Friday, December 18, 2015

DUANE EVANS - The Camel's Hump (demos)

WHAT IF 1987 Tommy Funderburk
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

Songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and owner of a recording studio, DUANE EVANS become a highly requested single / commercials maker during the '80s & '90s, but his musical travel started long time before.
After playing in several bands from the US East Coast, one day at the beginning of the Eighties Evans got a call from a friend... - Do you want to play in the band for Benny Mardones, whose 'Into The Night' single it's at the No. 5 on the Billboard charts?

The association with Mardones lasted more than ten years, they wrote together dozens of songs and of course, Evans recorded on all '80s Benny albums including the cult classics 'Unauthorized', 'American Dreams' and the outstanding major label release '89 'Benny Mardones' alongside Jeff Porcaro, Dave Amato and Mark Mangold.
In the meantime, Duane Evans had a publishing contract with Warner Chapel writing songs for other artists and many Hollywood movies. Plus, he played for Johnny Van Zant - even one of Evan's songs is included in the superb 'Van Zant' AOR album (Geffen Records, 1985).

As you see, Duane Evans has an impressive pedigree as Melodic Rock / AOR musician & composer. And every musician wants to record his own songs...
While managing his own recording studio and producing several artists / recording singles, Evans taped dozens of his songs in a highly professional quality.
Around 2009 Evans compiled many of these tracks and put them on sale at some obscure digital stores under the name "Camel's Hump" [not related with me :-)], but I am not sure if still are available.

Well, a reader requested the album here, and I found deeply buried into my archives a folder called "DUANE EVANS - Camel's Hump [demos / Benny Mardones related]". I don't know if the files here are demos or the final versions, but believe me, the sound is excellent.
And the musical style is nothing short than the awesome '80s American AOR / Melodic Rock we all love.



Tracks like the terrific mid-tempo "I Wanna Run To You", the Tim Feehan-like "Send A Message", or the classic melodic rocker "On The Brink of Your Love" are to die for.
"Ride Ride Ride" is pure radio-ready magic circa 1984 which seems designed for a movie soundtrack of the era, then "Only Love" is top class West Coast AOR in the best L.A. Session tradition.
More quality appears in the breezy AOR of "I'll Be Loving You", the heart-breaking "The Lady In White" is like a Mardones missing (and great) track, while "A Night To Remember" bring to mind 1982 Rick Springfield.

"DUANE EVANS - The Camel's Hump (demos)" is pure gold, not only for AOR / Melodic Rock fans but also for collectors of rare, high quality material in this genre. I never seen this stuff posted / shared anywhere, and it's a shame, these terrific songs deserve to be listened by all.
That's why I am here...
This is one of the best posts in the long existence of this blog: AWESOME SONGS!


01 - We Can Make It Work
02 - Ride Ride Ride
03 - I Wanna Run To You
04 - Only Love
05 - Send A Message
06 - On The Brink of Your Love
07 - I'll Be Loving You
08 - The Lady In White
09 - A Night To Remember
10 - You Will Be Forever (Fly Baby Fly)
11 - I'm Just A Kid (In A Rock 'n Roll Band)
12 - You Get What You Get
13 - Party For The Planet
14 - The Red Ribbon Song (There's Also Hope)
15 - Fly Baby Fly [instrumental]





DUANE EVANS - The Camel's Hump (demos)
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Friday, December 11, 2015

KEVIN WELLS - Little Acts Of Treason (1985)

KEVIN WELLS - Little Acts Of Treason (1985) front
American KEVIN WELLS is a pedigreed musician who plays everything from drums to guitar, and it's an accomplished vocalist & songwriter as well. Versatile at everything from jazz to hard rock, he has played on the road or in the studio since the age of 15 with dozens of major acts.
Member of cult act Pablo Cruise or Laura Branigan's live band musical director, perhaps Wells is better known as Huey Lewis & The News' drummer & backing vocalist, having recorded on their 'Sports' album and co-written with Andre Pessis (Mr. Big) their hit 'Walking On A Thin Line'.

By '85 Kevin Wells had the opportunity to release his own material as solo artist, handling the lead vocals, drums, keys, and thanks to his business connections, getting into the studio real heavy weight session musicians.
Just take a look; master Dann Huff on guitar, keyboardist Bill Cuomo, terrific drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, West Coast / AOR icon Jim Photoglo doing backing vocals... impressive.

Kevin Wells' debut "Little Acts Of Treason" is a short, beautiful, typically mid-Eighties plenty of catchy numbers. A melodic mix of Rock&Pop & AOR, radio friendly tunes, with excellent production and musicianship all over.
"I'm still Waiting" is a glossy, synth based track with a contagious chorus that remembers Tony Carey's 80s material. The lite-AOR rhythm of "Stronger than the City" is a pure melodic bliss, a really catchy track with a lovely chorus.

"Agony and Ecstasy" is a super commercial ballad with some kind of Aldo Nova on it and a great guitar work by John McFee. Why this song never become a hit? Excellent.
The meaty funky groove of "Never too Late" raise the pace again (with class), and then "Night Life" is one of the highlights of the disc, a magical mid-tempo light AOR track.

"Out of my Hands" has a great chorus, very nice harmonies (Jim Photoglo on backing vocals) and a great Huff guitar solo. "Time Heals" is my favorite song on the LP, an AORish and captivating tune with a terrific rhythm guitar and very good climax. This track reminds me Tommy Shaw solo work.
"Love is on the Line" is another beauty, cool and ethereal, in the best Van Stephenson style. "Talk to Me" has a lot of keyboards and guitars, a track again in the vein of Tommy Shaw but his first solo album 'Girls With Guns' era.

KEVIN WELLS - Little Acts Of Treason (1985) back

Kevin Wells has a warm sweet voice, while his songwriting is catchy, intelligent (very clever commercial arrangements too). In fact, most of the tracks are co-penned by the aforementioned Andre Pessis, a talented cat in this matter.
"Little Acts Of Treason" was released by small private label, but surprisingly, Victor Japan (a big one these days) pick up the record and released it in Asia with considerable success. However, the album never was reissued on CD.
This a rip at maximum quality from a bootleg CD which sounds really well, including artwork scans.
Rare and delicious.


