Monday, December 04, 2017

RAY GILLEN - The Fire Still Burns

RAY GILLEN - The Fire Still Burns
This year marks 20 years since the death of RAY GILLEN, one of the greatest singers from the eighties / nineties international Hard Rock scene. The American vocalist had a short but fruitful career which is covered in its entirety in this blog humble tribute.
Every project where Gillen was involved is present here: from his first official recording as part of Bobby Rondinelli's band to his final, posthumous released work with Sun Red Sun. He was featured as guest in a Savatage track, but as he only appears in a vocal duet at the end of the song I chose to leave out this one.

We have Ray's guest leads in the Atsushi Yokozeki Project and George Lynch's solo album, his wonderful participation in Phenomena as main vocalist and of course his own US band Badlands.
But as this tribute was done in a first place because a reader of this blog requested some Gillen's unreleased material, I offer you some rare stuff as well.
Ray was called by Tony Iommi to record Black Sabbath's album 'The Eternal Idol' in 1986, an although recorded most of the tracks he quit before the album was ever released due to internal troubles never clarified.

Gillen was eventually replaced by Tony Martin (another great singer), but Ray's pre-production takes are really awesome. These sessions finally saw the light of day in the 2-disc expanded set of the album released few years ago. I have chosen "Nightmare", a monster of a song.
Ray toured extensively during his stay in Sabbath and some of these concerts were caught on tape, but never released. Just listen Ray's performance on the classic "War Pigs", it is truly thrilling.

Also featured here is a rare early demo of "Stop" - one of the best tracks from the Phenomena album 'Dream Runner' (1987) - in a more 'aural' version.
There's also a demo, a never released song from the Badlands days, and the only known track recorded by Gillen as part of John Sykes' Blue Murder. He was in the band only few months, leaving the project when Sykes decided to handle vocals himself.
All these unreleased tracks were sonically cleaned by me, and I also did a really nice artwork to accompany this deserved tribute to one of the greatest shouters in Hard Rock history.

Tracklist, CLICK HERE:




RAY GILLEN - The Fire Still Burns - HERE

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Updated December 4, 2017

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

TIM FEEHAN - Pray For Rain (1996)

TIM FEEHAN - Pray For Rain (1996) front
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

Canadian TIM FEEHAN is considered by the fans one of the greatest AOR / Westcoast artists ever, but also is a highly respected person in the music industry as composer, producer and talent discover. Tim has played with all, from Steve Lukather to David Foster.
As main artist, Feehan released a bunch of mainstream albums during the '80s, but since the beginning of the Nineties concentrated his efforts into the creation of his own recording studio / company.
However, Feehan continued composing and occasionally putting on tape his own songs for a future release.

"Pray For Rain" was the result of these recording sessions which took place between 1990-95.
All along the way, some serious top class musicians were part of it: awesome guitarist Michael Thompson, Jeff Paris and talented Gene Black (Wild Blue, Device) among others.
The album only was released in Sweden in 1996 and never re-issued, becoming a collector's piece.

TIM FEEHAN - Pray For Rain (1996) disc

"Pray For Rain" is top notch in all departments, production, performances and songwriting, starting with the uptempo "Worth a Fight" (co-written by Gregg Fulkerson of Blue Tears) and the AOR gem "If Ever You Need Someone" pretty much in the Stan Bush style.
You can hear Jeff Paris' touch in the great "Lessons Of The Heart", while the atmospheric "You Should Be Mine" features the excellent backing vocals from the superb Chrissy Steele. Feehan was involved in Steele's solo album together with Brian McLeod (Chilliwack) who sadly died in 1992; the terrific ballad "When You Think Of Me" is dedicated to him.

TIM FEEHAN - Pray For Rain (1996) back

Although not as bombastic (in terms of sound) as his '80s albums, I think this is Tim Feehan's best, mature album. You can't go wrong with Tim Feehan's "Pray For Rain", a must for any AOR fan.
Out Of Print.


