Requested in "Request & Fill Corner" section...
Today we have a highly appreciated album by AOR collectors, but not very well known for the occasional listener of the genre.
E.Z. MONEY was a Dutch trio who released this sole CD on a major label, although only ditributed in central Europe.
"Getcha Hands On" is a very good and original Lite AOR, Hi-Techie album with a large amount of tracks all with their own quota of interest.
Their style mix the sounds of several bands of this AOR subgenre, such as JoJo, Beau Heart, Balanx and even eighties Saga, with a bit of Johnny Hates Jazz, Mr. Mister and why not their countrymen Ten Sharp.
What gives E.Z. MONEY a distinctive touch is their 'hi-tech-progressive' approach on many songs here. This means that the music is catchy and fun, yet sometimes elaborated and with unexpected twists, which turns the listening experience even more captivating.
"Getcha Hands On" is plenty of fine melodies and clever arrangements, a very good musicianship including lots of keyboards, synths & flashing guitar work, and a pristine, stylized production.
Check the music-video below as sample, but E.Z. MONEY is much more than the sounds exposed on that particular track. As said, all songs are good and interesting.
Out of print and really hard to find.
01 - Getcha Hands On
02 - More Than This
03 - Rat Race
04 - Keyed Up
05 - Livin' On A Maybe
06 - Nasty Fantasy
07 - Make U Wannit
08 - Splinter
09 - Fear
10 - Somewhere In Time
11 - No More Tears
12 - Best Friend
13 - The New
14 - Never Say Never
15 - For The Rest Of Our Lives
E.Z. MONEY - Getcha Hands On
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
TURN was formed at the end of the nineties by bass player Pee Bonfert together with long-term friends Martin Kalus (vocals) and Drummer Axek Winkler around around Stuttgart, South Germany.
With guitarist Jacek Jan Zajac and keyboard player Markus Metzger (later in SUBWAY) aboard, started independently in 2000 the recording of their debut album. The sessions were delayed by the vocalist illness, which was replaced by young singer Steffen Lauth.
The band recorded 9 tracks, but due the low budget (self-financed) they decided to release a 5-track CD; "Turn Back Time".
TURN plays a truly enjoyable Melodic Rock / AOR here, influenced by classic major acts but with some modern touches.
"Change The Letters" opens with an acoustic intro that soon turns into a catchy uptempo melodic rocker with layered keyboards and very good backing vocals. The additional programming drums adds a cool modern (yet not annoying) feel to the song. Swedes' T'Bell come to mind here.
"Crazy Mama" is driven by more strong guitars and a fine electric piano line that reminds you Jonathan Cain / Journey. But the overall song-style recalls '90s Alien or Hugo/Valentine.
The third song is musically the most complete in the CD. It's a smooth very European midtempo MR / AOR tune in the Street Talk vein, with really good instrumentation and harmony vocals.
Next we have the melodious ballad "Honesty", filled with dreamy keyboards. Nice one. Closing track "Living in Darkness" is another good modern midtempo melodic rocker, again with clever programming in the background and an '80s feel in the chorus.
"Turn Back Time" is one of the best indies of the beginning of the new millennium, combining the ear-candy sound of '80s Melodic Rock / AOR with modern programming which gives to the music an original twist.
Not in vain Dan Huff (Giant) was interested to produce the guys, but when he was available in his busy schedule, the original singer got sick. A pity.
Anyway, TURN managed to obtain a remarkable sound out of these songs, produced and arranged by keyboard player Markus Metzger with the help of Bonfert.
Good Stuff, rare and Out Of Print.
1 - Change The Letters
2 - Crazy Mama
3 - Dream Dancer
4 - Honesty
5 - Living In Darkness
Markus Metzger: Keyboards, Progamming
Steffen Lauth: Vocals
Jacek Jan Zajac: Guitars, Backing Vocals
Pee Bonfert: Bass, Backing Vocals
Axel Winkler: Drums, Backing Vocals
Ralpf Flinn: add. Backing Vocals & Acoustic Guitar
TURN - Turn Back Time
Monday, April 16, 2012
MARINER hails from Michigan, where they started as a band in the seventies founded by guitar player Bob Okonowski.
