Friday, December 28, 2012

VENGEANCE - Arabia [Remastered + bonus CD] (1989)

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

VENGEANCE is one of the finest rocking bands from the Netherlands, the vehicle for Arjen Lucassen to become famous before went solo.
"Arabia" is my favorite album from them, a superb slice of late '80s polished Hard Rock with crystal clear production courtesy of John Sonneveld.
However, one year before of Arabia's recording and release, Vengeance taped the pre-production demos for the album after intense reharsals. These takes have an exceptional energy, rough diamonds with a quite different approach than the polished result heard in the final, official recording.

By the end of the nineties "Arabia" was reissued in a very limited edition by an European label, remastered and with updated artwork.
To make it more interesting, the release includes a bonus CD with these initial takes, which sound rougher but with an excellent audio quality A+.
Highly Recommended.

Leon Goewie: Lead and Backing Vocals
Arjen Anthony Lucassen: Guitars, Banjo
Jan Bijlsma: Bass
John Snels: Drums
Jan Somers: add. Guitars
Peer Verschuren: Guitars on bonus CD

VENGEANCE Arabia + bonus CD HERE



Saturday, December 22, 2012

JOHN WARREN - Private Motion (1989) + bonus

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

JOHN WARREN started as studio vocalist based in Los Angeles at the beginning of the eighties. His debut as solo artist, the very good EP 'Take Me Back' in 1988 was quite successful in Japan.
So Warren's Japanese small label decided to release his full length CD "Private Motion" only in Asia, though it was recorded at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles with skilled session musicians.

Warren's style reminds you Chris Eaton, Michael Breen, Richard Marx, that's it Lite AOR with some Westcoast and Hi-Tech flashes.
All is arranged and played with finesse, while the warm voice of Warren adds a velvety touch to the softer tunes, and a cool punch to the rockin' ones. Just check the title track video below. Pure '80s AOR.
"Private Motion" is out of print, and as all John Warren albums, hard to find.
But this blog always gives you something extra; as bonus are included one of the tracks recorded by Warren for the television medical drama 'General Hospital', plus "Amazing Grace", a private recording of the religious song that has become quite popular in secular music.
Really Good CD, and Warren's following album is even better (coming up soon as it was requested as well).
Stay tuned.

01 - Watching Maria Dance
02 - Private Motion
03 - Higher Power
04 - Quiet Time
05 - Turn On The Light
06 - Away So Long
07 - I'll Take You In My Arms
08 - She Is A Friend Of Mine
09 - Any Day Now
10 - Not A Day Goes By [GH OST unreleased]
11 - Amazing Grace [unreleased]

John Warren - Lead & Backing Vocals
Ron Komie, Nick Moroch - Guitars
Tsuyoshi Kon - Acoustic Guitars
Mark Davis - Keyboards, Synthesizer
Phil Upchurch - Bass
Satoshi Nakamura - Programming, Synths
Paulinho DaCosta - Percussion
David Woodford, Satoshi Nakamura - Sax
Beth Anderson - duet Lead Vocal on 5
Chuck Wansley, Debrah Neal - Backing Vocals

JOHN WARREN Private Motion

Thursday, December 20, 2012

SOJOURN - Lookin' For More ['07 reissue+bonus] (1985)

Re-post as requested, Out Of Print album

Coming from Utah, a US state that scarcely makes a blip on the melodic rock radar, SOJOURN was formed in the earlier '80s by guitarist Doug Robinson.
The band soon built up a strong local following, even winning a radio station sponsored 'Battle of the Bands' contest, and quickly set about recording a serie of demos.
By the end of 1984 they sign a deal with a regional label. The recording of their debut "Lookin' For More" speedily took place on a local studio.
Initially the album was released solely on tape in November 1985, but with provincial sales under their belts a vinyl version followed in March of the next year.

Sojourn in many ways sounded like a development of the classic major bands of that era, playing friendly melodic rock with strong AOR / Pomp influences.
"Lookin' For More" is full of good riffs, high doses of keyboards and cool songwriting. Ranging from crisp rockers like "We Were So Young" or the opening title track, pomp anthems as "Healing Wings" and the midtempo "Holding On To You" to classy AOR gems like "I've Been Runnin' " and the absolute winner "Lives Upon The Shore", this short album is a delight to the ears.

