Friday, July 31, 2009

AOR TREASURES - The Soundtracks Vol.10

Here is another compilation of AOR / Melodic Hard Rock songs that were part of movies.
I'm surprised to have reached 10 volumes, a really time-consuming job, but worth the effort, due its worldwide acceptance.
Have seen most volumes posted in blogs and forums from India, Thailand, Nigeria, China ... incredible.

You're Invited But Your Friend Can't Come (film version) [Encino Man]
Song composed and recorded for this movie, along with Tommy Shaw & Jack Blades (DAMN YANKEES a.t.m.)
It was later wonderfully re-recorded to be included in Vince's 1st solo album "Exposed", but this original version has more guitars and fire.
A personal favourite.

02 - VICE
Keep Holding On [Bloodmoon]
Australian band, contributed two songs for this film, but only the score was released.
Party song similar to POISON. Pretty hard to find.

She Doesn't Mean A Thing To Me [Voyage Of The Rock Aliens]
Very rare soundtrack, good bunch of songs.
I've chosen this uptempo AOR song by Mark Spiro, not appeared in any of his albums.
Totally 80's !

Run With Us [The Raccoons]
Legitimate eighties sound: good vocals, electronic drums (so fashionable at the time), disco-keyboards and a guitar at the bottom in the mix, but always present and consistent throughout the song.
I love this tune.

05 - B.B. KING
Into The Night [Into The Night]
B.B King in a Hard / AOR compilation?
Yes, the 'King' couldn't resist the wave of the moment ('85), and recorded this song exclusively for this movie, with a very good feeling and pounding synth keyboards, but retaining its characteristic guitar sound.
Very Good.

Victims Of Love [Final Fantasy VIII]
Composer of countless film songs, this beautiful ballad was chosen as Final Fantasy VIII "love song".

Feels Like The First Time [CNN America Votes '08]
Not exactly a soundtrack, but it was CCN's official song used for their television coverage of the USA 2008 elections.
FOREIGNER's classic, great version, approved by its creators as the best cover of this song ever made.
Rocks good.

TF:TM Main Title [Transformers The Movie]
Mythical soundtrack, this song wasn't included in the official album, but can be heard in some TV episodes.

Success [Scarface]
Another song that does not ended in Scarface's official soundtrack.
A real mistake, since it's one of those typical Moroder compositions, full of cliché, but totally adorable!
Vocalist: unknown.
Included as an 'extra' in the movie video game.

The American Dream [Daytona USA]
Recorded exclusively for this game OST, very much in the vein of MR. BIG, albeit with cheaper production.
A good rocker.

Street Angel (HRZ) [Hard Rock Zombies]
Never released soundtrack, songs composed and performed by Paul Sabu.
This is the main theme and one of the least known, low budget production and minimal lyrics, but fits perfectly into this b-movie.

She Likes Double Trouble [Koko Flanel]
Absolute rarity, track recorded by the good belgian band Mystery (before the release of their debut album) exclusively for this movie.
Hard melodic tune, only released as vinyl single in Belgium.

Radar Radio [Top Gun]
Item not present in the (perhaps) most famous 80's soundtrack.
Can be heard at the end of the movie (jukebox scene).
Rock 'n roll oldie (with eighties updated sound), sung by Pizzulo, famous in the westcoast genre and renowned sessionist.
Very rare song only appeared as b-side in a single promo.

Look At Me [10 To Midnight]
I really like this one.
Rare OST, this is the best track.
Unusual mix, displaying panned guitars in surround stereo.
Exclusive of this soundtrack.

She Loves The Radio [Summer]
Unknown movie, TV only release.
Simply AOR-rock with noisy keyboards, only with three musical notes carries the pace of the song.
Totally 80's.

Follow Your Dream [Project A-ko]
Japanese anime, which OST was put in charge of the gurus Joey Carbone & Richie Zito.
They have composed, played and produced all the songs, some instrumentals, some with hired singers.
This is my fav, mild, sweet and pleasant poppy AOR tune.
Only published in Japan.

When The Night Falls In [Jolly Joker]
German TV series, Thompson recorded the title theme and this song, which I have chosen because it is quite different from what we usually hear from this artist.
Very rare and sought after by Chris fans, only released in Germany.

White Magic [White Magic]
Beautiful ballad, written and arranged by the ubiquitous Harold Faltermeyer, and very well performed by this irish throat.

