Thursday, May 18, 2017

SAGA - Wildest Dreams (1987) USA edition

SAGA - Wildest Dreams (1987) USA edition
Canadians SAGA are one of the more long-lasting bands still active, with almost forty years in the business and the same amount of records to their credit. And better than that, Saga never has released a bad album.
Saga's foundation always has been progressive rock yet with a distinctive, melodic touch. They always cleverly
slightly tweaked their sound at different stages of their career to fit the times, without selling out the identity of the band.

During the '80s Saga infused to their polished sound a strong Melodic Rock feel complete with swirling keyboard lines and catchy choruses. For their seventh studio album, Saga signed with Atlantic Records with the aim to finally conquer the US market.
"Wildest Dreams" is the more commercial Saga album ever, with a huge, bombastic, big budget glossy production handled by guru Keith Olsen. 

With stylings reminiscent of Mr. Mister and a mature Starship, but also the typical Canadian sound of the era (Frozen Ghost, Glass Tiger Honeymoon Suite) the album is plenty of great poppy AOR tunes.
All songs are good with title track amongst my favorites including the elegant "Chase The Wind", "Don't Put Out The Fire", "Angel" and the breezy "Only Time Will Tell".

Despite its quality and the many potential singles "Wildest Dreams" went quite unnoticed in the US, but the album sold really well in Saga's more successful markets like Europe and their native Canada. The CD become a rarity for many years as Atlantic refused to give the rights to the band for a reissue.

SAGA - Wildest Dreams (1987) USA edition back cover

This is a rip from the USA edition (the hardest to find) which sounds million times better than the European press by BMG/Bonaire. I don't know why, but I have tested many copies of the latter and they weren't bright as this Made in USA by WEA Manufacturing Inc.
I added as bonus "Perfect Stranger", the song recorded by the band around the same time for the motion picture 'Johnny Be Good', a track never appeared into any Saga album (and a quite rare soundtrack).
Enjoy Saga's "Wildest Dreams" - one of the first albums recorded DDD - a true product from the second half of '80s.

01 - Don't Put Out The Fire
02 - Only Time Will Tell
03 - Wildest Dreams
04 - Chase The Wind
05 - We've Been Here Before
06 - The Way Of The World
07 - Angel
08 - Don't Look Down
09 - Perfect Stranger (Johnny Be Good OST)

Michael Sadler - vocals, keyboards
Jim Crichton - bass, keyboards & synthaxe
Ian Crichton - guitar, shadow midi guitar systems & synthaxe
Curt Cress - drums, percussion

SAGA Wildest Dreams (1987) USA edition

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Updated May 22, 2017


Thursday, May 11, 2017

JOHN WARREN - One Heart (1990) + bonus

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

As promised, here's JOHN WARREN's "One Heart", the follower of the recently posted 'Private Motion'.
Even more AOR oriented than its predecessor, "One Heart" delivers stupendous melodic tunes on "The Chosen Few" and "Rain Down On Me" in the vein of Steve Overland's FM, soft Westcoast tracks like "Another Side Of You" or "Show Me A Way" and his usual Hi-Tech numbers in "Don't Give Up" and "I Get This Feeling".

Title track "One Heart" is an elegant midtempo AOR, while "We Danced All Night" reminds you those mid-eighties soundtrack catchy songs.

Added as bonus, two unreleased tracks: another song recorded by Warren for the television medical drama 'General Hospital' entitled "Into The Fire", and the private demo "I'll Come Around", a ballad in the 'John Farnham' style.
Very Good stuff - Out Of Print.

01 - Rain Down On Me
02 - I Get This Feeling
03 - The Chosen Few
04 - Another Side Of You
05 - Hard World
06 - We Danced All Night
07 - The Rules Of Her Heart
08 - One Heart
09 - Show Me A Way
10 - Don't Give Up
11 - Into The Fire [GH OST unreleased]
12 - I'll Come Around [private demo]

John Warren - Lead and Backing Vocals
Andrew Gold: All Instruments, Backing Vocals
Joe Turano, Rosemary Butler - Backing Vocals

JOHN WARREN One Heart + bonus


Friday, May 05, 2017

PRiSM - Small Change [remastered + bonus] (1981)

PRiSM - Small Change [remastered + bonus] (1981)
Requested in "Request & Fill Corner" section...

