Friday, April 29, 2011

SEVEN - Inside Love CDs (1990)

SEVEN - Inside Love CDs (1990)
Requested by AORtrooper...

Seven was a great, short-lived, John Parr produced UK AOR band that released only 2 maxi-singles.

You can read the whole story (and get the 2nd single) HERE.

This is their first, hard to find CDsingle. In fact, I didn't saw this beauty posted anywhere.
A must have, elegant AOR.

1 - Inside Love (7 inch version)
2 - Till Then
3 - Inside Love (extended version)

Mick Devine: Lead Vocals
Keith MacFarlane: Guitar, Vocals
Pat Davey: Bass, Vocals
Simon Lefevre: Keyboards, Vocals
Austin Lane: Drums

SEVEN - Inside Love CDs

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

STORMWAVE - Deadly Trace (1991)

After recording a couple of singles, the Austrian band STORMWAVE got the chance to release the first full-length disc in 1987.
"Deadly Trace" is their 3rd and last album, and the best of all.
A very cool blend of American Hard 'N Heavy with classy European Melodic Hard Rock is the motto here.

The good thing about this recording is its freshness.
All the songs are melodic and catchy, with good arrangements and nice harmonies.
On tracks as "Walkin' On A Razor's Edge" or "One Night Stand" the american influence (complete with keyboards) is clear, the band remind me Baton Rouge and alikes.
"Calm Before The Storm" and "Wheels Of Loneliness" both have some scandi scent (the latter sounding like earlier Europe).
Listening "Fever Of Love" I have flashbacks of Heavy Pettin' (do you remember them?), while "Cry For Freedom" has much in the style developed by the most commercial Accept on 'Russian Roulette'.
"Without You" is a tear jerker piano ballad that has nothing to envy to Da Vinci or Zinatra. Very pleasant track.

The good indie production is warm & melodic or razor sharp when needed, although on some tracks there's no real drummer and the programming isn't perfect at all.
Horst Adamer does a remarkable job singing all these tunes in perfect pitch without accent.
But the stars on "Deadly Trace" are the twin guitar attack. A full, vital valvular tone very up in the mix gave to this recording a real magical spell, truly '80s.
I was thinking to post a good and unknown rockin' album here (this is a hard rock site too) and Stormwave is a great choice.
Check out how good they are.

01 - Deadly Trace
02 - Walkin' On A Razor's Edge
03 - Calm Before The Storm
04 - Never Surender
05 - Wheels Of Loneliness
06 - Fever Of Love
07 - Cry For Freedom
08 - One Night Stand
09 - Losing The Game
10 - Endless Love
11 - Without You
12 - Mountain Rock

Horst Adamer - Vocals
Klaus Margreiter - Guitar
Manfred Margreiter - Guitar
Bruno Hosp - Bass
Gonther Kopf - Drums

STORMWAVE - Deadly Trace

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

V.A. - Voices (1987)

Revamped post per request.

Christian (CCM) albums / artists sometimes overwhelm secular listeners with their religious lyrics.
But many of them have released wonderful albums musically speaking, especially in the eighties and early '90s.
In the case of this V.A., the result is excellent.

"Voices" was a charity project that brought together the cream of the CCM AOR scene, performing songs specifically composed for this disc.
Released via the legendary christian label Myrrh and conducted & produced by Mike Mierau (Petra, Halo, Mastedon, Guardian, etc.).
Mike's liner notes words:
"There are certain singers where voices are instantly recognizable. The minutes you hear them, you know they're one of your favorites.
Here on this record are ten new songs by ten great singers. It's a collection of amazing talents offering their voices to God."

The highpoint of this album are, obviously, the voices.
Strong performances, beautiful nuances and smooth arrangements, mostly between Light AOR and WestCoast.
My favorite is John Elefante's track, penned with his bro Dino, and of course, the mighty Tommy Funderburk, one of the greatest AOR singers of all time, forever in my top 5.

