Tuesday, December 22, 2009

AOR TREASURES - The Soundtracks Vol.13


More than 200 tracks compiled, more than 18.000 downloads.
And there's more.
The administrator of the biggest chinese music forum has contacted me; this soundtrack series are one of the most downloaded links there.
They need to re-upload the files to their own host because the western ones doesn't works well to them.
Report: 80.000 downloads and counting... WOW.

Volume 13 is ready since 2 months ago, but never found the time to write the 'track by track' description and complete the file tags.
Here we go:

Rock'N'Roll (I Feel So) [Speaking Of The Devil]
Italian band, italian movie. Original name: Un piede In Paradiso, starring Bud Spencer.
Florence 99 plays an energetic rockin' melodic hard piece, with crisp-clean guitar riffs and a good american vocalist.
Call me nuts, but this one reminds me the band RED DAWN...

Fire With Fire [Fire With Fire]
Classic song, the best in my opinion in WILD BLUE's one and only album.
In fact, the song was written specifically for the movie by Chas Sandford (remember his only and rare album 'Parallax View'?).
The man knows how to write song (co-writer of Waite's classic 'Missing You') and the band shines on this one.
As said, a classic.

Always A Tiger [Windkracht 10 TV serie]
Oh yeah, that's why I love this style. Thrilling pumpin' AOR song from the belgian TV series 'Windkracht 10'.
Incredibly recorded in the second half of the nineties, sounds like a 1986 production! Awesome.
There's 2 OST released (one for each season) but this wonderful tune only was heard in one episode. Edited and mastered by myself.
Let me dedicate this gem to the world's biggest female fronted AOR collector: aorheart (but you probably already know this one, you have it all!)

4 - KICK
Rock 'N' Roll Hearts [Body Slam]
Rock 'n roll fable mixed with wrestling matchs, a little dumb movie, but funny as hell!
KICK is a fictitious band featured in the film, but they are real musicians, drummer Jack D'Amore was member of ROCK ROSE.
3 tracks were recorded exclusively for the soundtrack, this is the best, a melodic rocker with insistent keyboards.
Written by Peter Beckett! You can't go wrong with him.

Reach For Your Dreams [Vicious Lips]
Another rarity.
The last song known by Sue Saad before desappear into the thin air.
And what a beautiful one, formidable chorus.
Sadly never released, I've ripped the track directly from the movie.
This song will stick in your head for weeks...

Blind Alley [Spellbinder]
Another good track penned and performed by the NJ born Gary Wright.
He has contributed many songs to several films like 'North Shore', 'Cobra' or 'Heavenly Bodies' to name a few.
This one is a stylized song totally 80's.
As far I know, never released OST.

Earth And Air [Lady Beware]
Due to many requests, here it is another great track from the very hard to find 'Lady Beware' soundtrack. CD ripped.
A ballad to die for. Killer.

Desire [Nobody's Perfect]
Not AOR by any means, but this tune has a nice tempo and I like the way it is performed. Besides, the lyrics brings back some memories...
Written by another OST habitual, the master Mike Piccirillo.
Unknown track.

Baby Come Back [Five Aces]
Well, this is an all time PLAYER classic. Who has not heard this song?
This perennial melody was re-recorded by the band for their 1995 comeback album "Lost In Reality".
But this is another version by Peter Beckett & JC Crowley alone for the Five Aces indie movie.
I love this song, in any version.
Very Rare.

It's Not Over [Playing For Keeps]
Song popularized by STARSHIP, but was written by another OST composer; John Van Tongeren (Fast Forward, Thelma & Louise and dozens more)
Heartbreaking Thompson's version, climatic and perfectly arranged.
Originally posted in Vol.2 but this is a CD rip (hard to find), this winner song deserved max quality...

Show Me How It Works [Wildcats]
Maybe you don't dig this one at first listen, but it's a very good one.
Awesome tempo and a little but very good guitar work.
Written by David Pack!
Very very rare soundtrack, only vinyl.
I've spent many time restoring...

New Way Of Living [Burglar]
Don't be confused, this is the ROBERT HART (Bad Company, solo) band. In '89 released their only album 'Under The One Sky'.
This track (and the other one featured in the soundtrack) was the group's first recording.
It's a rare AOR song that reminds me VIRGINIA WOLF, don't ask me why...
The Distance (yes, with "The", that would later be removed for their debut album) appeared as the club band in one scene of the movie.
Rare OST.

No Turning Back [Critters]
Why only the score of this movie was released?
A total mystery 'cos the flick was a success and includes good songs.
This is a goodie, absolutely eighties, nice guitar solo and cheap drumming.
Ripped from DVD.
I love the 80's !

Dream Machine [Watchers]
Canadian film, featuring canadian artists tracks.
Mike Reno of LOVERBOY's fame, contributed this one, a cranky uptempo AOR.
Never released soundtrack, the file sound quality is not the best but c'mon, it's a brutal song.
Love it!

