Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Requested by my friend VigiAOR...

Mark Vigil is a Melodic Rock / AOR fighter.
He has been in the music business since the early eighties working for / with major artists.
Meanwhile, Vigil wrote countless music thinking in his own project.
With his long time friend & partner, 2 Grammy winner Steve Fontana/o (Marty Friedman, Santana, Rick Derringer, Tony MacAlpine) as producer, by the end of 1998 they finished to cook this very good pack of songs.

Initially released independently in 2000 in limited quantities, thanks to the internet massification, a second press was on sale in 2006 exclusively via his website.
Since a couple of years ago, a third re-release of this album re-entitled 'Revisited: I Believe In You', including 3 extra tracks, is available @ http://markvigilproject.com

But this is a copy from the (now rare) original press, courtesy of my friend troynew.
M.V.P. is a wonderful MR / AOR disc with lots of keyboards and classy song structures. Vigil's voice is sweet, not powerful, but emotional and colorful.
Many well known names (check personnel) have tracked down the instrumental parts, and with the help of Fontano behind the knobs (despite the log budget) this recording sounds great.
All tracks are good, being my favorite "Dreamer", a killer uptempo old-school AOR monster.
Mark Vigil is working on a new album right now, can't wait to listen his second effort.

Don't miss this little Gem.
Highly, Highly Recommended

01 - Jena
02 - Method Man
03 - You Better Know Why
04 - Someone
05 - All Night Lover
06 - Dreamer
07 - Should've Been The One
08 - La La Lisa
09 - Love's Gone
10 - Senseless
11 - Is It You

Mark Vigil: Lead Vocals
Josh Ramos (The Storm, Two Fires): Guitar
Mark McGee (Gregg Allman, Vicious Rumors): Guitar
Mark Bonilla (Keith Emerson, Solo): Guitar
Mike Mani (Michael Bolton): Keyboards
Tommy Miller (Gregg Allman, Eddie Money): Bass
Bill Church (Sammy Hagar, Montrose): Bass
T. Moran (Starship): Drums
Pep Salinas: Drums
Kevin Chalfant (The Storm, Two Fires): Backing Vocals
... and many more.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

GO FOR IT - Go For It (1991)

Requested in "Request & Fill Corner" section...

GO FOR IT was the studio project/band put together by Norwegian hi-tech-wizard Geir Olav Bokestad after the second coming of Drama (NOR) called it quits. Musically, GO FOR IT leans more towards a modern westcoast-oriented sound.

The Who-Is-Who of the scandinavian scene (this is a Norway / Sweden project) has contributed as session musician, most notably Frank Adahl (Edin-Adahl, Anita Skorgan, Ranveig Johnsen) and Egil Eldoen (Lava).

Opener "Have Some Fun" is a pure european pop/soul track. Too much naif to my tastes.
But next track "Take My Hand" has a very strong Lava / TOTO vibe, with great guitars and a smooth chorus. Very, very Good.
"Somebody" is an aorish sweet tune with acoustic guitars and charming vocals, right up the alley of bands as Aquila or Peo Pettersson, and why not, Nelson.

"I Refuse" is lovely soft ballad ala Fingerprints (posted HERE), "The Chance" reminds me the norwegians Avenue Talk and "Don't Turn Away" Egil Eldoen's solo works.
"Got To Give" has very good guitars (I mean: very good) and a muscular hi-tech american sound.
On "You've Got The Choice" the band sounds like West Of Sunset, a very cool smooth westcoast-oriented track.
There's some extremely european-pop tracks like "Change Your Last Name" or the very lame "Breakout", albeit with a distinct hi-tech hint to it.

