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Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, AIR RAID was active in the East area the for almost the entire Seventies, founded by songwriter, singer and keyboard player Arthur Offen. All members worked at a local recording studio while playing the club circuit.
At the end of the decade, Air Raid was signed by the new 20th Century Fox record division, and they secure the famous Eddie Kramer to produce the debut.
Released in 1981, "Air Raid" is definitely Pomp AOR, absolutely influenced by the sound & style of Styx, accented by Arthur Offen's pipes very similar in to Dennis DeYoung. Just check the melodic "Nowhere Without Your Love".
However, Air Raid is more visceral and rocking in many ways, especially due to Rick Hinkle's raw guitar setup sound and of course, Eddie Kramer.
At places they turn remind me Trillion, on others Giuffria's Angel, and even Freddie Mercury's Queen on the pompous "You're Mine" and the wonderful "Ballad Of Anymore".
As occurs with the genre, there's lots of rare keyboards / proto synths here, name it Mini-Moogs, Prophet V, Polymoog. Last track called "Air Raid / Drill" is a festival of those, and in my humble opinion, ranks amongst the 3 best Pomp Rock songs of all time.
The venture of 20th Century Fox into the record business was really brief, and Air Raid found themselves without promotion and management, and soon broke-up.
They delivered this one and only album, but this is as good as it gets when we talk about Pomp Rock / AOR.
01 - Nowhere Without Your Love
02 - You're Mine
03 - Anything-Anytime
04 - Love The Way You Look To-Nite
05 - Longships
06 - Lovewave
07 - Mystery Man
08 - Soldiers Of Fortune
09 - Ballad Of Anymore
10 - Air Raid / Drill
Rick Hinkle (guitars)
Tom "Tommy" Walker (bass)
Rick Brown (drums)
Arthur Offen (vocals, grand piano, multi-keyboards,12 string guitar)
AIR RAID - CD Reissue 2006 HQ