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dinner at the ritz LP

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Vinyl
  • Label: MERCURY
  • ASIN: B0045Z94ZI
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Customer Reviews

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Format: Audio CD
That City Boy often get referred to as 'a poor mans 10cc' is not only an insult to a great band but inaccurate as well. With all of the musical invention, quirkiness and riffs of 10cc, City Boy were never less than a rock band first and foremost and as such were never a poor man's anybody. With albums like 'Dinner At The Ritz' the band did set themselves up for a fall back in the heady days of the 1970's. Success was all about shifting singles in those days and bar the seven odd minute long, romantic 'The Violin' there is really nothing here that sounds like it could've been a hit ( though a badly edited version of 'The Violin' was released in the U.S). As it was, Vertigo decided not to release a single from the album here in the U.K. and so a great, imaginative record was allowed to 'slip past' the noses of the record buying public at large...

Listening to the album today, however, proves conclusively that those who did discover this record back in 1976 were the lucky ones because they then had the chance to go to see the band playing live and experience the magic first hand for themselves.

To get an idea what this record sounds like, think progressive rock ('State Secrets' is actually a medley of songs), meets quirky lyrics, great guitar and keyboard work and some fabulous and varied vocals. Add a dash of sense of humour (the title track), three teaspoons of musical unpredictability and copious hard rockin' riffs and you get the picture, don't you?

No, you don't!

Well then, just BUY THIS and begin discovering and understanding one of the 1970's (and early 80's) most underrated bands for yourself. You won't regret it!
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Format: Audio CD
I've always regarded this record as one of City Boy's two finest along with THE DAY THE EARTH CAUGHT FIRE. Part of my reasoning is nostalgic; RITZ was the first City Boy record I purchased shortly after its 1976 release. More compelling though was the lack of schmaltz factor. The Achilles heel of virtually all of their records was their inability to avoid soft rock/MOR material (like 'Beth' and many others). This album possesses more backbone, more muscular tunes like 'Mama's Boy,' 'Walk on the Water' and 'Goodbye Blue Monday' without sacrificing creativity. The one exception is the 7:20 yawner 'The Violin.' That epic California soft-rock selection prevents this CD from achieving a solid 5-star rating.

City Boy emerged on the scene at a time when the more artful wing of the art-rock brigade was crumbling. I, however, was still clinging on and these boys reminded me of many of my favorites like Bowie, Ronson, ELO, 10cc, Sparks, Queen and Be Bop Deluxe. But by 1977 Bowie was held captive by the German art machination, Bill Nelson was formulating the angular origins of New Wave, Queen was wallowing like pigs in their own filth, 10cc had lost their creative spark(s) in Godley and Creme, Sparks were becoming increasingly intrigued by disco and Jeff Lynne de"orchestra"ted his band. That left City Boy as king of the hill, at least in my mind. Their harmony vocals, lead guitar and unconventional lyrics borrowed from many of the above bands' more creative periods. They weren't a perfect band but continued in the art rock path that its predecessors had already forsaken. And that was fine by me.
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Format: Audio CD
City Boys 2nd album D.A.T.R. released 1976 and overlooked in general by the press and the buying public. you want rock, inventive new before their time music ? you get it by the truck load. Harmonies, detail, production second to none, storming guitars ( not on all tracks ) and even strings on the `violin song` a brilliant under appreciated opus bar none.
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Format: Audio CD
So glad to see this has had a rerelease at last (thanks Renaissance!) - one of those classic albums that didn't sell.
City Boy should have been massive - shades of 10CC and Queen - but somehow (apart from one hit single), never made the big time. I saw them live at the time this album came out, and they were a great act - wonder what they're all doing now?
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