Tuesday, December 31, 2013

GLEN BURTNIK - Slaves Of New Brunswick (1991)

GLEN BURTNIK - Slaves Of New Brunswick (1991)
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

Born in North Brunswick, New Jersey, GLEN BURTNIK's musical journey began as session musician during the seventies recording for well known acts, but he become highly requested as songwriter amassing credits that have seen his songs performed by artists from the most diverse genres.
Signed to A&M Records in the mid-eighties, Burtnik (also known as 'the hitmaker') released two lovable AORish discs but failed to make much of an impact. Then in 1989 he was called by Dennis DeYoung to replace Tommy Shaw in the reconstituted Styx, recording and contributing half of the songs on the Edge Of The Century album.

While recording the album with Styx, Burtnik started to plan a side project focused on his first love: the New Jersey sounding Rock 'N Roll.
With a multicolor bunch of colleagues from diverse genres including the likes of Dave LaRue of Dixie Dregs, Jim Babjak from The Smithereens, David Prater on drums (yes, the talented producer of FireHouse, Night Ranger, etc.), Tony Shanahan (Patti Smith Band), and many more, Glen formed the 'Slaves Of New Brunswick', to record his own penned compositions about the New Jersey city / music history.
So this is not strictly a Glen Burtnik solo album, but for memorabilia it is mentioned as such.
"Slaves Of New Brunswick" was released in 1991 in limited quantities, only marketed in the New York / New Jersey area.

GLEN BURTNIK - Slaves Of New Brunswick (1991) cd photo

The project / record was named as a homage to New Brunswick, New Jersey's music scene which has been the home to many notable rock bands. New Brunswick is a center for underground music, a scene that thrives on semi-legal live shows in residential basements.
These shows are host to not only local bands, but indie / major bands side-projects from across the country and the world. Numerous self-managed (DIY) bands from New Brunswick have gone on to receive broader acclaim.

Requested by a reader, I was in doubt to post this album here because it isn't exactly musically related to the motto of this blog (AOR / Hard Rock); what we have here is seventies styled Rock 'n Roll with the typical New Jersey area sound, yet really melodious with a strong American Classic Rock vibe and not far from the Dixie Dregs' manner.
Anyway, it's a cool rockin' collection of very good tunes, quite enjoyable and melodic.
Straight from my archives (not my rip), "Slaves Of New Brunswick" is the hardest to find Glen Burtnik album, out of print and fetching $199.99 at Amazon.
Includes detailed info inside.

01 - Exit Number 9
02 - The Girls I Grew Up With
03 - Rock N' Roll Queen
04 - Riding The Avenue
05 - Kinky
06 - Shout Out At The Indian Queen
07 - Seven Minutes In Heaven
08 - Losing Your Hair
09 - Easton Avenue Fever Dream
10 - When Kathy Spoke
11 - Slaves Of New Brunswick

Glen Burtnik: vocals, guitar
Lenny Kaye, Bernie Brausewetter, Steve Jones: guitar, vocals
Jack Shepherd, Gary Ambrosy, Jim Babjak, Ken Dubman, Terry Hughes, Sid Gottleib, Norm Roberts: guitar
Donna Dior, Matty Hahn: keyboards, vocals
Bill Lenk, Bobby Gordon, Ernie Scott: keyboards
Greg Kozak, Jed Downhill: fiddle
Gordon Wells: pedal steel guitar
Nancy Wertheim: harmonica
Tony Shanahan, Dave LaRue, Bill Cherensky: bass
Bob "Rock" Bianco, David Prater, Mark Sacco: drums
David DeLuca: percussion
Judy Wilson, Steven Conte, Patti Maloney,The Gripweeds, Bob Levy, Donna Rachel, Terri Paul: vocals
... and more

GLEN BURTNIK Slaves Of New Brunswick

Friday, December 27, 2013

GEORGE HILLS (Canada) - Dancing With A Stranger (1991)

GEORGE HILLS (Canada) - Dancing With A Stranger (1991)
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

Few things I know about Canadian singer GEORGE HILLS and his sole (?) album "Dancing With A Stranger" released in 1991. Nothing on the net, then I searched in my magazine collection: zero results.
Then let's talk a little about the music included on this rare CD.

Hills' songs are firmly planted on the American / Canadian commercial Rock&pop, light AOR sound typical of the era. The melodies, vocal harmonies and ear-friendly instrumentation are quite well arranged in the mould of the likes of Jimmy Harnen & The Synch (George's vocal register reminds me Harnen a lot), Beau Coup, Stan Meissner, Worrall, etc.
There's some nice guitar work on the uptempo tracks, keyboards (including pianos) on the calmer numbers, and as said, fine harmonies, although Hill leads aren't the most distinctive in the world.

GEORGE HILLS' "Dancing With A Stranger" is a cool one, requested many times in the Request & Fill Corner and finally it's here.

01 - Dancing With A Stranger
02 - Doesn't Have To Be That Way
03 - Mystical Lady
04 - Spark Me Your Love
05 - Road To Your Door
06 - How Will I Know
07 - Soft Sweet Town
08 - Center Stage
09 - Leanne
10 - Images

Personnel: unknown

GEORGE HILLS Dancing With A Stranger

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

DAVID BROWN - Believe (1995)

DAVID BROWN - Believe (1995) AOR Melodic Rock
Today I bring to you a Christmas present...
Singer / songwriter DAVID BROWN started his musical career in the mid-eighties fronting several bands in the US South East area, touring the club circuit and supporting major names such as Starship, Eddie Money or Van Zant. Brown wrote as well many songs for Nashville artists and in the middle recorded some of his own tunes for a future solo release.
"Believe" was his debut CD, recorded & co-produced by himself and released through a small private label in 1995.

But most of the wonderful 8 tracks on this criminally unknown album were composed during the '80s, so what we found here is a pure AOR / Melodic Rock set of songs with all the magic of the aureate decade.
If you are a sucker (like me) for classy Stan Bush, Jimmy Harnen, Nelson or Jimi Jamison melodies then you'll adore DAVID BROWN's "Believe".
Some of this material also reminds me of Mark Free's 'hired vocalist' eighties works for other artists.