PRiSM were one of Canada's AOR pioneers for sure. The band never found a stable line-up, but all their recordings are prime examples of quality melodic rock, with an accentuated AOR inclination with each record released.
In 1981, presumably by the band's new label (Capitol) wishes, original singer Ron Tabak was fired, replaced by Henry Small for the 6th album wisely entitled "Small Change".
It was not only a change at the mic, but also in the general musical approach, more commercial and radio friendly AOR.

For this matter, external songwriters and future super stars were brought in, like Jim Vallance & Bryan Adams contributing the lead single "Don't Let Him Know", a wonderful fluffy AOR tune with a killer chorus. Both Vallance & Adams also wrote the brilliant AOR ballad "Stay", very much in the REO Speedwagon style.
"Turn On Your Radar" is classic, lightweight CanCon mid-tempo AOR, the punchy "Hole In Paradise" is pure Melodic Rock Heaven, and "Rain" a dreamy ballad with great atmosphere.

The Bruce Turgon (later in Shadow King and Foreigner) penned AOR rocker "Heart And Soul" keeps you moving with style, in the intense "When Love Goes Wrong" Henry Small sounds like a young Mark Free, while Prism does a very cool rocking rendition on Jimmy Rodgers' "In The Jailhouse Now".
The album ends with the Foreigner / Sheriff sounding semi-ballad "Wings Of Your Love", adorned with pianos and nice bluesy guitars.

PRiSM - Small Change [remastered + bonus] (1981) back cover
Although it scored a couple of US Top40 singles and went platinum in Canada, "Small Change" incredibly wasn't properly released on CD by Capitol years after.
The now defunct -and great- German label ATM picked up the challenge and released this (and follower 'Beat Street') on CD for the first time in 1997 (there's also a Renaissance reissue) including 6 bonus tracks.

These are the prev. unreleased "Cadillac Club", the rocking "N-N-N-No!" from the previous recording and four alternate takes / mixes from the main album. Honestly, I hear few differences, the most noticeable are the louder guitars on "Heart And Soul".
All are included here in my file, but the main "Small Change" is ripped from the rare promotional only, special limited edition, remastered version. There's only few copies of this one on vinyl and CD.

Limited Edition remastered:
01 - Don't Let Him Know
02 - Turn On Your Radar
03 - Hole In Paradise
04 - Rain
05 - When Will I See You Again
06 - Heart And Soul
07 - Stay
08 - When Love Goes Wrong
09 - In The Jailhouse Now
10 - Wings Of Your Love
ATM label bonuses:
11 - Cadillac Club
12 - When Will I See You Again (Alt. Version)
13 - Heart Ans Soul (Alternate Version)
14 - Stay (Alternate Version)
15 - Rain (Alternate Version)
16 - N-N-N-No!

Henry Small: vocals, bass, guitar, keyboards
Lindsay Mitchell: guitar, vocals
Allen Harlow: bass
Rocket Norton: drums

PRISM Small Change remastered

Saturday, April 29, 2017

JOSHUA - Surrender [Japanese CD Edition]

JOSHUA - Surrender [Japanese CD Edition]
Requested in one comment

"Surrender" is the second album from JOSHUA, the band of talented American shredder Joshua Perahia. Regarded as one of the best Melodic Hard Rock records released by an American band during the '80s, "Surrender" should have sold millions if the recording company had been properly promoted the band.

"Surrender" was originally issued in 1985 on vinyl only, and although the US public barely noticed the release, the album did it well in Japan and Europe, where Kerrang Magazine ranked the LP #1 for weeks.
This vinyl version of "Surrender" was posted on the blog 7 years ago, and requested again. But I think it was most suitable to present now the CD version of the album.
By 1992, Perahia received an offer to re-record "Surrender" with a bigger production budget and the promise of an international edition / distribution.

Joshua re-worked the whole thing from the scratch: everything was re-recorded with the exception of Jeff Fenholt's vocals. There's new guitar solos, some different rhythm tracks, new drums, multi-layered choruses, etc.
The CD reissue also features the additional track "Show Me the Way" with Robyn Kyle Basauri (Red Sea) on vocals. Robyn's leads were also added to "Loveshock", originally performed by Ken Tamplin.

