Greg Lake & Geoff Downes: Ride The Tiger

Lost 80s-era rock outing from two major prog faces.

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In the late 80s, Greg Lake and Geoff Downes decided to start a new project called Ride The Tiger and, well, they never did get to ride it very far.

Now, though, six songs that the pair demoed at the time have been collated for this fascinating curio. Three songs might already be familiar because Asia did a version of Love Under Fire, while ELP tackled both Affairs Of The Heart and_ Street War_. These songs, in this raw state, actually have a little more conviction, with Street War in particular coming across with extra élan. The style here is very much 80s soft rock, albeit approached with the sophistication that you’d expect from two such consummate musicians, ably complemented by Michael Giles on drums. Money Talks is a straightforward pop rock track, of the type that fits neatly into the Asia style, but there’s a lot of depth to Check It Out and Blue Light. Both these tunes have a persistent edge that really accentuates the rapport between Lake and Downes. Either could have been triumphantly tackled by ELP and become welcome additions to that band’s early-90s albums. No, it’s not exactly a classic collection, but what it does highlight is Ride The Tiger’s, ahem, roar potential.