Friday, May 28, 2010

AOR TREASURES - Extended Versions 3 (Plattenpapst Edition)


Each track of this new Extended volume was selected, compiled and submitted to me by a reader of this blog : Ralf from Germany, aka "Plattenpapst".
I've only cleaned and 'mastered' these vinyl rips and designed the art work.
Go ahead, submit your own rips / favorite songs to the next Extended, Japan Bonus, The Soundtracks, etc. compilations.

On his own words: NO DICE's Come Dancing' has been an all-time-favourite and should be the "motto" for this selection. This is 'the-non-extended-version-that-feels-like-one' of all times to me and earns a lot more interest.
Well, in fact it is an extended version.
Only released as a single, there's also an edit/radio cut. The terminology 'extended version' or 'remix' are very eighties, and only came into use around '83 - '84. Before that (as in the case of 'Come Dancing', recorded '79), they were called 'Long Version'.
Same with GOLDEN EARRING: Twilight Zone.

GARY MOORE's track is pretty rare, I think it's his only remix never released on CD yet.
'Start Talking Love' by MAGNUM is one of the most commercial tunes released by the band ever.
I like GUN's extended remix a lot. Originally released as vinyl only single b-side ('89), it was included later in their 'Don't Say It's Over CDs 1994', from where it has been taken.
'Heaven Knows' is a ROBERT PLANT classic, being this one my fav remix.
'Eloise' is a pretty rare song/single by ROBIN McAULEY (MSG, FAR CORPORATION), as far I know, only released in Germany. There's 2 vinyl editions, the regular single, and one featuring 2 different remixes.

Another rarity is FRANK RYAN's 'You You', a really cool mix.
FASTWAY: The World Waits For You is a killer extended remixed rocker, better than the original in my opinion.
Not enough MAGNUM? Another gem; 'Lonely Night', to me, their best extended version, with bombastic drums and heavily remixed.
Closing track is one of my favorite remixes of all time. CHARLIE's classic, at all its splendor ready to the dance floor.

Remember, all these tracks are official remixes, original material performed during the recording sessions, no third hand adds or DJ work.
Check the tags of each song, I've added full release info, catalog number, and original artwork (you can extract all with your tag editor program).
All 320 Kbps rips, except track 1.


FULL TRACKLIST, CLICK HERE:



.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

NEWS: PUSH UK Strange World is out!



Do your remember the fantastic demos posted HERE one year ago?
Well, the band has re-united and re-recorded all these great AOR tunes, and thanks to the new promising AOR Blvd Records label, finally we have their very first officially released album: "Strange World".

AOR BLVD Records press release:
"How this CD was made:
Melodic Rock no matter what people will agree, has declined in popularity over the last 20 years but the positive side is what remains are the true small loyal fans around the world today.
It is far better to have a thousand fans that continue to love this music then and now than to have a million who pretended to like AOR for all of five minutes.
An example of dedication is to feel the buzz and experience by attending the Firefest yearly gig that is run by rock fans for rock fans!

Myself and the UK’s most under rated and the original flamboyant 80’s rock journalist Kelv Hellrazer have been toying over the last decade to join forces in owning a music label on the basis of working closely and sharing ideas with artistes and bands and producing a first class product.
It has been hard work and determination and perseverance that this limited edition CD has now been given a new lease of life for the dedicated fan of AOR to enjoy.
I knew of PUSH UK back in 2005. What was an amazing set of events was to follow.
Tape trading from the UK that ends in South America then posted on the internet (thanks Camelblue) the reaction from websites sparked Kelv and I to find who and where are Push UK.

Take a bow Mr Tony Mills who played a vital importance in this project.
After a lengthy chat between myself and Brett Hammond it was decided that eleven of the demos would be re-recorded and would be entitled 'Strange World'.
So there you have it, this project has been a labour of love and I hope there is more to follow like this.
Paul aka Mitch Rudland, AOR BLVD Records."


You can read the album review at glorydazemusic
HERE

Listen the samples at PUSH website:
PUSH UK MySpace


Support this great band and this new label purchasing the CD directly from them:
Write here asking details: aorblvdrecords@hotmail.co.uk
or via ebay:
aorblvdrecords store


According to Paul:
" We need to sell 'Strange World' well as PUSH UK have another album ready to go... but this has to do well first."

SUPPORT THIS BAND!

Friday, May 21, 2010

REQUEST & FILL CORNER 5



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 →
("CLICK HERE" neon sign, or clicking here in Comments)-
It will be opened in a new window.

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

Help each other people!



and don't forget to check out ARCHIVES:

ARCHIVES PART 1

ARCHIVES PART 2

ARCHIVES PART 3

ARCHIVES PART 4

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

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

JIM PETERIK - Lifeforce (2009)

JIM PETERIK - Lifeforce
Requested in "Request & Fill Corner" section...

