Monday, January 14, 2013

Album Review #2 - Craig Fuller Eric Kaz

What do all great albums need? While this can't ever have an exact answer, most will agree it will require a strong leader singing voice, memorable song writing, powerful lyrics, and a good sense of instruments. The "Fuller Kaz" album perfectly met these demands. After the failure of American Flyer's second album, "Spirit of a Woman", former members Craig Fuller and Eric Kaz took off and the band split. The two would go on to make the best, but lowest charted, portion of their career. Anyone that has had the pleasure of hearing this album will understand the greatness. Craig's powerhouse vocals being sung to the lyrics of Eric will truly bring joy to anyone. While it is a duo project, Fuller got the nod when it came to singing, with his voice on 7 tracks and Eric's on two. The songwriting was the exact opposite with Eric getting the lead. The album opens up with a Craig Fuller written track called "Feel That Way Again". It perfectly suits his vocal quality, and by the 2nd listening, you'll be singing along with the harmony vocals. The next track is the Kaz classic "Cry Like A Rainstorm". Which has been recorded by other great artists such as Bonnie Raitt and Linda Ronstadt (Who actually went to Craig for help on recording the track on her 1988 album "Cry like A Rainstorm, Howl Like The Wind!") The song is an extremely powerful track, and one of the highlights of the album. The next track is one of two tracks Kaz sang, "You Take A Heart". It's a nice soft one, weaker than most of the tracks, but nothing lower than the "Okay" range. Following is "Let The Fire Burn All Night". Probably  one of the less memorable songs, it has a campy feeling, but it doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of the album. "Till You Come Back" follows and it gets the ball rolling, it has a bit of a generic 70s feel to it, but none the less it's impossible to go wrong with Eric's writing and Craig's singing. The next track is the only single spawned from the album, "Annabella", written by both Fuller and Kaz, was the song that received the most attention. It's a lovely little piece, and Craig's vocals are smooth all the way through. Proceeding ahead, Eric's vocals appear on the record for the last time, and he wouldn't have his singing on a album for another 24 years. He sings "The Ways Of A Woman", most defiantly the weakest track, the fire from Kaz's first tracks seems to have dimmed some, but sparks were still visible. "Fool For You", as track 8, has a nice rock and roll feeling, and follows a bit of the patterns of the opening track of the album. Restless Sea is the highest point of the album, the peak of the cliff, it's my favorite song that's been recorded. Eric's lyrics were to die for, as well as Craig's voices. The album then ends with a string reprise of Annabella. The reprise idea was originally cooked up by George Martin for the first collaboration of Fuller and Kaz, but didn't succeed as well as it did here. Overall, the Craig Fuller Eric Kaz album is one of my favorite albums of all time. But why did it never receive the attention? Well, I can name a few reasons:

-Extremely Poor Advertising Campaign
-Released In The Center Of The Disco Era
-Hardly Any Copies (It's never good when there's more promotional copies than public release copies)
-Eric's vocals slightly weakened the album

Even though the album failed and put a end to the careers of two wonderful men in the music (Craig surfacing 14 years later in Little Feat) it showed what the two were capable of, and had it been given a chance, my guesses are it would have been extremely well acclaimed.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Album Review #1 - American Flyer

Throughout the course of the 1970's, LP's featured a diverse selection of musical choices, country rock, folk, disco, blues, classic rock, and other sorts of genres. Buried in the middle of the 70s was American Flyer. A folk rock supergroup featuring: Craig Fuller, formally of Pure Prairie League as well as Eric Kaz, songwriting master. It also featured Steve Katz formally of Blood, Sweat, & Tears with Doug Yule, of Velvet Underground. Don't remember Doug or Steve? None of us do... Don't even get me started on the Velvet Underground album "Squeeze"...