The songs on "Surrender" are superb. With a strong hard rock foundation, all are built on terrific melodies and catchy AOR choruses. Just take as example the soaring opener "Surrender Love" with its biting guitar riffs, stabbing keys and wonderful verses showcasing Fenholt's top vocals. The chorus is to die for with all the '80s charm over it.
"Your Love Is Gone" is a melodic hard rock gem, same with the new cut "Show Me the Way" (with a little 'American Whitesnake' in it) and the more mid-tempo oriented Yardbirds' cover of "Heart Full of Soul".
There's more hard rockin' numbers in between, like "Back To The Rock" or the kickin' "Loveshock", not ordinary compositions for sure plenty of substance and great musicianship.

While many still prefer the "Surrender" original recording (which included some Simmons electronic drums typical of the era) this re-recorded version is equally great. It's more professionally done and sounds vibrant and punchier.

JOSHUA - Surrender [Japanese CD Edition] back cover

The CD was reissued several times, always with a different artwork. This is the out of print Japanese edition from 1994 quite rare and hard to find.
"Surrender" is a superlative piece of US American Hard Rock that deserves a distinguished place in your collection.

01 - Surrender Love
02 - Heart Full Of Soul
03 - Your Love Is Gone
04 - Stay Alive
05 - Rockin' The World
06 - Back To The Rock
07 - Hold On
08 - Show Me The Way
09 - Loveshock
10 - Rockin' The World (reprise)

Joshua Perahia: Guitars, Bass, Backing Vocals
Jeff Fenholt, Robin Kyle: Lead & Backing Vocals
Patrick Bradley: Keyboards
Loren Robinson: Bass
Craig Ostbo, Joe Galletta, Joe Tafoya: Drums
Eric Tuttobene, Ken Price, Bryan Fleming: Backing Vocals

JOSHUA Surrender [Japanese Edition]

Friday, April 07, 2017


Request & Fill Corner PART 20

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...


Thursday, April 06, 2017

10 P.M. - Life At... 10 P.M. [remastered] (1995)

10 P.M. - Life At... 10 P.M. [remastered] (1995)
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

"Life At... 10 P.M.", the one and only album from Norwegian act 10 P.M. is an obscure, indie release much sought after by collectors fetching sidereal prices at eBay.
10 P.M.'s style is Euro AOR but not flooded by fluffy keyboards / sweet choruses known from Scandinavian acts. Their music tends to be more elaborated and expansive, with three of the tracks here around the 6-minute mark. This also suppose a slightly progressive orientation, yet on the lighter side of the spectrum.

With that in mind, "Life At... 10 P.M." features really interesting compositions such as title track, midtempo 'The Last Note' (perhaps the best song here), 'Tears In The Night', and the short, acoustically based 'Tears In The Night'.
On the more commercial side, and adding a touch of melodic hard rock we have 'Easy Come', 'Bridges', 'Leaving The Body', or the heavier 'Time Can Tell'.
There's also listed as bonus track a full length version of the title track including additional guitar solos and piano arrangements.

While "Life At... 10 P.M." isn't a catchy, 'instant AOR' record, it's a quite interesting opus. The problem with this album is the disparate production, and at places, the mix, something understandable as it was recorded on a very scarce budget at hand on previously used analog tapes.
Not so long ago it was reissued with a 'remastered sound' where several flaws were corrected, like tape hiss, buried bass lines, etc.
This is the "Life At... 10 P.M. / Remastered" version, rare as hen's teeth.

01. The First Sunrise (intro)
02. Easy Come
03. Life At P.M. [radio edit]
04. Bridges
05. The Last Note
06. Leaving The Body
07. Time Can Tell
08. Future Dreams
09. Tears In The Night
10. One Track Jack
11. Tears In The Night
12. Life At 10 P.M. [full length – bonus track]

Henning Glommen: vocals
Patrik Olsen: guitar
Tommy K.: keyboards, piano, bass
Fin Nass: drums

10 P.M. - Life At... 10 P.M. [remastered] (1995)