01 - I'm still waiting
02 - Stronger than the city
03 - Agony and ecstasy
04 - Never too late
05 - Night life
06 - Out of my hands
07 - Time heals
08 - Love is on the line
09 - Talk to me

Kevin Wells: Vocals, Keyboards, Drums
Dann Huff: Guitar
John McFee: Guitar, Bass
Rick Chudacoff: Bass
Bill Cuomo, Bill Elliott: Keyboards
Vinnie Colaiuta, Peter Bunetta: Drums
Jim Photoglo, Matthew Wilder, Leslie Smith, Joe Turano, Harmish Stewart, Larry Hoppen: Backing Vocals




KEVIN WELLS - Little Acts Of Treason (1985)
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Friday, December 04, 2015

L.A. RAY And The SHADES - Wild Weekend (1985)

L.A. RAY And The SHADES - Wild Weekend (1985) front
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

L.A. RAY And The SHADES is a funny name for your band. It does not a reference to sunglasses or the Californian city, in fact, this band hails from Colorado, and in their only (?) album "Wild Weekend" they deliver some darn fine '80s Pomp / Melodic Rock.

Opener "Do It All Night" is driven by biting guitars, a very strong melody and vocals which remind me Mervyn Spence from O'Ryan. "City Lights" adds some Pomp to the mix with some late Angel (Giuffria) but it's mostly a melodic rocker with a sharp six-string work and a killer solo.
A Pomp AOR infusion explodes in track 3 "So Glad" starting with analog keys developing into something Styx could have produced in the first half of the '80s, however the chorus is quite poppy and extremely catchy. Excellent harmony vocal arrangements here too.

"Lady Ice" is that kind of mid-tempo Pomp tune we all love, again with an Angel / New England feel - love these stabbing keys in the background. The elaborated middle part has some Queen reference as well.
More quality pompy stuff comes with "Why Don't You" (akin Le Roux), the catchy "Victim Of Love", the harder "Rockin' In Time" and the sweet and melodic "It Only Takes A Minute" (perhaps a bit of REO Speedwagon?).
"Don't Want To Be Lonely" is more mid-Eighties radio-oriented AOR, while the LP ends with the ballad "No Goodbyes", pompy with certain Roadmaster cadence in the vocals.

L.A. RAY And The SHADES - Wild Weekend (1985) back

"Wild Weekend" is a rare private vinyl release requested many times on this blog, so here it is, ripped from vinyl (not mine) but cleaned.
There's almost no information available about L.A. RAY And The SHADES, even I do not have the names of personnel involved. But who cares when the music is so good.
As a friend habitually says: Pomp Rules!


01 - Do It All Night
02 - City Lights
03 - So Glad
04 - Lady Ice
05 - Why Don't You
06 - Victim Of Love
07 - Rockin' In Time
08 - Don't Want To Be Lonely
09 - It Only Takes A Minute
10 - No Goodbyes




L.A. RAY And The SHADES - Wild Weekend (1985)
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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

CALL ME - Call Me (1981)

CALL ME - Call Me (1981) Germany LP front
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

I first discovered German band CALL ME in the legendary compilation series Munich City Nights, then got a LP-rip of their self-titled debut album in a trade, and finally found that the record actually was released on CD on the RCA/BMG label during the Nineties, but in very limited quantities.
Whichever the case, "Call Me" is an obscure, unknown AOR / Melodic Rock rarity deserving to be listened by all fans of the genre.
That's why we are here, isn't it?

Despite its German origins, I would say Call Me's melodic tunes sound more Canadian than anything, with synth harpoon attacks between the sharp melodic riffs and catchy choruses.
Just check the triad of tracks at the beginning of the album: the soaring "Running Out Of Love", the indeed shaking "Shiver In The Night" akin Survivor, or the keyboard driven "22 Degrees Below", all are pure early '80s AOR gemstones.

"Loneliness And The Modern Man" is perhaps the more 'American' song on the album with a mysterious atmosphere (thanks to the synth background), and "Living On The Edge" returns to pure AOR again with a Canadian feeling via nice choruses, bringing to mind Refugee.

CALL ME - Call Me (1981) Germany LP back

"Suburbia" is darker yet rocking, "Nervous Energy" adds a radio-rock poppy touch to the proceedings, while "Working Wonders" adds a light proggy touch in the vein of Harlequin.
If you need a ballad, "Screaming Silence" provides a slow moment by not in typical syrupy balladry. It's a sound with British feeling to me, but somehow I found it similar to some material Tony Carey would release as solo artist years after.

All are very well crafted songs, the musicianship is strong (I love that 'classic drums' sound) and while Daniel Kovac's vocal color is not the most charismatic you can find out there, he perfectly fits the music and provides a distinctive sound to Call Me.
In fact, I have included one track in my AOR Treasures series, the one entitled 'The Seminal Years', because Call Me sound is the type which defined the genre in the beginning of the Eighties.

CALL ME - Call Me (1981) Germany bootleg CD

As said, "Call Me" appeared on CD but I never seen a copy at auction sites. This is taken from the unofficial CD released by bootleg label Time Warp, and as usual with these guys, the sound obtained from the vinyl LP is bloody good.
A little gem. Rare.


01 - Running Out Of Love
02 - Shiver In The Night
03 - 22 Degrees Below
04 - Getting By
05 - Suburbia
06 - Nervous Energy
07 - Loneliness And The Modern Man
08 - Living On The Edge
09 - Working Wonders
10 - Screaming Silence

Daniel Kovac - vocals
Frank Ziener - guitars, backing vocals
Attila Teri - keyboards, piano
Manfred Dietze - bass
Florian Ruppert - drums




CALL ME - Call Me (1981) HERE
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Thursday, November 19, 2015

THE BURNS SISTERS - Endangered Species (1989)

THE BURNS SISTERS - Endangered Species (1989) front
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

New York based THE BURNS SISTERS opted for an appropriate band name, as there's five sisters at the core: Annie, Marie, Terry (Theresa), Jeannie and Sheila Burns, all owner of fantastic voices. Yes, the five share their pipes in the band resulting in highly harmonized melodies.
The Burns Sisters were signed by major label Columbia Records in the mid-Eighties and released their first album in 1986, a rock&pop / AOR disc oriented to radio. But for this second effort "Endangered Species" the band management and the label opted for a rocking approach according to the time of release; 1989.

"Endangered Species" is a terrific Melodic Rock / AOR album with all the magic the genre had to offer in America circa 1989. Production is top notch, the guitars bite and the choruses are celestial.
Of course, grand part of this success should be thanked to AOR guru Bob Marlette (The Storm, Alice Cooper) who not only provide the awesome guitar riffs / solos and co-write the songs, but also was at charge of the musical direction.

There's not a single weak track on "Endangered Species"; you have a catchy rocker in "Love Me Like A Man", the pumping AOR of "We Wait For Freedom" (the best song Heart never wrote), the melodic bliss of "Remember Me" (akin Fiona), the moving "Greenlight", and if you need ballads "Hold On" is an AOR diamond, as the calm and multi-layered vocal arrangement of "The King Is Going To Fall".

