Friday, February 26, 2010

BLUE ROSE (France-Canada) - ST (1983)


One of the hardest vinyl restoring processes I've done so far.
It took me more than 20 hours over 3 months to get it decent. More than 10 million clicks fixed, but the real challenge were the monster crackle-pops present.
Enjoyed the process, it's like a therapy, an exercise of patience.
Besides, I've listened this wonderful album almost note by note, like used to do 25 years ago when I bought a vinyl/cassette and play them to death.
Now, with an internet connection, you can get for free 100 albums per day in digital form. There was a time when, if lucky, you could afford a maximum of 3 vinyls / month. And we really crumbled music.

Misc. apart, this album is like a pot of gold, beautifully conceived, and majestically performed.
Hang me on a tree if most of these songs doesn't sound like The Alan Parsons Project golden era; 'Pyramid → Turn Of A Friendly Card', and David Rose as Eric Woolfson or sometimes Colin Blunstone.
Kudos to Serge Perathoner: if you like keyboards, listen carefully his master work, impeccable taste, and sense of melody.
He carries the band's musical backbone on pianos, Prophet 5, synth drums (I can't believe that there are no human drummer/percussionist here, incredible sound).
Also, using the 'Ondioline', a very rare vacuum tube-powered keyboard instrument, invented in 1941 by a Frenchman colleague, a forerunner of today's synthesizers.

I grew up listening this kind of music, and the discovery of this little masterpiece 26 years after of its release makes me more than happy.
And I want to share it with you.
Thanks homer64 for the original ripped files.

Don't miss, IMHO, this genuine 24K diamond.
Highly Recommended.


01 - Don't You Know (Ambushed)
02 - Find My Way Home
03 - Piu Vicino
04 - More Lies
05 - Love You Forever
06 - Inner Stories
07 - Questions
08 - Don't Stop
09 - Place Pigalle


David Rose : Lead Vocals, Electric Violin
Christian Leroux Basile : Electric Guitars
Serge Perathoner : Acoustic & Electric Pianos, Prophet 5, Ondioline, Drum Synthesizers



I LOVE THIS ONE

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

JOHN WAITE - Ignition (1982)

Collector's Edition Remastered & Reloaded 2006

JOHN WAITE - Ignition remastered
Needless to describe Waite's popularity in the AOR community, as member of the greats THE BABYS, Solo, and supergroup BAD ENGLISH.

His first solo (maybe the less listened and one of his best, upbeat, hard rocking albums) was released in 1982.
Produced by Neil Geraldo (PAT BENATAR's guitarist, producer, mastermind, husband and who knows what else), with hard edged (even if extremely processed) guitars (yeah, TIM PIERCE!), tight rhythm section and commercial mainstream rock '80s style, this recording still sounds fresh and organic today.
To further improve the quality of these songs, this remastered version (a 'real' one) is awesome.
Recommended.



John Waite : vocals
Tim Pierce : guitars
Ivan Kral : guitar, keyboards
Donnie Nossov : bass, vocals
Frankie La Rocka : drums
Produced by Neil Geraldo
Engineered by Bob Clearmountain

CLASSIC & ROCKIN'

Sunday, February 21, 2010

FINGERPRINTS - Time Is All We Need (1989)


Requested in "Request & Fill Corner" section...

Sweden band who had enjoyed good airplay in scandinavia and some european countries at the end of the eighties.
A mix of Lite AOR / Westcoast / pop for a good measure.
The overall sound is light and radio-friendly, with sticky choruses and excellent production.

Many tunes are definitely adult pop, sweet to the ears.
But there's some gems like 'Stay The Night', gorgeous AORish, awesome track.
Other pearls; 'On The Run', like a good Michael Bolton song, 'I Want You' a very classy ballad, or the title track, featuring very nice keys and a sing-along chorus.
I don't like the last ones sung in swedish, except the version of 'Time Is All We Need' (Stjaernfall).
STROM & AXELSSON later would become the duo WEST OF SUNSET, another good project.

Not easy to find CD, ripped at max. quality incl. artwork.