01 - Tata Vega - In Your Light
02 - Bob Carlisle - Heaven Is Waiting
03 - Bryan Duncan - Come as You Are
04 - Matthew Ward - Light of the World
05 - Howard McCrary - In Your Presence
06 - John Elefante & Kim Boyce - Helpless
07 - Rick Riso - Heaven Must Have Sent You
08 - Bob Carlisle - Teach Me How
09 - Benny Hester - Then You Call My Name
10 - Tommy Funderburk - Lift Up My Voice

Guitars: Michael Hodge, Terrance Elliot, Dino Elefante
Bass: John Pierce, Michael Hodg
Keyboards: J. Schreiner, James Raymond, John Elefante
Drums: Rick Thomson
Programming, Overdubs: Rick Thomson, Mike Mierau
Sax: David Hlebo, Warren Ham
Horn Section: The Martin Brothers
Orchestration: Bill Kilpatrick
Produced by Mike Mierau, Rick Thomson & John Elefante

Re-Posted HERE

Monday, April 25, 2011


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

Joe-Bruce is a studio project by two heavy-weights of the music industry: Joe Esposito and Bruce Sudano.

Both were part during the late '70s / early '80s of the vocal group Brooklyn Dreams (which supplied backing vocals on the classic debut Franke And The Knockouts album).
Esposito is also well known as a soundtrack guy (Flashdance, Foxes, Staying Alive, Thief Of Hearts, Karate Kid) and his colaboration with Giorgio Moroder.
And who are the '2nd Avenue'? No-one than the super session monsters Dann Huff, Nathan East, Michael Omartian, Bob Conti and more.

First track "We Can Have It All" is just a killer soft-AOR melodic gem. The golden chorus is pure mid-eighties AOR heaven, and Dan Huff's solo a fine demonstration of his mastery.
"Something Tells Me (Into Something Good)" is really 'something good', a cool L.A. westcoast track complete with tasteful keys and horns.
"Save The Love" has a classy smooth breeze while "Some Things Never Change" is a melodic semi-ballad with a great bass & rhythm guitar that reminds me the more commercial Gino Vanelli.

"The Terms Of Love" returns to the classic AOR in a style similar to David Roberts and Robbie Patton. Great keyboards on this one.
"The Message Is Clear" has a poppy-Lite AOR vibe, very radiable and contagious. The drums are more compressed here than the rest of the album.
"Powerful Girl" sounds very early eighties, a soundtrack-style track with a magic chorus and nice guitars.
On the ballad "I Found Love" the duo pay tribute to their origins, this is a vocal-based song with great harmonies.

Production is first class and all sounds clear and polished to the extreme. This is a 'tie & jacket' album, elegant and sophisticated.
"JOE-BRUCE & 2ND AVENUE" only was released on CD and distributed in Germany in limited quantities, being auctioned today with bids above U$S 300.

01. We Can Have It All
02. Something Tells Me (Into Something Good)
03. No Way To Win
04. Save The Love
05. Some Things Never Change
06. The Terms Of Love
07. The Message Is Clear
08. Powerful Girl
09. America (What's The Price You Pay)
10. I Found Love

Lead & Backing Vocals: Joe "Bean" Esposito
Lead & Backing Vocals: Bruce Sudano
Guitars: Dann Huff
Bass: Nathan East, Joe Chemay
Keyboards, Production: Michael Omartian
Synth Programming: Erich Bulling, Marcus Ryle
Drums: John Robinson
Percussion: Bob Conti
Horns: Gary Herbig, Kim Hutchcroft, Jerry Hey
Backing Vocals: Donna Summer, Dara Bernard, Mary Ellen Bernard, Portia Griffin


FM - Bad Luck 5'' CDs (1989)

FM - Bad Luck 5'' CD single (1989)
Requested by my friend Juba.San...

Another Maxi-CD single off FM's 'Tough It Out'.

"Bad Luck" is a terrific AOR tune, the extended version has a more mysterious atmosphere (typically '80s) than the album cut.
It is incredible how "Hurt Is Where The Heart Is" and "This Could Be The Last Time" never ended into the main album final tracklist.
Seems they recorded too many gems in these recording sessions.
Great one.