THE BURNS SISTERS - Endangered Species (1989) back

"Endangered Species" is pretty unknown for many Melodic Rock / AOR fans due the album's failure to chart when released, and was forgotten soon. That was not because the lack of quality for sure, but at the time there was a change of management at Columbia Records and the record never got a proper release and promotion.
Well, it's time to enjoy this "Endangered Species" from beginning to end, at maximum quality and with complete artwork.


01 - Love Me Like A Man
02 - We Wait For Freedom
03 - The King Is Going To Fall
04 - Remember Me
05 - Hold On
06 - My Boyfriend's Back
07 - Greenlight
08 - Place To Rock
09 - Answers
10 - Last Eagle (For The People Of Big Mountain)

Annie Burns - Vocals
Jeannie Burns - Vocals
Terry Burns - Vocals
Marie Burns - Backing Vocals
Sheila Burns - Backing Vocals
Denny Fongheiser - Drums
Bob Marlette - Guitars, Bass, Keyboards




THE BURNS SISTERS - Endangered Species HQ
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SURRENDER - Surrender '79 / No Surrender '82 + bonus (2004)

SURRENDER - Surrender '79 / No Surrender '82 + bonus (2004) front
Requested in "Request & Fill Corner" section...

Alfie Zappacosta become one of the most distinctive solo rock&pop vocalists from the Canadian scene during the Eighties / Nineties, many times flirting with traditional AOR and West Coast.
His first band SURRENDER is a fine example of how his career began, delivering some stylized tunes throwing in a bit of Pomp-AOR.

A few years ago all Surrender material was released for the first time on a digital disc, now deleted, out of print.
The CD comprises the first self titled LP "Surrender" (tracks 1-8), the second and final miniLP "No Surrender" (tracks 9-12) and 8 songs previously unreleased.
The first tracks obviously are the most pomp-influenced; late seventies AOR style with good guitar solos and nice arrangements.
These songs were usually underrated in favor to the more instant and commercial sound of the following miniLP "No Surrender", but we can find very nice melodies like on "Some People", the proggy ballad "Nicole" or the classy "Alone Too Often".
My pick is "Turn Down The Mission" a full keyboard driven track with great instrumentation, including a killer guitar solo.

Of course, tracks 9-12 are more catchy and appealing to the '80s AOR listener, being "It's All Been Done Before" the winner of the bunch, a really great radio-friendly typical AOR tune. I love this one.
The bonuses are material recorded after the band dissolved and become just Zappacosta. All are more mid-80s oriented, interesting and well recorded - although a few display a pre-production sound. My favorite is the emotional "I Don't Want To Talk Tonight", a song with a special aura.

SURRENDER - Surrender '79 / No Surrender '82 + bonus (2004) back

"Surrender  / No Surrender" is a really good compilation, songs with sweet melodies and solid performances. Not a classic, but a real pleasant listen.
As said, this CD is out of print and I seriously doubt it will be reissued again.


01 - Anyway You Want
02 - Some People
03 - Nicole
04 - Turn Down The Mission
05 - Buddy
06 - Alone Too Often
07 - Big City Streets
08 - Young Seaman
09 - It's All Been Done Before
10 - Start Again
11 - Hold Tight
12 - Strange Strange Way!
13 - Find Your Way
14 - Hold Me Close
15 - Your Love Is Blind
16 - Melody
17 - You're The Only One That Matters
18 - The Light In Your Eyes
19 - Polo Bar
20 - I Don't Want To Talk Tonight

Alfie Zappacosta - Vocals, Guitar
Steve Jensen - Guitars
Paul Delaney - Drums (1-12)
Peter Curry - Keyboards (1-8)
Geoff Waddington - Bass (1-8)
Mitch Starkman - Bass (9-12)
Gerald O'Brien, Steve Sexton, Peter Goodale, Calvin Sauro, Gerry Mosby - Keyboards (9-12)




SURRENDER - Surrender / No Surrender
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Monday, November 16, 2015

SHARP EDGES - Slice Of Life (1983) CDrip

SHARP EDGES - Slice Of Life (1983) CDrip front
SHARP EDGES was a Canadian AOR band that sadly only released this miniLP "Slice Of Life" in 1983. Only 6 tracks but all good, contagious tunes with the unmistakable '80s sound.
Mixing commercial radio friendly choruses with rockin' AOR riffs, these guys were really, really good.

Opener "On The Edge" is a semi-midtempo rockers with an action-movie cadence, filled with stabbing keyboards and solid percussion. Dave Filchak's vocals are perfect for this, reminding me Larry Greene (Fortune), while Tom Lang plays a short but sharp guitar solo.
"Too Young" has a pure AOR pumping attack. Here Lang takes the mic and, apart of his sharp six-string work, he is really good singing too! His riffs and specially the swirling keyboards are a must on this track.

"Runaway" is a catchy funky version of Del Shannon classic (well done), and follower "Girl On The Airwaves" has a radio-rock approach wrapped with great harmony vocals. The slightly Hi-Tech style of "Schizophrenia" definitely has the typical Canadian AOR sound with 'that' drums.
"City Boy" is a another winner, an uptempo rockin' AOR with a great refrain / hook and constant catchiness.

SHARP EDGES - Slice Of Life (1983) CDrip back

Crisply produced by Canadian guru Ed Stasium (Vixen, Ratt), "Slice Of Life" is a great CanCon AOR representation of the first half of the Eighties. It's catchy, melodic and fun.
This is the rare CD edition done by a small Dutch label, transferred with a truly good sound quality. Seems there's a newly CD re-issue, including a b-side and a couple of remixes.
Highly Recommended to any '80s AOR fan.


01 - On The Edge
02 - Too Young
03 - Runaway
04 - Girl On The Airwaves
05 - Schizophrenia
06 - City Boy

Dave Filchak - Guitar, Vocals
Tom Lang - Guitar, Vocals, Keyboards
Dan Zimmerman - Bass
George Klimow - Drums
John Webster - guest Keyboards




SHARP EDGES - Slice Of Life (1983)
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LISA HARTMAN - 'Til My Heart Stops (1988)

LISA HARTMAN - 'Til My Heart Stops (1988) front
"Til My Heart Stops" by LISA HARTMAN is one of the best (if not the Best) produced records in 1988 speaking about female fronted AOR. Call it rock&pop, lite AOR, melodic synth rock, but definitively this is '80s AOR flavored, really modern production-wise and still sounds superb today.
The distinctive and good thing about this album are the upfront guitars in the mix. And of course, Lisa's smooth vocals that reminds me Patty Smyth (Scandal). We can hear as well similarities to Robin Beck, Liza Nemzo and why not, Heart.
Brilliantly produced by not other than Bill Wray (check his solo album posted on the blog), " ’Til My Heart Stops" has a punchy and crisp sound.

