Wednesday, June 12, 2019

PARTLAND BROTHERS - Electric Honey (1986)

PARTLAND BROTHERS - Electric Honey (1986) front

Call 'em Rock&pop, Lite AOR, mainstream FM Rock, whatever you want; but to sum up, PARTLAND BROTHERS debut LP "Electric Honey" is a true definition of the mid-Eighties sound. To be more specific, the 'Canadian Sound'.

Founded by, indeed, brothers G.P. & Chris Partland, the main characteristic of this band / duo is their twin melodius harmony vocals (both sing lead), and of course, the pristine production design. Handled by Vini Poncia (Kiss, Tycoon, Adrenalin) and Jim Vallance (Bryan Adams), the album's sound is crystal clear.

Among the musicians involved into the recording, there's Ken "Spider" Sinnaeve (Loverboy) on bass, Richard Evans (Rik Emmett Band) and Gerald O'Brien (Zappacosta) on keys, Anton Fig (Kiss, John Waite) on drums, and many other seasoned cats.

PARTLAND BROTHERS - Electric Honey (1986) back

Musically, songs like 'Outside The City' (my favorite including awesome synths), midtempo 'Best Love', the elegant ballad 'Reason', or the Vallance-produced 'One Chance' were written with FM Radio play in mind.
'Soul City' become an unexpected hit single in Canada and reached the Top 30 on Billboard Hot 100 Chart in the U.S. This earned the Partland Brothers an extensive tour all over North America.
The band continued all over these years, still active today.
Cool, nice '80s music.


01 - Electric Honey
02 - Best Love
03 - Soul City
04 - Heat Up The Feel
05 - Outside The City
06 - That's The Way It Will Be
07 - Walk With Me
08 - Reason
09 - This One's For You
10 - One Chance

G.P. Partland - Lead & Backing Vocals, Percussion
Chris Partland - Guitar, Lead & Backing Vocals
John Bride, Simon Brierley, Domenic Troiano - Guitar
Ken "Spider" Sinnaeve - Bass
Anton Fig, Greg Critchley. Matt Frenette - Drums
Richard Evans, Gerald O'Brien - Keyboards
John Johnson, Jimmy Romeo, Earl Seymour - Horns
Kelly Partland, Colina Phillips, Shawne Jackson, Sharon Williams - Backing Vocals
Produced by Vini Poncia & Jim Vallance




PARTLAND BROTHERS - Electric Honey
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0 Day Rock



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Updated June 13, 2019

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Saturday, May 18, 2019

10 P.M. - Life At... 10 P.M. [remastered] (1995)

10 P.M. - Life At... 10 P.M. [remastered] (1995)
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

"Life At... 10 P.M.", the one and only album from Norwegian act 10 P.M. is an obscure, indie release much sought after by collectors fetching sidereal prices at eBay.
10 P.M.'s style is Euro AOR but not flooded by fluffy keyboards / sweet choruses known from Scandinavian acts. Their music tends to be more elaborated and expansive, with three of the tracks here around the 6-minute mark. This also suppose a slightly progressive orientation, yet on the lighter side of the spectrum.

With that in mind, "Life At... 10 P.M." features really interesting compositions such as title track, midtempo 'The Last Note' (perhaps the best song here), 'Tears In The Night', and the short, acoustically based 'Tears In The Night'.
On the more commercial side, and adding a touch of melodic hard rock we have 'Easy Come', 'Bridges', 'Leaving The Body', or the heavier 'Time Can Tell'.
There's also listed as bonus track a full length version of the title track including additional guitar solos and piano arrangements.

While "Life At... 10 P.M." isn't a catchy, 'instant AOR' record, it's a quite interesting opus. The problem with this album is the disparate production, and at places, the mix, something understandable as it was recorded on a very scarce budget at hand on previously used analog tapes.
Not so long ago it was reissued with a 'remastered sound' where several flaws were corrected, like tape hiss, buried bass lines, etc.
This is the "Life At... 10 P.M. / Remastered" version, rare as hen's teeth.


