Once described as 'one of the greatest unknown gems in the UK's AOR crown' IF ONLY was the british answer to Vixen or Heart.
Formed from the ashes of the superb band Moritz by guitarist Greg Hart and bass player Ian Edwards, the band released their official debut 'No Bed Of Roses' in 1992 -Japan only- , with its subsequential european edition in '94.
The vocalist was the fiery Tina Egan which joined the band around '91.
Before they recorded the version that eventually came out, IF ONLY had recorded a complete take of the album in between '89 / '90 with their original singer Jackie Bodimead who sang in GIRLSCHOOL for a while.
That version was finally released as "Destiny" in 2004 by an indie label, with the addition of 5 songs that can't even be found in the re-recorded version on 'No Bed Of Roses', plus 2 Live Radio Session tracks.
I prefer these earlier versions, as Bodimead is one of the best and most underrated female vocalists ever, her tone, expression and charm fits perfectly to this Melodic Rock / AOR style.
Also to note is the excellent lead guitar work by Martin Chaisson.
Both Jackie and Martin left the band when this original take of the album was nearly complete.
It was a devastating blow to the band when she quit at the eleventh hour. To be fair, Tina Egan was a quality replacement, but she was no Jackie Bodimead.
Alongside Greg Hart, Bodimead forged a songwriting partnership that should have gone far.
Just listen to the likes of "Rock And A Hard Place", the old Moritz song "Hearts On The Line", "If Love Could Last Forever" or the simply perfect "Ghost Of You".
It's almost unbelievable they didn't had their breakthrough in the USA back then, because the music was just so perfect classy '80s Melodic Rock / AOR.
01 - Destiny (prev. unreleased)
02 - Voices Of The Heart (prev. unreleased)
03 - Ain't Nobody (prev. unreleased)
04 - Hearts On The Line (prev. unreleased)
05 - Change Of Heart (prev. unreleased)
06 - Rock And A Hard Place
07 - Tumblin' Dice
08 - If Love Could Last Forever
09 - No Bed Of Roses
10 - Forever My Love
11 - Loaded Gun
12 - Ghost Of You
13 - Red Hot Heaven
14 - All Over
15 - Man Against The World
16 - All Over (Live Radio Session)
17 - Ghost Of You (Live Radio Session)
Jackie Bodimead : Vocals
Martin Chaisson : Guitars
Ian Edwards : Bass
Greg Hart : Guitars
Andy Stewarton : Keyboards
Andy Elphick : Drums