Wednesday, January 27, 2010

ONE AND THE SAME - Someday (2002)


This is a beautiful collection of songs & music.
Unknown and self-released, discovered to me by my friend Troynew, so thanks him.
Different to anything you have listened by now.
Forget genres and don't miss this gracefully album. 10/10 in my book.

Troy himself explains the whole thing in his own words :

I was impressed when I first heard the soundbytes and couldn't wait for my copy to arrive.
Having heard the genuine article in all its regal splendor, I'm well and truly bowled over by what is clearly one of the latest and greatest in a long line of superb christian melodic pop/rock releases.

This is not just the best heretofore unknown outfit I stumbled across while racking up the items for my most recent order, but arguably the finest CD I've ordered this year thus far (and I've purchased quite a few).
Frankly I haven't heard this kind of vocal grandstanding from a female duo since VENUS & MARS' acclaimed masterpiece 'New Moon Rising', on this occasion as well combined with an immaculate production job and 10 outstanding tracks that leave little to be desired for the discerning aficionado of divinely inspired piano/keyboard dominated melodies and prodigy level songwriting.

Since I have a penchant for AOR, it stands to reason that I would favor those tracks with a heavier rock edge, such as magnificent opener 'The Father will find you' with its STYX-like pomposity and the simply breathtaking semiballad 'Peace be still', which is very much in the same style as the aforementioned VENUS & MARS (a superior version of Canadian sister act HEART).

For the past couple of days I've been playing those two to death, which is not taking anything away from the other delightful cuts.
I've enjoyed every single song (and note, for that matter) on this awesome album.
No impartial listener could fail to recognize how extremely talented these ladies are, though I would hardly call them 'one and the same'.
On the contrary, their voices are unique in their own way (obviously), while complementing each other exceedingly well.

This disc is for those who value subtle and refined, yet with plenty of bravado, and should appeal to a sizable, diverse audience (Did I hear echoes of Sade in 'Love remains'?).
To state I am looking forward to hearing more from ONE AND THE SAME would be putting it mildly.
Need I say it? Get this album while the getting's good, or you may live to regret it!

Highly Recommended


1. The Father Will Find You
2. Someday
3. Love Remains
4. Have Mercy (On Me)
5. Peace Be Still
6. Eyes of Sorrow
7. These Are the Times
8. Because of You
9. Lord Gives Grace, The (Hannah's Song)
10. Captain of My Soul

Rachel MacKay: Lead & Backing Vocals, piano
Mitzi Shetzline: Lead & Backing Vocals, piano
Mark Pay: Guitars, Background Vocals
Randy Melson: Bass
Shawn Fichter: Drums & Percussion
Rolin Mains: Synths, keyboards

Reposted HERE

Friday, January 22, 2010

B.J. THOMAS - Midnight Minute (1989)

B.J. THOMAS - Midnight Minute
Requested in "Request & Fill Corner 3" section...

B.J. Thomas has performed during four decades, sold more than 70 million records, won 5 Grammy Awards and scored 15 Top40 Pop/Rock Hits.
But all this success was achieved in the country/pop genre.
At the middle of the eighties, AOR rule the charts, and he was seduced by TV soundtracks guru STEVE DORFF to record the main theme for the soap opera 'Growing Pains'.
The single (a duet with Jennifer Warnes) was a hit, and B.J. understood
that was the direction to take.

"Midnight Minute" is the only Adult Contemporary / WestCoast / AOR album recorded by Thomas. And what a good one.
Glorious mid-tempo tunes, heartful ballads and a couple uptempo songs like 'If It Takes All Night' (written by STAN MEISSNER), the absolute winner here, TOP AOR.

Thomas' voice is deep and distinctive, remembering BENNY MARDONES at some point.
Needless to say that production is top notch, and the guitars of masters HUFF / LANDAU a pure pleasure.
Also included here is the re-recorded version of 'As Long As We Got Each Other' with Dusty Springfield, used for "Growing Pains" fourth season.

A must have to any AC / AOR fan.
Thanx Totalaor for the pristine CD rip!