Top Gun Anthem (Film Version) [Top Gun]
Harold again, with his most famous instrumental.
This is the other version that is heard in the film, less "anthemic".
I still prefer the official OST recording, much more organic and punchy, but I've added this 'film version' into my compilation because it's rare, Top Gun score never has been officially released.

70 min, vbr, artwork.
Most tracks are vinyl-only release and very rare, all were decrackled and declicked to get the best quality possible.

AOR TREASURES - The Soundtracks Vol.10

GARY MOON - Still Moon (2002) aka The Pack

GARY MOON - Still Moon Night Ranger
This bunch of forgotten songs were recorded in the late 80's under the name of THE PACK.
THE PACK consisted of singer and session bass player GARY MOON (later in NIGHT RANGER's "Feeding Off The Mojo" album), extraordinaire songwriter & musician JEFF PARIS, top guitarist BRAD GILLIS (NIGHT RANGER founder), and AUTOGRAPH keyboarder Steven Isham.

Gary has a great soulful voice and Gillis plays his heart out and flies over the fretboard (trust your ears to discover in which tracks he's playin').
Some songs shine, like "State Of The Heart".
Good melodies abound, wisely written tunes with sticky choruses.

Production could be better, yes, most of this material are demos, but a very good ones.
Luckily Gary Moon decided to self release this album under his moniker not so long ago, but it's very hard (if not impossible) put your hands on an original CD these days.

I love this stuff, HQ rip to you, dear readers.
Melodic rockers, don't miss this post, and if you are a Night Ranger fan, this is a mandatory download.

01 - Still
02 - Heart Of Stone
03 - State Of The Heart
04 - Alayna
05 - Music Box
06 - Call Of The Wild
07 - Queen Of The Damned
08 - Can't Help Falling In Love
09 - Angels Don't Lie
10 - One Love
11 - Love In A Wicked World

Gary Moon - vocals, bass
Brad Gillis - guitars, backing vocals
Gaylin Walker - guitars
Jeff Paris - bass, backing vocals
Pete Comita - bass, guitars
Steve Isham - keyboards
Curley Smith - drums, percussion

Re-Posted HERE

Thursday, July 30, 2009


January 30, 1964 - July 21, 2009 (R.I.P.)

I was listening TALISMAN (Marcel's really own baby) albums a lot since the sad news, and found in my archives the only video clip they've done (from 'Genesis' album) [thanx for the info Simon ~ read Comments] : "Mystery".
One of their best songs.
Keep this video.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

HEARTLYNE - No Retreat No Surrender (1987 - 2009)

Die-hard collectors (like myself) already own these demo songs recorded between 1986-87 and published as bootleg.
Recently have been remastered from original tapes and released officially for the first time.
HEARTLYNE was the first german band of Tommy HEART and Chris LYNE (wise guys).
If these names doesn't ring a bell to you , Tommy would achieve a great success (especially in Japan) as ZENO and FAIR WARNING vocalist, and along with Lyne founded later SOUL DOCTOR.

These primitive recordings (still as semi-professionals) have all the charm and freshness of talented people.
Typical european melodic hard rock / scandi AOR style.
"No Retreat No Surrender" is a time capsule trip, mid-eighties feeling is here, a keyboard driven heaven.

The most notable tune is "Starlight" (fortunately they've included as bonus a version never heard before).
Another gem is the wonderful keyboard driven fest "Stay With Me", very well written, similar of what was to come from Tommy with Zeno and Fair Warning.
"Broken Promises" with its grandiose chorus wouldn't get out of place in any scandi AOR album from Sweden.

While some songs lacks some polished rework, we can appreciate the good intentions and the ability to create good melodies.
Tommy's voice didn't reach the full potential yet, but it sounds wonderful and above the standards of that time.

I love this music style, this set of songs are gold powder to me.
Listen to this record not judging the technical flaws, just enjoy the essence of the songs.
If you like pure mid 80's guitar & keyboard stuff ala TREAT, CRAAFT, ZINATRA, RAW SILK and of course FAIR WARNING and ZENO, don't miss this one!

