Published on May 23rd, 2018 | by Justin G.
Phil Lanzon: If You Think I’m Crazy (Cargo)
Long time Uriah Heep (and former Grand Prix) keyboardist Phil Lanzon released his first-ever solo album earlier this year. It’s called If You Think I’m Crazy, and it finds Lanzon teamed with guitarist John Mitchell (Arena, Frost, It Bites), Alan Parsons Project members Richard and Laurence Cottle and drummer Craig Blundell (Frost, Pendragon). Lanzon and Mitchell share lead vocal duties, and Andy Makin (Psycho Motel) lends his voice to a few tracks as well.
It’s not unreasonable to expect the solo album from a guy who spent the last three decades with Uriah Heep to sound a bit like Uriah Heep. And If You Think I’m Crazy does have a Uriah Heep vibe on a few songs. It’s generally a more laid back affair though, and one with real heart and soul. There’s a prog rock side, a bluesy side, and an acoustic singer/songwriter side to this album, and they all come together really well. Non-Heep reference points would be John Wetton’s solo material, Alan Parsons, It Bites, the Still Crazy soundtrack and even Ken Hensley’s solo material (though Lanzon’s probably tired of being compared to Hensley at this point).
My favorite tracks on If You Think I’m Crazy are the ones with Mitchell on lead vocals – “I Knew I Was Dreaming” and “Mind Over Matter” – but I found myself humming the melodies for more than a few of these tracks hours (even days) later. The instrumental elements are equally impressive, especially on the more progressive “Step Overture” and “Forest.” The whole album is full of really well-crafted “classic rock” songs, and has more than a few moments of true beauty.
This was a really pleasant surprise, even as a Uriah Heep fan. Lanzon spreads his wings a bit here, and you can tell he really put his heart into these songs. If you’re a fan of his work in Uriah Heep, or just enjoy laid back progressive rock along the lines of It Bites, Alan Parsons Project, John Wetton and Arena, you’ll want to hear If You Think I’m Crazy.