The beginning of the eighties would find the act beating out 700 groups from around the U.S. in a battle of the bands, their prize for victory was a two month gig in Osaka, Japan.
Shortly upon returning to the States they would enter Multi-Trac Recording Studios in Livonia, MI, to record their first album. Mariner had various major labels interested but nothing panned out so 1981's 'Sweet Horizon' would be released on the independent Tidal Wave Records. The album featured an excellent cover of the Chilliwack song 'Fly At Night'.
In 1983 Mariner released a self-titled four song EP, again as indie on Tidal Wave Records, which would see the band's music headed in a more Melodic Rock direction.
Tracks like the atmospheric mid-tempo AOR "Don't Get Fooled Again", the radio friendly "Make Me Baby" with its irresistible chorus, and the bouncy "Lady's Touch" were excellent rockers which would once more find major labels interested, but again nothing transpired.
What has to make one scratch one's head is the other cut on the EP, "Let Your Love Show Thru", and surely "Make Me Baby" as well, were a sure fired hits that would have gone over well with the MTV crowd from that time period.
Mariner remained active during the nineties playing in small venues and releasing a couple of albums, even re-recording all the tracks from this cool mini-LP, but the original versions featured here are much better, capturing the first half of the '80s essence.
I have added as bonus one track from each of the nineties albums plus one rare track; "You Can't Out Your Love Forever". Additionally, you can listen the long demo version of "Make Me Baby" included in my AOR TREASURES - Demo Projekt Vol.2.
"MARINER mini LP" is a fine representation of early U.S. '80s Melodic Rock, really well played and produced.
Vinyl-rip restored by me.
01 - Don't Get Fooled Again
02 - Make Me Baby
03 - Let Your Love Show Thru
04 - Lady's Touch
05 - You Can't Out Your Love Forever (bonus)
06 - Emotional Breakdown (bonus)
07 - Welcome Back To Detroit (bonus)
Pat Mezza: bass, lead vocals
Jimmy Henterly: keyboards, lead vocals
Bob Okonowski: guitar, backing vocals
Mike Smyt: guitar, backing vocals
Charlie Block: guitar, backing vocals
Gordie Roedding: drums
MARINER - mini LP '83
Thursday, April 12, 2012
The beginning of German band Mr. CLEAN goes back to the year 1994, when guitarist Thomas Kupke teamed up some session musicians to build a new rock project.
The group started to write their own material, while played in small venues a mixed set of original compositions with cover songs.
By 1995, Mr. CLEAN managed to record themselves nine pieces from their own, and published the CD "Wash & Go" through the unknown small indie label Baze Records.
The band's style could be best described as melodic hard rock with a slightly progressive influences, and some AOR/rock thrown into the mix.
In example, "Way Of Love" has a strong driven guitar riff and a keyboard atmosphere similar to early nineties SAGA. "Intoxication" is a midtempo rocker with clean guitars and a cool refrain, influenced by the Canadian sound.
"Not Now!" is an uptempo synth driven melodic rocker with hints of Scandi - AOR ala RETURN or SKAGARAK, surely one of the best tracks here.
"Blue Dreams" returns to the proggy territory, "King For A Day" is a catchy typically German MR/AOR tune, and "Twisted" has an hard rock Americanized style.
The synth / piano only ballad "Only Some Words" is truly good, in fact, the best track of the entire CD.
"Wash & Go" is an unknown CD, rare as an ice cube in the Sahara.
Includes good songs and melodies that would needed a little extra work, but this is compensated by the freshness of the band. The production is as good as it gets for an indie release.
A nice collectible.
01 - Way of Love
02 - Intoxication
03 - Not Now!
04 - Blue Dreams
05 - King for a Day
06 - Twisted
07 - Crystal Seas
08 - Only Some Words
09 - I Don't Know
Markus Hoffmann: vocals
Thomas Kupke: guitars
Gunni Brahm: keyboards, vocals
Reiner Schwaab: bass, vocals
Ralf Wintermeyer: drums
Mr. CLEAN - Wash & Go
Thursday, April 05, 2012
There's not much info about Myron Thomas Kline.
