Alfie Zappacosta has become one of the most distinctive solo rock&pop vocalists of the Canadian scene during the eighties / nineties, many times flirting with traditional AOR and Westcoast.
His first band, Canadian "Surrender" is a fine example of how his career began, delivering some stylized tunes throwing in a bit of Pomp.
A few years ago all Surrender material was published for the first time on a digital disc, now deleted, out of print.
The CD comprises the first self titled LP "Surrender" (tracks 1-8), the second and final miniLP "No Surrender" (tracks 9-12) and 8 songs previously unreleased.
The first tracks obviously are the most pomp-influenced; late seventies AOR style with good guitar solos and nice arrangements.
These songs were usually underrated in favor to the more instant and commercial sound of the following miniLP "No Surrender", but we can find very nice melodies as the ones on "Some People", the proggy ballad "Nicole" or the classy "Alone Too Often".
My pick is "Turn Down The Mission" a full keyboard driven track with great instrumentation, including a killer guitar solo.
Of course, tracks 9-12 are more catchy and appealing to the '80s AOR listener, being "It's All Been Done Before" the winner of the bunch, a really great radio-friendly typical AOR tune. I love this one.
The bonuses are material recorded after the band dissolved and become just Zappacosta. All are more mid-eighties oriented, interesting and well recorded although a few have a pre-production sound. My favorite is the emotional "I Don't Want To Talk Tonight", a song with a special aura.
A good compilation, with nice melodies and performances. Not a classic, but a real pleasant listen.
As said, this CD is out of print and I seriously doubt it will be reissued in the future.
01 - Anyway You Want
02 - Some People
03 - Nicole
04 - Turn Down The Mission
05 - Buddy
06 - Alone Too Often
07 - Big City Streets
08 - Young Seaman
09 - It's All Been Done Before
10 - Start Again
11 - Hold Tight
12 - Strange Strange Way!
13 - Find Your Way
14 - Hold Me Close
15 - Your Love Is Blind
16 - Melody
17 - You're The Only One That Matters
18 - The Light In Your Eyes
19 - Polo Bar
20 - I Don't Want To Talk Tonight
Alfie Zappacosta - Vocals, Guitar
Steve Jensen - Guitars
Paul Delaney - Drums (1-12)
Peter Curry - Keyboards (1-8)
Geoff Waddington - Bass (1-8)
Mitch Starkman - Bass (9-12)
Gerald O'Brien, Steve Sexton, Peter Goodale, Calvin Sauro, Gerry Mosby - Keyboards (9-12)