1 - Half A Heart
2 - Don't Leave Love (Out There All Alone)
3 - Midnight Minute
4 - Second Chances
5 - One Last Time
6 - Someone Like You
7 - Young Hearts
8 - If It Takes All Night
9 - One Woman
10 - As Long As We Got Each Other


Vocals : Billy Joe "B. J." Thomas
Guitars : Dann Huff, Michael Landau, Dean Parks
Bass : Joe Chemay
Keyboards : Pat Coil, Randy Kerber
Drums : Paul Leim
Saxophone : Joel Peskin
Background vocals : Joe Chemay, Tony Sciuto, Julia Tillman Waters, Carmen Twillie, Luther Waters, Oren Waters, Maxine Willard Waters & Terry Williams

Produced by John Bettis & Steve Dorff


B.J. THOMAS - Midnight Minute

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

RICK LAINE - When Time Was Not… (1994)


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

Mega rare private CD from Switzerland.
There is no info at all about this recording / artist or what has happened to his career.

Perfectly recorded and produced, encompasses various styles, from Lite - AOR to stylized Rock & Pop.
Maybe you don't know ANDY BAUM (another unknown artist outside his native Austria) but LAINE sounds a lot like him.
To give you an idea, silk-stocking english style, crystalline and atmospheric.

Very good album, mid-tempo paced, to enjoy from start to finish, ripped at maximum quality.


01 - When time was not...
02 - I don't wanna lose you
03 - Don't let me walk away
04 - She plays to win
05 - Call me
06 - Starting all over
07 - A little bit older
08 - Lady in white
09 - Alice (couldn't take it)
10 - Lorraine
11 - Cruel heart
12 - Take a walk in the rain
13 - Time (reprise)

Rick Laine: Lead & Background Vocals
Andreas Nager: Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Programming


RICK LAINE - When Time Was Not

Monday, January 18, 2010

BILL CHAMPLIN - No Wasted Moments (1990)

BILL CHAMPLIN - No Wasted Moments
The man needs no introduction.
After the CHICAGO hiatus, BILL CHAMPLIN restarts his solo career releasing albums in Japan and Europe since 1990.
This is his first, also known as 'Comeback Album', a wonderful EP.

You can be sure of one thing before listening any Champlin album: Perfect Production. He's a studio wizard, and this time with the help of maestro Joey Carbone has rounded one of the best produced AOR recording ever. The sound is incredibly pristine.
Impeccable musicianship as usual and very good songs, being my favorite "The City".
If you love (as I do) 'CHICAGO 19', the most '80s AOR sounding album from this legendary band, don't miss this. Very rare Japan-only release.
High Class Music.

1. Lovers Tonight
2. No Wasted Moments
3. Sticky Situation
4. Before You Go
5. The City

Vocals, Keyboards, Guitars: Bill Champlin
Guitars: Kevin Dukes, John Goux
Drums & Percussion: Carlos Vega
Bass: Dennis Belfield
Keyboards: Joey Carbone, Gordon Goodwin
Trumpet: Rick Baptist, Bill Armstrong
Sax: Danny Pelfrey, Dan Higgins, Greg Smith
Flugelhorn: Lee Loughnane
Background Vocals: Jason Scheff, Bobby Caldwell, Tamara Champlin

Produced by Joey Carbone & Bill Champlin


Re-POSTED HERE

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

LAUREN SMOKEN - Lauren Smoken (1988)


Of all the female voices that have dared to nip at Janis Joplin's coat tails, Lauren Smoken's is the most powerful.
Almost unheard of outside her native Florida, she did at least pop up to New York for a spell in the late eighties to record a stunner of a debut album.

It ignores genres and cares only about Lauren's gorgeous voice, raw and howling when needed, soulful and velvety on the ballads.
One word defines her performance: Passionate.
The musical backbone of this recording is her husband, George Mazzola.
George's rippin' hard rock and gut-wrenching blues style shines throughout the disc, bringing Hendrix, Page, Clapton, Gary Moore to the table.
Listen his licks and solos carefully, the man was great! (passed away few years ago, Rest In Peace G.).

Produced by Jack Douglas (better known for his work with AEROSMITH), the sound and mix is straight in your face Rock 'N Roll.
Very rare CD version (looks like a bootleg!) including one bonus track, at max quality for you listening pleasure.
Highly Recommended.

