Gutter Ballet

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Gutter Ballet
Studio album by Savatage
Released December 1, 1989
Recorded Record Plant, New York City, February–July 1989
Genre Heavy metal, progressive metal, power metal
Length 52:25
Label Atlantic
Producer Paul O'Neill
Savatage chronology
Hall of the Mountain King
(1987)
Gutter Ballet
(1989)
Streets: A Rock Opera
(1991)
Singles from Gutter Ballet
  1. "Gutter Ballet"
    Released: 1990
  2. "When the Crowds Are Gone"
    Released: 1990
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Martin Popoff 7/10 stars[2]

Gutter Ballet is the fifth full-length album produced by the American progressive metal band Savatage. This was the second album created under the direction of producer Paul O'Neill and was initially released in 1989.

Overview[edit]

This album was a true turning point for the band, for after Jon Oliva watched Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical The Phantom of the Opera in Toronto, he decided to change the sound of the band, from a heavy metal to a more progressive sound, which is reflected in songs such as "When the Crowds Are Gone" and "Gutter Ballet". Gutter Ballet is not a concept album, but the final three songs ("Mentally Yours", "Summer's Rain", "Thorazine Shuffle") are a conceptual suite dealing with a single character as revealed by the band in interviews.

The original title for the record was Temptation Revelation, but this was changed to Hounds of Zaroff which was a Steve Wacholz suggestion. As late as May 1989, the eventual title track of the album had not been written and the band was having doubts surrounding the album title. The title Gutter Ballet finally came from that of a play producer Paul O'Neill had written ten years earlier and which would later make-up the majority of the band's next work, Streets. The song "Gutter Ballet" was written with just O'Neill, Jon and Criss Oliva in the studio. Jon's drumming skill was competent enough to perform on the track and he also provided the bass guitar duties for the track. Had the band originally stuck with the story set-out in Paul O'Neill's original 1979 story, the song "When the Crowds Are Gone" would have followed Streets track "A Little Too Far".[3]

On the original cassette and CD releases, "Thorazine Shuffle" was a bonus track.

Two videos from the album entered rotation on MTV, "Gutter Ballet" (filmed at the beginning of 1990 in New York)[4] and "When the Crowds Are Gone". The former track became a staple of Headbangers Ball and as a result, both Jon Oliva and Chris Caffery were invited to join host Riki Rachtman for an interview in 1990.

Paul O'Neill is planning to re-record the entire album for theatrical release under the Trans-Siberian Orchestra name.[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Criss Oliva, Jon Oliva and Paul O'Neill, except "Silk and Steel" by C. Oliva and Paul Silver. 

Original CD release
No. Title Length
1. "Of Rage and War"   4:47
2. "Gutter Ballet"   6:20
3. "Temptation Revelation" (instrumental) 2:56
4. "When the Crowds Are Gone"   5:45
5. "Silk and Steel" (instrumental) 2:56
6. "She's in Love"   3:51
7. "Hounds"   6:27
8. "The Unholy"   4:37
9. "Mentally Yours"   5:19
10. "Summer's Rain"   4:33
11. "Thorazine Shuffle"   4:43

Personnel[edit]

Band members

Note: Caffery was credited with guitars and keyboards and is pictured in the album's booklet "both to prepare the fans for the line-up they'd see on tour and confirm his permanent member status."[4]

Additional contributions
  • Robert Kinkel – keyboards
  • John Dittmar, Stephen Daggett, Jerry Van Deilen, Dan Campbell – background shouts and laughs
Production
  • Paul O'Neill – producer, arrangements with Savatage
  • James A. Ball, Joe Henahan – engineers
  • Teddy Trewalla, Deek Venarchick, Jay DeVito, Dave Parla – assistant engineers
  • Dan Campbell – studio technician
  • Jack Skinner – mastering at EuropaDisc, New York
  • Gary Smith – cover art
  • Dennis Osborne – photography

Charts[edit]

Album
Year Chart Position
1989 US Billboard 200[5] 124

References[edit]

  1. ^ Orens, Geoff. "Savatage Gutter Ballet review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2013-05-12. 
  2. ^ Popoff, Martin (1 November 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. ISBN 978-1894959315. 
  3. ^ liner notes from Streets 2002 re-issue.
  4. ^ a b liner notes from Gutter Ballet 2002 re-issue.
  5. ^ "Gutter Ballet Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2013-05-12.