Tuesday, March 24, 2020

AL DENSON - Be The One (1990)

AL DENSON - Be The One (1990)
Requested in a comment by one of you...

Al Denson is one of those CCM (Contemporary Christian) solo artists who flourished at the end of the eighties, beginning of the nineties.

He is still today a well-known name in the music business, with seven songs that reached the #1 position on the Christian radio charts through his career.

After his nice '89 self-titled debut album, this singer-songwriter published "Be The One" in 1990.
Denson style is catchy & Hi-Tech Rock&Pop with some adult, typically Contemporary Christian AOR moments, and as usually in this genre releases, with a superb production.
Opener "I've Got Something To Say" has an anthemic structure with sing-along potential and bombastic compressed drums.
Here's some poppy oriented tracks that do not interest me as "It's One Thing To Say It" or the weak "Fall Into Place", but the good thing in this kind of of material are the ballads and the AORish tunes.
Title track "Be The One" is one of these solid ballads, also the WestCoast vibes on "No Love Lost" accompanied by a female singer for good effect.

The value tracks on this album are the AOR numbers, as the personal favorite midtempo "Nothing Can Separate Us", with really good guitars and background keys, organic drums and consistent vocals by Al.
"Tested By Fire" is another song full of class, an elegant tune sustained by great clean guitars and an ethereal AOR production.
"Never Out Of His Love" has a slow pace but it's long track with in crescendo moments and a well rounded climax.

Out Of Print and pretty hard to find, "Be The One" includes some nice, immaculately recorded and produced songs in the refined side of the AOR spectre, that well worth a listen.
Ripped at maximum quality by my friend totalaor (thanks mate!), plus artwork.


01 - I've Got Something To Say
02 - It's One Thing To Say It
03 - Nothing Can Separate Us
04 - Be The One
05 - Tested By Fire
06 - Higher Call
07 - Fall Into Place
08 - See Ya At The Party
09 - No Love Lost
10 - Never Out Of His Love

Al Denson - vocals
Brian Tankersley - keyboards, bass, drums
Joe Hogue - keyboards, bass, programming
Michael Hodge - guitars, backing vocals
Mark Baldwin, Jerry McPherson, Tom Hemby - guitars
Jackie Street - bass
Mark Hammond - drums
Phil Naish - keyboards
Jeff Gunn, Bonnie Keen, Gary Janney, Chris Rodriguez - backing vocals









AL DENSON - Be The One (1990)
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TURN - Turn Back Time (2001)

TURN - Turn Back Time (2001)
Requested in "Request & Fill Corner" section...

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 on 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 midpaced 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 these 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 _ HERE
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Thursday, March 05, 2020

NIKKI CRUZE - Nikki Cruze (1995)

NIKKI CRUZE - Nikki Cruze (1995) front

Hailing from British Columbia, Canada, despite their name NIKKI CRUZE weren't a glam hard rock / sleaze band. They were not exactly a band but a duo, and while this, their self-titled album was released in 1995, their musical style is pure '80s inspired Melodic Rock / AOR.
The album is not the case - as happened with many acts - which recorded their songs in the Eighties and only got the chance to release them several years later; nope, NIKKI CRUZE wanted to play this melodious, feel-good kind of music in the midst of the dark, depressive grunge peak, because they wanted to.

Of course, no recording label bet a dime for NIKKI CRUZE in the mid-Nineties, but again, they didn't care, and released "Nikki Cruze" by themselves.
Consisting of lead vocalist Robin Lei Tietz and Craig Passant, both multi-instrumentalists as well, NIKKI CRUZE delivers here some awesome tunes and melodies.
While all managed by themselves and taped at different recording facilities, the album production, mix and mastering is very good.

The first thing that comes to mind when listening to "Nikki Cruze" is '80s Triumph commercial era, not for both being of Canadian origin, but simply because Robin Lei Tietz has a vocal color and phrasing very similar to Rik Emmett.
There's many other comparison to make such as Flyweil, some Def Leppard or Marchello, even some Hugo in the AOR moments.

NIKKI CRUZE - Nikki Cruze (1995) back

All songs are strong, and really good. When originally released, several copies appeared overseas, and the mouth to mouth even reached Japan. So NIKKI CRUZE did a re-release by popular demand from fans in the UK, Germany, Italy, USA, and Japan. Of course, the disc is a collectors piece nowadays.