01 - Time Is All We Need
02 - More Than You Know
03 - I Want You
04 - On The Run
05 - Don't You Wanna (Get To Know Me)
06 - Angel
07 - Make My Day
08 - Where Were You Last Night
09 - You're Gonna Be Sorry
10 - Stay The Night
11 - Mitt Ibland Aenglar
12 - Nu Star Jag Haer
13 - Stjaernfall - Time Is All We Need


Bjorn Strom : vocals, guitars
Thomas Axelsson : bass
Jorgen Ingestrom : keyboards

Joan Franzon : drums on tracks 1,2,3,4,8, 9
Lasse Wellander : guitars on tracks 1,2,3, 8
Patric Lindell : guitars on tracks 5, 9
Svein Dan Hauge : guitars on track 7
Rolf Graf (LAVA) : keyboards and programming track 7
Frank Adahl & Tommy Nilsson : backing vocals on track 7



FINGERPRINTS - Time Is All We Need

Friday, February 19, 2010

GOWAN - Strange Animal (1985)

GOWAN - Strange Animal
Requested in "Request & Fill Corner" section...

Lawrence Gowan is a canadian musician, but few people know that he is a Glasgow, Scotland born.
Second album in his discography, "Strange Animal" was a commercial success, spawning the hit singles 'A Criminal Mind', '(You're A) Strange Animal' and 'Cosmetics'.

I won't fool you, this isn't an AOR album, this music is english 80's pop.
But with unusual, intelligent and original twists.
Produced by David Tickle (Prince, Split Enz, Sting, U2), you have a clear idea of sound and style.
Basically a keyboard player, Gowan wrote this stuff on piano, and all tracks are focused to the massive use of synthesizers, electric piano and (then 'the' new toy) fairlight.
Remarkable is the job of Tony Levin (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel) on bass and particularly the 'stick', that strange and rare instrument.

This album is catchy and pretty straightforward in its essence, but has uncommon arrangements and as said, creative twists, different sounding from other keyboard pop music that was being made at the same time in the golden decade.

Recorded in England, at the studio where John Lennon made his "Imagine" album, all these songs still sound fresh today, with that kind of eighties 'atmosphere' which is impossible to recreate again.
A good one.


01 - Cosmetics
02 - Desperate
03 - City of the Angels
04 - Walking on Air
05 - Burning Torches of Hope
06 - Keep the Tension On
07 - Guerilla Soldier
08 - (You're A) Strange Animal
09 - A Criminal Mind

Larry Gowan : vocals, piano, Fairlight CMI, synths
Chris Jarret : guitar
David Rhodes : guitar
Tony Levin : bass, stick
Jerry Marotta : drums & percussion
David Tickle : production, programming


GOWAN - Strange Animal
.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

HEARTPLAY - The Album (2001)


Requested in "Request & Fill Corner" section...

I don't know how to recommend you this album enough, to force you to not miss this little gem.
Why? 'Cos it is fantastic!

This band from Finland was the child of Kimmo Blom (now in URBAN TALE) and Sakari Salli, both friends since a long time and partners in a recording studio.
Combining the best of TOTO and the new wave of scandinavian sound (like TOMMY DENANDER works) this disc has it all: catchy songs, huge choruses and tight production, covering Classic AOR, WestCoast, Hi-Tech, Melodic Rock.
The winner here is 'Waiting For You', but ALL are good and first rate, trust me.

Recorded in the '90s (but sounding absolutely eighties) the band tried with no luck to get a label, and finally released this short but awesome recording thru a small local company.
As said many times here, do yourself a favor and Don't Miss This One!
Highly Recommended.


01 - Waiting For You
02 - I'll Be Your Shelter
03 - Don't Let Them Fade Away
04 - Masters Of The Mind
05 - Silence
06 - Take My Word
07 - Vision
08 - Too Late
09 - Father Forgive Me

Kimmo Blom - vocals
Tuomas Wainola - guitars
Simo Saastamoinen - bass
Sakari Salli - keyboards
Kalle Torniainen - drums



HEARTPLAY - The Album

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

BOB HALLIGAN Jr. - Window In The Wall (1991)

BOB HALLIGAN Jr. - Window In The Wall
Surely you've read the name of BOB HALLIGAN Jr. in many CD / vinyl credits.
One of the most prolific songwriters in the rock&pop scene, especially in the AOR - Hard Rock territory.
Some bands featuring his masterful pen? SIGNAL, ICON, KISS, DUKE JUPITER, CHER and dozens more...

Well, at the beginning of the 90's the man decided it was time for his own solo album, to perform his own songs in his own style.
The approach and style of this great album is purely AOR, with capitals.
Classic AOR, Hi-Tech, WestCoast, all are covered here for our pleasure.