Do you like it? BUY IT (I've ordered a copy).
Encourage the bands to release this kind of material from the vaults.
Thanx to Josam for the rip! (gracias tron)

1. Starlight
2. No Retreat No Surrender
3. Victims Of Your Love
4. Broken Promises
5. Strike An Arrow
6. Change (All Over The World)
7. Sacred Heart
8. Stay With Me
9. Empty Eyes
10. Don´t Walk Away
11. Starlight (different version)

Tommy Heart - Lead vocals
Chris Lyne - Lead / acoustic guitars
CW Johannsohn - Lead guitars
Jogy Rautenberg - Bass
Alex Strauch - Keyboards
K.K. - Drums

HEARTLYNE - No Retreat No Surrender

Monday, July 20, 2009

PUSH (UK) - Push (unreleased) (1987)

Now we're talking seriously... this is a SERIOUS AOR GEM.
Yes, I'm writing with CAPITALS, because it is incredible that this awesome collection of songs remain unreleased.
Unknown and marvelous UK band from Birmingham, typical english sound, full of keyboards, strong guitars and... SUPERB SONGWRITING!
In the vein of MORITZ, ALLIED NATION, SHY, PEROUX, AOK ... but even better!

No fillers, all KILLERS.
Some scandi AOR influences (particularly the outstanding choruses), hooks galore and great melodies.
ALL tracks are excellent, but my absolute pick is "The Miracle Of Love"... WOW.
This song should be a hit! One of the best pure AOR tunes I've ever heard.
If you have more band's info or I am incorrect (not sure of the recording year, seems from different sessions), please drop a line in Comments.

Splendid soundfiles, 'remastered' by myself, I've also designed the cover artwork.

01 - Burning Desire
02 - All I Can Give
03 - Man On The Other Side
04 - Giving It All Away
05 - The Miracle Of Love
06 - Voices Calling
07 - Hannah
08 - Red Light
09 - Strange World
10 - I Believe You
11 - Stand Up And Fight
12 - Secret Lover

David Saylor - Vocals
Brett Hammond - Guitar, Keyboards
Paul Pryor - Bass
Rob Hewins - Drums



Maybe I go Private soon.
Dear reader, you better add yourself to "Follow This Blog".
That way you will be automaticly accepted.
email requests won't be allowed...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

CHAMELEON - Hologram Sky (1984)

Band's last album, only released on cassette format.
The trend to new-wave style experimented in 'Balance' leads entirely in this final recording.
Production (again in charge of Yanni) is much modern oriented, less AOR keyboards and more rhythm guitars.
Michael Anthony and Johnny Donaldson were replaced for this recording by Peter Diggins.
Thanx to Erik U for the files.
I've enhanced the sound, fixed a little channel problem in one track and added artwork.
Collector's item, very rare.

1 - Soldiers Dancing
2 - One More Time
3 - Hologram Sky
4 - The Party's Over
5 - Falling Star

Dugan McNeill: bass, vocals
Charlie Adams: drums, percussion
Yanni: keyboards, synthesizers, producer
Peter Diggins: guitars, vocals

CHAMELEON - Hologram Sky

Saturday, July 18, 2009

CHAMELEON - Balance (1983)

Third album, actually a minLP, as they were called then.
Wise titled, a balanced mix of styles, eclectic stuff.
Songwriting is solid, you can percieve the group's maturity here.
AOR spirit, tinged with new-wave influences.
That's evident in the opener and "One More Time", both bright and poppy.
But rockers are still present.
"Teazer" is an uptempo with nice guitar licks, and a great chorus.
And "She Never Gets What She Wants" is pure AOR melody, maybe the best song ever written by the band.
I like this 'EP' a lot, a highly recommended listen.
Never released on CD, crystal clear vinyl rip cleaned by myself for your listening pleasure.

1 - Little Sister
2 - One More Time
3 - Don't Wanna Love You
4 - Teazer
5 - Combination
6 - She Never Gets What She Wants

Michael Anthony: keyboards, vocals
Johnny Donaldson: guitars
Dugan McNeill: bass, vocals
Charlie Adams: drums, percussion
Yanni: keyboards, synthesizers, producer

CHAMELEON - Balance (1983)

CHAMELEON - Techno-Color (1982)

Did you ever heard about YANNI?
Greek keyboardist, classical / new-age composer, famous for his magnificent "Live at the Acropolis" video concert (a highly recommended experience), deemed to be the second best-selling music video of all time (behind Michael Jackson's Thriller).
Well, his career began in a pomp - AOR - rock & pop band.
And a very good one: CHAMELEON.

Second album, and the best of all in my assessment.
This one displays all the hallmarks of AOR we all love: stabbing keyboard lines (thanks to Yanni's entry), great guitar riffs, pumping rhythm section.
Bombastic production, big drums (I mean BIG) and colorful harmonies.
Almost a conceptual album, most of the songs are 'chained'.
I love the sound and the way synthesizers were used, they couldn't baptize this work better: "Techno-Color"

You must listen this album, a different plate in AOR history.
I've added as bonus, a b-side single, and one track from their 4th recording, only cassette.
Never released on CD, crystal clear vinyl rip cleaned by myself for your listening pleasure.