01 - Comin' Home
02 - Joe's Song
03 - So Many Nights
04 - Open Up The Skies
05 - You Were With Me
06 - Stop The Blast
07 - You Are The Light
08 - Say Goodnight
09 - Again
10 - We Rock

Robin Lei Tietz - lead & background vocals, drums, guitars
Craig Passant - guitars, bass, keyboards, backing vocals


NIKKI CRUZE - Nikki Cruze (1995) HERE

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Monday, January 27, 2020

WILD FORCE - Wild Force [CD version +2] (1987)

WILD FORCE - Wild Force [CD version +2] (1987) front

Coming from Finland, WILD FORCE's self titled debut album from 1987 is just another amazing example of the effervescent Scandinavian melodic rock AOR scene during the second half of the Eighties. Their musical style is spread over guitar riff / keyboard driven anthemic songs in the style of Europe, Craaft, Dalton, etc.
Clean vocals, melodic riffs, catchy choruses filled with soaring harmonies and of course loads of synths - but classic organ as well are the heart of the game here.

The band has an energetic approach too on many tracks such as opener "S.O.P.H.I.A.", "Play It Loud", melodic rocker "It's Been A Hard Time" or "Don't Rush Your Fortune".
However it's on the melodious midtempo AOR numbers where Wild Force excels. "Frozen Hearts", "Take Me Far Away", slow paced "I've Been Running Away" or the classy "You Give Me More" are the kind of ivory stuff we all love, while ballad "I Want You To Stay" is plenty of atmosphere'


WILD FORCE - Wild Force [CD version +2] (1987) back

Bonus tracks for this CD version are worthy too, including the pumping "No Guarantee" and the great remix of "S.O.P.H.I.A." which turned the song into an almost new song.
Pretty unknown by many "Wild Force" is a very good, enjoyable slice of Scandinavian melodic rock AOR with all the magic feeling of an era.


01 - S.O.P.H.I.A.
02 - Frozen Hearts
03 - Take Me Far Away
04 - It's Been A Hard Time
05 - Holiday On The Radio
06 - Play It Loud
07 - I've Been Running Away
08 - Don't Rush Your Future
09 - You Give Me More
10 - I Want You To Stay
CD Bonus Tracks:
11 - No Guarantee
12 - S.O.P.H.I.A. (Freak Mix)

Chris R-Holm - lead vocals, guitars
Jan Stolpe - lead guitar, backing vocals
Tom Jansson - bass, keyboards
Putte Ozzie Jansson - drums





WILD FORCE - Wild Force [CD version +2] (1987) HERE
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Wednesday, January 08, 2020

DAVID CARL BAND - Can't Slow Down (1998)

DAVID CARL BAND - Can't Slow Down (1998) front

What you got when Jim Peterik is involved into your music? Great Melodic Rock.
And that's what we find in DAVID CARL BAND's album "Can't Slow Down".
A US Midwestern-born songwriter, singer and guitar player, David Carl moved to California to make his dreams come true. He met no-other than Survivor's Jim Peterik and both started to write songs together in the early '90s.
Even more, Peterik agreed to co-produce "Can't Slow Down" and play some keyboards.

The classic '80s Survivor feel flying over the entire recording. Just check title track "Can't Slow Down", the anthemic "Insatiable", or the Jimi Jamison sounding ballad "Arms Of Love" that belongs to the '80s soundtrack movie' category.
Carl's vocals are smooth and very melodious with a Eric Martin-like color on some cuts - check "For Jackie" for proof.
There's some REO Speedwagon on the delicious "Love Is Like Heaven" (lovely chorus), a pinch of Extreme on "Crazy Love", and Loverboy on the AORish midtempo "Trapped".

DAVID CARL BAND - Can't Slow Down (1998) back

David Carl Band's "Can't Slow Down" is quite unknown outside Melodic Rock circles, and one of the best recordings released in the second half of the '90s - true 'dark ages' for the genre.
It's a trademark Jim Peterik record, full of melodies and smooth choruses.
Very good one.