01. The First Sunrise (intro)
02. Easy Come
03. Life At P.M. [radio edit]
04. Bridges
05. The Last Note
06. Leaving The Body
07. Time Can Tell
08. Future Dreams
09. Tears In The Night
10. One Track Jack
11. Tears In The Night
12. Life At 10 P.M. [full length – bonus track]

Henning Glommen: vocals
Patrik Olsen: guitar
Tommy K.: keyboards, piano, bass
Fin Nass: drums




10 P.M. - Life At... 10 P.M. [remastered] (1995)
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Monday, May 13, 2019

ALPHA - Alpha (1987)

ALPHA - Alpha(1987) LP restored audio
This one was featured here years ago, after a request I am revamping the post because it's a really good one and hard to find.

ALPHA was an American band previously known as Aura which used to have guitar wizard Chris Impelliteri as member.
Their one and only release is this obscure and pretty hard to find self-titled album from 1987, which despite the indie production and being a trio, the record sounds terrific with a polished sound.

After an intriguing and spacey intro, "Throwin' It All Away" blast your speakers with a classy mid-eighties uptempo AOR melody. A really good song with great keyboards all over, solid guitar licks and a catchy chorus. The interesting thing about this band is the harmonic dual lead vocal job of Jon Quinn and Brad Sandlin.
"Run For Your Life" is a pompy-AOR track featuring a marvelous parping keyboard line. Love this kind of songs.
"To The North" has some lite-prog influences, with a style / sound that brings to mind '80s Rush. I really like the way guitars are played, somehow like a violin with a dense tone, very melodic and original.
The canadian style is also present on "In Sync", but this time definitely AOR. Again, lots, lots of keyboards and clever arrangements. You never get bored with this band.

On the semi-ballad "Let The Music" they mix acoustics with electricity with taste. Excellent vocal harmonies and awesome clavinet-keyboard sounds on this one. Awesome track.
Last number "Let It Go" starts climatic with a melodic in-crescendo, a remarkable guitar job by Brad Sandlin (check the intricate arrangements) and a superb solo.


ALPHA - Alpha(1987) back - LP restored audio

ALPHA is a little gem, sadly running only 7 tracks (6 if you exclude the intro), but if good and short, twice good.
Seems this LP was reissued on CD some time ago with the addition of newer tracks, but it's impossible to find / purchase because only was available through the band's website, now defunct. If you have a copy, please share it with us.
Anyway, this is a rip from vinyl at maximum quality. The LP was terribly wasted, but I am very happy with the restoring result. It took me hours to get it fine, specially track 2 which had a click noise every three seconds.
Good and Rare.


1 - Intro
2 - Throwin' It All Away
3 - Run For Your Life
4 - To The North
5 - In Sync
6 - Let The Music
7 - Let It Go

Jon Quinn - Vocals, Bass, Keyboards
Brad Sandlin - Vocals, Guitars
Randy Jason - Drums


ALPHA 1987 - restored audio

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Saturday, April 06, 2019

BRIAN ISLAND (Canada) - ST (1989)

BRIAN ISLAND Canada 1989
Requested by Kissmar...

BRIAN ISLAND (real name Brian Cowieson) is a Canadian bass player and vocalist. The man has played with many local acts, written songs for other artists and scores for movies & TV shows.

He was part of the cult cancon AOR band Prototype which released a very good album back in '83.

For his one and only solo album, Brian required the services of his old partner in Prototype, guitarist & producer Dan Lowe.
Lowe, inventor of an enhancement method for stereo recording (named Q-Sound), also contributed on guitars and songwriting.
This recording sounds million bucks indeed, with excellent instrument separation and crisp edge.

Island's style is Hi-Tech AOR with high dosis of adult pop. A playground where the likes of Stan Meissner, Gowan or Stan Meissner hang out.
All the songs on this disc are catchy and highly enjoyable, featuring strong bass lines, very very good guitars and cool keyboards.

If you are fan of high quality Hi-Tech, perfect recording techniques and compact, glossy sounds, don't miss Brian Island.
This is a mega-rare CD, as far I know, only released in Canada.
Thanks Adriana!