In 2007 "Lookin' For More" was remastered & reissued in small quantities by AOR Heaven label with the addition of the previously unreleased demo recordings '82-'84 and some extra tracks from the debut sessions. The demo's sound and style is a bit more hard edged, featuring more guitar solos.

This album is highly rated amongst classic AOR collectors and was much sought after for many years, so not surprisingly this reissue went out of print soon.
Here it is for you in all its glory at maximum quality including artwork.
Recommended - Out Of Print.

01 - Lookin' for more
02 - Blame it on MTV
03 - Healing wings
04 - Lives upon the shore
05 - The sun back home
06 - Holding on to you
07 - We were so young
08 - I've been runnin'
09 - Heartache runaway
10 - Pick up the pieces
11 - I could love you more
12 - Ceilo bay
13 - When my ship comes in
14 - I'll be there
15 - Lost you in the wind
16 - I still need you
17 - Straight on
18 - Two strikes

Kevin Bullock - Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar
Doug Robinson - Guitar
Sam Cardon - Keyboards
Dane Spencer - Bass
Doug Pectol - Drums

SOJOURN - Lookin' For More


Monday, December 17, 2012

JOHN KILZER - Memory In The Making (1988)

The other day I was browsing some items on Amazon and found the CD version of this album being sold for $395.91!
After a little web search discovered there's not much info about JOHN KILZER as well, and "Memory In The Making" never surfaced the blogosphere. Judging this price I can see why...
Well, it happens that this out of print album is a very good one, and although spawned two minor hit singles, it has been largely forgotten.

Kilzer is a singer-songwriter with Nashville origins and you can hear some country music hints in his music, but this album was entirely oriented to '80s rock radio.
With a major label back up, "Memory In The Making" was recorded by renowned producer Jack Holder (co-founder of Jimi Jamison's Cobra) who also plays everything here and brought Jamison to sing the background vocals on most of the songs.

Mastered at Sterling Sound by George Marino (the top at the moment), this is a rock record with the typical polished sound of the second half of the eighties, with Kilzer's vocals and style resembling Jude Cole, Jimmy Harnen, Bryan Adams, Tom Kimmel and even Bon Jovi on "Give Me A Highway".
Sharp guitars, crisp rhythm section and the slightly raspy vocals of Kilzer build very nice melodies through these twelve rockin' tunes spiced with a couple of ballads.
A truly enjoyable album.

01 - Green, Yellow And Red
02 - Heart And Soul
03 - Red Blue Jeans
04 - Memory In The Making
05 - Pick Me Up
06 - Give Me A Highway
07 - Loaded Dice
08 - Dream Queen
09 - If Sidewalks Talked
10 - When Fools Say Love
11 - Dirty Dishes
12 - I Love You

John Kilzer: vocals, acoustic guitar
Jack Holder: guitars, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals
Jimi Jamison: background vocals
Dave Smith, David Cochran: bass
Harry Peel: drums
John Hampton: drums, percussion
Rodney Crowell, Rosanne Cash: backing vocals

JOHN KILZER Memory In The Making CD


Saturday, December 15, 2012

TED POLEY & TONY HARNELL - Sonic Series Musical Performances

This is a revamped post from years ago, per request.

All of you should already know singers TED POLEY (Danger Danger) and former TNT TONY HARNELL.
Both, as many other rock artists lent their services to the always profitable Japanese Anime / Game market, recording several songs for the 'Sonic the Hedgehog' series some time ago.

Taken from diverse soundtracks and comprised in one single file, all are rockin' numbers featuring performances by these Hard Rock monster singers conducted by guitar wizard Jun Senoue.
Fun stuff.

1 - Ted Poley & Tony Harnell:
It Doesn't Matter (SA1)

2 - Ted Poley & Tony Harnell:
It Doesn't Matter (SA2) [different version]

3 - Ted Poley & Tony Harnell:
We Can (Team Sonic theme)

4 - Ted Poley & Tony Harnell:
Escape From The City (City Escape theme)

5 - Ted Poley:
Lazy Days ...Livin' In Paradise (Big The Cat theme)

6 - Ted Poley:
Race To Win (Sonic Rivals 2 theme)

Ted Poley: vocals
Tony Harnell: vocals
Jun Senoue: Guitar
Naoto Shibata: Bass
Hirotsugu Homma: Drums
and more...