The opening keyboard lines of the first track "Tempt Me (If You Want To)" are to die for. This is pure Eighties. You only can get a song like this on an album recorded in that era. The guitars (courtesy of master Michael Landau) are from outer space. Also the killer chorus and powerful vocal delivery by Lisa.
"I Don't Need Love" is a terrific commercial midtempo followed by the radiable "Ooh, I'm Satisfied". Then another gem; "I Can't Get You Out Of My System" with its increscendo magical AOR vibe with extra-compressed drums.
Quirky keyboards ornament the melody of "Tender Kiss", a track with a monster rhythm guitar work and one of the most seasoned performances by Hartman.

"The Dress" is another winner: a charming soft melodic rocker penned by cult AORster James House.
"How Many Rivers" is slow and climatic. Here Lisa sounds like Luba, that's not a surprise because this song is written by her together with Bill Wray. I love the bridge before the short guitar solo.
"Imagination" is the only track that sounds pretty retro, circa 1983. Synth bass and programmed drums on a 'Flashdance' style tune. Then title track "'Til My Heart Stops Beating" is 'one of those' ballads. Really good vocals and arrangements ready for FM stations.

LISA HARTMAN - 'Til My Heart Stops (1988) back

"Til My Heart Stops" is a pretty unknown album for many AOR fans perhaps due Hartman's pop origins. It's full of great tunes, strong vocals and superb musicianship (check personnel below). It's a perfect product of its time.
This is unfortunately Lisa Hartman last recording before she got married and decided to quit the business.
But what a great one it is.


1 - Tempt Me (If You Want To)
2 - I Don't Need Love
3 - Ooh, I'm Satisfied
4 - I Can't Get You Out Of My System
5 - Tender Kiss
6 - The Dress
7 - How Many Rivers
8 - Imagination
9 - 'Till My Heart Stops Beating

Lisa Hartman - Lead & Background Vocals
Michael Landau - Guitars
Trevor Rabin - Acoustic Guitar Solo (2)
Waddy Wachtel - Guitar (6, 7); Guitar Solo (6)
Larry Klein - Bass, Keyboards, Fairlight
Phil Brown - Bass, Guitar, Background Vocals
Steve Goldstein - Linn Programming, Keyboards, Bass
Mick Guzauski, Manu Katche - Percussion
Craig Krampf - Drum over-dubs
Kevin Raleigh - Background Vocals (4)
Timothy Schmidt - Background Vocals (8)
The Waters - Background Vocals (7)
Bill Wray - Producer, Background vocals (5, 7)




LISA HARTMAN - 'Til My Heart Stops 1988
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Thursday, November 12, 2015

TODD HOBIN and The Heat - Turn It On (1984) +1

TODD HOBIN and The Heat - Turn It On (1984) + bonus
Fronting his own band, songwriter, vocalist and guitarist TODD HOBIN enjoyed considerable success in the Syracuse, New York area since the late Seventies. The group released three albums and some singles back in the day, and while he still performs with the original Todd Hobin Band and as solo artist, stopped recording (at least full albums) since the mid-Eighties when this miniLP "Turn It On" appeared in 1984.

"Turn It On" was the result of his new band assembled after the last tour he did, re-branded TODD HOBIN and The HEAT. The music inside is the typical radio-friendly melodic rock with AOR touches from the era, with the special flavor some independent bands had.
Mostly are uptempo and melodious tunes, heavily synth dominated with strong guitars riffs. Todd has an 'affected' voice, and his style fits like a glove into these well written songs, simple and effective.
Also keyboardist Doug Moncrief provides back-up lead vocals creating really smooth harmonies.

TODD HOBIN and The Heat - Turn It On (1984) back

All are cool numbers, perhaps my favorite is the title track, featuring a very good mid-paced intro with a keyboard festival throughout the entire track.
Added as bonus is "Far Away Eyes", an outtake that in fact they did not included into the miniLP because is was not finished at the time of the recording. It's one of the best tracks here, with some Franke & The Knockouts and Starship on it, and lots, lots of keyboards.
Very nice for the collection!


1 - Everybody's Girl
2 - For A Girl Like You
3 - She
4 - Alibi
5 - Turn It On
6 - Far Away Eyes (outtake / bonus track)

Todd Hobin: lead vocals, guitars
Doug Moncrief: lead & backing vocals, keyboards & guitars
Mark Novak: bass & backing vocals
Shawn Hobin: drums & backing vocals




TODD HOBIN and The Heat - Turn It On
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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

PLANET 3 feat JAY GRAYDON - Gems Unearthed [Japan version +3] (2004)

PLANET 3 feat JAY GRAYDON - Gems Unearthed [Japan version +3] (2004) front
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

For any AOR fan, the name JAY GRAYDON needs no introduction. With twelve Grammy nominations (2 wins) this talented songwriter, recording artist, guitarist, singer, producer, arranger and recording engineer is one of the greats from the legendary LA scene.
Graydon also found time for his own projects, like PLANET 3 (featuring as band mates the cream of the genre in Clif Magness and Glen Ballard) releasing a stupendous album in the early '90s.

With such busy personnel, few would have expected a new Planet 3 album, but that happened in 2004 with this "Gems Unearthed" a follow up CD with many previously unreleased songs as well as re-worked, alternate versions of a few songs from the first Planet 3 album.
You have here superb AOR melodies, uptempo / ballad tunes full of elegance and class.
There's irresistible tracks like the lush "Jenny's Still In Love", the '80s synth gem "Push It In", the stratospheric AOR of "Criminal" alongside classy FM ballads such as "I Don't Want To Say Goodnight" or the beauty of "Tonight You're Mine".
You know, classic '80s stuff in the vein of Toto, Chicago, Keane, etc.

PLANET 3 feat JAY GRAYDON - Gems Unearthed [Japan version +3] (2004) back

This Japanese release features 3 additional tracks, taken from Graydon's solo work: one is the Grammy awarded monster ballad "After the Love Has Gone" (written by Graydon / David Foster / Bill Champlin) in a new version sung by Champlin.
The others are "Roxann" with the unforgettable Warren Wiebe on lead vocals, and "Holdin' On to Love" featuring Sherwood Ball, both excellent cuts as well.
Needless to say, production, mix, mastering, etc. in "Gems Unearthed" is top notch, pristine and clear.
A must.