DAVID BROWN - Believe (1995) back cover

Plenty of terrific harmony vocals, lovable choruses and highly melodic instrumentation, "Believe" sports a very good production for an independent release, only available years ago via mail order from David Brown in person.
A true rarity and a little gem for any AOR / Melodic Rock fan, DAVID BROWN's "Believe" is a must have in your collection.
Merry Christmas to all!

01 - Believe
02 - Come Back To Me
03 - Hold On To Your Heart
04 - On A Wing And A Prayer
05 - Just Not Enough
06 - For You Girl
07 - Say Anything
08 - Unconditional Love

David Brown: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Joe Logan: Keyboards
Cecil West: Bass
Daril Smith: Drums, Percussion
Randy Johnston: Guitar (track 2)
Rick Byler: Guitar (tracks 4, 8)
Kenny Johnson: Guitar (track 3)

DAVID BROWN - Believe (1995)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

GUNHILL (John Lawton) - One Over The Eight (1995) restored audio

GUNHILL (John Lawton) - One Over The Eight (1995) restored audio
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

Founded by English singer John Lawton (Lucifer's Friend, Uriah Heep, Zar) in January of 1994, GUNHILL was a project initially put together to tour Europe playing covers including classic songs from Whitesnake and Paul Rogers to Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, but progressively they also introduced some of their own original material to the live set.
Including into the original line-up keyboardist Mike Raxworthy, great guitarist Riki Robyns, drummer Lloyd Coates, and bassist Neil Kavanagh (who also contributed with strong backing / lead vocals), after extensive rehearsals the group performed their first Gig in April '94.
Playing just three times a month as originally planned, things accelerated very quickly to between 12 and 14 gigs, due to GunHill increasing popularity. Then they decided to record some of the covers they performed regularly as 'demonstration' for tour promoters - and for the fans.

Only manufactured on cassette (remember those?) and entitled "One Over The Eight", the tracks were recorded, produced, and mixed by Kavanagh in his own home studio and sold through the Uriah Heep Appreciation Society fanclub, and at the band's gigs.
In 1997 GunHill issued their first (and only) official CD 'Nightheat', featuring new songs from the band and other covers as well.
But fans - at gigs and over the net - still requested the original "One Over The Eight" tape to be reissued on CD. The tracks were remastered by Lawton's long time friend Dave White, and the album put on sale in 1999 on CDr via Heepster Records, the fansclub 'label'.

GUNHILL (John Lawton) - One Over The Eight (1995) restored audio back cover

And what about the music?
Anyone who's a fan of classic rock / bluesy hard rock will enjoy this album, particularly if you like early David Coverdale / Whitesnake and Paul Rodgers / Bad Company material. John Lawton is top form here, and the guitar work of Riki Robyns is raw & rockin'.
Amongst the highlights we have "Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues", that if you ask me, I think is superior to the original Whitesnake version. The Lennon / MacCartney classic "Eleanor Rigby" it's done with a killer raw edge, and Rainbow's "Stone Cold" rocks.
There's some really good originals as well written by GunHill, being the Uriah Heep-ish "Angel" my favorite.
For the CDr reissue, the band recorded "River Of Dreams", a song composed by Dave White in appreciation for his work behind the remastering desk.

GUNHILL (John Lawton) - One Over The Eight (1995) restored audio inside cover

Unfortunately, there was not master tapes of "One Over The Eight", as these tracks were recorded in two and a half days purely as promotion and because fans were asking if GunHill had some recorded stuff to sell at the initial gigs.
So, "One Over The Eight CDr" it's transferred from a regular cassette, and the sound isn't the eighth wonder.
But, requested by a reader, I did my own 'remaster' and cleaned the whole thing, especially the hiss, resulting in a quite good sounding file.

01 - Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues
02 - Eleanor Rigby
03 - Ain't No Sunshine
04 - Can't Get Enough
05 - Better By You, Better Than Me
06 - Stone Cold
07 - Every Little Bit Hurts
08 - Angel
09 - Harlem Shuffle
10 - Soldier Of Love
11 - River Of Dreams (bonus track)

John Lawton - lead vocals
Mike Raxworthy - keyboards, vocals
Riki Robyns - guitars, keyboards
Neil Kavanagh - bass, vocals
Lloyd Coates - drums

GUNHILL One Over The Eight restored audio

Monday, December 16, 2013

FASTWAY - On Target [Reworked] (1998)

FASTWAY - On Target [Reworked] (1998)
This one was requested by a friend, so here it is as it's a very hard to find disc.
"FASTWAY On Target (Reworked)" it's a strange record in Fast Eddie Clarke's discography. These actually are re-recordings of original songs from the 1988 On Target album plus fresh takes on earlier Fastway hits, all featuring the vocals of Lea Hart and with Clarke adding new guitar layers and re-mixing the whole thing.

After the first successful bluesy hard rock albums Fastway was dropped by the record company around 1987 and the group soon disbanded.
Then Clarke met singer & guitarist Lea Hart (ex- YA YA, Joan Jett) who convinced him to resurrect Fastway with a completely new line-up and a different musical approach: the melodic hard rock dominating the scene these years.
"On Target" was a very good rockin' AOR / melodic rock album plenty of keyboards and catchy choruses, co-produced by Terry Thomas (Charlie, Giant, Bad Company) and credited on all of the arrangements, resulting into a very melodic and polished recording.
As said, a great album for the genre, but Fastway's first time fans hated the move, because you barely can hear Fast Eddie's trademark heavy riffs here.

Ten years after with the original tapes at hand, Hart and Clarke decided to rework the entire album, re-recording almost all the guitars and some new vocals, but retaining the original backing tracks like bass, drums, backing vocals, etc.
But they did more: only seven tracks were rescued from the original 1988 CD, the other six are re-recordings of Fastway earlier popular cuts such as "Easy Livin", "Trick Or Treat", "Say What You Will", etc.
So "On Target (Reworked)" is a completely different album, all sounding more classic Fastway and rocking, with Fast Eddie Clarke's riffage and soloing all over. Don Airey's original keyboards are still there, but more attenuated in the background.