01 - In spite of what you do
02 - Treat me like a lover
03 - No surrender
04 - Walk on water
05 - I'm your hero
06 - Night after night
07 - Major motion
08 - When you lose your love
09 - Draw the line


Brian Island: Vocals, Bass, Background Vocals
Brad Steckel: Guitar, Background Vocals
Brent Saks: Guitar
Amin Bhatia, Ted Alexander: Keyboards
Jerry Adolphe: Drums
Dan Lowe: add. Guitar
Backup Vocals: Martha Cobb, Debbie Hughes, Georgina Skebo, Deanna Dubbin





BRIAN ISLAND (Canada)
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Friday, March 15, 2019

VAN STEPHENSON - Unreleased 4th Album (88-90)


This is a fresh re-post from another original VAN STEPHENSON compilation made by me.
Between 88-90 Van Stephenson with his friend Dan Huff worked together in a musical project which supposed to be the genesis of GIANT, including some renowned recording session cats. They taped several tracks but Huff was really busy with his session schedule for other artists and Giant as band, put on hold.

Then Van Stephenson accepted the offer from southern rockers BLACKHAWK to join in, leaving those great songs recorded with Dan Huff & Co. unreleased, plus some made by Van Stephenson alone. We have here some real gems with a quite good production & sound, enhanced and cleaned by myself including artwork.
VAN STEPHENSON is an AOR legend, and his musical legacy, a must have.
Get it while it's hot...



01 - Fear Of Falling
02 - Love Is Stranger
03 - Snow And Thunder
04 - Change
05 - Naked City
06 - Don't Walk Away
07 - Mambo Willie
08 - Louder Than Words
09 - Calm Before The Storm
10 - Years
11 - Get Used To It (recorded later by GIANT)
12 - If That Was A Lie (recorded later by BLACKHAWK)

Van Stephenson - vocals
Dann Huff - guitars, bass, vocals
Alan Pasqua - keyboards, vocals
Mike Brignardello - bass, vocals
Mike Baird - drums
... and more


VAN STEPHENSON Unreleased 4th Album

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Sunday, March 10, 2019

VON GROOVE - Von Groove [Japanese Edition] (1992)

VON GROOVE - Von Groove [Japanese Edition] (1992) front
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

Founded by Canadian vocalist / drummer Michael Shotten and bass player Matthew Gerrard (a songwriting duo contributing songs for Triumph among others) plus Croatian born guitarist simply called Mladen, VON GROOVE born in Gerrard's own basement recording studio in the early Nineties.
The tapes they recorded sounded so great that A&M Records signed the band and decided to release the material without modifications.

However Chrysalis wanted some 'sure fire' potential single hits, so Von Groove agreed to re-record 4 of the songs in Los Angeles with super-drummer Deen Castronovo (Bad English, Hardline, Journey) and famous (and talented) Richie Zito producing.

VON GROOVE - Von Groove [Japanese Edition] (1992) back
Simply put, "Von Groove" is one of the greatest Melodic Hard Rock records ever made. Killer songs, superb performances and brilliant production turns this CD a classic for the genre.
Someone asked for a HQ Cdrip so here it is from the Japanese edition, including 2 bonus tracks and full art.
A Must !


01 - Once Is Not Enough
02 - Better Than Ever
03 - Can't Get Too Much
04 - Once In A Lifetime
05 - Every Beat Of My Heart
06 - House Of Dreams
07 - C'Mon, C'Mon
08 - All The Way Down
09 - Arianne
10 - Slave To Sin
11 - Love Keeps Bringing Me Home
12 - Smaug
13 - Sweet Pain
Japanese bonus tracks;
14 - Soldier Of Fortune
15 - King Of Your World (Live)

Michael Shotton - lead and backing vocals, drums
Matthew Gerrard - bass, backing vocals, keyboards
Mladen - guitars, mandolin, backing vocals
Deen Castronovo - drums
Norm Arnold - percussion
Scotth Humphrey - keyboards, digital edition
Tommy Funderburk, Al Langlade, Grant Cummings - backing vocals




VON GROOVE - Von Groove [Japanese Edition] (1992)
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Monday, March 04, 2019

ARTI TISI - The Definitive Collection (hardrockaorheaven.blogspot exclusive compilation)

ARTI TISI - The Definitive Collection
Re-post as requested, quite rare and good material.
Perhaps the most controversial post ever on this blog; check reader's comments in the original HERE.

One of the biggest myths in the Melodic Hard Rock / AOR ground. Does ARTI TISI really exist? Some people argue that this band was actually a well known group of musicians who never revealed their names.
False.
ARTI TISI (born Arthur Tisi Jr.) it's alive 'n kickin' and lives in NY. Songwriter, singer and multi-instrumentalist, has been writing and recording music since the mid '80s.

