Monday, July 20, 2020

HIT THE GROUND RUNNIN' - Sudden Impact (1989)

HIT THE GROUND RUNNIN' - Sudden Impact (1989) fornt
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

This one was requested several times, well it's time to be featured here. "Sudden Impact" is the debut album by Philadelphia quintet HIT THE GROUND RUNNIN'. The band and the album holds the title as being the most sought after indie CD at eBay with a copy scoring $1950.52. This is a really cool collection of songs, but not for paying that ridiculous price.

HIT THE GROUND RUNNIN' made an arrangement with a small Canadian recording label, and "Sudden Impact" was released in 1989 in limited quantities. The album is really professionally recorded and mixed, above the average for an indie.
Musically, the band play clean, polished melodic rock, rock&pop and lite AOR here, with the typical sound of the era.
'Magic' has some Loverboy on it, and Blair Ramsey's vocal color reminds me of Kevin Cronin, so the REO Speedwagon comparison is accurate. There's a strong guitar work as on all songs on the CD, including quite imaginative and effective solos.

'Moment To Moment' recalls Starship, 'Slow Motion' some Scandal, and 'Don't You Look Back' has a that pristine Canadian sound from the era. 'Oh No!' is driven by stinging rhythm guitars and has fine harmony vocal arrangements, while the AOR synths of 'An Original' - a favorite - bring to mind Honeymoon Suite.
More poppy, power poppy I'd say is 'Too Late', with a touch of The Outfield, then 'While It Lasted' is a midtempo semi-ballad, again with very good harmony arrangements.

HIT THE GROUND RUNNIN' - Sudden Impact (1989) back

Beyond its status of expensive rarity, "Sudden Impact" is a highly enjoyable '80s AOR product, more in common with the US sound of 1985 than '89. There's strong melodies, fine harmonies, solid guitar work and overall a feel good vibe that put a smile on your face with each song.
Very Recommended. RARE


01 - Magic
02 - Moment To Moment
03 - Slow Motion
04 - Don't You Look Back
05 - Oh No!
06 - An Original
07 - Over & Over
08 - Who's Walking You Home
09 - Too Late
10 - While It Lasted

Blair Ramsey – Lead vocals
Alan Auginnas – Guitar, vocals
Paul Piccaro – Bass, vocals
Jimmy Katone – Drums, vocals
Rob Kay – Keyboards, vocals




HIT THE GROUND RUNNIN' - Sudden Impact
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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

UNITED NATIONS - The First Move (1985)

UNITED NATIONS - The First Move (1985) front

Stoke-on-Trent, UK, based band UNITED NATIONS were part of the '80s British AOR wave, formed at the beginning of the decade and developing a sound / style similar to their contemporaries Tobruk, Charlie, Monro, etc.
Their one and only album "The First Move" was released via small label Magnet in 1985, but unfortunately, soon after the group went their separate ways.

The opening song titled “Sound Of The Eighties” speaks for itself: indeed this is the mid-'80s melodic rock / AOR sound filled with catchy choruses and melodies.
"You Cheated" is another instant favorite, and more highlights appear with "We Will Live Forever" and "Black Heart", while on other songs United Nations explore some different sounds providing variation.

UNITED NATIONS - The First Move (1985) back

The core of United Nations recorded a comeback album some years ago, re-working some of the tunes from this LP along with new ones.
A very hard to find vinyl, "The First Move" never was reissued on CD or any other format.
This is a LP-rip cleaned to get the best sound quality possible.



01 - Sound Of The Eighties
02 - The Night That Last Forever
03 - The First Move
04 - You Cheated
05 - Common Denominator
06 - Violation Of A Freedom
07 - We Will Live Forever
08 - Blackheart
09 - Speak After The Tone
10 - Paying The Price Of Love

Paul Cafferty – Lead and Backing Vocals
Gary Davis – Guitars, Backing Vocals
Peter Hankey – Bass
Chris Mooney – Drums, Backing Vocals
Chris Stonier – Keyboards


UNITED NATIONS - The First Move HERE

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Thursday, May 28, 2020

SURRENDER - Surrender '79 / No Surrender '82 + bonus (2004)

SURRENDER - Surrender '79 / No Surrender '82 + bonus (2004) front
Requested in "Request & Fill Corner" section...

Alfie Zappacosta become one of the most distinctive solo rock&pop vocalists from the Canadian scene during the Eighties / Nineties, many times flirting with traditional AOR and West Coast.
His first band SURRENDER is a fine example of how his career began, delivering some stylized tunes throwing in a bit of Pomp-AOR.

