Re: Ambrosia re-issues.
Posted by: Geir ()
Date: February 25, 2014 10:26PM

I'm no Ambrosia expert, but the dynamics between Joe Puerta and David Pack always appeared to be the core of the band to me. If one does the lead vocals, then the other is never far away in terms of providing harmonies. David Pack has an edge to his voice that makes him slightly more distinctive to these ears, but that's not taking anything away from Joe Puerta, who is a fine singer and bassist in his own right.

Now, I haven't bought the Rock Candy re-issues (...yet, but will eventually), so I can't comment on the angle in the sleeve notes, but I do see that the promo blurb for them seems to point to David Pack being a band leader of sorts.

Musically, my tastes are more in line with "One Eighty" and "Road Island" than the early stuff, which is what Rock Candy reckon as far as their target group of buyers goes, too, I suspect. If I recall correctly, however, Wounded Bird also did these two albums a few years back, while "One Eighty" was also available on Japanese import on CD back in the nineties.

With "One Eighty", I get the feeling that Ambrosia were shooting for commercial success - at least I've always taken that to be one possible interpretation of the title. Looking at the sleeve pictures and the number of lead vocals David Pack gets for the album, I wouldn't be surprised if Warner Bros. figured that pushing David to the fore could be a wise move in terms of marketing, either.

Finally, with Mr. Pack having appeared on other band's albums as a lead or backing singer and his subsequent solo album, I guess his public profile was always more to the fore than Puerta, who, on the other hand, has been the backbone of Ambrosia and its existence in the post-eighties.

As for Joe's singing, he takes the majority of the lead vocals on the wonderful "Rock N'A Hard Place" off of "One Eighty", while an earlier track that I've always loved, is "Apothecary" (from "Life Beyond LA", 1978).

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