Ride The Tiger
Greg Lake & Geoff Downes
Ride The Tiger is a collection of six previously unreleased songs by Greg Lake and Geoff Downes. One of the songs was later recorded by Asia and two by ELP; the other four have appeared on previous compilations. This release marks the first time we get to hear the full album as one cohesive piece.
“Money Talks” is basically Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s “Black Moon” with bigger sounding “splashy” drums and horn-like key strikes (different from Emerson’s bleating horn-like keys in the ELP version) mixed with Lake’s overly reverb vocal. “Love Under Fire” is a softly plucked keys ballad, with some 80s sounding synth drums. It simply lies there, even with a creative Downes counter chord instrumental section.
The version of “Affairs Of The Heart” (as opposed to ELP’s version on their 1992 Black Moon album) begins very soft, with bleeding string keys and a slow Lake vocal accompanied by a slow, plodding beat. “Street War” has a cool metallic smacking attack, rather banal lyrics and a good menace of energy to the big tom hits and Downes’ keys modulation and wild flight synth lead. The conga beat and simple riff make “Check It Out” a decent MOR stab, as does the rim shot and Lake’s best vocal.
An alternate version of “Love Under Fire” ends the collection. Surely it’s nice to have Ride The Tiger to complete one’s collection of music from these two monumentally talented men. But I dare say Messrs. Downes and Lake have produced better.
~ Ralph Greco