Around 1988, Tisi joined forces with keyboardist Al Greenwood (FOREIGNER, SPYS, JOE LYNN TURNER, HOLY WATER) to write & record songs for a Melodic Hard Rock / AOR album. Most tracks were penned by the team Arthur Tisi Jr. / Jordan Stanley / Al Greenwood.
With the skilled Al Pitrelli (DANGER DANGER, ALICE COOPER) on guitars, the result was this impressive collection of songs, superb melodic rockers with punch and melody.
Gossips of mainstream bands members (Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Deep Purple) participating in the studio sessions are uncertain.
As example, seems JR Blackmore (Ritchie's son) play guitar on "A Little Too Early", or Joe Lynn Turner did backing vocals on "Knock Knock" (this one was co-written and recorded by himself later), but I'm not sure.
Believe it or not, the album remains unreleased, incredible due the remarkable quality and production-wise.

The file containing this bunch of songs floating the web only has 11 tracks, known as 'Unreleased second demo'. But there's much, much more recorded.

I added 8 extra tracks from these recording sessions plus a mid nineties song ("Alone Forever").
In fact, Arthur Tisi Jr. has done tons of demos (I have 5 folders from different years), covering several styles like funk rock, modern rock, etc.
But what I offer here is the melodic rockin', awesome kick ass stuff from 89/90.
Do yourself a favor, don't miss this collection...


01 - Guilty Heart
02 - A Little Too Early
03 - Can't Face Another Night
04 - Limits Of Love #
05 - Love You Too Much
06 - I' ll Be There
07 - She Lights Dynamite #
08 - One Bad Habit
09 - Momma Sweet Evil #
10 - Love Finds You Guilty
11 - Responsible
12 - Change Of Heart #
13 - The Cut & Run
14 - Can't Live Without You
15 - New York City
16 - Can't Stop Breaking Down #
17 - When It's Over # (awesome!)
18 - Joanne #
19 - Knock Knock #
20 - Alone Forever #

# added tracks

ARTI TISI The Definitive Collection
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Sunday, March 03, 2019

LITTLE YANKEES - All Or Nothing (1997)

LITTLE YANKEES - All Or Nothing (1997) front
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

Despite their name, LITTLE YANKEES was a Swedish band with a British vocalist... a little messy isn't it? Well, their album "All Or Nothing" is not a mess at all, but an enjoyable slice of European Melodic Rock / AOR.
The cover artwork also disorientate a bit (you may think of a Southern Rock band) but these guys were inspired by the late '80s Scandinavian AOR scene, and due to Paul Dexter's smooth vocals you got a feel of British bands like Overland's FM, Heartland, Dare, etc.

The CD starts with "Go To America", a commercial tune with an obvious radio target, melodic but too cheesy and ends up as the only weak track on the record. But the rest is really good since track 2 "The Power", a pumping melodic rocker where the band show its skills in writing catchy melodies and performing their instruments with taste.

More in this style is heard in "Die For You", the groovy "Give It To Me", title track, and later on "Give It Up" (great chorus!), while Little Yankees go for AOR smoothness in the atmospheric "Can't Live" (reminds me Virginia Wolf) or "Don't Leave Me" with an After Hours feel.
All the aforementioned songs are really good, as are the ballad "I'll Be There" adorned with fine orchestrated synths and in the middle featuring an arrangement akin bagpipes (perhaps Dexter is Scottish?).

LITTLE YANKEES - All Or Nothing (1997) back

As far I know only released in Sweden, Little Yankees "All Or Nothing" is a pretty unknown and good Melodic Rock / AOR album finely produced. The CD appeared in 1997 - obscure years for this genre - and the band split soon after.
Recommended.


01 - Go To America
02 - The Power
03 - Famous
04 - Can't Live
05 - Die For You
06 - I'll Be There
07 - Give It To Me
08 - Burning Feeling
09 - Don't Leave Me
10 - Give It Up
11 - All Or Nothing

Paul Dexter: vocals, guitars, keyboards
Heavy Eddie: bass, backing vocals
Johan 'The Preacher' Rydberg: drums, percussion
Tobias 'Snake' Wernersson: guitars, keyboards, backing vocals




LITTLE YANKEES - All Or Nothing
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