I can't mention any particular track, love them all.
High Class production, superb songwriting and great musicianship... do you need more?
Get It NOW.
320 K


01 - Could've Been You
02 - Now That It's Not Over
03 - Still Feels Like Love
04 - I Will Remember You
05 - Who's Lovin' You Now
06 - Window In The Wall
07 - Midnite Mirage
08 - The Way It's S'posed To Be
09 - Hard Rain
10 - Standing On The Edge Of Goodbye


Bob Halligan Jr. - vocals, guitars, keyboards, programming
Rob Friedman, Eddie Martinez, Michael Ciro - guitars
Will Lee, Rick Cua, Seth Glassman - bass
Pat Mastelotto, Michael Clarke, Sammy Merendino - drums
Philip Ashley, Gerald O'Brien, Arnie Roman, Peter Wood, Doug Hall, Graham Shaw, Phil Galdston - keyboards



BOB HALLIGAN Jr.

JACKLYN - Marble Rose (1996)


Born in the Netherlands, JACKLYN started her career in the eighties combining dramaschool with singing in rock bands.
In 1990 she went to Germany to sing in a succesful coverband, gaining important onstage experience.
Besides, started looking for a partner in music with whom she could create the songs she had in mind and heart.
Meanwhile, had worked with artists and bands like ZINATRA and as studio session vocalist.

Finally she found RONALD WILLEMSE, a local rocker who was part of the band called 'SPOILED BRATS' in which ROBBY VALENTINE played keyboards.
When his band split up, he set up his own studio and worked for several bands as a sound-engineer and multi-instrumentalist.

Both recorded their first 3-track demo in 1992 entitled "Marble Rose", mentioned in magazines like Metal Hammer and Rock Report as a good promise.
By 1994 they added to the band a second multi-instrumentalist, PETER VAN DE KLETERSTEEG, a skilled classical piano musician.
In February '95 the group released their second demo ; "Second Look", which captured the attention of the mythical label LONG ISLAND RECORDS.
After signing a record-deal, JACKLYN the band started to record their first full lengh album, "Marble Rose", named as the first demo.

Vibrant Melodic Rock / AOR songs in the vein of LEE AARON, GUDRUN LAOS, JOAL or AMAZE ME.
My fav songs are 'I Can't Love', 'Heartbreaker', 'Marbe Rose', 'Where does your mind go' and the sparking 'Voices'.
Maybe the absence of a 'real' drummer can be noted, but the album is well produced & performed, and got some real good tracks.

If you like female fronted bands and classic european melodic rock sound, this is for you.
Ripped at max quality including artwork.


01 - Voices
02 - My love will stay
03 - Into the light
04 - Heartbreaker
05 - Keep goin'
06 - Waterfall
07 - Little girl
08 - Questions & answers
09 - One more chance
10 - I can't love
11 - Broken heart
12 - Marble rose
13 - We can try
14 - Where does your mind go


Jacklyn : vocals and backing vocals
Ronald Willemse : Guitar, Bass, Keyboards
Peter Van De Kletersteeg : Keyboards, Guitar, Bass



JACKLYN

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

REQUEST & FILL CORNER 3



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 →
(or clicking here in Comments)-
It will be opened in a new window.

Check this section regularly.
You'll find many links not present in the main blog...

Help each other people!



and don't forget to check out ARCHIVES:

PART 1

PART 2

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

Monday, February 15, 2010

BOXER - Boxer feat. Matti Alfonzetti (1998)


MATTI ALFONZETTI has been rated for years as one of Sweden's leading hard rock vocalists.
He can be heard on albums from JAGGED EDGE UK, BAM BAM BOYS, SKINTRADE to name a few, also as songwriter for many well known bands like THE POODLES.

This project is pretty unknown in his discography, only released in Sweden, sung in native language.
Commercial melodic rock / rock & pop music, obviously a clear attempt to conquer the style leading the european charts in those years, released through a major label.
Not far from many albums/groups that came later, but seems Matti has a hard rock soul and then continued his career in a more edged style.

So, this is BOXER one and only album, not Alfonzetti's best work, but a good opportunity to listen this great singer in his softer side, perfectly produced, recorded & arranged.

A rarity.