01 - Bad Luck (album version)
02 - Hurt Is Where The Heart Is (non album track)
03 - This Could Be The Last Time (non album track)
04 - Bad Luck (Extended Long Version)

Steve Overland: lead vocals, guitar
Chris Overland: guitars
Merv Goldsworthy: bass, vocals
Didge Digital: keyboards
Pete Jupp: drums, vocals

FM - Bad Luck CD single

FM - Someday (You'll Come Running) CDs (1989)

FM - Someday (You'll Come Running) CD single (1989)
Requested by Kissmar...

After the brilliant debut, british aorsters FM were sent by their label to America where they worked with guru Neil Kernon for the follow up album.

'Tough It Out', released in 1989, was a big success, spawning 4 singles.
Of the best is without a doubt "Someday (You'll Come Running)", including a great extended version of the main song and an exclusive track to this Maxi-CDs; "Alibi".
AOR at its best.

01 - Someday (You'll Come Running)
02 - Obsession
03 - Alibi
04 - Someday [Extended Version]

Steve Overland: lead vocals, guitar
Chris Overland: guitars
Merv Goldsworthy: bass, vocals
Didge Digital: keyboards
Pete Jupp: drums, vocals

FM - Someday CD single

Saturday, April 23, 2011

MARTEE LeBOW - Love's A Liar (1987)

MARTEE LeBOW - Love's A Liar (1987)
Requested in "Request & Fill Corner" section...

Second Martee's album.

Now firmly established as a solo artist and after extensive touring presenting her mini-LP debut, she had the opportunity to record her full-flown album.
And this is really her own. All songs are written and arranged by LeBow, supported by her live band including the great Bobby Messano (Lou Gramm, Benny Mardones, Joe Lynn Turner, Fiona).

First track "Where Do I Stand" is a commercial melodic american classic rocker much in the vein of Scandal.
"Another Lonely Heart" sounds a lot like canadians Refugee, with a very nice piano line. The sax solo is good, but a guitar one would have been a better choice in my opinion. This song was later recorded by Bernie Shanahan (who does backing vocals here).
Title track "Love's A Liar" starts slow with an intimate guitar, then develops into a midwestern flavored classic rocker.
"Maybe You'll Remember" is a high point, massive harmonies in the hook, pushing melody to the very brink, although the verses dominate the eventual chorus.
"Learning The Hard Way" is a midtempo rocker with an overall sense of drama and desperation through all melody lines. A Robin Beck-like tune but more stripped.

"Hang On (To My Reckless Youth)" has a simple and fun rhythm. Messano here is allowed to let loose in his own understated way.
"Fallen Angel" is an affected semi-ballad propelled by Martee's great vocal performance. One of my favorite tracks.
Some smooth keys lay the platform for the delicious "Forbidden". This is an outstanding tune with a vintage, classic feel.
The poignant "I Must Be In Love" has an organic flavor and moves fluidly along similar to the commercial moments of The Headpins for instance.
"One Good Reason" has a bluesy-rock vibe where LeBow's vocal power comes to the fore.

"Love's A Liar" is more Classic Rock oriented than the previous album, with good melodies and smooth production.
Only vinyl, restored & cleaned by me for your listening pleasure.
Thanks Bohond!.

01 - Where Do I Stand
02 - Another Lonely Heart
03 - Love's A Liar
04 - Maybe You'll Remember
05 - Learning The Hard Way
06 - Hang On (To My Reckless Youth)
07 - Fallen Angel
08 - Forbidden
09 - I Must Be In Love
10 - One Good Reason

Lead Vocals: Martee LeBow
Guitars, Backing Vocals: Bobby Messano
Keyboards, Programming: Danny Stein
Bass: Dave Conrad
Drums: Yogi Morton, Jimmy Clark
Piano: Lloyd Landesman
Sax: Rick Bell, Lou Cortelezzi
Percussion: Bill Scheinman
Backing Vocals: Joel Krauss, Bernie Shanahan, Eric Troyer

MARTEE LeBOW - Love's A Liar

Thursday, April 21, 2011

FERNANDO SAUNDERS - Cashmere Dreams (1989)

FERNANDO SAUNDERS ashmere Dreams 1989
Requested in "Request & Fill Corner" section...