FASTWAY - On Target [Reworked] (1998) back cover

Recorded on an old 24-track tape machine, production is quite vintage and could have been alot better. I still prefer the original '88 version, but this is a nice opportunity to listen these songs with a different musical approach, arrangements & mix, and the classics sung by Lea Hart.
I've seen "On Target (Reworked)" posted on few forums / blogs, but with a missing track. Chances are that if you grabbed the files from there, you have an incomplete album in your archives.
"On Target (Reworked)" it's absolutely out of print, a true rarity these days. I can't believe that a guy is selling this one on Amazon for $3,735.29 !!! Check here

01 - Trick Or Treat (reworked)
02 - The Answer Is You (reworked)
03 - These Dreams (reworked)
04 - Station (reworked)
05 - Change Of Heart (reworked)
06 - Two Hearts (reworked)
07 - Make My Day (reworked)
08 - She Is Danger (reworked)
09 - Dead Or Alive (reworked)
10 - Easy Livin' (reworked)
11 - Let Him Rock (reworked)
12 - Show Some Emotion (reworked)
13 - Say What You Will (reworked)

Lea Hart (vocals, guitar)
Fast Eddie Clarke (guitars)
Don Airey, Paul Airey (keyboards)
Paul Gray, Neil Murray, Tim Carter (bass)
Terry Thomas (bass synth) [erased here]
Steve Clarke, Garry Ferguson (drums)

FASTWAY - On Target Reworked

Thursday, December 12, 2013

THE FORM - Informal (1989)

THE FORM - Informal (1989)
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

Austrian Hi-Tech / Light AOR / Synth Rock&Pop band THE FORM was founded by keyboard player and singer Wolfgang Marc Berry, who studied and worked in the USA. But Marc developed his musical career in his homeland, mostly as songwriter / producer.
In the second half of the eighties, Berry started a partnership with David Bronner, another Austrian musician specialized in modern recording techniques.

Both secured a deal with Viena CBS Schallplatten Cesmbll, and recruited some of Austria's best studio musicians to record their one and only album "Informal", released in 1989 over fourteen European countries.
This was one of the most expensive albums ever produced in Austria, as the aim was to conquer the international market. So expect a top notch sound, excellent mix and mastering here.

The style of The Form is not far from their countryman Andy Baum, yet more stylized and ascetic: all, every note was arranged and played with attention to minimum detail. At places they even sound kinda sinister, reminding me the great group Shriekback (Manhunter soundtrack).
Anyway, the overall approach by The Form is easy to the ears as heard on the breezy "Save Me", the elegant "Land Of Mystery" or the jumping "Talk To Me" where they recall Opus and '80s Germans Lake.

THE FORM - Informal (1989) back cover

There's a sumptuous midtempo in "Ocean Of Love" with some Red 7 (underrated band) atmosphere written over it, a more energetic delivery and very nice guitars on "Falling Back On You", while "Far Away" is a light AOR affair quite Canadian-sounding in the Boulevard mould.
"Love In A Dark Room" goes pure hi-tech with a lot of synths, same the with fun cover of The Police's "Walking On The Moon".
We find some kind of a buried gem on "Jaimie", one of my favourites. It sounds completely different to the rest of the material: it's a sweet, lullaby ballad and tells a nice story with superb lyrics.

Apart from the great production and musicianship, "Informal" features excellent songcraft as well. It's strange that being charted reasonably well in Sweden, Switzerland and Austria, this record is not better known outside of central Europe.
Out of print and very hard to find, "Informal" represents in great form the clean, pristine Hi-Tech / Light AOR / Synth Rock&Pop sound of the '80s in the old continent.
As requested, it's presented here ripped at maximum quality from the original CD.
A very recommended listen.

01 - Colours Of Ever
02 - Save Me
03 - Land Of Mystery
04 - Talk To Me
05 - Jaimie
06 - Ocean Of Love
07 - Walking On The Moon
08 - Love In A Dark Room
09 - Far Away
10 - Falling Back On You

Marc Berry - vocals, keyboards
David Bronner - keyboards, programming
Bernhard Locker - guitar
Andreas Tieber - bass
Heribert Metzker - drums
Leo Bei - acoustic guitar on 3
Frankie Mitschitczek - percussion on 3
Kathi Gabler, Susanne Kreuzberger, Karin Raab, Ina Sieber - backing vocals

THE FORM Informal - CDrip

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


From now, all request & fills goes in this post Comments.

If you need an album or a single track, request it here, if you have it, be kind with other readers, upload the file and post the link here as well.
Access to this page will be placed at the right column ------>
(the "CLICK HERE" neon sign, or clicking here in Comments)-
It will be opened in a new window.

Check this section regularly.
You'll find many albums uploaded by readers, not present on the main blog...

Help each other people!

and don't forget to check out ARCHIVES:






take a deep look at the end of each part...


Monday, December 09, 2013

BULLSEYE - On Target (1979)

BULLSEYE - On Target (1979) New York  band
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

Despite the fact that New York based BULLSEYE only album "On Target" was launched through a big label (Columbia / CBS), this only-vinyl record is an obscure rarity, as the band split soon after its release.
Combining a late seventies AOR feeling with radio friendly rock&pop typical of the era, this quintet's music is quite varied and entertaining.

To give you an idea about Bullseye's versatility, opener "Treat Me Right" (later covered by Pat Benatar) attacks from the start with stabbing pianos and clean melodic guitar riffs reminding the very early TOTO, followed by "Seventh Heaven" which wouldn't be out of place in Loverboy's debut.
The melodic nuances of "I've Changed (Never Want To See You Again)" has some Survivor touches, then "Moonwalk" adds a southern flavor in the vein of Moxy, and "My Old Car" goes poppy ala The Kinks.

BULLSEYE - On Target (1979) back cover

The keyboards / guitar lines on "Don't Lose A Day" brings to mind some Giuffria's Angel, while "In The Heat Of Summer" and the highly harmonic "March On, Time" offer lots of lovable AOR melodies.

With a track featured on the legendary Munich City Nights compilation series, Bullseye received some airplay on European radio years later, but "On Target" remains as a true rarity as a whole.
Very well recorded, played and produced, this is a quite enjoyable record - as mentioned above, only released on vinyl.
Requested by a reader, I have restored & cleaned this good sounding LP rip including artwork.