Jim Peterik last project 'Lifeforce' has generated controversial reactions from his fan base.
Best known for his rockin' work with Survivor, Pride Of Lions or Ides Of March, Jim explains what is the reason that such a rock legend now starts his first soft-smooth jazz project:
" My wife of 35 years, Karen, and I have been huge fans since day one of Pat Metheny, David Grusin, Spyro Gyra, Keiku Matsui, Acoustic Alchemy, Basia and so many more. Writing and performing this style myself is just a natural progression from fan to artist. "

Jim defines 'Lifeforce' as "jazz that rocks", and I can't agree more with him.
This disc straddles between soft rock and smooth jazz rock without belonging totally in either genre.
As usual, Peterik has putting together a solid group of musicians into his new adventure: the captivating vocals of Lisa McClowery, the refined guitarist Mike Aquino (Pride Of Lions, Mecca), sax legend Steve Eisen and many more well known session musicians.

The album revisits several of his biggest successes, "Vehicle", "Eye Of The Tiger", "The Search Is Over" (beautiful duet), "Secret Of The Way" (great instrumental version, originally recorded with Pride Of Lions), giving himself and his partners the opportunity to fly into a new territory.

Jim: " Of course, writing rock comes naturally to me, but I've been amazed at how natural the LIFEFORCE music feels to me as well. Not just the reworking of some of my earlier rock numbers, but also the brand new jazz-soft rock compositions.
Lisa's contributions, both in songwriting and in her gorgeous vocals, are amazing. I'm really enjoying this, and can see carrying on both musical lives for a long time. "

I've included as bonus track a different mix of "Vehicle" not appeared in the disc.
Listen this one open minded, and most important, with open ears, here's many many arrangements and melodies to enjoy for a long time.


01 - Joy
02 - Lifeforce
03 - Vehicle [Ides Of March, new version]
04 - Unconditional Surrender (feat. Lisa McClowry)
05 - Ghost Orchid
06 - Eye Of The Tiger
07 - The Search Is Over (feat. Lisa McClowry)
08 - Secret Of The Way [Pride Of Lions new vers.]
09 - Morning Song (feat. Lisa McClowry)
10 - Interrupted Melody [Pride Of Lions new vers.]
11 - Morning Song (Instrumental)
12 - Vehicle [Ides Of March new vers. different mix]


Lifeforce:
Jim Peterik: lead vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion
Lisa McClowry: lead, duet and background vocals
Mike Aquino: guitar
Steve Eisen: saxophone, flute
Klem Hayes: bass
Christian Cullen: keyboards
Ed Breckenfield: drums, percussion
Guests:
Scott May: keyboards (3, 6)
John Larson: trumpet (3)
Nick Colionne: guitar (2)
Sharay Reed: electric upright bass (9, 11)
Larry Gray: acoustic upright bass (5)
Larry Milas: drum programming
Chuck Soumar: percussion



JIM PETERIK - Lifeforce

Friday, May 14, 2010

STEVE GRIMM BAND - History Of A Bad Boy (2009)

STEVE GRIMM BAND - History Of A Bad Boy
Requested in "Request & Fill Corner" section...

Steve Grimm used to be leader of the classic Milwaukee based hard rock band BAD BOY, who did five good albums from the late 1970s through to the mid 1980s.
Found this excellent article written by Paul Chesworth that perfectly describes this compilation:

" For all of my years of loving rock music, particularly being fond of, melodic, FM Radio US Friendly, AOR etc, I realise now that even after 30 years of enjoying this stuff, I’ve only ever really scratched the surface.
It was my complete surprise to get a cd from The Steve Grimm Band, ‘History of a Bad Boy’ which is a 21 track anthology featuring songs recorded by the SGB between 1989 and 1995.
He only just makes it as an 80s artist with the first seven tracks coming from his ‘Prisoner of Passion’ vinyl EP released in 1989.
Also included are four tracks from ‘Turn The Key’ (1992) on cassette (yes remember those!), and the remainder of the anthology is from 1995’s ‘Heaven’s In Your Heart’.
The first two mentioned are available on CD for this very first time.

Steve attended the renowned Berkley College of Music in Boston in the 70’s and found success with his first band Bad Boy.
For the best part of a decade Bad Boy was one of the most successful live acts of the American Midwest. It is probably one of the most difficult places to get music heard by the record companies A&R men, conveniently situated on either side of the US coast.
The band toured with many a US legend, REO Speedwagon, STYX , Journey, Fleetwood Mac, AC/DC, Ted Nugent and Alice Cooper to name but a few.
With the SGB, what you get is US radio AOR meets Midwest and US Heartland Rock, where comparisons to Franke and The Knockouts, Shooting Star, Cheap Trick, early Night Ranger and Survivor can be easily made.