Heartbeat [The Coolangatta Gold]
Aka "The Gold And The Glory" in the USA, this australian movie soundtrack features some local rock & pop artists mixed with instrumental score tracks.
My pick is the Kim Hart song (born in New Zealand), written by SHARON O'NEILL and sounding a lot like her. Cool poppy-AOR tune.
A very rare vinyl, only released in the land of Oz.

Let Me Believe In You [Crystal Heart]
This is a great soundtrack.
I've posted one track previously (Vol.7), but this is a personal favorite.
Love the production and the AOR-rock feel on this one.
A winner song.

Passion [Modern Girls]
Los Angeles short-lived group that never make it big.
This song included in the movie "Modern Girls" is a melodic guitar power-pop-rock, clearly influenced by THE REPLACEMENTS (one of my favs in this genre).
Unknown song, unknown band.

Caught In Your Web (Swear To Your Heart) [Arachnophobia]
Russell sounds very much like DENNIS DeYOUNG here (especially the way he sounded on those early '90s Styx ballads).
This soundtrack exclusive song was included only in the first pressing of the OST, very hard to find.

+ 70 min, artwork.
Note: most of tracks are vinyl-only release and very rare, all were cleaned, decrackled and declicked to get the best quality possible.

AOR TREASURES - The Soundtracks Vol.13

Saturday, December 19, 2009

STEVIE VANN (Lange) - Stevie Vann (1995)

Requested in "Request & Fill Corner 2" section...
Stevie Vann Lange (aka Stevie Lange; Stevie Vann) born as Stevie van Kerken in Mufulira, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia).
Married to record producer Robert "Mutt" Lange, in the late 70's Vann met CHRIS THOMPSON when performing backing vocals for a Manfred Mann's Earth Band album.
Thompson approached Vann to form a band; NIGHT, releasing 2 albums.

She is a well known vocal coach, including services to Joe Elliot, Atomic Kitten, Robbie Williams, etc. and sung live with Byan Adams, Elton John, Joe Cocker, Brian May.
Also she did backing vocals on the version of DEF LEPPARD's "When Love And Hate Collide" on their Vault compilation.
Additionally, she has sung backup for Manfred Mann, Sweet, Colin Blunstone, Jim Capaldi, Trevor Rabin, UFO, Rick Wakeman and many many more.

In the nineties, finally, she has recorded her first full lengh solo album, co-written and produced by her ex-husband, "Mutt" Lange, who also sang background vocals (although their marriage had broken up they still today remain the best of friends).

This is a real good collection of classic rock style songs, were Stevie's voice is the star.
Powerful, colorful vocals, from straight rockers to emotional ballads.
Production is top notch as you could imagine, with MUTT LANGE involved and MIKE SHIPLEY (Def Leppard, Winger, Foreigner) engineering.
Session musicians are awesome too: DANN HUFF, BRYAN ADAMS, MAX CARL, BOB CARLISLE, etc.
Released through a small label, this CD is very hard to find (out of print).

As bonus, I've included a very rare 1981 vinyl single + artwork, the killer "Remember My Name", only released in UK.

1. What Would You Say?
2. Prove It (duet with Bryan Adams)
3. The Bigger The Better
4. (Let That) River Roll
5. What In The World
6. Without Your Love (I Can't Live)
7. Will The Last One To Leave
8. I Thought I'd Seen Everything
9. I'll Take Your Heart
10. If Walls Could Talk

Personnel :
* Dann Huff - string bass, electric and acoustic guitars
* Glenn Worf - bass
* Reggie Young - rhythm guitar
* Lonnie Wilson - drums
* Bosco De Olivera - percussion
* Wayne Stalling - keyboards
* John Jarvis - piano
* Steve Nathan - B3 organ and synth
* Philip Nicholas - keyboards, programming
* Richie Buckley - tenor and soprano sax

Guests :
* Bryan Adams - vocals on "Prove It" (duet)
* Max Carl - backing vocals
* Bob Carlisle - backing vocals

Mike Shipley - engineer, mixing
Robert John "Mutt" Lange - producer, background vocals

"Remember My Name + 1" RCA single 1981

Re-posted Here

Friday, December 18, 2009

LOMBARD - Rocking The East (1991)

LOMBARD was a successful band in their home country (Poland) at the beginning of the eighties.
The band has recorded several albums in both languages (polish and english) trying to conquer the western market, especially the Benelux countries, performing live in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, even the band played several concerts for the polish community in USA.
But beyond that they are well known in east Europe, most occidental audiophiles never have heard of Lombard.
Not my case, I've listened all their 80-90 albums, and this one is pretty interesting.