GO FOR IT is an album impeccably performed, with some exquisite songs, perfectly recorded and produced.
Hi-Tech/Pop/Westcoast is the motto here, if you like these styles, don't miss it, as this CD version is pretty rare.
320K + artwork

01 - Have Some Fun
02 - Take My Hand
03 - Somebody
04 - I Refuse
05 - The Chance
06 - Don't Turn Away
07 - Change Your Last Name
08 - Give A Little More
09 - Got To Give
10 - You've Got The Choice
11 - Breakout
12 - Vooshame

Mark Sorrone - Lead Vocals
Roger A . Andersen - Keyboards
Geir O. Bokestad - Guitar, Keyboards
Add. Musicians:
Drums - Dennis Chambers
Bass - Garry Grainger
Synth Bass - Billy Young
Guitars - Mats Johansson
Keyboards - Billy Young, Johan Axelsson, Tom Coster
Horns - Jerry Hey, Gary Grant, Dan Higgins
Percussion - Paulinho DaCosta
Background Vocals - Egil Eldoen, Frank Adahl, Alfie Silas, Kim Hutchcroft, Jacquelyn Gouche, Gardner Cole

GO FOR IT - Norway / Sweden

BLUEWORLD - Blue World (1993)

BLUEWORLD Blue World 1993
Requested in "Request & Fill Corner" section...

BLUEWORLD was formed in Texas by guitarist Todd Frizzell. His greatest influence was his brother Chuck who showed him his first guitar licks.

Frizzell was a member of Bedrock, Eight-Up, The Daze and now plays in Van Gogh's Ear.

BLUEWORLD recorded their self-titled album privately, produced & released through their own label.
This CD is a true rarity, but I used to hate it.
Requested by a reader, and now listening to it, it's not that bad. The big problem is the poor production and particularly, the hit 'n' miss mixing.
Anyway, you can find some good songs here. Their style is Melodic Hard Rock influenced by classic bands.

"What Goes Round" is a good melodic rocker with a cool chorus, "I Don't Believe" rocks in the Dokken style (but more melodic) and "Soldier Blue" has some Led Zeppelin hints.
"No Man" is a cool acoustic / electric midtempo that reminds me a second hand Tesla, while on "Certainly (I Will Be There)" the riff and song structure are similar to White Lion.

As said, a rarity, ripped as requested @ 320K including full artwork.

1. Into The Blue
2. What Goes Around
3. Yesterday
4. No Man
5. I Don't Believe
6. Certainly (I Will Be There)
7. Angel Eyes
8. Kona
9. Prodigal Fool
10. Soldier Blue
11. Million Miles Away
12. Blue World

John Lorraine: Vocals
Todd Frizzell: Guitar, Keyboards, Bass
Jeff Quay: Guitar, Bass
Greg Garwood: Drums, Keyboards
Chuck Frizzell: Bass (on "Blue World")


Monday, March 21, 2011

THE ARROWS - Talk Talk, The Best Of The Arrows (1995)

THE ARROWS  Talk Talk The Best Of The Arrows (1995)
Canadian act The Arrows were formed in 1981 by vocalist Dean McTaggart and drummer Michael Sloski. Following the Daniel Lanois (U2) produced independent EP 'Misunderstood', the band landed a deal with a major label.
Their debut '84 "Stand Back", produced, arranged and co-written by David Tyson (Alannah Myles, Jude Cole) sold well and the band gained considerable critical praise, while the single "Meet Me In The Middle" entered the top 40 chart.

After touring UK as support act, with new bassist Glen Olive they returned to the studios for the 2nd album: "The Lines Are Open" (1985).
Three singles were released and all charted in Canada, but pressures from management for an international breakout hit caused problems inside the band and they quietly went their separate ways at the end of the cross-Canada tour in 1986.

The sound of the The Arrows was basically power-pop but the approach in production and songwriting, absolutely catchy Hi-Tech / Lite AOR in the classy Canadian style.
Songs like "Say It Isn't True", "Bad Reputation", "Heart Of The City" are very close to canadians Honeymoon Suite, New Regime or Idle Eyes, "Never Be Another One", "Enough Is Never Enough" to Paul Janz, "Stand Back" and "Chains" to the more commercial Zappacosta, while "Girl In 313", "Talk Talk" or "Tell It To My Heart" sounds like the mid-eighties Rick Springfield.