BULLSEYE - On Target (1979) vinyl inserts

01 - Treat Me Right
02 - Seventh Heaven
03 - I've Changed (Never Want To See You Again)
04 - Moonwalk
05 - In The Heat Of Summer
06 - My Old Car
07 - Don't Let Him Know
08 - What Can I Say
09 - Don't Lose A Day
10 - March On, Time

Manny De Magistris - vocals, guitar
Tom Ferrara - guitars
Tom Graves - keyboards
Kevin Clougherty - bass
Alan Childs - drums, percussion


Thursday, November 28, 2013

MICHAEL FURLONG - Breakaway (1987) restored audio

MICHAEL FURLONG - Breakaway (1987) restored audio
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

Mr. MICHAEL FURLONG released his debut on a major record company (Atlantic) in 1985 but soon was dropped by the label. The now legendary Music For Nations pick up Michael for a second offering, almost entirely recorded by himself.
"Breakaway" is pure Melodic Rock with the classic American AOR sound & style from the second half of the eighties plenty of hook laden songs, ear-catchy melodies and keyboards galore.
To my ears Furlong brings to mind Steve Perry solo works, just check the soaring "Steal The Night Away". Also traces of Benny Mardones - both in songwriting and vocal color - can be clearly appreciated on the wonderful semi-ballad "Savin' The Best For You", the radio-rocker "Walkin' The Streets Again" and the Michel Bolton-like "You Better Watch Your Step".
Another favorite is the pumping and more guitar oriented "Turn The World Around", always retaining the melody and keyboard layers.

MICHAEL FURLONG - Breakaway (1987) restored audio back cover

"Breakaway" was the last album from Michael Furlong as since the beginning of the nineties he is dedicated to tribute Tom Petty coast to coast across the US in Festivals and Casinos.
This is not the quite bad vinyl-rip floating around, nor the Retrospect CD release (which has been poorly taken from vinyl btw).
This file is a fresh LP capture, de-crackled and cleaned by myself. However, I have maintained the re-arranged Retrospect song sequence as it works better than the original vinyl, and added a couple of bonus, one of them the b-side from the only single of the album.
Really enjoyable American Melodic Rock / AOR stuff.

01 - Turn The World Around
02 - Steal The Night Away
03 - Savin' The Best For You
04 - Walkin' The Streets Again
05 - Breakaway
06 - You Better Watch Your Step
07 - Thru My Eyes
08 - San Francisco
09 - When Will I See You Again
10 - True Fine Mama (Bonus Track)
11 - Cold Eyes (Bonus Track)

Michael Furlong: vocals, guitars, bass, drums & percussion
Lener Gousetis: synthesizers
Rich Haines: electric piano, synths
Rick Keefer, Kit Ebersbach: additional keyboards
Chuck Ruff: additional drums
Terry Petersen: additional bass
Rich & Dan Haines, Neil Delaforce, Angelo Jensen: backing vocals


Monday, November 25, 2013

VAN STEPHENSON - Found In A Drawer (1990) [unreleased]

VAN STEPHENSON - Found In A Drawer

What can I add about the great VAN STEPHENSON? Gifted voice and senior master in songwriting.
This is another bunch of demos circa 1990. The original tape sound is pretty bad, so I tried to restore the audio by myself in my little home studio.
As requested, this is a revamped post from years ago.
Get it while it's hot.

01 - Above Suspicion
02 - Little White Truth
03 - Castles In The Air
04 - Bone Deep
05 - Grand Illusion
06 - Wish It Away
07 - Physician Heal Thyself
08 - Pipes Of Peace
09 - Midnight TV
10 - Never In A Million Years


Monday, November 04, 2013

TANDYM - 2F2G (2000)

TANDYM - 2F2G (2000)
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

TANDYM hails from Atlanta, Georgia, where started as a trio at the beginning of the nineties. Their first self-released album with strong '80s influences received positive reviews, followed by this "2F2G" (Too Far Too Gone) in the year 2000.

Still retaining the classic melodies from debut, Tandym's "2F2G" is more melodic rock / radio rock oriented with cleaner guitars. There's nice choruses and easy to the ear arrangements sometimes recalling the late eighties Canadian scene.
To me their first CD is better in terms of musicality and retro-stylings, but "2F2G" is the one requested by a reader, and I decided to post it because it's extremely rare.
Decently recorded, produced & released by the band through their own label, "2F2G" is not essential at all, just a nice listening and one more for the rarities collection.

01 - What You Feel
02 - Too Far Too Gone
03 - Worry About You
04 - Living On The Edge
05 - Holed My Hand
06 - My Eyes
07 - No Reason
08 - Understanding
09 - Out Of The Blue
10 - Battlelines
11 - Feels Like Summer

Jay Saffold - Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Scott Goodfellow - Vocals, Keyboards
Jimmy Baughman - Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Additional Musicians:
Rob Peterson - Bass
David Brown - Backup Vocals on 1, 7
Thomas Journey (TJ) - Acoustic Guitar on 3


Thursday, October 31, 2013

MANITO PARK - Manito Park (1991)

MANITO PARK - Manito Park (1991) rare
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

Based in Spokane, Washington state, quartet MANITO PARK took their name from the recreation park located in their city. The band toured the area since the late eighties and recorded & released independently this rich in harmonies self-titled CD in 1991.

MANITO PARK's music is American AOR but in its more Melodic Rock side akin Nelson, Bystander, Beau Coup, Biloxi, Roxanne and many more.
There's hook-laden catchy cuts like "Surrender", "Fool For Yesterday", "Bridges Burning", and lovable rockin' AOR cuts in "Like Forever", "Ariel" and the keyboard-filled mid-tempo "Daydreamer", all adorned with huge harmony vocals.
On the balladry side, we have two top class AOR gems in "One Last Look", a wonderful tune complete with pianos & acoustics, and the Elefante brothers-like "Send A Miracle". Three of the tracks are short intros/interludes, and there's also two acoustic-only songs; the melodic vocally layered "Oh Father" and the fun "Idaho Eyes".

MANITO PARK - Manito Park (1991) CD photo

Although the indie production is clearly low budget, the songcraft in Manito Park is excellent which turned this album a much sought after piece by AOR / Melodic Rock fans and collectors.
This is not the bad-tracked rip floating the web, it's taken from the original gold-plated CD including artwork.
Rare & Good.

