Michael Quatro's 1976 album, Dancers, Romancers, Dreamers and Schemers, contains different aspects of his quirky, keyboard-oriented pop music. Sister and frequent contributor Patti Quatro, who had joined the all-girl group Fanny at one point, is on board again, as is Tim Bogert. Despite the lack of Top 40 chart success, the ethereal sounds best displayed in the moving piano run on the opening track, "Children of Tomorrow," are compelling and easy to take. "Stripper" gets more of a focus, the guitar riff and drums making for laid-back rock with synths sweeping in to accompany the piano. "One by One" is a nice ballad moving into Gary Wright "Dream Weaver" territory. "Dream Weaver" hit this same year, 1976, but the difference between the two artists is that Quatro doesn't always swamp the songs in a keyboard quagmire, and that's where "One by One" finds clarity. About 50 percent of the album is instrumental, the big church sounds on "Rollerbach" picking up where the Toys and Procol Harum left off with Johann Sebastian Bach's music. This isn't a merger of rock with the classics à la the Electric Light Orchestra, who gave Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven" the fusion treatment; the pianist rearranges Chopin on the flip side, an arrangement rather than a rock revision. Side two is all instrumental save the spacy opening track, "Ancient Ones," with Pavlov's Dog's lead singer, David Surkamp's trademark annoying vocal sounding very much like sister Suzi Quatro's camp. "Adagio" has little glimpses of Paul Mauriat's "Love Is Blue," a total contrast to the Suzi Quatro/Mike Quatro rocking collaboration called "Circus" which concludes side one. On the same label as the Electric Light Orchestra and from the same time period, Michael Quatro brings an interesting blend to the table which, despite its uniqueness and depth, failed to find a mass audience. As Mike Oldfield's music found renewal in the soundtrack world, that would have been the proper avenue for this interesting effort.
Quatro, Michael – Dancers, Romancers, Dreamers, & Schemers – Used LP
Oddball set from this Detroit native (Suzi's older brother), Quatro playing about 20 instrument, and focusing on his keyboard talents, perhaps a bit of Rick Wakeman mixed with small hints of Lou Reed, the oddball reflective moments of Alice Cooper mixed with classical music, prog rock mixed with the music of the theater, Bowie mixed with theme songs for TV shows. A funky rock groove runs through most of Side One, one relatively straightforward rocker about a stripper (apparently the Dancer from the album's title), a campy instrumental called Rollerbach, a mix of old-school organs and disco-funk chops. The mix of classical music/funk/rock shows up quite often. Side 2 focuses almost entirely on instrumentals. Fans of classical music-influenced progressive rock will likely enjoy the 6 1/2 minute "Adagio." There's nothing great here, but if you like oddball junk from the 70s, this might be your bag...or at least worth a listen.