Speaking of music, when you think you have it all, there's always an unknown little gem hidden under the carpet.
Rob Tro seems to come out of nowhere, there's no info about his origins or career. I've been looking deeply in the net, specialized magazines from my own collection, and asked some friends (real AOR collectors). Zero results.
Well, the important thing is the music, and Rob Tro's "Intro" is full a goodness.
Tro (curious last name) is on the wagon of the soloists from the first half of the eighties: a good vocalist backed up by expertise musicians. No one of them are credited on the artwork, but all are more than competent sessionists.
The aural and cheesy (but beautiful) "Let Me Be The Knight" reminds me John O'Banion circa his 'Dangerous' album. This is the kind of american AOR I love. Rob's vocals are sweet and velvety, with nice color.
"Who Do Ya Love" is another lovely commercial and melodic AOR with good vibe and jumpin' keyboards. This song is written by aussie Mark Holden and was recorded by him for his '83 self-titled album.
The enchanting Westcoast ballad "Kari's Eyes" floats into Michael McDonald's backyard looking for a place to land. Awesome, sweet tune.
On "I Just Wanted To Know" the production turns more poppy in the Bernie LaBarge style, while in "No One After You" Rob Tro somehow reminds me the earlier Brock Walsh in the way of singing, this is an 'action movie' AOR track, simple but effective.
"Heartbeat" is a commercial, FM radio oriented AOR song, linked with some Frank Stallone material.
One of my favorites is "Let Me Touch You", a relaxed and stylized pure Westcoast tune in the vein of Robbie Dupree. Tro shows here his ability to 'whisper' his lines without losing essence. He sounds like a very well trained singer indeed.
"There's Always A Little Smoke" is one of those AOR songs that I call 'uptempo westcoast', because it has a catchy pace but essentially is pure L.A. scene.
Talking about L.A., "It Only Hurts When I Breathe" has absolutely that vibe. This is one of the best arranged and produced songs of the album, with great harmonies and clean guitars, and the 'crooner' vocals of Rob shine. Love this one.
Last track "All Of My Life" is another favorite. Again sounding like O'Banion, this ballad has terrific arrangements, and Rob does a great performance.
It's a crime that "Intro" remains unknown even between AOR / Westcoast circles.
Private release via the obscure and domestic Californian label Jamex records, this album claims a reissue pronto.
This isn't my vinyl rip (could be better) because I don't own this rarity.
I have restored the audio, cleaning the clicks (several) and the turntable noises to get the best quality possible.
Mega Rare. Highly Recommended.
01 - Let Me Be The Knight
02 - Who Do Ya Love
03 - Kari's Eyes
04 - I Just Wanted To Know
05 - No One After You
06 - Heartbeat
07 - Let Me Touch You
08 - There's Always A Little Smoke
09 - It Only Hurts When I Breathe
10 - All Of My Life
Rob Tro: Vocals
ROB TRO - Intro