01 - Bridges Prelude
02 - Girl In Green
03 - Surrender
04 - One Last Look
05 - Like Forever
06 - Idaho Eyes
07 - Daydreamer
08 - Fool For Yesterday
09 - Oh Father
10 - Ariel
11 - Duet
12 - Down On Sunday
13 - Stumpy's Choice
14 - Send A Miracle
15 - Bridges Burning

Dave Dupree - lead vocals, keyboards
Bob Burdett - guitars, backing vocals
Lars Ziemba - bass, backing vocals
Rusty Knorr - drums


Thursday, October 24, 2013

THE LIMIT - Dysfunction (1999)

THE LIMIT - Dysfunction (1999)
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

Today I bring to you a true rarity requested by a reader; the Maryland indie outfit THE LIMIT and their only (?) album "Dysfunction".
The band was formed in the nineties recording and releasing the album independently at the end of the decade, being promoted at the now legendary (and extinct) mp3.com site, one of the first places where you were able to find music on this format at the very beginning of the internet. Also served as an important platform for indie acts like The Limit to sell their CD's.

The Limit's style is strongly inspired by the '80s commercial US Melodic Rock sound and AORish radio friendly tunes with nice harmonies and very melodious arrangements. The dynamic catchy opener "Rejecting Healthy" reminds me US cult rockers Neverland (Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey soundtrack), followed by the slang-named "Schweet Thang" driven by jumpin' rhythm guitars in the vein of Canadians The Works.
"Keep My Heart Open" is the first ballad and one of the highlights, with a graceful melodic line like Passion Street (UK band), a simple but rewarding slow tune with pianos and synths in the background. Then the light melodic rocker "What If" adds some Boston (Tom Scholz) feel specially on the guitar arrangements and during the harmonized choruses.

"Waiting For Goodbye" is another favourite, a midtempo stylized AOR number where the guitar lines and keyboard fills brings to mind Journey and even Scottish Strangeways. Uptempo rocker "Wrestle The Wind" has some early Night Ranger written over it, same later on "Regret", where the melodic guitar hooks takes the centre scene.
A new highlight arrives with the midtempo AOR of "Leah's Lie", where Freddy Curci's Alias meets Mark Free's solo albums, followed by the other ballad on the CD, the very good "Heaven Doesn't Want Me" mixing acoustic guitars with keys ala Sheriff (again, Freddy Curci) and some REO Speedwagon.
The album ends full on rockin' AOR / Melodic Rock style with "We All Fall Down", once again with a Night Ranger touch and perhaps some Loverboy.

With a more than a decent production for an indie, The Limit blends all the classic influences mentioned above with their own personal stamp resulting in the really enjoyable album that is "Dysfunction".
Rare as a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model photo shoot in Alaska, The Limit's "Dysfunction" is a really nice addition to your Melodic Rock rarities collection.

01 - Rejecting Healthy
02 - Schweet Thang
03 - Keep My Heart Open
04 - What If
05 - Waiting For Goodbye
06 - Wrestle The Wind
07 - Leah's Lie
08 - Heaven Doesn't Want Me
09 - Regret
10 - We All Fall Down

Jim House Jr. - Lead Vocals, Guitar
Tim Haines - Guitar, Backing Vocals
Mike Duncan - Bass, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Kent Beeghly - Drums, Percussion

THE LIMIT - Dysfunction 1999

Sunday, October 20, 2013

JON BUTCHER - Pictures From The Front (1989)

JON BUTCHER - Pictures From The Front (1989)
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

Guitarist, singer & songwriter JON BUTCHER born in Alaska, but he started making some noise in the Boston area at the beginning of the eighties. His six-string style was often compared to Jimi Hendrix, not only for his playing, but also for being a young afro-american musician naming his group Axis, a reference to a Hendrix album title.
However, at the middle of the decade Butcher was signed by Capitol and he and the label decided to change the musical approach to the polished Melodic Rock so in vogue in the US.
By the time of this "Pictures From The Front" - Butcher's fifth album and the third for Capitol - there was not traces of Hendrix, not even on the moniker, as it was released under the 'Jon Butcher' name.

Although not 'strictly' Melodic Rock (as it fuses some bluesy overtones) "Pictures From The Front" is a rock album with a strong AOR feel as well mainly due to the glossy production courtesy of the team Spencer Proffer (Cheap Trick, Heart, Eddie Money) and Glenn Ballard (Jack Wagner, Aerosmith, Toto) who also arranged the whole thing and co-wrote some songs.
The new Jon Butcher band for this album - and successful tours to come - included talented bassist Jaimie Carter, solid drummer Ronnie Lee Sage and complete musician Thom Gimbel (later in Foreigner) who provides a solid foundation of keyboards and rhythm guitars.
Butcher sings with emotion and style (sometimes remembering Robin Trower) but what shines on this record is his terrific, tasteful guitar playing sporting a monster typical '80s tone and a lot of high gain in his set-up sound.

JON BUTCHER - Pictures From The Front (1989) back cover

All songs are good, being my favorites the urgent, Foreigner-like "Might As Well Be Free" driven by sharp riffs, a thunderous rhythm section and crowned by a crazy solo, and the anthemic "Live Or Die", recalling Kane Roberts solo albums.
Out of print and not so-easy-to-find at good quality out there, this is a "Pictures From The Front" rip taken from my own collection.

01 - I'm Only Dreaming
02 - Might As Well Be Free
03 - Live Or Die
04 - 99 (May Be All You Need)
05 - Beating Drum
06 - The Mission
07 - Send Me Somebody
08 - Division Street
09 - Come And Get It
10 - Waiting For A Miracle

Guitar, Lead & Backing Vocals – Jon Butcher
Keyboards, Guitar & Backing Vocals – Thom Gimbel
Bass – Jamie Carter, Jamie Hunting
Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals – Ronnie Lee Sage
Additional Keyboards – Glen Ballard
Backing Vocals – Jamie Carter, Timothy B. Schmit

JON BUTCHER Pictures From The Front

Thursday, October 17, 2013

ULTRANITE - I Want My Own Planet (1989)

ULTRANITE - I Want My Own Planet (1989) HQ
1989 was the best year ever for the Melodic Rock / AOR genre. The most precious records appeared at that time and unfortunately many bands without a major label support promoting their releases get sunken into oblivion.
One of these was Swiss ULTRANITE only album "I Want My Own Planet".

All members from Ultranite worked previously in central Europe on different bands and writing songs for others, as Andy Boulton's Tokyo Blade or Andy Marc.
The type of Melodic Rock crafted by Ultranite has many points in common with the Scandinavian scene, especially in the AOR keyboard infusions into the music.