Bass player, singer, songwriter, producer, Fernando Saunders came to international prominence as a key member of the pioneering ensemble The Jeff Beck/Jan Hammer Group.

In the early '80s, started long-term collaborations as a player, producer and co-songwriter with the esteemed urban rockers Lou Reed and Marianne Faithfull.
During his career Saunders traveled the world recording and performing with music legends Steve Winwood, Jimmy Page, Joe Cocker, Heart, Pat Benatar and more.

"Cashmere Dreams" was his first solo album, produced and performed by himself, with some great guest stars.
I warn you, this is basically an adult-pop disc, with some rockier moments and a couple of smooth WestCoast tracks. I am posting it here because it was requested by a reader, includes two awesome songs, and it's very hard to find.
"The Stallion" is a radio-friendly tune with dry guitars, while "I Keep On Walkin´" (co-written by Lou Reed) has very mid-'80s pop-vibe.
"Hook In My Heart" and "Katalin" are both semi-WesCoast-pop numbers, cool tracks.
"Please Tell Me" and "I Can't Let Go" are the more AORish tracks on the album, that wouldn't be out of place in any eighties soundtrack. Good ones in their genre.

But the really interesting songs here are the two featuring full TOTO as back-up band: Jeff Porcaro on drums, Steve Lukather on guitar and David Paich & Steve Porcaro (who also produced) on keyboards.
"Love Is Blind" (penned by S. Porcaro) is a delicious mid-tempo Light AOR with great synths and a terrific shuffle beat by Jeff Porcaro.
The other one, "Let's Talk About It", is classic TOTO-alike, a sumptuous atmospheric tune with tons of style and sophistication.
These tracks worth the disc, essential for any TOTO fan / AOR collector.
Rare CD version incl. scans.

01 - The Stallion
02 - I Keep On Walkin'
03 - Opposites Atrract
04 - Hook In My Heart
05 - Please Tell Me *
06 - Love Is Blind
07 - Katalin
08 - I Can't Let Go
09 - Indecision
10 - Let's Talk About It *

Fernando Saunders: Vocals, Bass, Guitar, Programming
Alan Smallwood, Jeff Bova: Keyboards
J.T. Lewis: Drums, Percussion
Grayson Hugh: Piano, Background Vocals
Flick Bell: Sax
Joseph Anthony: Background Vocals
Jeff Porcaro: Drums, Percussion *
Steve Lukather: Guitar *
David Paich: Keyboards *
Steve Porcaro: Synths, Producer *


Monday, April 18, 2011

JOE PASQUALE - Riccochet [Japan only] (1994)

JOE PASQUALE - Riccochet [Japan only] (1994)
Requested in "Request & Fill Corner" section...

You can get Joe Pasquale's info in the post of his first solo album
"Riccochet" is his 2nd solo effort and the last until today (he's recording with swedish guru Tommy Denander right now).
Many of the same top class L.A. session musicians participating on the first album 'Prey' (Bruce Gaitsch, Steve Lukather) play here as well.

"Riccochet" is more westcoast-pop oriented than the terrific first album.
Tracks like "Tell Me...Stay The Night", "Person To Person" or the title track are too much modern R&B to my tastes.
But don't worry, quality is still here.
On "Test My Love", "Time Will Never Know" and the excellent piano-ballad "Sometimes", Pasquale sounds like the good Richard Marx.
"So Let It Be Written" has a sweet feel, it's a calm midtempo with a relaxed rhythm section and good guitar solo. One of my favorites.
"Nikki" is a very good, emotional ballad, with great lyrics to become a potential hit.
"As Long As I Have You" is another favorite, a westcoast tune with pop sensibility and a melodic guitar solo.

Except 3 tracks that I don't like (personal tastes), here's many good, quality songs to enjoy. Joe Pasquale is a very good songwriter and has a sweet, velvety voice.
Dropped by his label after the first disc, Pasquale released "Riccochet" only in Japan, through a local (major) company.
But has become very hard to find a copy, the last auction I've seen fetched $150.