The anthology is chock full of catchy hook lines and fine musicianship and has turned out to be a welcome addition to my melodic rock CD collection.
The cuts taken from the debut EP "Prisoner Of Passion" remind me of Airrace and the Keith Murrell era of Mama’s Boys.
Standouts from this EP are the excellent ‘She’s Ready’, a polished affair with likeness to all those 80’s bands I love – Icon, Only Child, Joshua etc, only for some reason without any of the commercial success these bands had.
Other highlights are ‘Hurt So Much’, ‘Ready To Rock’ and the title track.

By 1992, little has really changed in his style, which would have been career threatening what with Grunge being firmly established.
Knowing the US as it is, my guess is that certain parts of the US still struggle to move on since the ‘Classic Rock’ days of the 70’s, never mind the Grunge movement.
In saying that, the 4 tracks from "Turn The Key" are still pretty good, particularly the catchy title track.
Some of the music is a little clichéd, but let’s face it, whose music wasn’t in the AOR sector?
‘Heaven’s In Your Heart’ (recorded in different sessions, '94-'95) , is even wimpier, but still worthy of this genre with ‘Be Somebody’ being a particularly good example.

All in all it’s a pretty good collection of songs from a band keen to stick to what they know best, even though the tide had changed against them.
For those willing to give it a chance and forget all that has since happened, put on your layered wig, bleached jeans, denim jacket and enjoy this good example of Midwest AOR. "

The best songs in my opinion are from the first EP "Prisoner Of Passion".
'Too Cool' and 'Wounded Heart' sounds like an early Aldo Nova tracks.
'She’s Ready' has fantastic hooklines and a catchy chorus, it sounds like Airrace and alikes.
'Teaser' is simple and direct, like a late '80s Santers tune.

The songs from "Turn The Key '92" are in the vein of Shooting Star and early Night Ranger.
"Heaven's In Your Heart", - the 10 track album recorded at different sessions between 94/95 - has mixed styles, being the Survivor-ish 'Change of Heart' the best.
'Flames' sounds a lot like Bad Boy, and 'You Can Believe' is a beautiful guitar driven power ballad, another good one.

All songs has been digitally remastered and the sound quality is pretty good.
Most of these tunes wouldn’t have looked out of place on any self-respecting FM radio playlist 25 years ago.
Recommended.


from EP Prisoner Of Passion '89:
01 - Too Cool
02 - She's Ready
03 - Wounded Heart
04 - Hurt So Much
05 - Teaser
06 - Ready To Rock
07 - Prisoner Of Passion
from EP Turn The Key '92:
08 - Turn The Key
09 - Look Of Temptation
10 - New Kinda Woman
11 - Vacant Eyes
from CD Heaven's In Your Heart '94-'95:
12 - Be Somebody
13 - Running Out Of Tomorrows
14 - How Many Times
15 - Change Of Heart
16 - Heaven's In Your Heart
17 - She Said Goodbye
18 - Take Me
19 - Flames
20 - Edge Of The Night
21 - You Can Believe


STEVE GRIMM: Lead Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
DAVE CHRISTOPHER: Guitar
SCOTT STEPHAN: Guitar
BUZZY OUELLETTE: Bass
GORDY WAYNE: Bass
TONY BRICE: Drums
RON KALISTA: Drums
BILLY FRIDAY: Drums
and many more....


CLASSIC STUFF

Monday, May 03, 2010

CHOICE - Choice Cuts (1980)


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

Never heard this record until a reader requested this rarity in the 'R & F' section.
Seems "CHOICE" was a popular band in the U.S. south east area.
In 1980, the group recorded and released their only album, 'Choice Cuts', for an indie label in association with Polydor Records.

I don't like much the first 2 tracks (the singles of this album), obviously an attempt to conquer the radio waves. Not bad, just not enough good to me.
But things are getting better with 'The Letter', and even more with 'Annie D', old school song but well crafted and performed.
The best song here arrives on 'I've Got My Mind On Ruby', the structure has an inkling of Franke And The Knockouts in the mix.
Same with 'Your Eyes', also with a flavor similar to the band MPG.
'Take Me Down' is a mid-tempo with some nice guitar work, while 'For You' sounds outdated but radio-friendly.

Correctly produced & recorded by Bruce Blackman at the famed 'Studio One', Doraville, Georgia.
The band eventually broke up a short time after releasing the album, and this vinyl became a collectible item.
Not essential, but a good and rare oldie.
Vinyl-rip de-crackled & de-clicked to get the best quality possible.


01 - Rock & Roll Rocket
02 - Some People
03 - The Letter
04 - Annie D
05 - I've Got My Mind On Ruby
06 - Your Eyes
07 - Take Me Down
08 - Pretty Thing
09 - For You


Paul Roethlinger: Lead Vocals, Guitar
Brian Bartlett: Lead & Acoustic Guitars, Vocals
Dave Miller: Bass, Backing Vocals
Bruce Dreher: Lead Vocals and Hammond B3
Mark Paxson: Lead Vocals and Keyboards
Steve Fecker: Drums & Percussion



NICE OLDIE