01 - Techno-Color
02 - Techno-Cat
03 - Primary
04 - Number
05 - I Can't Tell You Now
06 - Rock & Roll (No Place To Go)
07 - Techno-Too!
08 - We're Back
09 - A Girl Like You
10 - Sorry For Our Love
11 - Secondary
12 - I Remember
13 - Friday On My Mind (Techno-Color single B-side) [bonus]
14 - Soldiers Dancing (Hologram Sky cassette '84) [bonus]

Mark Anthony: vocals, keyboards
Dugan McNeill: vocals, bass guitar
Johnny Donaldson: guitars
Charlie Adams: drums, vocals
Yanni: keyboards, synthesizers

CHAMELEON - Techno-Color

CHAMELEON - Chameleon (1981)

I'm starting the discography of this barely known band: CHAMELEON.
Emerged from Minneapolis in the early 80's, the good thing about them is diversity.
Their selftitled debut makes clear that we're not in presence of common AOR.
Peculiar lyrics, unusual arrangements and imagination abound, also some traces of late 70's british style.
Besides, american rock & pop influences (i.e. THE CARS).
The album sounds a bit outdated, but this was a promisingly debut by this rare avis band, and worth a listen.
Never released on CD, crystal clear vinyl rip cleaned by myself for your listening pleasure.

01 - Stranded
02 - All Night
03 - This And That
04 - Forever
05 - I'm In Love With You
06 - Let's Dance
07 - Fallin' In And Out Of Love
08 - Darcy Don't
09 - Oh Love
10 - Holdin' On
11 - Tonite, Tonite

Charlie Adams: percussion, vocals
Dugan McNeill: vocals, bass
Mark Anthony: vocals, keyboards
Johnny Donaldson: guitars


Saturday, July 11, 2009

LIFE ON MARS - Landing Soon (2003)

This is another great discovery by my friend troynew.
First tip: The 21st century equivalent to HEART. But this band is much more varied than the Wilson sisters.
Founder Linda Marso (piano, electric keyboards) is a classically trained pianist (Juilliard School graduate) , you can appreciate that background through the entire album.
And lead vocalist Tracey Blue, WOW... the woman has the vocal cords of a goddess, high range, passionate performances.

The sort of rock they made is truly innovative, with strings, flute and synthesizers, but don't be scared, all perfectly mixed in the background, texturizing the songs, this is rock music.
The songs... another high point here. Mostly ballads (not cheesy at all), but strong and meaty. Think Jim Steinman's music without dramatics.
The rhythm section and guitars are really good, rounding this 'organic' album.

I can't recommend this bunch of songs enough, can't stop playing them.
Wondering why this band is not more well-known, and Tracey Blue a star in the melodic rock & pop scene.
Don't miss this album.

1 Anyway
2 Mirror Mirror
3 Why
4 Nothing In The End
5 In Over My Head
6 Heart of Rain
7 Toll of the Bell
8 Things Were Fine
9 Nancy Dear
10 I Still Love You
11 What Can I Do

Tracey Blue: lead & backing vocals
Linda Marso: piano, synthesizer programming
Ray DeTone: guitars
Yanko Valdes: bass, guitars
JP Patterson: drums

LIFE ON MARS - Landing Soon

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

JACK WAGNER - Alone In A Crowd (1993)

JACK WAGNER - Alone In A Crowd
Wagner has always been a commercial artist, following the trend of the moment.
This is his first 90's album, and seems he and his producer decided that 'the big deal' was George Michael.
I have nothing against George (great voice), just except some of his 80's work, I don't like his musical style.
Tracks 1 & 2 are in that genre, I can't dig them.

But after song #3 things turns great.
Nice westcoast tunes, soulful and deep.
Then track 7 "Stay Where You Are" arrives...WOW.
Simply one of the best songs ever recorded by Wagner, penned & produced by Glen Ballard / Clif Magness, wonderful track to die for.
This song alone worth the album. Excellent.
Another gem: "Keeper Of Your Name". Intense, charming melody.

Except initial songs, this is a very good album, Jack's voice sounds better than never, and as usual, inmaculate production and impressive session musicians.
You like it ? ... BUY IT.