In 1995, a CD compilation by the classic german label Long Island Records "Talk Talk: The Best Of The Arrows", was published in limited quantities containing their two albums minus the last track of "The Lines Are Open".
This has been the only release of Arrows music on CD, apart from the european-only release of "TLAO".

The Arrows' albums are out of print and hard to find, and leader Dean McTaggart is personally encouraging people to freely distribute this material on the net.
Good Stuff.

01 - Say It Isn't True
02 - Fallen Angel
03 - Meet Me In The Middle
04 - Never Be Another One
05 - Girl In 313
06 - Stand Back
07 - Enough Is Never Enough
08 - I Owe You
09 - Easy Street
10 - Heart Of The City
11 - Talk Talk
12 - Tell It To My Heart
13 - Bad Reputation
14 - I Can't Let Go
15 - Chains
16 - I Told You So
17 - Wild One

Dean McTaggart - vocals
Doug Macaskill - guitar
Rob Gusevs - keyboards
Earl Seymour - sax
Peter Bleakney, Howard Aye - bass (1984)
Michael Sloski - drums (1984)
David Tyson - keyboards, background vocals
Eddie Schwartz, Al Van Wart - background vocals
Glenn Olive - bass (1985)
Bobby Economou - drums (1985)
Gerald O'Brien - emulator programming (1985)
Produced by David Tyson (1984 / 85)
Mixed & Engineered by Bob Rock (1985)

THE ARROWS - Talk Talk Best Of

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

ELEVEN BLOODY MEN (Hyts) - ST (1992)

Funny name eh?
In fact, ELEVEN BLOODY MEN was the strange name chosen by the artistic producer of the band HYTS to release (without their approval) this sort of CD compilation with tracks from their two vinyl-only albums.

HYTS was a San Francisco based quartet signed by a major label subsidiary in 1982.
Their impressive self titled debut ('83) come out the same week as Bon Jovi’s debut and that record took off.
Vocalist Roland Little comments; "We had some success with the single "Backstabber" but the problem was the company didn't print enough records. Just when we started to gain momentum the record was selling out and they weren’t printing them up fast enough."
Hyts did tour with Rick Derringer, Journey and Santana but were set back again when drummer Roy Garcia fell off the stage and sustained serious injuries.

"We were really doing well. The support was there, the fans were building at each show, but we decided to wait till Roy got better. That really sucked the life out of us.
Our next setback came again from the record label. We had the second album ready to go in '85 but they sat on it for another year not releasing it till '86. That did us in – the tour caved. It went down hill quick after that.", recalls Roland Little.

A pity, 'cos HYTS was a really interesting melodic pomp band in the same league as Balance, Fortune, Arcangel or Duke Jupiter, but with a more raw edge.
This album ELEVEN BLOODY MEN compiles 3 tracks from Hyts' debut: the very good piano based "Tears Will Flow", the catchy rocker "Backstabber" and the commercial "Lady Of The Night".
The rest of the material is from the 2nd (and better) last album "Looking From The Outside", including their best known tune "Is He Better Than Me" (heard into the soundtrack of a cheap B-movie).

On ELEVEN BLOODY MEN is the only place where you will find some Hyts tracks on CD. Their both albums claims to be reissued entirely pronto.
Very cool early '80s pomp, ripped from CD at maximum quality + artwork.

1 - Is He Better Than Me
2 - Looking From The Outside
3 - Tears Will Flow
4 - Backstabber
5 - Up With The Night
6 - The Show Must Go On
7 - You're My Girl
8 - Come Back
9 - Lady Of The Night

Roland Little: Lead Vocals, Guitar
Stan Miller: Bass, Backing Vocals
Tommy Thompson: Keyboards, Guitar, Backing Vocals
Roy Garcia: Drums, Percussion


Monday, March 14, 2011

VANADIUM - Seventheaven [CD edition] (1989)

VANADIUM Seventheaven CD rip
Founded in Milan in early 1980 by guitarist Stephen Tessarin, Vanadium has been one of the pioneers in the Italian heavy rock scene.
Their first recordings are influenced by the NWOBHM movement, but by the end of the eighties they decided to go for a more commercial, melodic hard rock style.