The sound is a typical american female fronted aorish rock&pop :
"Moonshine Warrior" reminds me SARAYA, with a nice melodic chorus and garnish keyboards.
"There May Not Be Another Time" is like a second hand ROBIN BECK tune, nice and sweet.
"Tears Behind The Wall" sounds like a BAR-FLY song performed by GUDRUN LAOS.
"Chasing The Time" has a scandi-AOR vibe, similar in style to another good polish band: SYNDIA.

This album is the english version of "Welcome Home (1990)" issued a year earlier with native lyrics.
A very nice addition to any collection and female fronted rock rarities hunters, well played and correctly produced.
Contains some very good tracks (a couple of fillers too), likable and exotic.
Released only in Poland, and extemely hard to find.
320Kbps CDrip.

1 - Rocking The East
2 - Moonshine Warrior
3 - There May Not Be Another Time
4 - Tears Behind The Wall
5 - Calm Down
6 - Chasing The Time
7 - Life At A Faster Speed
8 - Acid And Honey
9 - It Might Have Been...(Welcome Home)

Małgorzata Ostrowska – lead vocals
Robert Kalicki – keyboards, backing vocals
Piotr Zander – guitar, bass (5)
Henryk Baran – bass, guitar (9), backing vocals
Artur Malik – drums, backing vocals
Jerzy Styczyński – guitar


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

FIONA - Live King Biscuit Hour [Full Concert] (1985)

FIONA - Live King Biscuit Hour Full Concert
The only FIONA & Bobby Messano Live performance ever recorded, was pressed on vinyl by 'ABC Rock Radio Network / The King Biscuit Flower Hour' for radio play only (not for sale), including only 6 tracks.
This is the Full Concert taken from the ABC vaults: 11 tracks, including three unreleased songs.

I've made my own artwork. Great sound quality, like an official release.

01 - Wild Nights
02 - You're No Angel
03 - James
04 - Keeper Of The Flame
05 - Broken Dreams
06 - Heaven On My Mind
07 - Talk To Me
08 - Na Na Song
09 - Rescue You
10 - Hang Your Heart On Me
11 - Line Of Fire


Saturday, December 05, 2009

THE KAZU PROJECT feat C. FARREN & T. FUNDERBURK - Standing In The Wings (1985)

Born and raised in Tokio, after high school KAZU MATSUI moved to Los Angeles, studying music & philosophy.
Since the early eighties, he begins a musical venture as THE KAZU MATSUI PROJECT, recording & producing many good 'Adult Contemporary Music' albums, recruiting awesome session players like Steve Lukather, Robben Ford, Jeff Porcaro, Abraham Laboriel, Bill Champlin, Jennifer Warnes to name a few.

For his 5th recording, Kazu has called the best of the best: Chris Farren, Tommy Funderburk, Andrea Robinson, Dann Huff, Bruce Gaitsch, Greg Bissonette (check the personnel).
Chris Farren steals the disc with deep and soulful interpretations.
And Funderburk... simply one of the best voices in AOR history. In my top 10 of all time.
The songs: awesome pure eighties AOR fm-radio style.

I can't recommend you this album enough, a pleasure from start to finish.
One bad thing only: too short.
If you don't like this, you don't like AOR music.
Japan only release. Vinyl restored by myself.
A Must Have.
Highly Recommended.

1. Don't Look Back (lead vocal:Chris Farren)
2. Standing In The Wings (lead vocal:Tommy Funderburk)
3. That Girl (lead vocal:Chris Farren)
4. Desire [Short Road To Heaven] (lead vocal:C. Farren)
5. Doctor O'Mein (lead vocal:Tommy Funderburk)
6. Head Above Water (lead vocal:Tommy Funderburk)
7. Into The Nightfall (lead vocals:C. Farren & A. Robinson)

Produced by Kazu Matsui

Lead Vocals: Chris Farren, Tommy Funderburk, Andrea Robinson
Guitars: Carlos Rios, Dann Huff, Bruce Gaitsch, I. Noro, G. Geissman
Keyboards: Steve Wood, Martin Lund, B. Finch, Gery Stober
Pianos: Randy Waldman
Bass: Jimmy Johnson, Leon Gear, David White, Fredy Washington Jr.
Drums: Vince Colaiuta, Moyes Lucas, Gregg Bissonette
Percussion: Mike Fisher, Ed Mann
Shakuhachi (japanese flute): Kazu Matsui
Backing Vocals: Maxi Anderson, Marlena Jeter, Phillip Ingram, Darryl Phinnesee


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

BENNY MARDONES and The Hurricanes - American Dreams (1986)

BENNY MARDONES and The Hurricanes - American Dreams
Here you have a little gem.
This unknown vinyl is part of the two "Syracuse only" albums recorded by BENNY MARDONES in the middle of the 80's.
Both records were released and distributed by BT Records (a small local concert promoters label) in New Jersey state only, especially in the Syracuse area, where Benny is the hometown hero (even today), outselling 'big' names like Bruce Springsteen from local charts.

