Monday, August 03, 2015

RESTLESS (USA) - Alone In The Dark [Japanese Edition +3] (1999)

RESTLESS (USA) - Alone In The Dark [Japanese Edition +3] (1999)
re-posted as requested, really hard to find

RESTLESS isn't the 'real' name of this band. This moniker was chosen by leader Roger Sommers and the German label MTM who resurrected this material on CD format in the late Nineties.
All these songs were recorded during the '80s (I think 1988) under the band name FREELANCE, but the group never managed to get a recording deal back then, a real shame.

"Alone In The Dark" consists of tracks from two original four song demos that were recorded on a 16-track home studio plus some later "proper" studio tracks with much better production. But the roughness of some of these demos isn't a problem at all, believe me.
Musically this is '80s AOR with some pomp influences, while the newer songs are more hair / arena rock, strongly influenced by Def Leppard with lots of keyboards.
First track "Guilty" (from the 2nd demo) is a killer melodic hard rocker in the vein of the best White Sister with an updated sound. On "Alone In The Dark" the lead vocals of Sommers sounds like a young Steve Overland, and except some 'hair metal' twists, the whole band sounds like the british FM here.

"Don’t Do It To Me" is real belter. It's a great midtempo classic AOR tune with tons of keyboards, very British to my ears, similar to Shy or After Hours. Next, "Lightnin’ Strikes" is another highlight, a Journey-esque melodic semi-ballad that was featured on the mythical AOR Basement 'unsigned bands' compilation 'Hot Night In The City' in 1988 under their original name Freelance.
"Leavin' You" is the first track featured here in the Def Leppard style. The rhythm guitars are fat and the chorus multi-layered. Strong rocker.

Now... the best track here in my opinion. "Keep The Fire Burning" is pure '80s pompy AOR with wonderful keyboards. Define AOR: this song! This one alone worth this disc.
"Painted Lady" is one from the 'old' recordings. A keyboard driven melodic rock full of energy and attitude.
On "I Don't Wanna Want You" the band decided to write a Foreigner-style ballady, and don't disappoint. Of course Sommers isn't Lou Gramm but he does a really good job.

"Body To Body" links directly to Def Lepp. Big choruses and arena rock vibe. Compared to Blue Tears too.
"Feels Like Love" has a definite pomp feel with 'that' pulsing rhythm section, bright keyboards and big harmonies. An early '80s influenced track in the Roadmaster style.
The emotional ballad "Willing" close the regular edition of this release. Grand piano and orchestration, featuring a tight vocal performance.

RESTLESS (USA) - Alone In The Dark [Japanese Edition +3] (1999) back cover

The CD was released in Japan in 1999 featuring 3 juicy bonus tracks (not listed on the back cover). The first, "What Do You Know About Love" is from the last recording period, Def Leppard meets Billy Squier with a bluesy melodic rock touch and huge backing vocals.
Next, "Carry That Weight", is a sweet acoustic based ballad that increases the tempo in the Damn Yankees style, very early Nineties. I like this a lot.
Then the last of the bonus "Lay Me Down" follows the melodic rock pattern of opener "Guilty". A gutsy track with big, big guitars.

Even when production isn't first rate at times, all this material is very well rounded and sounds absolutely professional.
Produced by Roger Sommers itself, during the '80s he has been studying sound engineering and that's evident here, now he's a well-respected studio man working with Saga, Jamie Rowe and others.
The personnel involved are all accomplished musicians, including guest appearances by Chuck Wright (Giuffria, House Of Lords) and Jeff Scott Soto on backing vocals.

"Alone In The Dark" is posted everywhere, but not this Japan edition with 3 bonus tracks.
This is pure '80s bliss. Don't miss it.
Highly Recommended.

01 - Guilty
02 - Alone In The Dark
03 - Don't Do It To Me
04 - Lightning Strikes
05 - In Your Eyes
06 - Leavin' You
07 - Keep The Fire Burning
08 - Painted Lady
09 - I Don't Wanna Want You
10 - Body To Body
11 - Feels Like Love
12 - Willing
Japanese Bonus Tracks:
13 - What Do You Know About Love
14 - Carry That Weight
15 - Lay Me Down

Roger Sommers: Lead vocals, Guitar, Backing Vocals
Michael Lord: Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Jason Orme: Guitar
Scott Polluck: Bass
Danny Lux: Drums
Jac Mandel: Guitar
Bruffie Brigham: Bass
Mark Bennett: Drums
Chuck Wright: Bass
Jeff Scott Soto: Backing Vocals

RESTLESS Alone In The Dark [Japanese Edition +3]

0 Day Rock

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Updated August 04 , 2015


Thursday, July 30, 2015

VA - Elektra AOR Collection [Japan only] (1993)

VA - Elektra AOR Collection [Japan only] (1993) Rare
Some time ago a reader requested some early material from John David Souther, who in very late '70s changed his artistic name to J.D. Souther releasing the stupendous You're Only Lonely LP. His previous albums are not easy to find, but digging deep in my collection something appeared.
And it's this rare compilation only released in Japan (limited quantities) in 1993 by Elektra / Warner Records, including tracks from their AOR / Westcoast artist roster.