01 - Time Will Never Know
02 - Tell Me...Stay The Night
03 - Test My Love
04 - So Let It Be Written
05 - Tell Me Something Good
06 - Riccochet
07 - Nikki
08 - As Long As I Have You
09 - Sometimes
10 - Person To Person
11 - Someday We'll Be Together

Vocals, Bass, Drums, Keyboards : Joe Pasquale
Guitars : Bruce Gaitsch, Steve Lukather, Peter Rafelson, Sheldon Reynolds, Roger Sullins
Bass : Les Pierce, Lance Morrison, Kenny Wilde
Keyboards : Randy Waldman
Drums : Rick Marotta, Les Pierce
Percussion : Paulinho Da Costa
Saxophone : Marc Russo
Background vocals : Joe Pasquale, Dawn Thomas, Julia Tillman Waters & Maxine Willard Waters

JOE PASQUALE - Riccochet [Japan only]

MARTEE LeBOW - Crimes Of The Heart (1986)

MARTEE LeBOW - Crimes Of The Heart (1986)
Requested in "Request & Fill Corner" section...

Martee LeBow is a recording artist, singer/songwriter and keyboardist born in NY state.
In her teens, as Martee Lebous, she recorded her first album "The Lady Wants To Be A Star" in the mid of the seventies.
While playing with her band, LeBow has maintained a successful career as live & studio back-up vocalist, singing commercial jingles / soundtrack songs, and collaborating with many songwriters.

By 1985, a major label singed Martee as solo artist.
Her debut "Crimes Of The Heart" is a mini-lp with only five songs, but what songs!
This is without a doubt one of the best female AOR albums of the eighties.
Opener, title track "Crimes Of The Heart" (penned by maestro Jeff Silverman) is a terrific semi-midtempo rockin' AOR gem. From the first note you will be amazed by LeBow's trained and powerful pipes.
"Stranded In The Moonlight" is pure AOR bliss. Check the songwriting quality (Michael Smith). This isn't an ordinary song by any means. Great arrangements.

"Love Just Ain't Enough" is a perfect ballad, with a soulful performance (reminds you Fiona but thousand times better). The guitar solo (the unmistakable master Dan Huff) is simply perfect. Why this song isn't became a hit on par with, let's say, Heart, it's a total mystery (or label inepts).
"One Down" is a marching melodic rocker with a great riff / keyboards. Maybe the best example of Martee's quality vocals. Awesome tune.
What? "Hearts Of Stone" is a Bruce Springsteen cover? Well, the result is magical. A fantastic midtempo with a bluesy touch yes, but beautifully AOR-arranged. Martee shines again here.

This mini album is pure gold.
Fantastic vocalist, excellent songwriting (Martee on 3,4), the best session royalty you could imagine (check personnel) and terrific production by the expertise Robbie Buchanan.
Never released on CD, this is a very good vinyl rip (not mine) but with many clicks and noises typical from old LP's.
Requested by my fellow reader and friend troynew (a top contributor to these pages as well), I have cleaned the files for your listening pleasure.
A Must Have.

1 - Crimes Of The Heart
2 - Stranded In The Moonlight
3 - Love Just Ain't Enough
4 - One Down
5 - Hearts Of Stone

Martee LeBow - Lead vocals
Dan Huff - Guitar
Neil Stubenhaus - Bass
Robbie Buchanan - Keyboards
Mike Baird - Drums
Tommy Funderburk, Steve Lively - Backing Vocals

MARTEE LeBOW - Crimes Of The Heart

Thursday, April 14, 2011

MICHAEL SEMBELLO - Without Walls [Japan Version] (1986)

MICHAEL SEMBELLO - Without Walls [Japan Version] (1986)
Michael Sembello released his debut album in 1983, and the song 'Maniac', included in the movie Flashdance, won the following year's Grammy in its category and become the third highest grossing song from a soundtrack.
Because of this fulminant success, Michael has spent much of his career writing and performing music to soundtracks for movies and TV shows, his solo discography is pretty short indeed.

