Archive for November 25th, 2012

The Rippingtons Featuring Russ Freeman – Built to Last

When The Rippingtons Featuring Russ Freeman debuted in the late 1980s, they were supposed to be a one-act concept. A group of friends assembled by Freeman for what was intended as a one-time project. Now, some 25 years later, The Rippingtons are still going strong with Built to Last (Peak/eOne, 2012).

This release delves into previously uncharged territory. Several tracks are composed like a film score with Freeman handling all orchestra and brass arrangements. Freeman also wrote all the songs, except “Cougars and Gigolos” and “Firefly,” which he co-wrote with his wife, Yaredt Leon.

The title song opens the set, much like the main title of a motion picture. The orchestrations get things going, then about a minute and a half into the piece, the rock band that is The Rippingtons steps in. Freeman gives credit to producer Andi Howard for keeping it intact, a suggestion that had this recording been done with the usual approach, a good bit of material would be left out.

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