songs on this album, including the title track and the top ten single "How Much I Feel," were written and sung by lead vocalist/multi-instrumentalist David Pack.


Ambrosia - One Eighty [Warner Bros BSK 3368] (1980)

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ITEM# SR-WABSK3368
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Artist:

Ambrosia

Title:

One Eighty

Released: 1980
Label: Warner Bros
Catalog: BSK 3368
Genre: Rock / Pop
T R A C K L I S T:
01 Ready
02 Shape I'm In
03 Kamikaze
04 You're The Only Woman
05 Rock N' A Hard Place
06 Livin' On My Own
07 Cryin' In The Rain
08 No Big Deal
09 Biggest Part Of Me
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Donald A. Guarisco [allmusic.com]

When Life Beyond L.A. became their biggest hit to date on the strength of smooth AOR like "How Much I Feel," Ambrosia decided to continue in this direction on One Eighty. It became their most successful album but lacks the ambition or inspiration that infused their first two albums. The prog rock style that characterized the group's early work is almost completely gone: The only real progressive cut is "Kamikaze," which attempts to create a stylized blend of prog rock and traditional Japanese music but comes off as stilted and awkward. The rest of the album's songs are either pop/rock tunes or ballads. Rockers like "Ready" go for an ambitious blend of radio-friendly rock and new wave elements, but sound too forced to be convincing. The ballads are the album's redeeming feature. They are all lovingly crafted and boast strong, often complex melodies that keep them from getting too sappy or sentimental: "You're the Only Woman" is a keyboard-rich song that highlights Christopher North's soulful Hammond organ playing, and "Livin' on My Own" layers harmonies reminiscent of the Doobie Brothers over a jazzy tune driven by an intricate bassline. The album's finale, "Biggest Part of Me," is the best of these ballads. It combines rich Beach Boys-styled harmonies with a heartfelt lyric to create a rich slice of blue-eyed soul that gave the group a number two hit single. These classy ballads make One Eighty worth a listen for devoted Ambrosia fans, but the casual listener might want to seek these songs out on the group's Anthology album.


Ambrosia - Road Island [Warner Bros BSK 3638] (1982)

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Artist:

Ambrosia

Title:

Road Island

Released: 1982
Label: Warner Bros
Catalog: BSK 3638
Genre: Rock
NOTE: Small tear on both front and back covers
T R A C K L I S T:
01 For Openers (Welcome Home)
02 Still Not Satisfied
03 Kid No More
04 Feelin' Alive Again
05 How Can You Love Me
06 Fool Like Me
07 Ice Age
08 Endings
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Album Review

Donald A. Guarisco [allmusic.com]

On their final album, Ambrosia forsakes the airbrushed AOR sounds that defined Life Beyond L.A. and One Eighty in favor of a strong, rock-oriented sound. They are aided in this aim by a gutsy production from James Guthrie (a producer better known for his work with groups like Judas Priest and Pink Floyd) that takes the group to a new level of sonic firepower. Songs like "For Openers" and "Still Not Satisfied" reverberate with a newfound sense of rock & roll muscle: The drums kick, the basslines throb, and the guitars and Hammond organ wail with abandon. Even Ambrosia's trademark ballads benefit from their newly beefed-up sound: "Feelin' Alive Again" features the airy harmonies and delicate keyboard shadings expected from this style of song, but it also gains an added sense of dramatic weight from Burleigh Drummond's thick drumming and piercing, emotional guitar solos from David Pack. The group also revives their early progressive sound on "Ice Age," an impressive epic tune built on a militaristic drum pattern, heavy power chords, and Pink Floyd-styled sound effects. The end result is an album that harkens back to the blend of slick musicianship and prog rock imagination that characterized Ambrosia's early work. Despite receiving many good reviews, Road Island never achieved a notable level of success because, much like Somewhere I've Never Travelled, it lacks a standout single that could have helped it cross over to mainstream pop fans. Just the same, it is an above-average album that is worthy of reappraisal by progressive rock fans and lovers of hard rock in general.

Ambrosia's Biography

by Steve Huey [allmusic.com]

Los Angeles quartet Ambrosia, whose founding members included guitarist/vocalist David Pack, bassist/vocalist Joe Puerta, keyboardist Christopher North, and drummer Burleigh Drummond, fused symphonic art rock with a slickly produced pop sound. The group was discovered in 1971 by Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor Zubin Mehta, who featured Ambrosia as part of a so-called All-American Dream Concert. However, it took them four more years to get a record contract; Ambrosia was released in 1975 and spawned the chart singles "Holdin' on to Yesterday" and "Nice, Nice, Very Nice." (The latter was based on Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle.) Ambrosia scored another hit in 1977 with a cover of the Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour" from the film All This and World War II, which they also appeared in.

North left the group just before their biggest pop breakthrough in 1978 with the number three hit "How Much I Feel." Ambrosia followed this success in 1980 with another number three hit, "Biggest Part of Me," and the number 13 follow-up "You're the Only Woman." Their next album failed, ending their run of chart success, and the group broke up; individual members are still active as session musicians and vocalists, as well as producers.

David Pack's 1985 solo album Anywhere You Go actually featured both Puerta and Drummond (alongside Kerry Livgren, Michael McDonald, Stanley Clarke, and Toto's Michael Porcaro), and the band reunited several years later. Several tours followed during the '90s, along with new recordings featured on the band's 1997 Anthology release. Pack left after 2001 for additional solo projects, and the band released the concert album Live a year later without him.
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