01 - After the Love Has Gone *
02 - Holdin' On to Love *
03 - Roxann *
04 - Jenny's Still In Love
05 - Modern Girl
06 - Tonight You're Mine
07 - Push It In
08 - Mondo Rock
09 - Criminal
10 - Comin' Together
11 - I Don't Want To Say Goodnight
12 - Make My Day
13 - I Gotta Have It

* Japanese edition extra tracks

Jay Graydon: guitars, keyboards, programming
Clif Magness: vocals, guitar, keyboards, programming
Glen Ballard: keyboards, programming
with:
David Foster, Mark Portman: keyboards
Bill Cantos: keyboards, backing vocals
Kenji Sano: bass
Jerry Hey: horns
Jay Oliver: synths
Bill Champlin: vocals
Sherwood Ball: vocals
Warren Wiebe: vocals




PLANET 3 feat JAY GRAYDON Gems Unearthed [Japan version +3]
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Tuesday, November 03, 2015

GLORY - Danger In This Game [Japanese Edition] (1989)

GLORY - Danger In This Game [Japanese Edition] (1989)
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

"Danger In This Game", arguably the best album from Swedes GLORY, deserved a place on this blog. And that's simply because this record is among the best Melodic Hard Rock ever created from the Scandinavian factory.
With lovely AOR touches in the best Swedish / Norwegian / Danish tradition, you need "Danger In This Game" alongside your Europe, Alien or Treat collection.

Since the first bars of powerful opener title track 'Danger In This Game' you have pure Scandi magic. The AORish 'Never Stop', if released 3 years before, easily could have competed with any Europe hit.
'Runaway' is a killer melodic rocker, while 'Feel The Fire' is one of the best mid-tempo / semi-ballad emerged from the genre (very Alien-like) complete with lovely keyboards.

But the star here is guitarist Jan Granwick: this underrated axeman shines all over the record with punchy rhythms and stratospheric solos. Just listen his work on the driving 'Like An Eagle'...
More gems arrive with 'I'm Hurt', 'This Is The Love' and the superb 'Survivor' (again, a sharp six-string work).

GLORY - Danger In This Game [Japanese Edition] (1989) back

You need "Danger In This Game" in your Melodic Hard Rock / AOR collection. It's a rare case of all killers, no fillers. Even the instrumental last track ironically titled 'Exhibition' (to mock all guitar heroes) is great and with sense of a 'song', not just pyrotechnics.
This very hard to find Japanese release of "Danger In This Game" (different cover... and mastering?) sounds much better than any other in my opinion, brighter and punchier.
A Must Have.


01 - Danger In This Game
02 - Never Stop
03 - Feel The Fire
04 - This Is The Love
05 - Runaway
06 - Like An Eagle
07 - Harmony
08 - I'm Hurt
09 - Tell Me (If I'm Wrong)
10 - Survivor
11 - Exhibition

Peter Eriksson - vocals
Jan Granwick - guitars
Andy Loos - bass, backing vocals
Jonas Sandkvist - keyboards
Matt Driver - drums




GLORY Danger In This Game [Japanese Edition]
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Thursday, October 29, 2015

LIMITED WARRANTY - Limited Warranty (1986) [Wounded Bird Records remaster]

LIMITED WARRANTY - Limited Warranty (1986) [Wounded Bird Records remaster] front
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

Originally from Minneapolis, LIMITED WARRANTY was one of these American bands from the '80s mixing influences from the British New Wave scene with US radio friendly melodies. Call it Hi-Tech, power rock&pop, light AOR, etc, the music from this quintet is always dynamic, catchy and accessible.

After an indie EP, Limited Warranty appeared in the National TV show 'Star Search' alongside, among others, the also Minneapolis based band Film At Eleven, whom later would evolve into Zurich.
Limited Warranty won the prize, and soon the band was signed by major label Atlantic (for his ATCO division). The self-titled full length debut was recorded in England produced by Brian Tench & Vince Ely, so it's not strange to hear some British flavor on some tracks.

"Limited Warranty" sound & style is not far from the aforementioned Zurich, yet more upbeat in the vein of greats Real Life, Cutting Crew and even the first Mr. Mister. But also there's some kind of 'Canadian sound' all over, pristine and clear.
All songs are pretty good, melodic, with fine instrumentation and smooth vocals.

LIMITED WARRANTY - Limited Warranty (1986) [Wounded Bird Records remaster] back

"Limited Warranty" remained unreleased on CD until some years ago when excellent reissue label Wounded Bird Records did this superb remastering job from the original tapes.
Quite rare, even more this remastered CD version now out of print.


01 - Last To Know
02 - Hit You From Behind
03 - This Is Serious
04 - Beat Down The Door
05 - Yesterday's News
06 - Victory Line
07 - One Of A Kind
08 - Never Enough
09 - Domestic 17
10 - You Can Buy

Greg Sotebeer - Lead Vocals, Bass
Dale Goulett - Lead Vocals, Guitar
Jerry Brunskill - Drums, Vocals
Erik Newman - Guitars
Paul Hartwig - Keyboards, Vocals




LIMITED WARRANTY (1986) remastered
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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

LITTLE YANKEES - All Or Nothing (1997)

LITTLE YANKEES - All Or Nothing (1997) front
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

Despite their name, LITTLE YANKEES was a Swedish band with a British vocalist... a little messy isn't it? Well, their album "All Or Nothing" is not a mess at all, but an enjoyable slice of European Melodic Rock / AOR.
The cover artwork also disorientate a bit (you may think of a Southern Rock band) but these guys were inspired by the late '80s Scandinavian AOR scene, and due to Paul Dexter's smooth vocals you got a feel of British bands like Overland's FM, Heartland, Dare, etc.

The CD starts with "Go To America", a commercial tune with an obvious radio target, melodic but too cheesy and ends up as the only weak track on the record. But the rest is really good since track 2 "The Power", a pumping melodic rocker where the band show its skills in writing catchy melodies and performing their instruments with taste.
More in this style is heard in "Die For You", the groovy "Give It To Me", title track, and later on "Give It Up" (great chorus!), while Little Yankees go for AOR smoothness in the atmospheric "Can't Live" (reminds me Virginia Wolf) or "Don't Leave Me" with an After Hours feel.
All the aforementioned songs are really good, as are the ballad "I'll Be There" adorned with fine orchestrated synths and in the middle featuring an arrangement akin bagpipes (perhaps Dexter is Scottish?).

LITTLE YANKEES - All Or Nothing (1997) back

As far I know only released in Sweden, Little Yankees "All Or Nothing" is a pretty unknown and good Melodic Rock / AOR album finely produced. The CD appeared in 1997 - obscure years for this genre - and the band split soon after.
Recommended.