"Seventheaven" is an energetic melodic hard rock album with a scandi / american sound, with a bountiful dosis of keyboards and good choruses.
Opener "Italian Girl" is a real winner, a dynamic melodic rocker featuring an intense guitar / keyboard interplay and a catchy chorus, with very good arranged backing vocals harmonies. Reminds me the swedes Dalton.
"Natural Born Loner" has definitely a scandi / AOR sound. Great keys, beautiful bridge and sing along chorus. A very, very good track.
A major arpeggio guitar takes us into the emotional ballad "Take My Blues Away". This is seriously one of the best and unknown power ballad of the '80s.
The title track is a nice keyboard based instrumental, chained with the powerhouse rocker "Bad Attitude" in the Pretty Maids style.

On "One Way Ride" the band sounds absolutely americanized. The guitar riff is very L.A. mixed with old school keyboards, and the chorus is anthemic and catchy. Another highlight.
The magic keyboards of "Kill The Killer" are 'killers' indeed. This is a marching song, dynamic and hooky.
"Step Ahead Of Time" is another scandi melodic rocker full of melody. Maybe the chorus isn't strong as on the previous tracks, but the keys are so massive and huge that I can't resist to listen this song over and over again.
"To Be A Number One" sounds american again, with some melodic Dokken influences but with keyboards. Here the lead vocal is supported by a female chorus adding a curious effect.
Closer "Warriors" rock harder mixing the old style of the band with american chops.

"Seventheaven" is one of the best (if not the best) melodic rock / scandi AOR albums ever recorded in Italy.
Very hard to find for years and sought after by top collectors worldwide, it was released on CD in limited quantities not so long ago.
The transfer audio quality isn't the best (obviously from vinyl), this is the official edition, as it is, not a bootleg.
CDrip + artwork

01 - Italian Girl
02 - Natural Born Loner
03 - Take My Blues Away
04 - Seventh Heaven (Ruggero's Theme)/Bad Attitude
05 - One Way Ride
06 - Kill The Killer
07 - Step Ahead Of Time
08 - To Be A Number One
09 - Warriors

Pino Scotto di Carlo - Vocals, Backing Vocals
Stefano Tessarin - Guitars
Ruggero Zanolin - Keyboards
Domenico 'Mimmo' Prantera - Bass
Lio Mascheroni - Drums
Naimy Hacket, Guilia Fasolino, Silvio Pozzoli, Malcolm McDonald - Backing Vocals

VANADIUM - Seventheaven

Thursday, March 10, 2011

KEVIN WELLS - Little Acts Of Treason (1985)

KEVIN WELLS  Little Acts Of Treason 1985
Kevin who?
Kevin Wells is a pedigreed performer who plays everything from drums to guitar, and an accomplished vocalist & songwriter.
Versatile at everything from jazz to hard rock, he had played on the road or in the studio since the age of 15 with dozens of major acts. Member of the band Pablo Cruise or Laura Branigan's live band musical director to name a few.
But maybe he's better known as Huey Lewis & The News drummer & vocalist, recording on 'Sports' and co-writing with Andre Pessis (Mr. Big) their hit 'Walking On A Thin Line'.

By '85 Kevin had the opportunity to release his own material as solo artist, handling the lead vocals, drums, keys, and thanks to his business connections, getting into the studio real heavy weight musicians.
Just take a look; Dann Huff, Bill Cuomo, Vinnie Colaiuta, Jim Photoglo... WOW.
"Little Acts Of Treason" is a short, beautiful, typically '80s album.
A melodic mix of Pop & AOR, radio friendly tunes, with excellent production and musicianship.
"I'm still waiting" is a glossy, synth based track with a contagious chorus that remembers Tony Carey's eighties material.
The lite-AOR rhythm of "Stronger than the city" is a pure melodic bliss, what a catchy track.

