English guitarist & vocalist John Verity was featured in this blog as solo artist some years ago with two of his best eighties recordings.
Member of legends Argent from 1974 until '76 when the band split up, he formed PHOENIX with bassist & keyboard player Jim Rodford and drummer Bob Henrit.
While their self titled debut was a proggy and seventies-rock affair, the follow up album "In Full View" took its influence from the incipient American radio-rock / commercial AOR market.
Future well known names in the genre did backing vocals here, such as Russ Ballard, Michael Des Barres and Bruce Turgon.
In some countries "In Full View" was released in 1979, in others the next year with a slightly different cover (check the logo and photo tint).
The only track in "In Full View" still retaining some lite prog touches - as the use of Mellotron - is opener "Just Another Day", but genetically the song is an aorish tune full of magic.
The rest of the disc features ripping guitar leads from Verity, cool stabbing synth layers and nice choruses, as heard in "Just Another Day" and "Don't Fool Me".
"I'm In Love" and "I Don't Mind" are more rock&pop oriented, while they add some acoustics to the decent ballad "Angel".
Perhaps the best example of just how close Phoenix might have come to having a breakthrough single is the catchy "Strong Love", which spreads a memorable hook, smart guitar riffs and uptempo synth arrangements.
The band successfully toured Europe and a third album was recorded but never released. After Phoenix Rodford went to The Kinks, while Verity and Henrit joined Charlie to record the band's 'American' album 'Good Morning America'.
In fact "In Full View" sounds pretty close to Charlie, so seems this is the sound John Verity was looking for.
A cool disc rarely seen, nicely ripped from vinyl and cleaned by myself.
1 - Just Another Day
2 - Fooling Myself
3 - Into Your Blood
4 - Don't Fool Me
5 - I Don't Mind
6 - Strong Love
7 - I'm In Love
8 - Angel
John Verity - Lead Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Robert Henrit - Drums
Jim Rodford - Bass, Keyboards
Ronnie Lee Cunningham - Keyboards
Rod Argent - Keyboards (3)
Ray Minhinnett - Guitar
Michael Des Barres, Russ Ballard, Bruce Turgon - Backing Vocals
PHOENIX (UK) In Full View