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

HAROLD FALTERMEYER - Top Gun unreleased score [Camelblue's version] (1986)

This is a revamped post from years ago, per request. The quality and the cult-status of this music deserves it.
Get it while it's hot...

As you may know, this is not a movie score music blog.
This will be the only one ever posted here, because it's special. It belongs to the # 1 icon movie of the '80s, and remains unpublished.

Harold Faltermeyer's score couldn't have complimented the film any better.
His work defined the '80s style of action scoring, heavily synthesized, tuneful and rhythmic. It was years ahead of everything in its genre for the time.
This music score was the first to be performed and recorded DDD on the polyphonic 16 bit stereo Synclavier Digital Music System.
All started jointly with Giorgio Moroder with the idea to also compose catchy AOR / arena rock songs to complement the incidental music. But Faltermeyer left the project (apparently due to differences with executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer) and the Top Gun score incomplete. That's why never was released.
Some tracks were re-recorded for the film, but Harold's takes are far better.

I made my own version of this score.
Sources vary; most of them from a very rare big Harold folder I own containing true gems like rock&pop songs used in different OST and never released on any format, rejected scores, amazing demos and this, the Top Gun unreleased score. Some tracks were ripped (not by me) from the 5.1 DVD version of the movie.
There's not included here any song / version present in the official V.A. soundtrack, just the unreleased stuff.
As bonus, you have Giorgio Moroder's "Radar Radio", the first song playing on the jukebox at the end of the film, track only appeared as b-side of the movie promo vinyl single 'Take My Breath Away' by the band Berlin.

There's a CD bootleg release of this score-soundtrack (German I think), but miss many tracks. Recently I've seen another double-boot on eBay including my 'Radar Radio' vinyl rip! And even a complete rip-off of this file sold as 'original CD'.
Hope you enjoy my version. I didn't followed the movie's sequence, my tracklist order is just according to my taste.
Some track names may differ from the bootlegs, like 'Flying Again' = 'Get Back In The Saddle', 'New Mission = Mission Briefing', etc.
That's how they are labeled in my archives.

All tracks are original 320 Kbps files.
Artwork designed by me included.

01 - Opening Theme (2:39)
02 - MIG 28's (1:42)
03 - Viper's Dog Fight (2:08)
04 - Flying Again (3:20)
05 - Duke Mitchell's Story (1:09)
06 - Goose's Death / Goodbye Goose (1:49)
07 - Negative G Pushover (3:22)
08 - Who's Side Are You On / Never Again (3:30)
09 - Top Gun Anthem [film version] (3:45)
10 - Dog Fight #3 (2:38)
11 - Mighty Wings [instrumental] (1:40)
12 - Still Awake / Can't Sleep (2:07)
13 - Take My Breath Away [instrumental] (1:40)
14 - MIG's Dead Ahead (3:00)
15 - Flat Spin (4:26)
16 - New Mission (2:28)
17 - Memories (2:50)
18 - Great Balls Of Fire [demo] (2:33)
19 - Radar Radio [G. Moroder feat. Joe Pizzulo] (3:38)



Monday, December 10, 2012

GENEVA (Canterbury,UK): Temptation EP '88 + Geneva (Mansfield,UK): Demos '87

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

In the second half of the '80s there was in UK two bands under the same moniker: GENEVA.
Quite confusing, as both played the same Melodic Rock / AOR style so profuse in the islands at the time.

Well, one of them, from Canterbury, was lucky enough to release a 3-song EP in 1988 entitled "Temptation".
The title track is a punchy melodic rocker with a cool refrain, while the others are keyboard driven AOR numbers with "She's Got Everything" sporting a catchy chorus and the midtempo "Everytime" carrying a superb melody.
A very good EP with all the eighties magic. Despite critical acclaim from Kerrang magazine amongst others, the band split in 1991.