01 - Innocent Kiss
02 - For Jackie
03 - Trapped
04 - Arms Of Love
05 - Love Is Like Heaven
06 - Crazy Love
07 - Can't Slow Down
08 - Dreamin'
09 - Insatiable
10 - Make Love Shine
11 - Hungry Woman
12 - Cost Of High Livin'

David Carl - lead and backing vocals, guitar
Bill Ozzello - bass, backing vocals
Randy Peterson - drums, percussion
Jim Riley - guitars, backing vocals
Jim Peterik - keyboards on track 1
Barb Unger - keyboards on tracks 4, 7, 12
Lou Depasqua - keyboards on tracks 5, 6, 11
Scott May - keyboards on tracks 8, 9, 10
Mark Zelden - keyboards on tracks 2, 3
Barry Sperdy - sax on track 2




DAVID CARL BAND - Can't Slow Down (1998)
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Saturday, January 04, 2020

CHRIS SUTTON - Chris Sutton (1986) RARE

CHRIS SUTTON - Chris Sutton (1986) HQ
CHRIS SUTTON may be a not well known name as solo artist, but this Scottish gentleman - working as multi-purpose musician hired by Polydor and other labels - has wrote and arranged music for major artists such as Starship ('Knee Deep in the Hoopla'), Paul McCartney and George Michael among others.

Primarily, at the mid-Eighties, Polydor UK intended to launch Sutton as solo artist together with Brian Spence and alike to capitalize the radio friendly melodic rock / rock&pop so 'in vogue' at the time.
Recorded in L.A., on his self-titled debut appeared in 1986 Sutton had the opportunity to show his own songs, arranged by masters Robbie Buchanan & Peter Wolf, a bunch of commercial and smooth lite AOR poppy tunes with the typical '80s atmosphere.

Chris Sutton's style is not far from the aforementioned Spence or Jack Wagner, with nuances of several other British / American artists as well. We have a sweet cover of Russ Ballard's classic "Voices", a nice ballad co-penned by Sutton with Starship's collaborator Martin Page (incorrectly credited in the booklet as 'Paige'), the lovely '80s-soundtrack-like "Don't Push Your Love", and a mix of up/midtempo tracks with different degrees of quality.

CHRIS SUTTON - Chris Sutton (1986) back

"Chris Sutton" is a very enjoyable '80s album with nice melodies, really good session musicians (genius Dann Huff plays guitar here), and a polished sound thanks to platinum awarded producer Dennis Lambert (Player, Peter Beckett and countless '80s soundtracks via TuneWorks Inc.).

This rare CD edition includes as bonus the track "The Money Ain't Worth It", originally featured as B-Side of the single "Prince Of Justice" (which extended version 'Justice Mix 7:21' I have been looking for years).
There's copies of this album floating around the web featuring many noises. This a pristine CD-rip made by my friend Alan (thanx mate!).


01 - Trouble
02 - Tell It Like It Is
03 - Prince Of Justice
04 - Voices
05 - (You Just Can't) Tear It From A Heart
06 - Don't Get Me Wrong
07 - You Worry Me
08 - Know It All
09 - That One Love Feeling
10 - Don't Push Your Love
11 - The Money Ain't Worth It [CD only bonus track]

Chris Sutton - Lead & Backing Vocals
Peter Wolf - Keys, Bass, Guitar, Programming
Dann Huff - Guitar
Neil Stubenhaus, Alphonso Johnson - Bass
Mike Baird, Chester Thompson - Drums
Larry Williams - Sax
Robbie Buchanan - Arranger
Gabe Katona - Keyboards
Dennis Lambert - Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Producer


CHRIS SUTTON 1986 HQ _ Here
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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

REQUEST & FILL CORNER 22

Request & Fill Corner PART 22

From now, all request & fills goes in this post Comments.
If you need an album or a single track, request it here, if you have it, be kind with other readers, upload the file and post the link here as well.
Access to this page will be placed at the right column ------>
(the "CLICK HERE" neon sign)
It will be opened in a new window.

Check this section regularly.
You'll find many albums uploaded by readers, not present on the main blog ...

Help each other people!


and don't forget to check out ARCHIVES:



ARCHIVES PART 18

ARCHIVES PART 19

ARCHIVES PART 20

ARCHIVES PART 21

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Monday, December 30, 2019

CRASH (Mikael Erlandsson) - Crash (1993)

CRASH (Mikael Erlandsson) - Crash (1993) front
Requested by a reader

Swedish vocalist Mikael Erlandsson achieved fame & fortune with Last Autumn's Dream, and more recently as well with Lover Under Cover, Heartbreak Radio, Salute and several projects. He also enjoyed considerable popularity in Scandinavia as solo artist during the '90s (some of his albums posted here on the blog), but his career started in the late Seventies.