"Agony and ecstasy" is a super commercial ballad with a great guitar work (John McFee). Why this song never become a hit? Excellent.
The meaty funky groove of "Never too late" ups the tempo again (with class), and then "Night life" is one of the highlights of the disc, a magical mid-tempo light AOR.
"Out of my hands" has a great chorus, very nice harmonies (Jim Photoglo on backing vocals) and a great guitar solo.
"Time heals" is my favorite, an AORish and captivating tune with a terrific rhythm guitar and very good climax. This track reminds me Tommy Shaw solo work.
"Love is on the line" is another beauty, cool and ethereal, in the best Van Stephenson style.
"Talk to me" has a lot of keyboards and guitars, a track in the vein of Tommy Shaw's 'Girls With Guns' era.

Kevin Wells has a warm, sweet voice, his songwriting is catchy, intelligent (very clever commercial arrangements too), all the album as whole sounds fantastic.
"Little Acts Of Treason" was released on a small label and never reissued on CD. The vinyl fetches very high prices on auction sites.
This a rip at maximum quality from a bootleg CD (sounds million bucks) including art.
Rare and delicious as the best Ushuaian centolla...

01 - I'm still waiting
02 - Stronger than the city
03 - Agony and ecstasy
04 - Never too late
05 - Night life
06 - Out of my hands
07 - Time heals
08 - Love is on the line
09 - Talk to me

Kevin Wells : Vocals, Keyboards, Drums
Dann Huff : Guitar
John McFee : Guitar, Bass
Rick Chudacoff : Bass
Bill Elliott : Keyboards
Bill Cuomo : Keys
Vinnie Colaiuta : Drums
Peter Bunetta : Drums
Matthew Wilder, Leslie Smith, Joe Turano, Harmish Stewart, Jim Photoglo, Larry Hoppen : Backing Vocals

Produced by Peter Bunetta & Rick Chudacoff

Updated HERE

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

JOHN O'BANION - Satomi Hakken-Den (1983)

JOHN O'BANION Satomi Hakken-Den Legend Of Eight Samurai 1983
Requested by kissmar, enjoy mate...

John O'Banion (RIP) was one of the smoothest voices in Westcoast AOR history. His '81 self titled album and 'Danger' ('82) are true gems and still sound fresh today thanks to the production-wise and songwriting abilities by the industry monsters Joey Carbone & Richie Zito.

One of the '82 singles went to No. 24 on the Billboard magazine, then O'Banion, Zito & Carbone were invited to go to Japan for a five-city concert tour and to compete in the Tokyo Music Festival. They won the grand prize as best performance and best arranger awards.

When Carbone returned to America, feels some kind of magnet pulling him back towards Japan, so asked to his music publisher find a place into a Japanese project.
He offered to him, Zito & O'Banion as a working combo, the soundtrack for the Kadokawa movie "Satomi Hakken Den".
Known in the west as "Legend of Eight Samurai", the film was the number one Japanese film on the domestic market in 1984, earning ¥ 2.3 billion, and the theme song (a ballad translated "I Don't Want This Night To End") the first O'Banion / Carbone big hit in Japan.
The other song composed (with Richie Zito) to the movie, "White Light", is a very nice commercial poppy AOR tune full of magic.

The trio put together both songs and the rest of the material they've been working, on what become the third John O'Banion solo album: "Satomi Hakken Den: [Legend Of Eight Samurai soundtrack]", disc also known as "White Light", only released in Japan.
The track "Body Heat" sounds like a work-out gym song so popular those years, "Turn Out The Light" is filled with orchestral keyboards and electronic drums (a very action-movie-like tune), same with "She Dreams Of You". I love this kind of stuff.
"We Can't Go On" and "She Dreams Of You" are more poppy (the latter sounding as a 'Flashdance' left off), on "Techno Pheliac" they go pretty techno indeed, a very synth based track, while "I Need Love" and specially the beautiful "We Can Dream" are in the style of earlier O'Banion material.