01 - Om Det Var Jag
02 - Ingen
03 - Om Du Skulle Sakna Mig
04 - Hon Är Som Havet
05 - Jag Följer Med Dig Hem
06 - Min Våg
07 - Djupa Andetag
08 - Du Och Jag
09 - Långt Ifrån Sanningen
10 - Flickan I Porten


Matti Alfonzetti : vocals, programming
Antonio Saluena (ex - Talk Of The Town) : guitar, bass
Andreas Bauman (ex - Embassy) : guitar, bass
Joakim Uddling (ex - Sverige) : keyboards
Mats Nilsson (ex - Half Man) : drums



RARE ALBUM

Sunday, February 14, 2010

SILENT - The Bright Side (2001)


Surely you don't know this very good brazilian band.
Formed in 1991 around Rio de Janeiro area, SILENT was one of the first sud-american groups to record an AOR album with international style and English lyrics.

Self-financed, the master tapes were ready and finished by 1996 but the band didn't find the way to properly release the disc. No labels interested in this kind of music, and overseas companies still wasn't able to sign bands outside Europe.
Nevertheless, 2 songs find their way into two different local soap operas soundtracks.
But SILENT disbanded soon after.

By the new Millenium, things changed, drummer 'L.A.' Tilly negotiated the CD local edition, and an international distribution via a new promising label.
The album became a surprising small hit in the AOR community, gaining good reviews from specialized magazines, like Burrn!, AOR Basement, etc.
SILENT reunited for a few promoting shows for the album release, but after that, members took different ways.

Talking about the disc, it is a nice '80s old school AOR song collection, with big harmony vocals and strong hooklines.
Influenced by the Kings JOURNEY, SURVIVOR, FOREIGNER.
Also, I can hear DEF LEPPARD traces, specially on the many midtempo-tracks.
Production could be much better if a renamed knob-man had been hired, but c'mon, the band did a great job for an indie recording in a (then) strange land for this style.

Out of print and very very hard to find, it's a highly recommended listen if you love real AOR rock music.
Thanks totalaor! You rule!



01 - Dreamer
02 - Joy Of Livin'
03 - Love Is
04 - Watching
05 - I Found Faith
06 - Modern Life
07 - Bitter Tear
08 - Empty Land
09 - Hard Enough
10 - Silent Rain
11 - Answer Me
12 - Lovers

Gustavo Andriewiski : guitars, vocals
Alexandre França : guitars
Federico Martin : bass, vocals
Luiz 'L.A.' Tilly Alexandre : drums
Leandro Baliza : keyboards


SILENT - The Bright Side 2001
.

Friday, February 12, 2010

THE GUESS WHO - Lonely One (1995)


THE GUESS WHO is a rock band from Winnipeg, formed the mid 60's.
Maybe you know them by the classic rockin' song 'American Woman', which earned the group the honour of being the first Canadian band to have a No.1 hit on the American charts.

But that's another story.
The band reformed several times, and almost disappear at the end of the seventies.
By the beginning of the '90s, the only original members were Jim Kale and Gerry Peterson, and they decided to rebirth Guess Who to produce a new album with a classic AOR sound that almost sounds as if it was recorded in the 80's.
For that they required the songwriting services of Alfie Zappacosta, Bob Halligan Jr., Eddie Schwartz... !!!!

Think eighties STARSHIP, LOVERBOY or ZAPPACOSTA, and you get the picture.
"Love's All That Matters Tonight" has all the ingredients to be a massive hit, "Still Feels Like Love" spread a magnificient westcoast vibe, "Haunted Heart" is a perfect ballad ala R.E.O. SPEEDWAGON, and "The Razor's Edge" sounds a lot like JOHN PARR.
But the winner here is "Sweet Liberty", penned by Alfie Zappacosta. Awesome monster AOR song.

The new singer, Terry Hatty, was a real find (where are you!), sounding like a cross between Mickey Thomas and John Farnham. Terrific performance.
Production is top notch, as said, like a big budget 80's recording.

Forgotten and unknown for the majority of AOR lovers, this CD is a damn fine AOR plate, one of the best releases of the 90's in the genre.
You better don't miss this one.
Highly Recommended.


01 - Lonely One
02 - Love's All That Matters Tonight
03 - Sweet Liberty
04 - Haunted Heart
05 - Anything For Love
06 - Still Feels Like Love
07 - The Razor's Edge
08 - I Feel Your Pain
09 - Amy
10 - Rock N' Roll Classic

note: this is the USA edition. Canadian was renamed to "Liberty" and has different tracklist / artwork.


