Restored from vinyl by me, MARTEE LeBOW's records "Crimes Of The Heart" and "Love's A Liar" were featured here some years ago. Requested again, I made a pack including both plus a rare self-titled EP from 1993 and as bonus a song recorded for a soundtrack.
Martee LeBow is a recording artist, singer/songwriter and keyboardist born in NY state.
At her teens, as Martee Lebous, the girl released her first album 'The Lady Wants To Be A Star' in the mid of the seventies. While playing with her band, LeBow has maintained a successful career as live & studio back-up vocalist, singing commercial jingles / soundtrack songs, and collaborating with many songwriters.
By 1985, a major label singed Martee as solo artist.
Her debut "Crimes Of The Heart" was a mini-LP with only five songs, but what songs! This is without a doubt one of the best female AOR albums from the '80s.
Opener, title track "Crimes Of The Heart" (penned by maestro Jeff Silverman) is a terrific semi-midtempo rockin' AOR gem. From the first note you will be amazed by LeBow's trained and powerful pipes.
"Stranded In The Moonlight" is pure AOR bliss. Check the songwriting quality (Michael Smith). This isn't an ordinary song by any means.
"Love Just Ain't Enough" is a perfect ballad, with a soulful performance (reminds you Fiona but thousand times better). The guitar solo (the unmistakable master Dan Huff) is simply perfect. Why this song isn't became a hit on par with, let's say, Heart, it's a total mystery.
"One Down" is a marching melodic rocker with a great riff / keyboards. Maybe the best example of Martee's quality vocals. Awesome tune.
What? "Hearts Of Stone" is a Bruce Springsteen cover? Well, the result is magical. A fantastic midtempo with a bluesy touch yes, but beautifully AOR-arranged. Martee shines again here.
This mini album is pure gold.
Fantastic vocalist, excellent songwriting (Martee on 3,4), the best session royalty you could imagine (check personnel) and terrific production by the expertise Robbie Buchanan.
"Love's A Liar" was the second Martee Lebow album, by then firmly established as a solo artist and after extensive touring presenting her mini-LP debut, she had the opportunity to record her full-length record.
And this is really her own. All songs are written and arranged by LeBow, supported by a solid live band including the great Bobby Messano (Lou Gramm, Benny Mardones, Joe Lynn Turner, Fiona).
First track "Where Do I Stand" is a commercial melodic American classic rocker much in the vein of Scandal. "Another Lonely Heart" sounds a lot like canadians Refugee, with a very nice piano line. The sax solo is good, but a guitar one would have been a better choice in my opinion. This song was later recorded by Bernie Shanahan (who does backing vocals here).
Title track "Love's A Liar" starts slow with an intimate guitar, then develops into a midwestern flavored classic rocker. "Maybe You'll Remember" is a high point, massive harmonies in the hook, pushing melody to the very brink, although the verses dominate the eventual chorus.
"Learning The Hard Way" is a midtempo rocker with an overall sense of drama and desperation through all melody lines. A Robin Beck-like tune but more stripped. "Hang On (To My Reckless Youth)" has a simple and fun rhythm. Messano here is allowed to let loose in his own understated way.
"Fallen Angel" is an affected semi-ballad propelled by Martee's great vocal performance. One of my favorite tracks. Some smooth keys lay the platform for the delicious "Forbidden". This is an outstanding tune with a vintage, classic feel.
The poignant "I Must Be In Love" has an organic flavor and moves fluidly along similar to the commercial moments of The Headpins for instance. "One Good Reason" has a bluesy-rock vibe where LeBow's vocal power comes to the fore.
And then we have the quite rare EP from 1993, only released in Canada.
"Roll Away" is a slow, sweet bluesy ballad plenty of magic, followed by soulful uptempo classic rocker "Gone" complete with vintage keyboards (organ), while "Sail On" is a solid midtempo where LeBow offer a varied spectre of her gifted pipes to enjoy.
The bonus is a song from the soundtrack "Pokemon 2.B.A. Master", from the series of the same name. Although recorded and published at the end of the nineties, this is a typical ballad heard on many mid-80s movies.
A complete Martee LeBow package, especially compiled for lovers of Eighties female fronted AOR.
Crimes Of The Heart 1986
1 - Crimes Of The Heart
2 - Stranded In The Moonlight
3 - Love Just Ain't Enough
4 - One Down
5 - Hearts Of Stone
Martee LeBow - Lead vocals
Dan Huff - Guitar
Neil Stubenhaus - Bass
Robbie Buchanan - Keyboards
Mike Baird - Drums
Tommy Funderburk, Steve Lively - Backing Vocals
Love's A Liar 1987
01 - Where Do I Stand
02 - Another Lonely Heart
03 - Love's A Liar
04 - Maybe You'll Remember
05 - Learning The Hard Way
06 - Hang On (To My Reckless Youth)
07 - Fallen Angel
08 - Forbidden
09 - I Must Be In Love
10 - One Good Reason
Lead Vocals: Martee LeBow
Guitars, Backing Vocals: Bobby Messano
Keyboards, Programming: Danny Stein
Bass: Dave Conrad
Drums: Yogi Morton, Jimmy Clark
Piano: Lloyd Landesman
Sax: Rick Bell, Lou Cortelezzi
Percussion: Bill Scheinman
Backing Vocals: Joel Krauss, Bernie Shanahan, Eric Troyer
Martee LeBow - 1993 EP
1 - Roll Away
2 - Gone
3 - Sail On
Bonus; The Time Has Come [from Pokemon 2.B.A. Master OST]
MARTEE LeBOW 3 albums