01 - Worth A Fight
02 - If Ever You Need Someone
03 - When The Marnier Sails
04 - Yo Te Quiero
05 - When You Think Of Me
06 - Mother Superior
07 - You Should Be Mine
08 - Lessons Of The Heart
09 - I Don't Miss You Too
10 - Pray For Rain
11 - Do It All Over
12 - Magic Hour

Tim Feehan: vocals, keyboards, programming
Gene Black: guitars
Jeff Paris: guitars, background vocals
Michael Thompson: guitars
Louis Sedmak: guitars
Chrissy Steele: additional background vocals


TIM FEEHAN Pray For Rain 1996
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Tuesday, November 07, 2017

WALTHAM - Waltham (2005)


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

Formed in the late nineties, Waltham took their name from the small, working-class factory town in New England, Massachusetts, from which they came.
They won the Boston Best New Band award in 1999 thanks to their indie debut, and after touring the States and another self-released CD, finally got the opportunity with a big label for "Waltham", released in 2005.

Waltham style is rock&pop spiced with intense melodic rock riffs, and although their sound is modern and radiable there's an undeniable '80s influence in the songcraft.
Think Rick Springfield meets Cheap Trick with a 7th Heaven approach.
The good thing about Waltham's is the catchiness, fist-pumping anthem mould delivered in a 3-minute format song.



From the hook laden opener "Cheryl (Come And Take A Ride)" to the last tune "All I Want Is You", you just can't stop to tap your feet. These tunes are simply irresistible, energetic, and damn fine played & produced.
I don't know, but even though this disc is sonically updated, it reminds me track after track those lovable ‘80s teen flick soundtracks.
A catchy, hooky, fun rockin' album.


01 - Cheryl (Come And Take A Ride)
02 - So Lonely
03 - Joanne
04 - Call Me Back
05 - You Gotta Let Me In
06 - Be With Me
07 - Dont Say It's To Late
08 - Back To You
09 - Maria Simeone
10 - Nicole
11 - Hopeless
12 - All I Want Is You

Frank Pino Jr. - Vocals
Tony Monaco - Guitar
Craig Small - Guitar
Peet Golan - Bass
Mikey Rorick - Drums


WALTHAM 2005
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Thursday, November 02, 2017

CAUGHT IN THE ACT - C.I.T.A. [Rare First Recording] (1989)

CAUGHT IN THE ACT - C.I.T.A. [Rare First Recording] (1989) mp3
Well, finally it's here CAUGHT IN THE ACT's (later C.I.T.A.) first recording, so much sought after by collectors.
Formed in 1988 by a group of Denver, Colorado High School friends, the band was pointed to AXE's guitarist Bobby Barth by his manager Ken Turner who at the time lived in the same city.
Barth saw the band's potential and immediately agreed to assist the production of CAUGHT IN THE ACT demo to tempt labels. It would be six years before the band got the opportunity to actually release their debut (the already posted 'Act 1 Relapse Of Reason').

CAUGHT IN THE ACT - The Demo - includes songs never re-recorded again, because in the 6-year gap the guys wrote a lot of new material and these primal tracks were much more '80s oriented.
Musically the predominant style is American Melodic Hard Rock, but CAUGHT IN THE ACT never was 'another' band of the lot, nor even in their very beginning.
We hear here strong keyboard infusions many times bordering AOR, and a little of progressive Hard Rock throwing in. Lyrics are a bit cheesy, but the musicianship really, really good.
The main attraction in this set of songs is the freshness and effervescence of these young musicians hungry for glory.
CAUGHT IN THE ACT - C.I.T.A. [Rare First Recording] (1989) back cover

Catchy rockers like "Satisfaction" (quite Dokken-esque), "Clock Strikes" and "Daddy's Little Girl" are complemented by the melodic numbers "Good Girl Gone Bad" and "Bedroom Eyes", while "Hold On", the ballad "Don't Look Lonely" and "On My Way" brew lovable AOR waves.
Recorded and produced with a high standard for a demo, the sound quality of these tapes is A+. Anyway, I have cleaned some hiss and a couple of noises.
Very nice stuff and quite rare.