Terry Hatty - lead vocals, guitar
Dale Russell - guitar, vocals
Leonard Shaw - keyboards, sax, vocals
Jim Kale - bass, vocals
Garry Peterson - drums, vocals



DON'T MISS THIS ONE

Thursday, February 11, 2010

VICTORY - Temples Of Gold (1990)

VICTORY - Temples Of Gold
Time for some hard rockin' dish here.
VICTORY is a clear example of a great group that never make it big.
This is one of those few bands accepted on both sides of the river, headbangers and hardrockers.
"Temples Of Gold" is mostly regarded as their second-best album after their predecessor "Culture Killed The Native".
I like 'em both, but "Temples..." is my favourite, more varied in my opinion.
Dynamic and never boring songs, with punch, razor sharp guitars and vintage eighties feel.

Many tracks verging Melodic Metal, like "Hell And Black" (reminds me monsters ACCEPT) or "Take The Pace", to melodic hard rock gems; "Standing Like A Rock", "Rock 'N' Roll Kids Forever".
Then you got kick ass midtempos on "Temples Of Gold" and the superb "Fighting Back The Tears" (WOW!), one of the best and underrated heavy ballads ever.

To make this even better, they have added at the end of the CD 3 hot and raw live versions of the best tracks from "Culture Killed The Native", recorded in Los Angeles, CA.

The big thing of this album are the BIG guitars, the distinctive vocals of the spanish-born Fernando "El Toro Loco" Garcia and, listen carefully, the excellent chorus backing vocals arrangements.
Production of Albert Boekholt (in fact an Engineer become Producer) is awesome, crisp and brillant.

If this is a new band to you, don't wait anymore and taste this very good album cranked to 10!


01 - Rock 'N' Roll Kids Forever
02 - Backseat Rider
03 - Standing Like A Rock
04 - All Aboard
05 - Hell And Black
06 - Temples Of Gold
07 - Take The Pace
08 - Rock The Neighbours
09 - Mr. President
10 - Break Away
11 - Fighting Back The Tears
12 - The 9th Of November
13 - More And More (Live)
14 - Dont Tell No Lies (Live)
15 - Never Satisfied (Live)


Fernando Garcia : lead vocals
Herman Frank (SINNER) : guitars, backing vocals
Tommy Newton : guitars, backing vocals
Fargo Peter Knorn : bass
Fritz Randow (SAXON) : drums



CRANK TO 10

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

ADRIAN'S WALL - Caught In The Web (1987)


Requested in "Request & Fill Corner 3" section...

A mega rare CD only released in Australia in limited quantity.
ADRIAN'S WALL was Adrian Campbell's child, a studio project with local professional musicians.
Campbell, a session vocalist himself, has recorded and arranged backing vocals in countless albums in the land of Oz.

Around 1976, was the lead singer and stable member of AVALANCHE, a hard rock band whose debut album had moderate success, opening live shows for major international bands.
In the 80's, Adrian has recorded an album with the band DE ARROW (pre - ROXUS), sadly still unreleased, from which only 4 demo tracks are floating around, a great keyboard oriented melodic rock / AOR stuff.

As said, ADRIAN'S WALL was his own project, not strictly AOR, mixing many genres, but encompassing all the styles we like.
My favourite song here is "Finally Deciding", a good resume of the overall sound.
Featuring the great BRETT GARSED [NELSON, SOLO] on guitars (before his international stardom in the USA), this CD is a delightful listen, something different from the usual on this site.

A recommended addition to your collection, good music and very, very rare, hard to find album.


01 - Night People
02 - Afraid To Be Afraid
03 - Finally Deciding
04 - Reach Out I'll Be There
05 - This Waiting (Is Killing Me)
06 - Soul Breaker
07 - Time Stands Still
08 - The Dancer
09 - I Doubt It (Will Ever Come True)


Adrian Campbell - vocals, backing vocals, keyboards
Brett Garsed - guitars
Michael Den Elzen - guitars
Larry Groves - keyboards
Brian Hamilton (Air Supply) - bass, backing vocals
Joe Imbroll - bass
Robert Dillon (Colin Hay Band) - drums, percussion
Steve Donald - drums


ADRIAN'S WALL - New Link