His second solo "Without Walls" is a classic mainstream product of its time: commercial but elaborated Pop-Rock AOR with some Westcoast throw in.
"What You Really Want" opens the disc with catchy temperament, featuring a very good guitar riff and solo. This track is a Lite AOR gem.
"Last To Know" is one of those pop tracks that have the necessary essence to stand the test of time. Solid songwriting in the best canadian style.
"Funkabilly Swing" is obviously a funk-pop song, not my favorite style, but the rhythm guitars are just amazing.
The magic returns with the AORish "Is This the Way To Paradise", where Michael sings (especially the chorus) fiercely, and the guitar / keyboard tandem enrich the tune.

"Burn It Up" is another highlight. A pure '80s track with an action-movie style.
"Angelina" and particularly "Wonder Where You Are" are smooth Westcoast numbers, while "Dangerous" and "Gravity" are commercial, almost danceable tracks (the latter included into the 'Cocoon' soundtrack).
"Tear Down The Walls" is a marching, anthemic pop-rocker. This song was later recorded by argentine musician Miguel Mateos (produced by Sembello) and become a latin hit.
"The Picture" is another enormous eighties winner song, with excellent guitar work (Jennifer Batten plays here uncredited), processed drums and glossy production.

"Without Walls" is a terrific album in this style, with great songs, musicians and production.
"Angelina" and "The Picture" are only included in this now hard to find japanese CD version. There's a reissue out there plus 3 versions of 'Maniac', but it isn't official.
As said; hard to find version, at maximum quality + artwork.

01 - What You Really Want
02 - Last To Know
03 - Funkabilly Swing
04 - Is This The Way To Paradise
05 - Burn It Up
06 - Angelina [bonus track]
07 - Tear Down The Walls
08 - Gravity (Special Dance Mix)
09 - Wonder Where You Are
10 - Dangerous
11 - The Picture [bonus track]

Lead Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards: Michael Sembello
Vocals on 'Wonder Where You Are': Tata Vega
Guitars: Steve Rippley, Bud Rizzo, Jennifer Batten
Keyboards: Randy Waldman
Bass: Richard Rudolph
Bass, Keyboards: Danny Sembello
Drums: Vinnie Colaiuta, Carlos Vega
Percussion: Ron Powell
Synthesizers: Dennis Matkosky, Steve Porcaro
Saxophone: David Boruff
Horns: Herb Alpert
Harmonica, Backing Vocals: Stevie Wonder
Backing Vocals: Bobby Caldwell, Cruz Sembello, Danny Sembello


Monday, April 11, 2011

THE FRONT (Funderburk) - ST (1984)

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

Easy request to fill - I am a Big fan of Tommy - .

If you still don't know who is Tommy Funderburk, check the 'Labels' section, there's many posts about him on this blog.

Around 1983 Tommy met drummer Bob Wilson from the group SEAWIND, they formed THE FRONT and recorded this self titled album the following year.
This is classy '80s material, but not your typically AOR album.
First of all, drums are preponderant than other instrument, although the keyboards and guitars provide the essential embellishment to the songs.
And of course, Tommy (angelical) vocals shine as usual.
The Front, as all Funderburk eighties projects, is a christian-related band, but lyrics don't bother if you aren't a believer.

On "It's Hard To Take" the vocal sustain is incredible. A track with quirky keyboards and strong ambience.
"Holy Light" has more strong guitars and a terrific melody / chorus. This a great tune, play it twice and then tell me.
"All Under Him" and "Tonight" (wonderful lyrics) are calm, westcoast tracks with a smooth sound.
"King Of Glory" has very good vocal arrangement with a very late seventies style, "The Promise" is very modern for its era (reminds me '80s A. Parsons), while "Silent Night" is a stylized midtempo AOR with elegant guitars.
One of my favorites of the pack is "How Long", a killer marching AOR. Seems simple at first glance, but this is a serious monster AOR song with a massive guitar solo by Dan Huff.