A few years ago all Surrender material was released for the first time on a digital disc, now deleted, out of print.
The CD comprises the first self titled LP "Surrender" (tracks 1-8), the second and final miniLP "No Surrender" (tracks 9-12) and 8 songs previously unreleased.
The first tracks obviously are the most pomp-influenced; late seventies AOR style with good guitar solos and nice arrangements.
These songs were usually underrated in favor to the more instant and commercial sound of the following miniLP "No Surrender", but we can find very nice melodies like on "Some People", the proggy ballad "Nicole" or the classy "Alone Too Often".
My pick is "Turn Down The Mission" a full keyboard driven track with great instrumentation, including a killer guitar solo.

Of course, tracks 9-12 are more catchy and appealing to the '80s AOR listener, being "It's All Been Done Before" the winner of the bunch, a really great radio-friendly typical AOR tune. I love this one.
The bonuses are material recorded after the band dissolved and become just Zappacosta. All are more mid-80s oriented, interesting and well recorded - although a few display a pre-production sound. My favorite is the emotional "I Don't Want To Talk Tonight", a song with a special aura.

SURRENDER - Surrender '79 / No Surrender '82 + bonus (2004) back

"Surrender  / No Surrender" is a really good compilation, songs with sweet melodies and solid performances. Not a classic, but a real pleasant listen.
As said, this CD is out of print and I seriously doubt it will be reissued again.


01 - Anyway You Want
02 - Some People
03 - Nicole
04 - Turn Down The Mission
05 - Buddy
06 - Alone Too Often
07 - Big City Streets
08 - Young Seaman
09 - It's All Been Done Before
10 - Start Again
11 - Hold Tight
12 - Strange Strange Way!
13 - Find Your Way
14 - Hold Me Close
15 - Your Love Is Blind
16 - Melody
17 - You're The Only One That Matters
18 - The Light In Your Eyes
19 - Polo Bar
20 - I Don't Want To Talk Tonight

Alfie Zappacosta - Vocals, Guitar
Steve Jensen - Guitars
Paul Delaney - Drums (1-12)
Peter Curry - Keyboards (1-8)
Geoff Waddington - Bass (1-8)
Mitch Starkman - Bass (9-12)
Gerald O'Brien, Steve Sexton, Peter Goodale, Calvin Sauro, Gerry Mosby - Keyboards (9-12)




SURRENDER - Surrender '79 [remastered]

SURRENDER - No Surrender '82 + bonus [remastered]
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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

ADRIAN GURVITZ - No Compromise [recorded 1983 / released 2000] Japan only

ADRIAN GURVITZ - No Compromise [recorded 1983 / released 2000] Japan only
Requested, hard to find

Melomaniacs around the globe must known ADRIAN GURVITZ's worldwide number 1 hit single 'Classic'. A classic song indeed and a staple at FM radio.
Gurvitz was part of English bands like THREE MAN ARMY and The BAKER GURVITZ ARMY (with legend Ginger Baker). Then he becomes solo artist at the late '70s, with his earlier LP being Westcoast-pop oriented, supported by monsters like Jeff Porcaro, David Paich, etc.

But in 1983, together with his brother Paul, Adrian Gurvitz recorded this album in London, practically alone, playing all instruments, turning into commercial FM rock / AOR. This material was rejected by his label, expecting more Soft Rock / Westcoast songs.
The tape was shelved, fortunately resurrected and released in 2000 by specialized, prestigious Japanese label Cool Sound some years ago, released under the name "No Compromise".

ADRIAN GURVITZ - No Compromise [recorded 1983 / released 2000] back

These 'lost recordings' have a modern sound (seems recorded 3 years after), with strong guitars, and a typically stylized British AOR songwriting from the early '80s, with some American influences as well.
Maybe the Japanese should have done a remastering to enhance the final product, but surely they wanted to preserve the original as it is. And believe me, it sounds very good.
Good album, rarely seen and unknown. Collector's item now out of print.


01 - Ain't It Always The Same
02 - No Compromise
03 - I'm Not Cryin' Over You
04 - The Price You Pay
05 - Punch
06 - No One's In Love
07 - Can't Buy Time
08 - High Point Of Love
09 - The Last Laugh

Adrian Gurvitz: Vocals, Guitars, Drums, Keyboards on all tracks
Paul Gurvitz: Bass, Producer
Recorded at Tower Studios Hampsted, London



ADRIAN GURVITZ - No Compromise
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Wednesday, April 15, 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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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

REQUEST & FILL CORNER 23

Request & Fill Corner PART 23

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 19

ARCHIVES PART 20

ARCHIVES PART 21

ARCHIVES PART 22

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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

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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