Why a limited and local release only? There's a story to be told.
By '82, Benny was enjoying a great success with his top single 'Into the Night' , 3 LP's on the streets and a juicy deal with Polydor.
But... one day, messin' around in the studio with his friends, the duo ALESSI BROS, between drugs & alcohol, he shown to their mates his new song 'All for a reason', just recorded and ready to be released by his label as Benny's new single.
They say: "...What a great tune! let's do it!" Benny himself helped to arrange the song to fit the duo's style and then recording it.
Two weeks later ALESSI BROS released their own version of 'All for a reason' and become the duo's most successful hit single ever.
Mardones' label, infuriated, fired him immediately and canceled his ready-to-go own single.

Those were hard years to Mardones, fighting to kick his addiction to heroin.
However, both 'Syracuse only' (the other was called "Unauthorized") albums are excellent.
The man has an unique voice, style and feeling.
A true AOR icon, and personally, I think all his discography is essential to any fan of this beloved genre.

I will not explain how this album is, just get it.
Contains wonderful songs including a new version of the classic "Shelia C." (co-written with ROBERT TEPPER).
"The Fire Is Raging (Jam 99)" was recorded with members of LYNYRD SKYNYRD, a minor but cool shuffle song.

Excellent vinyl rip + artwork.

1 - (Love is just a) Heart away
2 - Way of the world
3 - Tonight
4 - Silent gun
5 - Sheila C. (new version)
6 - American dreams
7 - Still falling
8 - Fire is raging (Jam 99)

Benny Mardones: Lead Vocals, producer
Duane Evans: Guitar, producer
Arthur Neilson: Guitar
Mark Bosch: Guitar
Steve Galloway: Keyboards
Rennie Xosa: Bass
Dan Hickey: Drums
Lind Miller: Backing Vocals


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

SEPTEMBER - Lines Are Falling (1984)

SEPTEMBER was a project of the Kirkland brothers Dale, Russ & Doug, all from a Christian family, that's why this band has a CCM background (CCM=Contemporary Christian Music).
But don't be scared if you're not religious, song lyrics are cool and the music is a wimpy and nice Lite AOR / Melodic pop-rock.

Lead vocals are shared between the bros, alternating their roles song by song.
This is their 3rd album, and overall sounds like classic commercial early 80's AOR bands.
The opener "Lines are falling" is a clear example of the above mentioned, a good female fronted AOR rocker that reminds me TANE CAIN solo album, while "Ready to live" is a beautiful candy-floss keyboard driven song with pounding drums.

Side B of this album only released on vinyl is better in my opinion.
Starts with "Never never", reminds me T. CAIN again, especially the vocal intonation and the amazing synths [Prophet 5].
"Somethin's comin" has a very good old style guitar playin' in charge of Scott Payne (lead guitars). Check this out... good pickin' !
But my definitive favorite here (altough all tracks are good) is "Hold your ground"... awesome song! Think PAUL DELPH + BENNY MARDONES and you got it, really good electric piano [Rhodes] playing too.

This record was requested by a reader in the 'REQUEST & FILL CORNER 2' section (NorthSwede this is for you!) and I had forgotten how good it is, long time no listening.
So I've decided to clean up the vinyl scratchs & clicks, and now sounds really, really good.
A true rarity (and a good one), hard to find, even between CCM collectors.
Don't miss it...

01 - Lines Are Falling
02 - Too Little Time
03 - Ready To Live
04 - Calling For You
05 - Night Song
06 - Never Never
07 - Somethin's Comin'
08 - You Don't Love Me
09 - Hold Your Ground
10 - Far From There

Dale Kirkland - Lead vocals, Percussion
Russ Kirkland - Lead vocals, Synth, Electric Piano
Scott Payne - Guitar
Chuck Kofahl - Guitar
Jim Bullard - Bass
Carl Albrecht - Drums

SEPTEMBER - Lines Are Falling

RUNNER (USA) - Runner (1984)

Don't confuse this RUNNER with the UK band under the same moniker.
These guys are from USA, and their sound is totally radio oriented AOR.

Self released indie miniLP, with strong influences of those years' popes; LOVERBOY, SURVIVOR, PREVIEW, etc.
Lovable harmonies, classy keyboards and good vocals.
The four songs are easy on the ears, with some pomp hints here and there, featuring the mandatory ballad as closing track.

A little short but catchy first half 80's collector's item, a recommended addition to your vaults, AOR freaks.

1 - Here it comes again
2 - Hold on to lose
3 - Maybe I'm right
4 - It should be easier

Kenny Jackson: Lead Vocals, Bass
Tony Rincon: Guitar
Russell Berkley: Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Dean Finmark: Drums

Re-Posted HERE