ULTRANITE - I Want My Own Planet (1989) booklet

We have some great, melodic fist-pumping anthems like "Hot As The Summer", "Thank You" and " Long Live The Nite" (featuring Krokus' Marc Storace guesting on vocals) akin Zinatra, Aidean or Fate.
There's diversity as well, as on the little Hi-Tech "Little Angel" recalling Germans Craaft, and nice Swedish power ballads in "Streets Of Rome" and "Lost For Ever".

ULTRANITE - I Want My Own Planet (1989) back cover

Very rare and hard to find on CD, Ultranite's "I Want My Own Planet" is one of my favourite 'obscure 1989' releases. It was featured on many blogs and forums, but not in such good quality.
This is a HQ rip from my own CD complete with full scans.

01 - Summerworld
02 - Time Will Tell
03 - Tender Love
04 - Hot As The Summer
05 - Little Angel
06 - Long Live The Nite
07 - Streets Of Rome
08 - Thank You
09 - Lost For Ever
10 - Cathedral

Peter Prestel - Guitar, Vocals
Martin Machwitz - Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Mike Sullivan - Bass, Backing Vocals
Arne Flick - Drums, Backing Vocals
Erdal Kizilcay - add. Bass, Production
Marc Storace - Lead Vocals on 6

ULTRANITE I Want My Own Planet HQ

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

MICHAEL BOLTON - Everybody's Crazy (1985) Remastered

MICHAEL BOLTON - Everybody's Crazy (1985) Remastered
The great Michael Bolotin (his given name) most known as MICHAEL BOLTON wrote some classic rockin' AOR masterpieces before turning a middle-aged women oriented MOR crooner.

Of his four eighties records, undoubtedly "Everybody's Crazy" is the best of all: pulsating bass and keyboard lines, rocking guitars and catchy choruses wrapped around Bolton's powerful, emotional lead vocals.
The drums on this album are bombastic - just the way I like - performed by ex- Rainbow Chuck Burgi (uncredited on the original release, but listed on the reissue), all perfectly recorded by genius producer Neil Kernon.

MICHAEL BOLTON - Everybody's Crazy (1985) Remastered back cover

This little gem was already featured at the very beginning of this blog, and now re-posted by request as incredibly, isn't that easy to find in the blogosphere. Even less in its remastered form.
One of the best '80s AOR albums.

01 - Save Our Love
02 - Everybody's Crazy
03 - Can't Turn It Off
04 - Call My Name
05 - Everytime
06 - Desperate Heart
07 - Start Breaking My Heart
08 - You Don't Want Me Bad Enough
09 - Don't Tell Me It's Over

Michael Bolton - lead vocals, guitars
Bruce Kulick - lead guitar
Dennis Feldman - bass, backing vocals
Chuck Burgi - drums
Mark Mangold, Mark Radice, Jan Mullaney - keyboards
Larry Fast - synthesizers
Schuyler Deale - additional bass
Neil Kernon and Doug Katsaros - additional keyboards
Peppy Castro, Terry Brock - backing vocals
... and many more

MICHAEL BOLTON Everybody's Crazy Remastered

Thursday, October 10, 2013

AIRPLAY - ST (1980) Japanese remaster

AIRPLAY - ST (1980) Japan remastered
Well, this is really simple to describe: none AOR collection is complete without AIRPLAY sole release from 1980. And this site does not deserve to be called AORheaven without it.
A gem concocted by the genius of Jay Graydon, David Foster and the incredible Tommy Funderburk, featured as backing session musicians almost the entire Toto; Jeff Porcaro, Steve Lukather, David Hungate, Steve Porcaro among other beasts like Mike Baird on drums or Bill Champlin doing backing vocals.

AIRPLAY - ST (1980) Japanese remaster LP replica back cover

This remastered, Japanese 30th Anniversary Edition Blue-spec CD, needless to say, really makes justice to this awesome record. Mini LP replica with all the original artwork.
As said, essential in your collection.

01 - Stranded
02 - Cryin' All Night
03 - It Will Be Alright
04 - Nothin' You Can Do About It
05 - Should We Carry On
06 - Leave Me Alone
07 - Sweet Body
08 - Bix
09 - She Waits For Me
10 - After The Love Is Gone

Tommy Funderburk: vocals
Jay Graydon: guitar, vocals
David Foster: keyboards

Jeff Porcaro, Mike Baird: drums
David Hungate: bass
Steve Lukather: add. rhythm guitars
Steve Porcaro, Pete Robinson: synthesizer
Ray Parker, Jr.: additional rhythm guitars
Jerry Hey, Gary Grant, Steve Madaio & more: horns
Bill Champlin, Tom Kelly, Max Gronenthal: backing vocals

AIRPLAY 1980 remastered

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

NORIYUKI MAKIHARA - Songs From L.A. (2007)

NORIYUKI MAKIHARA - Songs From L.A. (2007) full
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...
Re-post from years ago, get it while it's hot

Noriyuki Makihara is a top Japanese male pop artist who debuted in the early '90s as songwriter / performer in a local TV show similar to American Idol. Makihara's singles ranked in the top 10 on all Asian charts, and he has managed to maintain a high level of popularity for almost 20 years.
Many of his songs have been translated into other languages like the ones featured in this compilation "Songs From L.A.", some kind of a 'WestCoast tribute'.

NORIYUKI MAKIHARA - Songs From L.A. (2007) back cover

La crème de la crème of the genre was recruited for the recording; singers such as Tommy Funderburk (AIRPLAY), Bobby Kimball & Joseph Williams (TOTO), Jason Scheff & Bill Champlin (CHICAGO), Tom Keane (DAVID FOSTER, R. MARX), Bobby Caldwell and first class session-men like Michael Landau, Tim Pierce, etc.
Production and performances are top notch, a relaxing album to enjoy these gifted voices and light AOR / smooth WestCoast / poppy songs.
Japan release only.