According to the back cover of the only album he has recorded, Myron and his band were from Whasington state, more precisely from Bellevue city, at the Eastside region of King County.
As was common in the first half of the eighties, indie artists used to release vinyl miniLP's. "Don't Say Goodbye" was published on the private label R-S, including five tracks.
The best of them is the title track, a lovely pure AOR tune with a classic sound and arrangements. The rest of the material is varied but mostly strong too, with last track "Message" having a westcoast slant, "Always" is a light aorish midtempo, "Crank It Out" has a classic rock vibe and "Night Club" is a smooth slow tune.
"Don't Say Goodbye" is a pleasant miniLP of early '80s music, not essential, but a fine slice of likeable melodies. As all private pressings, it has become a rarity and a collector's item.
As requested, here you have a pristine vinyl-rip with restored audio by me.
01. Don't Say Goodbye
03. Crank It Out
04. Night Club
Myron Kline - vocals
Mike Stoican - guitars
Don Garberg - keyboards
John Goforth - sax
Ed Gately - bass
Rob Parks - drums
MYRON KLINE - Don't Say Goodbye
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Some of you should remember Richard Grieco, an '80s pop-culture actor who was a rising star in Hollywood at the end of that decade starring in the TV series '21 Jump Street' with Johnny Deep.
In 1991, Grieco made his feature film acting debut in the James Bond spoof 'If Looks Could Kill' (the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was posted on this blog a couple years ago) where he starred as Michael Corben.
He followed it up with the crucial role of Bugsy Siegel in 'Mobsters' (1991) with Christian Slater, Anthony Quinn and Lara Flynn Boyle. But after that, his career suddenly derailed and began a rapid descent into obscurity.
Well, seems Grieco was always involved with music as well, playing guitar and writing lyrics. He is the brother-in-law of Jon Dunmore (who has released some cool AOR albums) and between Richard's actor duties both make music together in irregular intervals.
Then Grieco met songwriter extraordinaire Mark Spiro, who was impressed by the actor's lyrics, and they started to write songs and recording demos.
By 1994, Grieco signed a record contract with the German label Edel Records, and released the CD "Waiting For The Sky To Fall" the following year.
Most of the songs in this CD were penned by Mark Spiro, while Grieco contributed much of the lyrics. Spiro, apart from producing the material, brought into the studio great session musicians such as guitar player / songwriter Tim Pierce (who also contributes with a song from his pen).
"Waiting For The Sky To Fall", as expected, has a pristine and clear production. Musically, if you like high quality, refined AOR music, you will enjoy it greedily.
In fact, it's like a Mark Spiro 'lost album', but not the acoustically tingled of his nineties albums, this is electric and pretty much '89-'91 style-wise with a sophisticated sound.
Richard Grieco's vocals aren't the most heart wrenching in the World, but the guy can sing a melody and write tasteful lyrics.
Only released in Germany, "Waiting For The Sky To Fall" was a successful album, as many of the tracks were used in a popular local TV Series.
Now out of print, it's impossible to find a copy anywhere.
01 - Stay Young, Stay Free
02 - Waiting For The Sky To Fall
03 - I Believe In You
04 - Please Let It Rain
05 - Voice With No Name
06 - Johnny Come Lately
07 - If Love Was On Your Mind
08 - Borrowed Time
09 - Anything For You
10 - Crying In The Street
11 - Lay Your Body Down
12 - The Innocence Of A Child
Richard Grieco - Vocals
Mark Spiro - Guitar, Backing Vocals, songwriter
Tim Pierce - Guitars, songwriter
Jon Dunmore - Guitar, Keyboards, songwriter
Eddie St. James - Guitar, Backing Vocals
Phil Soussan - Bass
Michael Dan Ehmig (Lita Ford, Glen Burtnik) - songwriter
...and many more.
R. GRIECO - Option 1
R. GRIECO - Option 2