"Elektra AOR Collection" is wonderful compilation featuring some of the finest Westcoast artists from the late '70s / early '80s - the golden age of the genre. You can't go wrong with cats of the stature of John O'Banion, Bruce Roberts, Robbie Dupree (tracks from his 1st and 2nd albums) or Bill Champlin.
However, most of them are well known by AOR fans, and the real find here are the songs from J.D. Souther, plus the excellent Rupert Holmes, Andrew Gold and Terence Boylan.

VA - Elektra AOR Collection [Japan only] (1993) back cover

All the albums from where these tracks are taken have been reissued on CD, but today are almost impossible to find. So this is a great chance to have on CD quality these hard-to-get tunes.
"Elektra AOR Collection" is a collectors piece and a stunning set of songs to enjoy.

01 - John O'Banion - Love you like I never loved before
02 - Andrew Gold - Lonely boy
03 - Carole Bayer Sager - It's the falling in love
04 - Bruce Roberts - Cool fool
05 - Robbie Dupree - Steal away
06 - Terence Boylan - Don't hang up those dancing shoes
07 - Rupert Holmes - Full circle
08 - Andrew Gold - That's why I love you
09 - John David Souther - Black rose
10 - Robbie Dupree - Saturday night
11 - Bill Champlin - Sara
12 - Terence Boylan - Shake it
13 - John David Souther - It's the same

VA - Elektra AOR Collection 1993

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

GUYS IN DISGUISE - Guys In Disguise (1994)

GUYS IN DISGUISE - Guys In Disguise (1994) front
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

Now we have here a rarity, as far I know only released in Norway back in 1994 and deleted since. GUYS IN DISGUISE was the project of keyboardist Dag Kolsrud, previously known in Scandinavia as part of pop-rockers One 2 Many which had some singles ranking all over European charts.
Kolsrud teamed up with singer Carsten Loly, guitarist Stein Bull-Hansen and a bunch of Norwegian session musicians to record "Guys In Disguise" self-titled - and only - album.

The overall sound of "Guys In Disguise" reminds me David Foster projects and at places Mr. Mister, a Westcoast with a poppy feel and some Hi-Tech elements. On some tunes, they have an unmistakable European flavor, akin Lava / Rolf Graf.
Perhaps some of you have heard Guys In Disguise's "One Goal" (track 6), an anthem composed for the 1994 Winter Olympics celebrated in Norway. The song also was used by Ferrari on the institutional video to celebrate their Formula 1 World Championship in 2000 (in the hands of Michael Schumacher).

GUYS IN DISGUISE - Guys In Disguise (1994) back

Although "Guys In Disguise" does not much for me, it's a nice record with some cool melodies. Production & Mix is handled by Dag Kolsrud, absolutely pristine and clear.
An extremely rare CD, much sought after by collectors of all genres.

01 - Going Nowhere
02 - Roxy
03 - No Worries
04 - I Need You Now
05 - Long Rainy Summer
06 - One Goal
07 - Feeling Like A Fool
08 - Feel Free
09 - Dixie
10 - Fire On Ice

Carsten Loly: vocals
Stein Bull-Hansen: guitars
Dag Kolsrud: keyboards, programming
Kim Ojstod, Per Hillestand: drums
Kjell Solom, Bjorn Kjellemyr: bass

Guys In Disguise (1994)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

BODY ELECTRIC - Body Electric + Two Worlds EP [remastered reissue] (1984)

BODY ELECTRIC - Body Electric + Two Worlds EP [remastered reissue] (1984) front
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

Founded by two talented cats from the Canadian musical scene, BODY ELECTRIC was a great band pretty unknown by AOR fans.
Keyboardist Bob Buckley (born in UK) and David Sinclair (guitar, vocals) were part of Straight Lines, a really nice AOR act which released two LP on a major label in the early '80s. The band split soon but both decided to stay together for a new project.

They called Frank Ludwig (ex-Trooper, Union) as lead vocalist, and Body Electric born. With Sinclair handling guitars & bass, and guests such as ex- Straight Lines bandmate Daryl Burgess, Doug Edwards (Skylark) and talented Marc LaFrance, the band recorded their self-titled debut released through Attic Records in 1984.

"Body Electric" is an album of pure keyboard-laden songs in a light AOR / synth-rock&pop style with a melodic sound and the typically pristine Canadian production. The LP was pretty successful with "Don't Take Me For A Fool" (my favorite), "Somewhere in Time" and "Stop The Music" released as singles.
Although in my opinion the band's finest hour arrived with their second full length album '87s Walking Through Walls (more hi-tech), "Body Electric" includes some stupendous tracks with excellent arrangements, as the awesome opener "The More Things Change".

"Body Electric" never was released on CD until 2007 when Canadian label Unidisc remastered the album from the master tapes.
But the real find here is the inclusion of the band's rare vinyl EP "Two Worlds", appeared in 1985.
For the EP, Sinclair switched to full lead vocals, and with the production of Bill Henderson (Chilliwack) and engineered by mega-man Bob Rock (Bon Jovi, Motley Crue), this is a pure mid-Eighties unknown AOR gem.
Just check the super-chorus of "All Through the Night", the elegant "Two Worlds", the mysterious "Crime of Passion" (love that atmosphere!) or the velvety ballad "Don't Look Back".