First, Erlandsson was part of a punk (!) band playing drums, later he switched to keyboards for the group The Studs while perfected his songwriting skills. In the mid-80s joined pop band N'Gang for the first time as frontman / vocalist, with a hit single in Swedish radio and an Eurovision Song Contest participation.
Then in 1991 formed CRASH with brothers Eliasson (drummer Lars and guitarist Jan, who later was part of Danish rockers Push).

Crash released their debut "Crash" in 1993 with the aim to capitalize the American Melodic Rock success at that time, so expect here a collection of tunes in that vein.
"Do The Dance Dirty" opens with an urgent riff and a catchy chorus, followed by 'Close At Hand', a pure melodic rock track with a delicious multi-part harmony vocal work. The ethereal ballad 'Eyes Don't Lie' is perhaps the more 'Scandi sounding' song on the CD, and it's a really good one.

Then on tracks like 'Angina' you can hear Crush replicating the USA sound of the genre being this one akin White Lion (check the guitar swirls), same with 'Through The Shadows' (very Extreme), or the acoustically filled 'October 18' much in the vein of Mr. Big's More Than Words. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as many groups were doing the same, and Crush are pretty good at it.

CRASH (Mikael Erlandsson) - Crash (1993) back

Only released in Sweden, this is perhaps the lesser known work of Mikael Erlandsson's career. He never recorded a bad album - solo or with a band - and "Crash" is a quite solid melodic hard rock CD as well.
Well produced, composed and executed, "Crash" is a worthwhile addition to your Melodic Hard Rock collection.


01. Do The Dance Dirty
02. Close at Hand
03. Eyes Don't Lie
04. Save The World
05. Angina
06. Through The Shadows
07. Stranger's Kiss
08. Six String and a Highway
09. October 18
10. Livin' On Lovin'
11. Rock and Roll (Led Zeppelin cover)

Mikael 'Micke' Erlandsson - vocals, keyboards, percussion
John Melander - bass, percussion, backing vocals
Jan Eliasson - guitars, keyboards, backing vocals
Lars Eliasson - drums, backing vocals
with:
Micke Oijwall - keyboards, backing vocals
Ulrik Arturen - backing vocals




CRASH (Mikael Erlandsson) - Crash (1993) HERE
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Saturday, December 21, 2019

ONE TO ONE - 1-2-1 (1988)

ONE TO ONE - 1-2-1 (1988) front

Created by Ottawa based songwriter / producer /musician Leslie Howe, ONE TO ONE was a successful '80s Canadian duo completed by female vocalist / songwriter Louise Reny.
Both worked on Alanis Morissette's first two albums and helped to her upcoming stardom.

ONE TO ONE recorded 3 albums, the first more synth-pop oriented, this second effort "1-2-1" in the same vein but adding classy Canadian Hi-Tech lite AOR touches akin Device, Angela And The Rude, Transvision Vamp, etc
Then they released a third and last in the early Nineties changing their name to One 2 One.

"1-2-1" is an entertaining, cool 88's poppy album from the Cancon factory, well composed and produced, techie, but including hot guitar solos and keys.
The catchy first single 'Hold Me Now', 'Not A Love Song' (featuring a rocking guitar solo), the joyful 'Do You Believe', the excellent 'Inside These Eyes', and the fine mid-tempo AORish 'Heading For Zero' are among my favorites.

ONE TO ONE - 1-2-1 (1988) back

Despite of the good sales and nomination for three Juno Awards, ONE TO ONE never impacted into the US market, and all their albums are really hard to find, especially this '1-2-1' CD version.


01 - Hold Me Now
02 - Love Child
03 - We've Got The Power
04 - Do You Believe
05 - Heading For Zero
06 - Inside These Eyes
07 - Victorious
08 - Voices Cry
09 - Life Is So Easy
10 - Not A Love Song

Louise Reny - vocals
Leslie Howe - guitars, synth bass, keyboards, programming
Frank Levin - keyboards


ONE TO ONE - 1-2-1 (1988) HERE
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