01 - Go To America
02 - The Power
03 - Famous
04 - Can't Live
05 - Die For You
06 - I'll Be There
07 - Give It To Me
08 - Burning Feeling
09 - Don't Leave Me
10 - Give It Up
11 - All Or Nothing

Paul Dexter: vocals, guitars, keyboards
Heavy Eddie: bass, backing vocals
Johan 'The Preacher' Rydberg: drums, percussion
Tobias 'Snake' Wernersson: guitars, keyboards, backing vocals




LITTLE YANKEES - All Or Nothing
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Friday, October 16, 2015

SCOTT GRIMES - Livin' On The Run (2005)

SCOTT GRIMES - Livin' On The Run (2005) front
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

SCOTT GRIMES is a well-known actor in Hollywood, with a career started in the '80s (movie Critters as a young kid) and more recently in TV series Band of Brothers, ER, American Dad!, etc.
But his true passion is to sing, play the piano and compose songs. He released a self-titled debut album in 1989 on major label, but later concentrated in acting.

Movies and TV shows did not leave much time to the music, but in between Grimes managed to write and record a great number of songs, mainly with his songwriter friend Dave Harris.
After 16 years of his debut album, Scott Grimes released this collection of tunes under the title "Livin' On The Run" in 2005. Most were penned several years prior the CD release and taped at different stages with many session musicians involved.

"Livin' On The Run" was quite successful, with two singles ranking in the Billboard Top Forty Adult Contemporary Chart; the title track and "Sunset Blvd", the latter remaining in the Top 20 for 10 weeks.
Is not a surprise, because both songs and most the material included in the CD are catchy, radio-friendly poppy melodic rock tunes with a feel-good vibe.
Scott Grimes abilities behind the mic are second to none, being a skilled songwriter as well. He has co-written songs with many renowned artists, as example, John Spinks of The Outfield.
This gives you a pretty accurate idea of this album's sound & style: The Outfield blended with '80s Rick Springfield stuff and maybe some Bryan Adams.

SCOTT GRIMES - Livin' On The Run (2005) back

"Livin' On The Run" is a really good, highly enjoyable collection of songs extremely melodic and catchy at first listen, skillfully produced by the legendary Tom Fletcher (Dokken, Ozzy, Steve Lukather, Scorpions).
Very Recommended.


01 - Livin' On The Run
02 - Sunset Blvd
03 - I Saw You
04 - Best Days Of My Life
05 - You Come Around
06 - Carrie
07 - I Wanna Be There
08 - Summerthing
09 - There Ain't Nothin'
10 - Rock 'n' Roll Girl
11 - Around And Around
12 - Without You
13 - Hollywood Sign
14 - Four
15 - Finale

Scott Grimes: vocals, guitar, piano
Jay Gore: guitar
Luke Miller: keyboards
Ricardo Belled: bass
Robin DiMaggio: drums, percussion
Paul Buckmaster: string arrangements
Dawn Bailey: background vocals
... and more




SCOTT GRIMES - Livin' On The Run
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Thursday, October 15, 2015

1RKO - First Round Knock Out (2007) + bonus

1RKO - First Round Knock Out (2007) +2
Re-posted by request as although featured here on the blog in 2008, I never seen this one anywhere in the web.

1RKO or First Round Knock Out was formed in the new Century by bassist Brian Spangenberg - member of several groups in the Bay Area in California, most notably Circle Of Soul with which recorded the very good album '91 'Hands of Faith' - decided to join forces with singer Simon Daniels.
Simon, who grew up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he lived until his teens, it's a L.A. rock scene veteran. He was part of Jailhouse, which debut album 'Alive in a Mad World' (1989) sold over than 50.000 copies and had several videos in rotation on MTV Headbangers Ball.

So you have here veteran musicians from the late '80s L.A. hard rock scene, then expect infectious guitar hooks and catchy choruses.
Tired of labels, they decided go indie and recorded 'First Round Knock Out' by themselves, released in limited quantities in 2006. The fan's answer surprised and the album sold out.
A second edition (this one, with refreshed artwork) appeared in 2007 with two extra tracks.

1RKO - First Round Knock Out (2007) +2 alt cover

1RKO sound & style brings to mind Night Ranger Gary Moon era, which to me, it's a plus. Also some Marchello / Vestry but more rough around the edges.
You have kickin', hard rockin' and melodic numbers in "The Man", "One More Time", "Right Now" or the very good cover of The Sweet's classic "Fox On The Run".
But my favorite is the killer melodic hard rocker "So Alive", driven by sharp guitars and featuring great harmony vocals.

As bonus I added two 1RKO unreleased tracks; a strong cover of AC/DC's staple "Hells Bells", and the classy melodic rock "Anything", a really good cut, again, recalling Night Ranger.
Very Recommended.


01 - Fox On The Run
02 - One More Time
03 - Black And White
04 - Right Now
05 - The Outcome
06 - So Alive
07 - The Man
08 - Hand In Hand
09 - Anything (unreleased) - bonus
10 - Hells Bells (unreleased) - bonus

Simon Daniels - Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Derek Stephens - Guitars
Brian Spangenberg - Bass, Vocals
Rich Sacco - Drums




1RKO - First Round Knock Out (2007) +2
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Monday, October 12, 2015

QUADRANT - Sector 1 (1995)

QUADRANT - Sector 1 (1995) front
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

There's not much info about female fronted quintet QUADRANT other than they were from New Jersey, USA. Their album "Sector 1" was released in 1995 but the overall songwriting, style and sound recalls the early '80s.
More exactly, QUADRANT brings to mind those Pomp Rock bands which created a momentum in North America at the very beginning of the glorious decade, with a touch of hard rock and catchy melodies.
Often called Pomp AOR, the style of QUADRANT navigates to a more wide musical spectrum.

I don't know if "Sector 1" was recorded in 1995, but certainly it sounds as taped in 1981. All songs are really interesting, and while vocalist Cassandra DeGroodt feels quite amateurish at places, the rest of the band are fairly good musicians.
Cassandra's vocal performance is sometimes, I'd say, weak and erratic, and the mix does not help much - a shame, because Gary Funk's keyboard runs are pretty fan-damn-tastic.
Gary uses a wonderful arsenal of vintage analog synths - a Pomp trademark sound - complemented by Keith Garret's old-school guitar set-up which turn things very classy regarding this genre.