The disc was released on vinyl ('83), and there's only a very limited 1000 copies edition on CD, Japan only.
This is a rip at maximum quality, including artwork, from that very rare CD.
A beautiful bunch of songs.
Highly Recommended

01 - Hakkenshi's Theme (White Light)
02 - Body Heat
03 - Turn Out The Light
04 - We Can't Go On
05 - She's The One
06 - Satomi Hakken-Den (I Don't Want This Night To End)
07 - She Dreams Of You
08 - I Need Love
09 - Techno Pheliac
10 - We Can Dream

John O'Banion: Vocals
Richie Zito: Guitars, Bass, Programming
Joey Carbone: Keyboards, Syths, Programming
John Pierce: Bass
Carlos Vega: Drums
... and various unlisted musicians

Produced & Arranged by
Joey Carbone and Richie Zito

Thanks troynew!

Sunday, March 06, 2011


BEYOND THE BLUE Le Bolderdijk  1990
BEYOND THE BLUE is a project from the Netherlands by session guitarist & producer Le Bolderdijk [Bolland & Bolland, Robbie Valentine, Anouk, etc] and male vocalist (despite the name) Emile Den Tex [Face To Face].
This is a 'studio' band, that's clear from the first note: perfect musicianship and immaculate crisp production are the key on this album.
But also the good songs.

The style of BEYOND THE BLUE is elegant Lite AOR + european adult rock & pop + a spice of westcoast.
First track "Atlantic Summer" has a TOTO / Chicago vibe all over it, with some horns and floating synths.
"More Than Ever Before" is a jewel of a song, a captivating midtempo AOR featuring a great guitar work, subtle & precise. Emile Den Tex has a very smooth voice with a very nice color.
"Here On Our Own" and "My Town" flies to the L.A. scene, both are very good westcoast tracks with a strong groove.
The title track is a very well crafted and personal song, with clean guitars and whispering vocals.

With a track like "Home", you have a great disc. This moving and catchy Lite AOR is one of the highlights of this album.
"Intoxicated" is another good one. Slow and climatic, the keyboard / guitar ambiance fills this piece with class and distinction. Very Good.
"Bleeding Heart" has some westcoast scent, while "Another World" is an adult pop with a contagious rhythm.
Last track "Romancing The Fire" is an instrumental where Bolderdijk displays his color palette and exquisite playing. Excellent.

BEYOND THE BLUE is an unknown album / project full of class and good moments. A very pleasant listen.
Ripped @ maximum quality including artwork.
Rare & Good. Recommended.

1 - Atlantic Summer
2 - More Than Ever Before
3 - Here On Our Own
4 - Beyond The Blue
5 - Home
6 - My Town
7 - Intoxicated
8 - Only The River Knows
9 - Bleeding Heart
10 - Another World
11 - Romancing The Fire

Le Bolderdijk : Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Producer
Emile Den Tex : Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Producer
Henri Van Bergen : Drums, Percussion
Ake Danielson : Keyboards
Ton Op 't Hof : Electronic Drums
Eddy Conard : Percussion
Bolland & Bolland, Okkie Huysdens : Backing Vocals


Thursday, March 03, 2011

MARK SCOTT - Demos [unreleased] (1988)

MARK SCOTT Demos [unreleased] (1988)
Requested in "Request & Fill Corner" section...

UK artist without bio.

No info available apart from his nationality.
High quality sound pre-production demos in the style of canadian bands / solo artists as Paul Janz or Keven Jordan.
Nice Lite-AOR / AORish rock & pop songs.
Rare unreleased stuff, shared as requested. Artwork included.

01 - Reckless
02 - Life Goes On
03 - Every Time I Close My Eyes
04 - Fool In Love
05 - Point Of No Return

Mark Scott : Vocals
Personnel : unlisted