1 - Bedroom Eyes
2 - Daddy's Little Girl
3 - Don't Look Lonely
4 - Hold On
5 - Good Girl Gone Bad
6 - Satisfaction
7 - On My Way
8 - Clock Strikes

Danny Martinez: lead vocals, guitar
Anthony Trujillo: guitar, keyboards, vocals
rest of personnel unlisted




CAUGHT IN THE ACT - Rare First Recording

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

DAN HILL - Partial Surrender (1981) restored audio

DAN HILL - Partial Surrender (1981) restored audio - front
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

Canadian singer-songwriter DAN HILL is not a stranger to this blog. Today, here's a request by a reader for one of Hill's hardest to find albums, "Partial Surrender", from 1981.
Never released on CD, it's on this LP where Hill started to flirt with AOR melodies according to the era.

Although it should be filed under 'soft Rock', "Partial Surrender" includes some 'rockier' songs, such as 'Pray That It's Love' with Hill's vocals turning more muscular and featuring a cool guitar solo.
Between my favorites there's 'Class Of '69', the power ballad 'I'm Just A Man' with some Chicago on it, and the almost melodic rock, delicious 'All I Want Is You' (ready for FM radio).
Among the 'big' ballads, the best should be 'Somewhere in the Distance' with its nice acoustic guitars and Hill's impressive vocal dexterity. According to Hill's wife, it was the song that caused her to fall in love with him.

DAN HILL - Partial Surrender (1981) restored audio - back

"Partial Surrender" is one of those 'one hell of an album to be restored from a worn vinyl LP', as it has many quieter moments followed by in-crescendo uptempo passages.
My audio restoration resulted pretty fine, I guess the best you can find in the world wide web right now.


01 - I'm Just A Man
02 - All I Want Is You
03 - Don't Give Up On Love
04 - Somewhere In The Distance
05 - Just A Piece Of Your Heart
06 - Pray That It's Love
07 - Pandora's Song
08 - Something's Wrong
09 - Fumiko
10 - Class Of '69

Dan Hill - Lead & Background Vocals, Guitars
Dave Wipper - Guitars
Pail Daiter - Bass
John Sheard - Keyboards, Background Vocals
Michael Botts - Drums
Paul Grupp - Percussion, Background Vocals
Tom Kelly, Patti G. Smith - Background Vocals (8)
Gary Foster - Alto Sax on "Just A Pice Of Your Heart"
Strings Arranged & Conducted by Jimmie Haskell




DAN HILL - Partial Surrender (1981)
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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

DAVID CARL BAND - Can't Slow Down (1998)

DAVID CARL BAND - Can't Slow Down (1998) front

What you got when Jim Peterik is involved into your music? Great Melodic Rock.
And that's what we find in DAVID CARL BAND's album "Can't Slow Down".
A US Midwestern-born songwriter, singer and guitar player, David Carl moved to California to make his dreams come true. He met no-other than Survivor's Jim Peterik and both started to write songs together in the early '90s.
Even more, Peterik agreed to co-produce "Can't Slow Down" and play some keyboards.

The classic '80s Survivor feel flying over the entire recording. Just check title track "Can't Slow Down", the anthemic "Insatiable", or the Jimi Jamison sounding ballad "Arms Of Love" that belongs to the '80s soundtrack movie' category.
Carl's vocals are smooth and very melodious with a Eric Martin-like color on some cuts - check "For Jackie" for proof.
There's some REO Speedwagon on the delicious "Love Is Like Heaven" (lovely chorus), a pinch of Extreme on "Crazy Love", and Loverboy on the AORish midtempo "Trapped".

DAVID CARL BAND - Can't Slow Down (1998) back

David Carl Band's "Can't Slow Down" is quite unknown outside Melodic Rock circles, and one of the best recordings released in the second half of the '90s - true 'dark ages' for the genre.
It's a trademark Jim Peterik record, full of melodies and smooth choruses.
Very good one.