QUADRANT - Sector 1 (1995) back

While QUADRANT's musical mission in "Sector 1" is not completely accomplished, this is a lovely indie (very indie) record released privately.
Uber rare, 'especially designed' for collectors (I've seen eBay auctions of this one for $150)


01 - Digital Nightmare
02 - My Expectation (ME)
03 - Pass The Buck
04 - Crystalline Rock
05 - Can I Touch You?
06 - Your Own Understanding (YOU)
07 - Hidden Feelings
08 - A New Idea
09 - Just A Number
10 - Before The Storm
11 - Escape

Cassandra DeGroodt: vocals
Keith Garret: guitars
Gary Funk: keyboards, backing vocals
Bill Kirsch: bass
Dave DeGroodt: drums


QUADRANT - Sector 1
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Wednesday, October 07, 2015

ALAN FREW (Glass Tiger) - Wonderland (2000)

ALAN FREW (Glass Tiger) - Wonderland (2000)
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

Glass Tiger's singer ALAN FREW second solo album "Wonderland" arrived several years after his debut, six years exactly, in 2000. The previous years were dark ages for Alan's soft rock & poppy melodies, but here the man return with strong compositions.

"Wonderland" is perhaps musically more mature, reflective, and adds a touch of light West Coast AOR to the proceedings. You can hear this on the ethereal "That's Life" or "Everything Must Change", as example.
There's delicate melodious tunes in "Home", the title track or on the more classic rock oriented "I Could Never Lie To You" adorned with vintage organs, while "Colours Of Friends And Places" provides a poppy happiness.

I still remember finding opener "Open For A Friend" a bit insipid at first glance, but after repeated listens I discovered a wonderfully constructed song with a marvelous melody and a great vocal performance by Alan.
My favorite track, though, is "All I Ever Wanted", the cut which more brings to mind Glass Tiger's commercial AOR dynamics.

ALAN FREW (Glass Tiger) - Wonderland (2000) back

Alan Frew added to "Wonderland" 4 bonus tracks: two Glass Tiger hits (perhaps added for new listeners to remember him) and two cuts from his previous solo album.
Although Frew's first album Hold On recently featured here is regarded as his best solo, I enjoy "Wonderland" more because it's more varied and inspired - for the most part - in his '80s work with Glass Tiger.
An album that incredibly grows in you with repeated listening sessions.


01 - Open For A Friend
02 - Lipstick
03 - Home
04 - I Could Never Lie To You
05 - Mother
06 - Wonderland
07 - All I Ever Wanted
08 - Colors Of Friends And Places
09 - A Rose In My Book
10 - That's Life
11 - Everything Must Change
12 - Everybody Sing
BONUS TRACKS:
13 - Someday (Glass Tiger)
14 - My Town (Glass Tiger)
15 - So Blind (Alan Frew '94)
16 - Falling At Your Feet (Alan Frew '94)

Alan Frew - vocals, guitars
Rick Tait - keyboards, percussion
Chris McNeil - drums
Steve Lucas - bass
Richard Evans - keyboards
Stuart Cameron, Kevin Breit, Neil Chapman, Tony Vanderburgh, Mike Francis - guitars
Lisa Dalbello, Michael Shotton - backing vocals




ALAN FREW (Glass Tiger) - Wonderland (2000)
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Tuesday, October 06, 2015

ALAN FREW (Glass Tiger) - Hold On [Canadian edition] (1994)

ALAN FREW (Glass Tiger) - Hold On [Canadian edition] (1994) front
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

Canadian singer / songwriter ALAN FREW enjoyed worldwide success fronting Glass Tiger in the second half of the '80s, touring all over the world. When the band split at the beginning of the Nineties it was time for a solo career, and the first fruit was this "Hold On", recorded & released in 1994.

This is a pretty different affair than the guitar driven last Glass Tiger album, much more poppy with light AOR moments and some Hi-Tech in the Canadian style.
There was successful singles in the happy "Healing Hands" and the soft "So Blind". In fact, grand part of the record is pretty soft rock with a poppy, laid back feel.

ALAN FREW (Glass Tiger) - Hold On [Canadian edition] (1994) back

"Hold On" was quite hard to find until the end of the past decade when it was reissued due fan's demand. It's a nice, gentle and relaxed album with cool melodies and pristine production.
Ripped at max quality including artwork, plus as bonus the remix version of "Healing Hands".


01 - You're The One
02 - Healing Hands
03 - It Always Feels The Same
04 - Hold On
05 - I am With You Tonight
06 - Learning To Fly
07 - So Blind
08 - Once Upon A Time
09 - Cloud
10 - If Only I Could Dream
11 - I Wonder Why
12 - Falling At Your Feet
13 - Healing Hands (Remix) [bonus track]

Alan Frew - lead & backing vocals, guitar
John Jones - bass, keyboards, guitars, backing vocals
Jim Cregan, Tony Vanderburgh, Al Connelly - guitars
Chistopher Garcia - bass
Steve Ferrone - drums
Mick Fleetwood - drums, percussion
Karen Hendrix, Lisa DalBello, Mickey Dolenz, Laura Harding - backing vocals




ALAN FREW Hold On [Canadian edition]
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SNAKE CHARMER - Smoke And Mirrors [Japan edition] (1993)

SNAKE CHARMER - Smoke And Mirrors [Japan edition] (1993) front
Re-posted as requested, not easy to find in good quality

Swedish superb vocalist Pete Sandberg is not a stranger to this blog as he has been featured as solo artist or as part of different bands, like this SNAKE CHARMER and their album "Smoke And Mirrors" (posted here in 2007!).
Put together by bass player Per Stadin (Silver Mountain) in 1991 including terrific drummer Anders Johansson (Yngwie, Stratovarius), guitarist Sven Cirnski (Bad Habit) and with Sandberg (Alien, Madison, Midnight Sun) as frontman, this Scandinavian super-group recorded their debut "Smoke And Mirrors" in Malmo, Sweden.

The song melodies are pretty simple, but awesomely arranged and performed. The music goes in the Scandi AOR vein mixed with traditional Melodic Hard Rock, compared with bands like Alien, Madison, Bad Habit, etc.
Just check the quality of "Runnin' On Empty" (very Alien), the rocking "Teaser, Pleaser", the elegant midtempo "Like an Arrow" or the terrific ballads "Middle of Nowhere" and "Alone Without You" (this one alone worth the entire disc).

SNAKE CHARMER - Smoke And Mirrors [Japan edition] (1993) back

SNAKE CHARMER is an underrated and pretty unknown Swedish project and this "Smoke And Mirrors" ranks among the best Melodic Rock / AOR created in Sweden during the '90s.
This is the Japanese Edition (no bonus track) ripped at max quality including artwork.
Very Recommended.


