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Canadians BENTWOOD ROCKER started as band in 1977, but several members were friends since many years before. They released an independent album which sold pretty well, and then Quality Records singed the quintet for a new record and promises of proper distribution.
The band moved to Florida, USA, and recorded this "Take Me To Heaven", a very fine slice of radio-friendly early '80s AOR tunes. Bentwood Rocker are strong in multi-part vocal harmonies performed by all members, present on all tracks.
Opener "Heart Says No" has a catchy rhythm similar to Americans Balance, followed by title track "Take Me To Heaven" plenty of pompy analog synths and a Spys vibe.
Track 3 "Throw Away Love" delivers a more stylized AOR with some classy melodies and again, lots of harmonies. These first three tracks worth the LP alone.
But there's more quality to enjoy.
"You" is a lovely mid-tempo ballad, "Best Man" is a muscular foot-tapping melodic rocker with sharp riffs and some early Loverboy, "New World Coming" rocks even harder, and the title of "Rock 'N' Roll Overload" says it all.
"Take Me To Heaven" worked well in Canada with minor success in America, but sadly Quality Records broke soon after the release of the LP. Bentwood Rocker continued touring, composing new material and recording, but they couldn't get a record deal. All that 'missing tapes' were later released by the band as "The Works", to be featured here soon.
"Take Me To Heaven" never was released on CD until 2009, when Bentwood Rocker reissued by themselves the album in limited quantities, with some backing tracks re-recorded and different tracklist (which works better in my opinion).
This is taken from the now rare "Take Me To Heaven CD edition", a collector's item.
1 - Heart Says No
2 - Take Me To Heaven
3 - Throw Away Love
4 - You
5 - Best Man
6 - New World Coming
7 - Turning All The Heads
8 - Too Old To Rock
9 - Rock 'N' Roll Overload
Dan Thompson - lead vocals, guitar
Eric Baragar - guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
Steve Smith - drums, backing vocals
Mike Goettler - bass, backing vocals
Barry Haggarty - guitar, backing vocals
BENTWOOD ROCKER Take Me To Heaven CD version