1 - Love Is On Your Mind
2 - Krystal Blu Persuasion
3 - It's My Baby Too
4 - Heart On The Line
5 - (You're The) Only One Who Knows
6 - Love Don't Come Easy
7 - Stay Where You Are
8 - Part Of Me
9 - To Be Mine
10 - Keeper Of Your Name

Vocals, Guitars: Jack Wagner
Guitars: Paul Warren (Phil Christian, Richard Marx)
Guitars: Basil Fung (Fake I.D., Big Mouth)
Guitars: Josh Sklar (Robert Tepper, Desmond Child)
Guitars: Tim Pierce (thousands, just a monster)
Bass: Randy Waldman (Joe Pasquale, M. Sembello)
Bass: John Pierce (John O'Banion, B. Mardones, Dan Lucas)
Keyboards: Kevin Savigar (John Parr, Freddy Curci)
Keyboards: Tim Heintz (Michael McDonald)
Sax: Dave Koz (Richard Marx, Rod Stewart)
Drums: Michael Baird (Journey, R.Marx)
Drums: Tal Bergman (Billy Idol, Simple Minds)
Percussion: Paulinho Da Costa (1000 artists)
Backing Vocals : Warren Wiebe, Theresa James, Jeff Pescetto
Songwriting: Jay Graydon, J. Pescetto, G. Ballard, C. Magness, J. Wagner

JACK WAGNER - Alone In A Crowd

JACK WAGNER - Lighting Up The Night (1985)

Soap opera star turned AOR singer. Another cash-in mainstream project?
No way.
Jack Wagner's vocal abilities are excellent, reaching high notes, with colorful tones, a real pleasure to listen. Add first class songwriting (Jay Graydon, Clif Magness, Glen Ballard, David Foster, Steve Kipner, Quincy Jones) and top notch session monsters (Nathan East, Dan Huff to name a few) and you got a gold pot.

This is the 2nd Wagner album, and in my humble opinion, the best. Awesome hi-tech AOR & WestCoast, remarkable in all aspects.
Pristine production by masters Clif Magness / Glen Ballard.

Note: I've seen this album posted in many places with track 10 missing.
Here it is in full lengh (10 tracks).
Highly Recommended

01 - Keep Holdin' On
02 - Lighting Up The Night
03 - I'll Be There
04 - Just Tell Her
05 - Too Young
06 - Lets Start All Over
07 - If She Loves Like She Looks
08 - I Never Said Goodbye
09 - With Your Eyes
10 - Love Can Take Us All The Way (with V. Carter)

Jack Wagner : Lead & Background Vocals
Keyboards: David Foster, Greg Phillinganes
Guitars: Dan Huff, Dennis Herring, Michael Landau
Drums: Hercules Dinwiddie, Mike Baird
Bass: Davey Faragher, Nathan East
Horns: Joel Peskin, Larry Williams, Gary Grant
Percussion: Paulinho Da Costa
Background Vocals: Clif Magness, Edie Lehmann
Guest Vocals: Valerie Carter
and many more...

Produced by Clif Magness & Glen Ballard

JACK WAGNER - Lighting Up The Night

JOE BERGAMINI - Arrival (1996)

Arrival is a very good debut release from drummer Joe Bergamini, with song compositions by guitarist/keyboardist Zak Rizvi.
Both with Frank LaPlaca on bass released later 3 albums as 4Front.

All skilled musicians, this instrumental album really shines in all departments: excellent songwriting with melodic rock feel sound plus some prog Rush-alike, tight production, and great mix (you can hear all the instruments clearly, I love that).
Bergamini's drumming is powerful, killer fills and monster sound.
Zak Rizvi is a six-string virtuoso, with big sound gear and superb solos, but not overflooded, all guitar parts are perfectly balanced. Also the 'eighties' keyboards.

If you like Cozy Powell solo albums, Neil Peart (Rush) drumming style, and late 80's Shrapnel label albums (Greg Howe, Richie Kotzen, Michael Lee Firkins, Tony MacAlpine, Vinnie Moore) but more commercial and friendly to the ears, this is for you.
Something different to listen...

Big Thanx to troynew for sharing this great album

1. Arrival
2. One For Jeff
3. Across The Sea
4. Simple Simon
5. Cyberspace
6. Talk Show
7. NYC
8. White Island
9. Things As They Are
10. A Star In The Hills

Joe Bergamini: Drums
Zak Rizvi: Guitars & Keyboards, bass on 'One For Jeff'
Frank LaPlaca: Bass
Produced by Z. Rizvi, J. Bergamini & Dom Famularo