01 - Bobby Caldwell: Answer
02 - Tommy Funderburk: Darling
03 - George Duke: Yes
04 - Jason Scheff: Love Letter
05 - Robbie Dupree: Under The Doogwood Tree
06 - Kim Carnes: It's Clear Sky Again Today
07 - Joseph Williams: You're My Angel Falling...
08 - Justin Andres: 'Cause You're My Treasure
09 - Bill Champlin: North Wind
10 - Timothy Drury: Home Sweet Home
11 - Bobby Kimball: Red Nose Reindeer

Keyboards: Tom Keane, Timothy Drury
Guitars: Michael Landau, Tim Pierce, Michael Konan
Bass: Leland "Lee" Sklar, Noel Freeman, Justin Andres
Drums: Stephan Litownick, Larry Williams
Backing Vocals: Terry Wood, Joseph Williams, Wendy Fraser, Jason Scheff, Justin Andres
and many more...


Thursday, October 03, 2013

MINDWORK - Inside Out (1991)

MINDWORK - Inside Out (1991)
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

MINDWORK born from the ashes of one of the best Austrian AOR band ever; Fahrenheit.
Drummer & main songwriter Harold Huber and singer Johnny Kanatschnig decided to go for more poppy, Lite AOR sounds on their debut "Inside Out" still retaining high doses of melody and harmonies.
Strongly keyboard oriented but in a stylized way some tracks sport a Hi-Tech style, and while the overall sound is typically European, you can hear traces from the Canadian scene around the era.

MINDWORK - Inside Out (1991) back

There's suave melodies on friendly tunes like "Welcome To My Paradise", "Masters Of Success", "Chinese Wall" or the elegant "Gloria", but my favorite should be the excellent ballad "Endlessly" where Kanatschnig's vocals shine.

"Inside Out" offers a very pleasant listen through its well crafted songs, quality arrangements and crystal clear production. If Mr Mister, Toys Of Joy, Fingerprints, West Of Sunset are your thing, add this one to the collection.
Good Hi-Tech / Lite AOR for the soul.

01 - Welcome To My Paradise
02 - Endlessly
03 - Men In Motion
04 - Gloria
05 - Bring Me Some Water
06 - Chinese Wall
07 - House Of Sin
08 - I Miss You
09 - In The Ghetto
10 - Wonderland
11 - Help Me
12 - Masters Of Success

Johnny Kanatschnig - vocals, guitars
Harold Huber - keyboards, drums, programming
Umbo - bass


Friday, September 27, 2013

BATTLECRY - Red White And Blue (1985) restored audio

BATTLECRY - Red White And Blue (1985) restored audio
Apart from being a Christian act playing mid-eighties AOR, the particularity of BATTLECRY is their origin: the most recent of the 50 U.S. States, Hawaii. Anyway, the band commanded by singer Doug Morris moved to California and not only made a strong following among religious circles but also from secular audiences.

Recorded and released independently, their now hard to find sole release "Red White And Blue" from 1985 incudes some lovable AOR tunes with a strong keyboard presence, nice melodies and good choruses.
You have marching tracks such as the Aviator-like title track "Red White And Blue" or the Journey-esque "Life With The Lord" plenty of synth fills and Neal Schon influenced guitar playing.
More Melodic Rock / radio oriented is the sweet hookline in "Power And Might", while the classic mid-tempo AOR styling of "You've Got To Know" somehow reminds me Steve Overland's Wildlife or early FM.
"When The Lord Comes Back" is the weakest track with some poppy Allies smell, but "Not Tough Enough" recaptures the melodic energy via cool guitar licks, swirling keys and easy choruses.

BATTLECRY - Red White And Blue (1985) restored audio back cover

As you can read in the song titles lyrics are clearly religiously focused, but that does not bother at all. Songwriting is little naive at places, however these guy's musicianship - and the gurl playing keyboards - is very good, as well production.
"Red White And Blue" only was released on MiniLP & cassette (which includes some unnecessary live tracks poorly recorded) and although a vinyl-rip is profusely spread in the blogosphere, it features lots of scratchs and clicks.
This is a fresh rip courtesy of my friend Robert P. (thanks mate), cleaned and restored by me.
A very nice slice of mid-'80s AOR.

01 - Red White And Blue
02 - When The Lord Comes Back
03 - Not Tough Enough
04 - Life With The Lord
05 - Power And Might
06 - You've Got To Know

Doug Morris - Lead Vocals, Guitar
Dave Chumchal - Lead Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar
Robert Giverink - Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Mariko Martinez - Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Ronald P. Simmons - Bass, Backing Vocals
Bret Kik Keys - Drums

BATTLECRY restored audio

Friday, September 20, 2013

TWO OF A KIND - ST [Japan release] (2007)

TWO OF A KIND - ST [Japan release] (2007) Fred Hendrix Terra Nova
The other day, eager to listen some good female fronted Melodic Rock, I went into my collection to pick up the long time not heard sole release by TWO OF A KIND, in my opinion, amongst the top 10 releases in 2007.
Centred around the velvety yet strong vocals of Dutch singers Esther Brouns and Anita Craenmehr (ex- Night Shade and Fast forward respectively), the mastermind behind this project is the talented Fred Hendrix, founder of two of my favorites bands from the fluffy side of the Melodic Rock / AOR genre; Terra Nova and Aquila.

Mr. Hendrix not only composed all the songs, produced and played bass, but also utilised as back-up band his partners in Terra Nova; Ron Hendrix (Fred’s brother) on keyboards and Gesuino Derosas on guitars, while Vengeance's Hans In't Zandt handled the drums.
So TWO OF A KIND is some kind of Terra Nova with female vocals at the helm, quite much in the Wilson sisters / Heart '80s style. This is a stunning, criminally ignored record when released six years ago.

TWO OF A KIND - ST [Japan release] (2007) back cover

Not sure about the European edition, but this King Records Japanese version (including a bonus track) is out of print and deleted right now.
Very Recommended, quality female fronted Melodic AORish Rock album.

01 - Light In The Dark
02 - The Longest Night
03 - Little By Little
04 - Give Me A Reason
05 - Heaven Can Wait
06 - Unbearable
07 - Into The Fire
08 - In Your Arms
09 - Whole Again
10 - To The Top
11 - I Die A Little More Everyday
12 - Now I'm Complete (Japan bonus track)

Esther Brouns - Vocals
Anita Craenmehr - Vocals
Gesuino Derosas - Guitar
Hans In't Zandt - Drums
Ron Hendrix - Keyboards
Fred Hendrix - Bass, Songwriting, Production


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

XYZ - Hungry [Axe Killer remaster 1999]

XYZ - Hungry [Axe Killer remaster 1999]
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

Terry Ilous' eighties band XYZ never was considered by the press as a top act from the US Hard Rock movement of the era, however, most major, platinum-seller bands and musicians of the genre mentioned them as personal favorites.
In my opinion, XTZ self-titled debut produced by Don Dokken is one of the finest melodic hard albums produced by the American factory at the end of that decade.