The album opens up with a soft but haunting piano piece on "Light of Your Love". Craig's powerhouse vocals to Eric's writings are to die for and give the album all it was asking for. The following track is once again Craig singing to Eric's writings to the song "Such A Beautiful Feeling". The song features a very upbeat feeling, but it feels lacking in the instruments. The Bearsville version Eric recorded in 1974 was very much superior in the instrument department. The Bearsville version can be found on "1000 Years Of Sorrow". The next track is "Back In 57", performed and written by Steve Katz. It's a typical folksy rock song, nothing special. Then Doug Yule comes in for track 4 and sings "Lady Blue Eyes", and every time I hear this record I wonder what American Flyer was thinking when they brought Doug aboard. Had they done research on Doug, they would have found Doug's project with Velvet Underground, (More of Doug, he was the only member...) was an album called "Squeeze". It received horrendous ratings and destroyed Velvet Underground. The next track, track 5, "Let Me Down Easy" was the peak of the album. It was a hit single and charted fairly high on Billboard at #80. Track 6 once again features Steve Katz in a typical folk rock song singing "M". Katz is a intermediate singer, lower than Craig's talent in vocals but sparks are defiantly visible. Tracks 7 (The Woman In Your Heart) and 8 (Love Has No Pride) are my least favorite of Craig's on the album. Love Has No Pride is a phenomenal song by Eric, but is more in suit for the female voice (as priorly demonstrated by Bonnie Raitt). Track 9, "Queen Of All My Days" is also by our favorite member Doug. Surprisingly, it was used as the flip side to the single of "Let Me Down Easy". Track 10, "Drive Away" is the one and only song on the album by Eric. George Martin (Producer of the album, and also producer of every "Beatle's" album, was curious to have every band member sing on the album). The track is a low for Eric. He was capable of much more, but overall it's an okay track. Track 11 helps close the album as Craig sings his final tune for the album with "Call Me, Tell Me". The strings are very nicely arranged but feel a little out of tune at the end of the song. The album finishes with a haunting string and piano piece called "End of a love Song" by George Martin and Eric Kaz.

Overall, the album was great, but there were obvious things that brought in down. Doug's poor sense of lyrics and singing, Eric's poor song choosing for his track, etc. The album did manage to find it's way nicely into the charts however, as opposed to a later but much superior album by Craig Fuller and Eric Kaz which didn't even scratch the surface of the charts. American Flyer probably did better do to a much larger advertising campaign, something neither Craig nor Eric ever really dabbled in, which is a shame as they are both great at what they do, which will be proven heavily 2 years later on their duo project entitled "Craig Fuller Eric Kaz". American Flyer was a strong album at parts, but weak at others, and a chain is only as strong as its weakest links. I give "American Flyer" a 7.5 / 10

Monday, November 19, 2012

I'm Back...

Hi Guys! :D

     I'm glad to be returning to my blogging! I'm going to try and get back into it, since I am also posting new videos. I'll probably be doing some CD and LP reviews, as I love music, and I love introducing people to new singers! Anyway, thanks for all your patience. I know I haven't posted in a while, this is do to the fact that I was messing with other channels. They were more highly acclaimed, but the joy just wasn't there. I had more followers, but they weren't as loyal and interested in my work as you guys. So I'll probably be with this blog and channel for quite a while! :)


Thursday, August 9, 2012

What's Your Favorite Way To Relax?

Lara's favorite way is to take pictures of her feet, but I suppose that's just how she is! :D

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Lara's Photo Album

"How do I work this thing, Dragon? A-ha, I see: this button takes the photo!"

So recently, Lara was suggesting that I provide her with a camera so she can take her own photos across the world of Tomb Raider, so I shared with her one and now every now and then she will be sharing some fun photos with you guys! Lara seems into photography all the sudden! (:

Friday, July 27, 2012

Diamond Wonders

Since I've had some free time, I decided to put together a forum! :D The forum is called Diamond Wonders and we discuss things such as Tomb Raider, Minecraft, & Others Videos. We also love to play games! So try and get the word out to all your Tomb Raiding buddies! Because we sadly have a shortage of members. Happy Raiding!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


So Apparently...
Winston had managed to get a hold of my password on Tomb Raider Forums and decided to go around posting. At first it was pretty normal, but then he went around bumping 10 year old threads. 3 Threads to be exact. They were all in the technical support section. "I Was Just Trying To Help!" he claims. Winston's punishment is still being decided as well as my Ban time. In the mean time I will have plenty of time to be on my blog so check back often for updates on My Planet mission and etc! :D

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Happy The Bear Wallpapers!

Enjoy These Original Happy The Bear Wallpapers!

Another Video From The Archives!

Let's Journey A Bit More Into The Lil Dragon Archives!
I've already shared the original ending to my first Tomb Raider video, but now I feel like sharing a bit more, so I proudly present a few unique clips from a really, really long time ago. A few of the clips date roughly a year. The clips are basically a test of animals replacing Winston to see if they will follow Lara. The monkey seemed like the most suitable fit. As you see in one of the clips we have a video of the monkey walking, as I'm guessing he was intended to go into Lara's home. I don't really remember why. I'm guessing planning fell through for that video due to the difficulty of having a Monkey do what you want. Butlers are easier to control you see! As for the second video, it was originally intended to be a tutorial on how to Fexmerg and TRItem data files. But I figured a typed tutorial may be much easier. Click the link below for the rare footage!