The album release was followed by a U.S. tour in 1984 and a European leg in 1985.
As bonus, I added a very rare bootleg recording from the band's performance at the Koinonia Festival, Sweden. The sound is more than decent (I have edited and enhanced all tracks). The live version of "The Promise" is awesome.
On the European tour the line-up was Funderburk on vocals, Wilson on drums, Seawind alums Buddy Nuanez and Ken Wild on bass and guitar, and John Andrew Schreiner on keyboards.

"The Front" was published by a minor label named Refuge Records. This is a re-release by the mythical christian record company Benson. I don't know if it was remastered, but this CD sounds much better than the original release.
Very Good.

01 - It's Hard To Take
02 - Holy Light
03 - All Under Him
04 - King Of Glory
05 - The Promise
06 - Silent Night
07 - Tonight
08 - How Long

Live @ Koinonia Festival, Sweden, 1985
01 - It's Hard To Take
02 - How Long
03 - All Under Him
04 - The Promise
05 - Tonight
06 - On The Boulevard
07 - Christ Of Passion

BOB WILSON: Drums & Percussion, Keyboards
DAN HUFF: Guitars
TOM KELLY: Backing Vocals (4, 7)
LINDA McCRARY: Backing Vocals (3)
TATA VEGA: Backing Vocals (3, 4)
A. CROUCH, P. St. JAMES: Backing Vocals (3)

THE FRONT (Funderburk)

Friday, April 08, 2011

STEVIE - Gypsy ! (1984)

STEVIE Gypsy ! 1984
Requested in "Request & Fill Corner" section...

Stevie is a french born (with a scandinavian origin) rock singer.

Under the name Stewy, she was the lead vocalist of the hard rock band Black Rats who later became Speed Queen and released in France a self titled album in 1980 and second disc for a major label in 1982. They toured with Motorhead and Lemmy appeared on the 2nd album as guest.

By 1983, pursuing a solo career, the girl changed her name to 'Stevie' and following the rule of the moment, started to record a 'Rock FM' debut album.
Her label wanted an international hit, then they hired some american musicians / songwriters.
Bruce Kulick (Kiss, Blackjack) plays guitar on most of the album and Michael Bolton did some back up vocals.
Half of the songs are sung in english and the rest in french.

As said, this is americanized radio oriented rock / AOR, with muscular guitars, tons of keyboards and super-compressed drums.
It doesn't matter that "Fils De La Nuit" is sung in french, the melody and the awesome keys / guitar solo makes this track a real good opener.
"Gypsy" and "On Oublie Tout" have some frenchy-chaisson influences, but both are good pop-rockers with big synths.

"Without You" is a real winner. This track alone worth the whole disc. Killer american AOR with a portentous riff. Michael Bolton sings the 2nd lead voice -mixed in the back- and Bruce Kulick shines on the guitar.
"Radio" is a weak poppy song in my opinion, but next track "Le Chemin En Arriere" has a very nice candy-floss keyboard arrangement and a good commercial chorus.
"Tu Me Manques Mec" is a ballad with a little bluesy touch. Cool.
American AOR returns with the radio friendly "Take Me Back", good uptempo track with a nice refrain.

"Gypsy!" never was released on CD and the vinyl is a real treat.
It's a good american FM / AOR album with an exotic touch, good production and excellent musicianship.
Very Rare.

01 - Fils De La Nuit
02 - Gypsy
03 - On Oublie Tout
04 - Without You
05 - Radio
06 - Le Chemin En Arriere
07 - Coeur Kller
08 - Tu Me Manques Mec
09 - Take Me Back

Stevie - Lead Vocals
Bruce Kulick - Guitars (except 7, 9)
Norbert Krief - Guitar (7 and 9)
Jan Mullaney - Keyboards
Michael Bolton - 2nd Lead Voice on track 4
Schuyler Deale - Bass
Michael Braun - Drums
Aganain Martin - Piano on track 8
Pierre-Jean Gidon - Sax on track 8
Rosetta Stone, Slim Batteux, Maria Popkiewicz, Jocelyn Beroard, Lloyd Landesman - Background Vocals

STEVIE - Gypsy !