When the rest of the world is praising the talents of solo artists such as Billy Joel, Elton John and Randy Newman some of us are sitting comfortable in the knowledge that Ian Thomas, despite his relative obscurity, is a talent of equal stature. Life for this Canadian born singer songwriter has never been easy. Feted in his native country but cold shouldered elsewhere, Thomas has flown under the radar for far too long, but, in many respects, perhaps this is what drives his loyal band of supporters to such fanatical devotion.
'The Runner' was Thomas's seventh studio album and found him emphasising the very thing that captured his audience's imagination in the first instance with a brace of great melodies and sublimely connective lyrics which speak not just love and loss but of offbeat topics and social commentary. These were songs that would eventually go on to be recorded by a variety of admiring artists including Chicago, Manfred Man and Santana.
With a pronounced West Coast sound comparable to that of Steely Dan, Christopher Cross and Hall & Oates, the musical support is fluid and consistent with a meticulous approach to song writing. It is this combination of factors that sets 'The Runner' apart as one of Thomas's greatest achievements, a record full of challenges and triumphs.