01 - Haven't I had enough
02 - Rock a bye baby
03 - Smile
04 - Gonna give love one more try
05 - I need the money
06 - The trouble with me is you (CD bonus)
07 - License to love
08 - Come to me
09 - Cry wolf
10 - Little boy dreams
11 - Never learn to say good bye
12 - Best of me

Personnel: Unlisted
Lauren Smoken - Vocals
George Mazzola - Guitars


LAUREN SMOKEN here

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

ARTI TISI - The Definitive Collection

ARTI TISI - The Definitive Collection
One of the biggest myths in the Melodic Hard Rock / AOR ground.
Does ARTI TISI exist?
Some people argue that this band was actually a well known group of musicians who never revealed their names.
False.
ARTI TISI (born Arthur Tisi Jr.) it's alive 'n kickin' and lives in NY.
Songwriter, singer and multi-instrumentalist, has been writing and recording music since the 80's.

Around 1988, join forces with keyboardist Al Greenwood (FOREIGNER, SPYS, J. L. TURNER, HOLY WATER) to write & record songs for a MHR/AOR album.
Most tracks were penned by the team Arthur Tisi Jr. / Jordan Stanley / Al Greenwood (check it Here).
With the skilled Al Pitrelli (DANGER DANGER, ALICE COOPER) on guitars, the result was this impressive collection of songs, superb melodic rockers with punch and melody.
Gossips of mainstream bands members (Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Deep Purple) participating in the studio sessions are uncertain.
In example, seems JR Blackmore (Ritchie's son) play guitar on 'A Little Too Early', or Joe Lynn Turner did backing vocals on 'Knock Knock' (this one was co-written and recorded by himself later), but I'm not sure.

Believe it or not, the album remains unreleased, incredible due the remarkable quality and production-wise.

The file containing this bunch of songs floating the web only has 11 tracks, known as 'Unreleased second demo'.
But there's much, much more recorded.
I have added 8 extra tracks from these recording sessions plus a mid nineties song ('Alone Forever').
In fact, Arthur Tisi Jr. has done tons of demos (I have 5), covering different styles like funk rock, modern rock, etc.
But what I offer here is the rockin', awesome kick ass stuff from 89/90.

Do yourself a favor, don't miss this collection...

01 - Guilty Heart
02 - A Little Too Early
03 - Can't Face Another Night
04 - Limits Of Love #
05 - Love You Too Much
06 - I' ll Be There
07 - She Lights Dynamite #
08 - One Bad Habit
09 - Momma Sweet Evil #
10 - Love Finds You Guilty
11 - Responsible
12 - Change Of Heart #
13 - The Cut & Run
14 - Can't Live Without You
15 - New York City
16 - Can't Stop Breaking Down #
17 - When It's Over # (awesome!)
18 - Joanne #
19 - Knock Knock #
20 - Alone Forever #

# added tracks


ARTI TISI - The Definitive Collection
.

Monday, January 04, 2010

ADRIAN GURVITZ - No Compromise (1983-2000)


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

Mellowers around the globe must known GURVITZ's worldwide number 1 hit single 'Classic'.

A classic song indeed.
He was part of english bands like THREE MAN ARMY and The BAKER GURVITZ ARMY (with legend Ginger Baker).
Becomes solo artist at the late 70's, his earlier vinyls are westcoast oriented, supported by monsters like Jeff Porcaro, David Paich, etc.

But in 1983, together with his brother Paul, recorded this album in London, practically alone, playing all instruments, turning into commercial FM rock / AOR.
The material was rejected by his label, expecting more soft westcoast songs.
Tape was shelved, luckily resurrected by a japanese label few years ago.

These 'lost recordings' have a modern sound (seems recorded 3 years after), with strong guitars, and a typically stylized british AOR songwriting.
Maybe the japanese should have done a remastering to enhance the final product, but surely they wanted to preserve the original as it is.

Good album, rarely seen and unknown.


01 - Ain't It Always The Same
02 - No Compromise
03 - I'm Not Cryin' Over You
04 - The Price You Pay
05 - Punch
06 - No One's In Love
07 - Can't Buy Time
08 - High Point Of Love
09 - The Last Laugh

Adrian Gurvitz: Vocals, Guitars, Drums, Keyboards on all tracks
Paul Gurvitz: Bass, Producer
Recorded at Tower Studios Hampsted, London



ENJOY