The 'other' Geneva - from Mansfield - were in the same league. These excellent demos (both in quality & sound) are all strong material.
A little more Melodic Hard Rock oriented yet filled with keyboard layers all over, this act would record three years after a mini-LP although with a change in style, close to NWOBHM.

So you have here some rare and good stuff from the golden decade with the usual audio treatment as you expect from this blog.
Pure '80s AOR/MR.
Update: Steve Moody himself confirmed here that these demos are from his own band, the Canterbury based Geneva .

Geneva (Canterbury, UK) - Temptation EP:
01 - Temptation
02 - She's Got Everything
03 - Everytime


Geneva (Canterbury, UK) - Demos '87:
01 - All Over Town
02 - Liar
03 - Broken Heart

Steve Moody: guitar, vocals
Nick Bray: guitar
Tom Organ: keyboards
Lee Polden: bass, backing vocals
Paul East: drums

GENEVA (Canterbury)


Wednesday, December 05, 2012

BILL CHAMPLIN - No Wasted Moments (1990)

This is a revamped post from years ago, per request. Very rare and almost impossible to find.

The man needs no introduction.
After the CHICAGO hiatus, BILL CHAMPLIN restarts his solo career releasing albums in Japan and Europe since 1990.
This is his first, also known as 'Comeback Album', a wonderful EP.

You can be sure of one thing before listening any Champlin album: Perfect Production. He's a studio wizard, and this time with the help of maestro Joey Carbone has rounded one of the best produced AOR recording ever. The sound is incredibly pristine.
Impeccable musicianship as usual and very good songs, being my favorite "The City".

If you love (as I do) 'CHICAGO 19', the most '80s AOR sounding album from this legendary band, don't miss this. Very rare Japan-only release.
High Class Music.

1. Lovers Tonight
2. No Wasted Moments
3. Sticky Situation
4. Before You Go
5. The City

Vocals, Keyboards, Guitars: Bill Champlin
Guitars: Kevin Dukes, John Goux
Drums & Percussion: Carlos Vega
Bass: Dennis Belfield
Keyboards: Joey Carbone, Gordon Goodwin
Horns: Rick Baptist, Bill Armstrong, Danny Pelfrey
Background Vocals: Jason Scheff, Bobby Caldwell, Tamara Champlin

Produced by Joey Carbone & Bill Champlin

CHAMPLIN No Wasted Moments

Monday, December 03, 2012

PARADISE - Do Or Die (1992)

PARADISE was a short lived L.A. band that arrived too late to the hair metal scene but at least they had the chance to release one album, and a really good one it its.
Paradise went through many lineup changes including Robbie Crane (Ratt) or Danny Wilder (Tuff). At the end of the eighties the band played every Sunset Blvd venue while their fan base grewn considerably, but the musical climate was changing and labels said 'no' to sign new bands of the genre.

So Paradise contacted a small German label and they agreed to record and release the band's debut. Renowned producer Jay Baumgardner (Ugly Kid Joe) was hired and they spent almost a year to give the recording the final touches.
There was too late in 1992 for "Do Or Die" in the US, but the band moved to Europe and presented the album live on many gigs, even being the opening act for the first leg of the Bon Jovi and Extreme tours that year.
Paradise was still in a position to make some waves in the old continent but due unspecified internal troubles they decided to part ways. The last two shows were in front of a big crowd at the Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany.

Paradise's style is like a crunchier version of Danger Danger, some Warrant, XYZ, etc, with catchy melodies and flashy guitar work.
The long year spent to record the album paid its dividends, at least sonically. "Do Or Die" has a brilliant sound and the band really feels vital all over the album. Production is crisp with all the sharpness needed for this American melodic hard rock / hair metal material.
Only released in Germany and never reissued, "Do Or Die" is quite unknown to fans of the genre, specially Americans.
And it's a very good one, believe me.

01 - Nightmares
02 - Voices
03 - Firin' Line
04 - Fever
05 - Need A Little Love
06 - Ghost Town
07 - When You're Gone
08 - I Want More
09 - Undercover
10 - You're 16

Adam Gifford: vocals
Matt Shumway: guitars, backing vocals
John Heller: bass, backing vocals
Michael March: drums, backing vocals
Josh Seigal, Adam Marsland: keyboards

PARADISE Do Or Die '92