BODY ELECTRIC - Body Electric + Two Worlds EP [remastered reissue] (1984) back

This "Body Electric" reissue is pure gold. The Unidisc Records remaster is excellent, and as plus there's the great "Two Worlds" EP.
A collectors piece (now out of print) and a great addition to your AOR cluster.

01 - The more things change
02 - Stop the music
03 - Judy's in her room
04 - Living two lives
05 - Midnight madness
06 - Somewhere in time
07 - Don't take me for a fool
08 - It's gonna hurt
09 - One step back
10 - You can't take it with you
11 - Do you think they can tell (Bonus)
12 - All through the night (Bonus)
13 - Two worlds (Bonus)
14 - Crime of passion (Bonus)
15 - Don't Look Back (Bonus)

tracks 11-15 from the 1985 EP Two Worlds

David Sinclair - guitar, bass, lead vocals 11-15
Bob Buckley - keyboards
Frank Ludwig - lead vocals, keyboards
Brian Newcombe - bass 11-15
Ross Friesen - drums
Daryl Burgess (Straight Lines) - percussion
Doug Edwards (Skylark) - guest guitar
Ken Chalmers - guest guitar
Marc LaFrance - guest vocals

BODY ELECTRIC - Body Electric + Two Worlds EP [remastered reissue]

Wednesday, July 08, 2015



From now, all request & fills goes in this post Comments.
If you need an album or a single track, request it here, if you have it, be kind with other readers, upload the file and post the link here as well.
Access to this page will be placed at the right column ------>
(the "CLICK HERE" neon sign)
It will be opened in a new window.

Check this section regularly.
You'll find many albums uploaded by readers, not present on the main blog ...

Help each other people!

and don't forget to check out ARCHIVES:









take a deep look at the end of each part...

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

KADOMATSU T's SONGS FROM L.A. - The Ballad Covers Collection (2004)

KADOMATSU T's SONGS FROM L.A. - The Ballad Covers Collection (2004) front
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

Japanese multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger and orchestrator Toshiki Kadomatsu has been very popular in Asia since the early '80s creating music for other artists and recording his own albums in a Westcoast / AOR / Pop style, with many American musicians as session players.
During the '90s, and due the musical climate in the US, top artists from the genre found refugee in the Japanese market, always eager for delicate sounds and melodies.

Then Kadomatsu had the idea to re-work his most popular Japanese songs to be performed by US musicians, and moved to California to record this "KADOMATSU T's SONGS FROM L.A. - The Ballad Covers Collection" after the other volume including more poppy songs, previously featured here on the blog.
The best L.A. session cats were part of the project, including superb guitarists Jay Graydon & Michael Landau, alongside other monsters like Brett Raymond, Gino Vannelli, Tom Keane, Abraham Laboriel and more.

KADOMATSU T's SONGS FROM L.A. - The Ballad Covers Collection (2004) back

As on the previous volume the vocalists involved are top notch too: again Joseph Williams (Toto), Chicago's Jason Scheff and the great Tommy Funderburk, but now featuring the likes of Richard Page (Mr. Mister) and talented Brett Raymond doing lead vocals apart of playing keyboards and programming.
All singers did the lyric adaptation to English language and Kadomatsu the arrangements to fit the new versions. As you could imagine, this is a bunch of excellent material spotlessly clean produced and rich in smooth melodies all over.
Delicious CD only released in Japan, now out of print.

01 - Gino Vanelli - Still I'm In Love With You
02 - Michael North - Midnight Girl
03 - Jessica Sheely - You're My Only Shinin' Star
04 - Richard Page - Desire
05 - Lea Herman - August Rain
06 - Jason Scheff - Distance
07 - Henry Kapono - It's Hard to Say Good-Bye
08 - Presley Tucker - Mermaid Princess
09 - Brett Raymond - Let Me Say...
10 - Tommy Funderburk - Ramp In

Jay Graydon: Lead & Rhythm Guitars
Michael Landau: Lead & Rhythm Guitars
Toshi Onikuza: Lead & Rhythm Guitars
Tak Akimoto: Lead & Rhythm Guitars
Grant Geissman, Abraham Laboriel: Acoustic Guitars
John H. Wayne, Jim Stout: Bass
Todd Sorensen: Drums
Gino Vannelli: Piano
Brett Raymond: Keyboards & Programming
Tom Keane: Keyboards
Michael Binikos, Tak Akimoto: Keyboards, Programming
Marco Tessier: Programming
Richard Beaudette: Sax
Larry Lunetta, Andy Suzuki, Alex Ailes: Horns
Jason Scheff, Joseph Williams, Marilyn Martin, Tom Keane, Margaret Linn, Mary Linn, Michael North: Background vocals

KADOMATSU T's SONGS FROM L.A. Ballad Covers Collection