Canada’s #IanThomas returns to his classic hits with the orchestral redux of “The Runner”

IAN THOMAS, “The Runner”

Canada’s Ian Thomas is noted for one 1974 smash south of the border and in parts of the world, and that is the classic Top 40 hit “Painted Ladies”.  But after that, and very much like another Canadian who only struck once in the U.S., Jann Arden (“Insensitive”), Ian maintained a steady career in Canada both as a solo rock performer up to the mid-80’s and in the 90’s as a member of the much-praised band The Boomers.  In the 2000’s Ian has been recording and performing off and on in Lunch At Allen’s with Murray McLauchlan, Marc Jordan, and Cindy Church.  He returned to solo work after almost 20 years in 2012, and is back now with an album recorded with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra called A Life In Song.  “The Runner” is put forward as the featured song.  It’s the title song from his 1981 album, and also became a massive North American hit as recorded by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band (with vocals by Chris Thompson) in 1984.  Ian’s redux recalls the Manfred Mann version more than his own and is married with the majestic sound of the Philharmonic.  It’s definitely a stylish reinvention that captures the sweeping intent of the original song.  Ian Thomas fans will also want to hear hits like “Painted Ladies”, “Right Before Your Eyes”, and “Pilot” given the same treatment.  This all very much reminds me of how EDM trio Above & Beyond recently recorded (and performed live) in their Acoustic II album.  “The Runner” is definitely back to pass on the flame again in 2016.

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