01 - Innocent Kiss
02 - For Jackie
03 - Trapped
04 - Arms Of Love
05 - Love Is Like Heaven
06 - Crazy Love
07 - Can't Slow Down
08 - Dreamin'
09 - Insatiable
10 - Make Love Shine
11 - Hungry Woman
12 - Cost Of High Livin'

David Carl - lead and backing vocals, guitar
Bill Ozzello - bass, backing vocals
Randy Peterson - drums, percussion
Jim Riley - guitars, backing vocals
Jim Peterik - keyboards on track 1
Barb Unger - keyboards on tracks 4, 7, 12
Lou Depasqua - keyboards on tracks 5, 6, 11
Scott May - keyboards on tracks 8, 9, 10
Mark Zelden - keyboards on tracks 2, 3
Barry Sperdy - sax on track 2




DAVID CARL BAND - Can't Slow Down (1998)
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Thursday, September 14, 2017

REQUEST & FILL CORNER 21

Request & Fill Corner PART 21

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:



ARCHIVES PART 17

ARCHIVES PART 18

ARCHIVES PART 19

ARCHIVES PART 20



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Saturday, September 09, 2017

KBC Band - KBC Band (1986)

KBC Band - KBC Band (1986)
Requested in "Request & Fill Corner" section...

When vocalist and guitar player Paul Kantner left Jefferson Starship in 1984, the group disbanded. Grace Slick and lead vocalist Mickey Thomas continued on simply as Starship.
Kantner was looking for new horizons, and soon joined forces with his former Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship bandmate Marty Balin who was playing live with his own band. The duo agreed to form a band with a new sound, and for the purpose they called the also ex Jefferson Airplane bass player Jack Casady.
KBC band (Kantner-Balin-Casady band) was born, and after a 6-month writing period, the group ink a deal with a major label. Their lone self-titled album was released in 1986.

"KBC band" is a pretty different beast from the typically mid-eigthies stuff.
It's commercial, yes, including catchy poppy AOR tunes with heavily-layered vocal harmonies, some bombastic electronic drums and tons of synthesizers, but lyrically has some kind of defiantly message and musically the band adds saxophone (heavily compressed) dueling with the guitar.
On some tracks the vocals are shared between Kantner and Balin, but it's Marty Balin who handles almost all of the lead vocals, resembling on many parts his stupendous solo albums from the beginning of the eighties.

Opener "Mariel" is a catchy rock&pop song that somehow sounds British to my ears, maybe 'cos the political lyrics (Kantner was an activist at the time).
"It's Not You, It's Not Me" was the first single and a minor hit in the charts, which attracted airplay on AOR radio. Written by Van Stephenson, this is a beautiful mid-tempo tune with an anthemic chorus and a melodious guitar / sax interplay.
"Hold Me" is a slow track in the Americana style with a fine guitar work and sweet vocals by Balin, a bit long to my tastes.
On the classic rockin' "America" the vocals are shared again for good effect. This song recently found renewed interest (due to the lyrics) after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The uptempo "No More Heartaches" is one of my favorite songs on the album, an urgent uptempo AOR track full of synths and a ridiculously catchy chorus. This song alone worth the entire disc.
"Wrecking Crew" is another winner. It is embedded with that '80s magic impossible to resist. Poppy AOR ready for the radio - Love it -.
"When Love Comes" is a re-make of a song previously done by Balin on his 1983 solo album 'Lucky'. The KBC Band version has a more classic rock treatment but with the addition of lush keyboards and electronic drums to update the sound to the mid-eighties style.
"Dream Motorcycle" is a simple but infectious pop-rocker with a catchy melody, a bit overwhelmed by a wall of sax though.
The album ends with "Sayonara", an affected and beautifully performed melodic power ballad, full of class and style, another of my favorites here.

KBC Band - KBC Band (1986) back

Ignored or unknown for most Adult Oriented Rock collectors, with great production and a big sound, "KBC band" is a succulent dish of mid-Eighties brilliance, including some memorable AOR moments (specially on the second part, or 'B' side).
By the way, this is a rip at maximum quality from the not so easy to find CD edition of this album.
Highly Recommended.


01 - Mariel
02 - It's Not You, It's Not Me
03 - Hold Me
04 - America
05 - No More Heartaches
06 - Wrecking Crew
07 - When Love Comes
08 - Dream Motorcycle
09 - Sayonara

Marty Balin – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Paul Kantner – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Jack Casady – bass
Mark 'Slick' Aguilar – lead guitar, background vocals
Tim Gorman – keyboards, synths, background vocals
Keith Crossnan – saxophone, background vocals
Darrell Verdusco – drums, background vocals


KBC Band (1986)
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