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Crazy Horses/The Plan


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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Alan Osmond (vocals, guitar); Donny Osmond (vocals, keyboards); Jay Osmond (vocals, drums); Merrill Osmond, Wayne Osmond (vocals).
  • Liner Note Author: Phil Hendriks.
  • Recording information: Kolob Studios, Los Angeles, CA; MGM Studios, Hollywood, CA.
  • Arrangers: Reg Powell; Pete Carpenter; Tommy Oliver.
  • The third volume in the 7Ts label's series of Osbros two-fers, these are the albums that first confirmed, and then exceeded, the Osmonds' status as the teen dream of the early to mid-'70s, two albums that find them not only peaking as songwriters and performers, but also rushing ahead of both ambition and ability to deliver what remains one of the most misunderstood records of the age. Crazy Horses is killer. With Donny's tonsils now off making albums of their own, his presence here is confined to keyboards, allowing the elder Osmonds to fulfill the vocal duties, and to rock out accordingly. The mad synth boogie of the title track would be a classic rock staple had any other artist recorded it, and it's not alone, as "Hold Her Tight" and "We All Fall Down" follow its lead into seriously rocking territory. True, the ballads do spoil the show a little, but only from the point of view of a "serious" rock fan trying to justify this album's presence in his/her collection. The Osmonds knew who their most loyal fans were, and this LP remains geared toward the screamagers. Which is exactly how it ought to be -- and precisely why their next album, The Plan, fell down. A conceptual package built around the Osmond family's Mormon faith, The Plan does not lack for hummable melodies or toe-tapping rockers. Nor can you accuse the brothers of resting on their musical laurels, as they swerve from big ballad to hard rock, acid psych to grandiose soul. Where it falls down is through a lyrical vision that is simply so po-faced and so bent on proselytizing that, for once, the Knack were wrong. The little girls didn't understand, and the big ones didn't want to. Up to this point, the Osmonds seemed invulnerable. Now that wasn't so certain. ~ Dave Thompson
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