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During the late '70s and early '80s -- just before the rise of MTV, a period when album rock and soft rock experienced significant crossover -- Gino Vannelli racked up a number of adult contemporary hits. "I Just Wanna Stop" and "Living Inside Myself" both reached the Top Ten and their sleek, shimmering productions cemented the notion that Vannelli was a crooner, particularly since they remained adult contemporary staples through the decades, but they were preceded by a series of ambitious albums where he blended mainstream pop and progressive-leaning rock. These albums were hits in his native Canada, and he continued to chart in his home country after the hits dried up in the United States, but he never lost a following in either country. In 1998, 20 years after "I Just Wanna Stop" became a smash, he transitioned to singing jazz-inflected pop. This blend, combined with nods to his soft rock past, kept him active into the 21st century.

Vannelli learned to play the drums early in life and studied music theory at McGill University. He formed an R&B band with two brothers, but began recording solo material in 1970 for RCA. He became popular four years later when A&M released his hit single "People Gotta Move," from the Powerful People album (later retitled People Gotta Move). Many albums followed, including Storm at Sunup (1975), Gist of the Gemini (1976), A Pauper in Paradise (1977), Brother to Brother (1978), Nightwalker (1981), Black Cars (1985), Big Dreamers Never Sleep (1987), Inconsolable Man (1990), and Live in Montreal (1992).

After a lengthy absence from the recording studio, Vannelli returned in 1995 with Yonder Tree; Slow Love followed three years later. After yet another lengthy absence from the studio, Gino recorded the ambitious Canto in 2003 and 2006's These Are the Days, which featured remastered recordings of some of his best-known work alongside seven new compositions. A Good Thing, featuring a CD and accompanying book of poetry, was issued in early 2009, followed by another CD/book package, Stardust in the Sand, later that same year. After a decade-long hiatus, Vannelli returned in 2019 with Wilderness Road. ~ John Bush, Rovi


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