01. Worlds Apart
02. Runnin' On Empty
03. Middle of Nowhere
04. Heart on Hold
05. Highway of Love
06. Teaser, Pleaser
07. Like an Arrow
08. Stone Cold
09. Alone Without You
10. Eleanor Rigby

Pete Sandberg - lead & backing vocals
Sven Cirnski - guitars
Per Stadin - bass
Anders Johansson - drums
Jens Johansson (Yngwie, Dio) - keyboards
Sonny Larsson (XT) - backing vocals




SNAKE CHARMER Smoke And Mirrors [Japan edition]
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Sunday, October 04, 2015

CHRIS SUTTON - Chris Sutton (1986)

CHRIS SUTTON - Chris Sutton (1986) HQ
CHRIS SUTTON may be a not well known name as solo artist, but this Scottish gentleman - working as multi-purpose musician hired by Polydor and other labels - has wrote and arranged music for major artists such as Starship ('Knee Deep in the Hoopla'), Paul McCartney and George Michael among others.

Primarily, at the mid-Eighties, Polydor UK intended to launch Sutton as solo artist together with Brian Spence and alike to capitalize the radio friendly melodic rock / rock&pop so 'in vogue' at the time.
Recorded in L.A., on his self-titled debut appeared in 1986 Sutton had the opportunity to show his own songs, arranged by masters Robbie Buchanan & Peter Wolf, a bunch of commercial and smooth lite AOR poppy tunes with the typical '80s atmosphere.

Chris Sutton's style is not far from the aforementioned Spence or Jack Wagner, with nuances of several other British / American artists as well. We have a sweet cover of Russ Ballard's classic "Voices", a nice ballad co-penned by Sutton with Starship's collaborator Martin Page (incorrectly credited in the booklet as 'Paige'), the lovely '80s-soundtrack-like "Don't Push Your Love", and a mix of up/midtempo tracks with different degrees of quality.

CHRIS SUTTON - Chris Sutton (1986) back

"Chris Sutton" is a very enjoyable '80s album with nice melodies, really good session musicians (genius Dann Huff plays guitar here), and a polished sound thanks to platinum awarded producer Dennis Lambert (Player, Peter Beckett and countless '80s soundtracks via TuneWorks Inc.).

This rare CD edition includes as bonus the track "The Money Ain't Worth It", originally featured as B-Side of the single "Prince Of Justice" (which extended version 'Justice Mix 7:21' I have been looking for years).
There's copies of this album floating around the web featuring many noises. This a pristine CD-rip made by my friend Alan (thanx mate!).


01 - Trouble
02 - Tell It Like It Is
03 - Prince Of Justice
04 - Voices
05 - (You Just Can't) Tear It From A Heart
06 - Don't Get Me Wrong
07 - You Worry Me
08 - Know It All
09 - That One Love Feeling
10 - Don't Push Your Love
11 - The Money Ain't Worth It [CD only bonus track]

Chris Sutton - Lead & Backing Vocals
Peter Wolf - Keys, Bass, Guitar, Programming
Dann Huff - Guitar
Neil Stubenhaus, Alphonso Johnson - Bass
Mike Baird, Chester Thompson - Drums
Larry Williams - Sax
Robbie Buchanan - Arranger
Gabe Katona - Keyboards
Dennis Lambert - Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Producer


CHRIS SUTTON 1986 HQ
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LEE Z - Time Line (1995)

LEE Z - Time Line (1995) full
A curious album this one. Not only for its rarity (as far I know only released in Japan) but for the mixture of styles, yet turning out a consistent and homogeneous piece.
LEE Z is the brainchild of German multi-instrumentalist Thomas Zink, and has been active since 1988 with several line-up changes though. "Time Line" is the band's 2nd album appeared in 1995 (but I think it was recorded in the early '90s), and as said, featuring a captivating mix of Melodic Rock, Hard Rock, AOR and some light progressive arrangements here and there.
But their prog pedigree isn't in the classical vein, the approach is more melodic and personal, with emphasis into the songs structures rather than going all over the place with jam sessions and solos, where the staccato riffs and key changes are encompassed with the tune and the use of keyboard layers add color and substance.

Don't be fooled by the slightly neoclassical style of opener "Up To The Sky". This is the only track in this vein here, and a good one by the way. The double drum attack is in your face, the guitars trepidating and the swirling keys are all over. Think classic '80s Yngwie. Then "Way Of Live" is a syncopated and melodic midtempo rocker in the Queensryche style circa 'Rage For Order'.

The orchestral keyboard intro of "Fancy Dress Ball" turns into a climatic European melodic hard rocker plenty of key changes and big keyboards. "Hands Of Touch" is a moody slow paced AOR track with a nice, catchy refrain. Great vocal arrangement too.
The programmed drums of "Try To Find My Way" don't bother at all, as this is a very commercial 'let's sing together' tune with clean guitars that sounds very 'British'.

"Hold On" is a keyboard driven melodic rock, with lots, lots of keys. Maybe the chorus is a bit weak, but the pace of the track rocks. Now the band offers, again, something different. "Getting Older" is an instrumental featuring a really good guitar work.
Are you waiting for a ballad? "Sad Paradise" arrives... but not your typical one. Starts with a long, climatic keyboard/vocal passage and a 8/8 drum pattern (really uncommon) and then explodes into a passionate legitimate power ballad with a guitar solo inspired by Gary Moore.

LEE Z - Time Line (1995) back

"Don't Wanna Loose My Mind" returns to the melodic rock territory. The catchy, hooky chorus is the 'leitmotiv' of this track. But the band, again, is far to wrote-by-numbers. The middle section features a pace change that reminds me the group Fates Warning, and then returns to the chorus. This kind of arrangements is not easy to do warmly, but on Lee Z's hands this comes flawlessly.
Final track "One Night Love Affair" is another winner. A very British AOR midtempo similar to SHY featuring a superb guitar solo and keyboards.

"Time Line" is a great, pretty unknown album, much better than you can appreciate at first listen. It's clever, varied, well written. You have first rate musicianship, original arrangements and a slick production its indie origin.
Try Lee Z. Try something different. Japan only and out of print.


01 - Up To The Sky
02 - Way Of Live
03 - Fancy Dress Ball
04 - Hands Of Touch
05 - Try To Find My Way
06 - Hold On
07 - Getting Older
08 - Sad Paradise
09 - Don't Wanna Loose My Mind
10 - One Night Love Affair

Peter Pauliks: Vocals
Thomas Zink: Guitars, Keyboards, Synths, Piano
Matthias 'Rethi' Rethmann: Bass, Programming
Andreas Guth: Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Gerald Voss: Drums




LEE Z - Time Line
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