Aiming to rock harder still maintaining a polished sound, for the second record "Hungry" XYZ called guru Neil Kernon to co-produce together with George Tutko (Lita Ford, Eric Martin). This association resulted in a more straightforward, no-frills bluesy hard rock album plenty of energy, great vocals and sizzling guitar work.

XYZ - Hungry [Axe Killer remaster 1999] back cover

Requested by a reader, here's the now out of print and hard to find Axe Killer (French label) release of "Hungry", remastered and available in Europe for the first time in 1999, including the bonus track "Two Wrongs Can Make A Right". There's a noticeable improvement in sound and balance to enjoy this very good American Hard Rock CD.
Killer stuff.

01 - Face Down In The Guter
02 - Don't Say No
03 - Fire And Water
04 - When The Night Comes Down
05 - Off the Sun
06 - Feels Good
07 - Shake Down The Walls
08 - When I Find Love
09 - H.H. Boogie
10 - Sun Also Rises In Hell
11 - Roll Of The Dice
12 - Whiskey On A Heartache
13 - Two Wrongs Can Make A Right *

* Axe Killer remaster Bonus Track

Terry Ilous - vocals
Marc Diglio - guitar
Patt Fontaine - bass
Paul Monroe - drums

XYZ Hungry - Axe Killer

Thursday, September 05, 2013

DARIN SCHEFF - Demos feat. Warren Wiebe, Tim Feehan & more

DARIN SCHEFF - Demos feat. Warren Wiebe, Tim Feehan & more
The Scheff family is a musical one. Of course the most well known by us is the awesome Jason Scheff of the Chicago fame, but his brother DARIN SCHEFF is also a talented songwriter who has penned some beautiful tunes for many artists (including Chicago).

This is a collection of songs written / co-written and recorded by Darin Scheff during the '80s and '90s on a Fostex 8-track Machine, 'the personal home studio for the eighties' as it was known back in the day. These are some real Westcoast AOR gems never released or recorded by other artists.
We have the late, fantastic Warren Wiebe performing lead vocals on the terrific "Heart To Mend", and also "Safe Back In Your Arms" - song featured in the 1989 movie Under Crystal Lake, but the soundtrack never was released.

The great Tim Feehan sings the poppy "You Don't Know" and the super midtempo AOR "Why Did You Ever Let Me Go" which features as well a superb guitar work by Dawayne Bailey (Bob Seger, Chicago).
More luminaries are presented on lead vocals: John Keane, Sherwood Ball, Bill Cantos and of course bro Jason Scheff among others.
You can hear John Parr playing guitar on couple of cuts, Cantos on piano and strings, Jason on bass, keyboards and even offering a guitar solo on a track. And more...

Very good sound on these lovable demos, additionally enhanced, cleaned and restored by me.
You can find a complete line-up / story of each track inside the tag comments.
AOR suckers; enjoy.

01 - Heart To Mend (Warren Wiebe lead vocals)
02 - Why Did You Ever Let Me Go (Tim Feehan lead vocals)
03 - Looking Up At Heaven (Bill Cantos lead vocals)
04 - Driven (Sherwood Ball lead vocals, John Parr guitar)
05 - Safe Back In Your Arms (Warren Wiebe lead vocals)
06 - Secretly Loving You (Danny Mishkit lead vocals)
07 - Don't Let Love Come Between Us (John Keane lead vocals)
08 - You Don't Know (Tim Feehan lead vocals, John Parr guitar)
09 - Victoria (Jason Scheff lead vocals)
10 - If It Were You [demo version] (Chicago the band)
11 - Life Goes On (Donny Kerr lead vocals)
12 - Slow (unknown lead vocals)
13 - Down 'N Dirty (Mary Knox lead vocals)

Darin Scheff: guitar, background vocals
Tony Smith: keyboards, programming
Donny Kerr: guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals
John Keane: keyboards, programming, vocals
Jason Scheff: bass, keyboards, guitar, vocals
Dawayne Bailey: guitar
Bill Cantos: piano, strings, pads, vocals
John Parr: guitar
Danny Mishkit: sax, vocals
Dean Gretch: guitar

DARIN SCHEFF Demos '80s / '90s

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

BOSS - Step On It (1984) restored audio

BOSS - Step On It (1984) restored audio
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

Founded at the end of the seventies in Adelaide, Australia, by Kevin Pratt (guitar) and Craig Csongrady (vocals), BOSS moved to Sydney in 1980. The band released their only album "Step On It" with RCA in 1984 which was quite successful in Germany and Japan, but the label didn't supported the guys.
Pratt & Csongrady later formed BB Steal (Beg, Borrow or Steal), a really good act produced by Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen.

BOSS were focused in catchy Hard Rock songs with a touch of rockin' AOR sporting an unmistakable British sound not far from the first Def Leppard, Led Zepp and Bad Company, also adorned with some Ratt / Krokus like crunchy riffs.
Strong vocals, sharp solos and a pounding rhythm section drive anthemic numbers like "Kick Ass (Rock N' Roll)", the fist rising "Hard N' Fast" or the groovy "That Woman". There's more melodic numbers such as "Strange Games", "Take It Or Leave It" (which reminds me Bronz), and the enjoyable midtempo "Cry Cry".

BOSS - Step On It (1984) restored audio back cover

"Step On It" never was officially released on CD, and the bootlegs floating around are crap.
As requested, I did a quick clean-up of this pretty good vinyl-rip (not mine) de-clicking the whole thing for your listening pleasure.
Good stuff!

01 - Kick Ass (Rock N' Roll)
02 - That Woman
03 - Dancin' Queen
04 - Strange Games
05 - Hard N' Fast
06 - Escapee
07 - Take It Or Leave It
08 - Free Wheelin'
09 - Cry Cry
10 - Shake It

Craig Csongrady - Vocals
Kevin Pratt - Lead & Rhythm Guitar
Peter Sucliff - Lead & Rhythm Guitar
Scott Ginn - Bass
Peter Heckenburg - Drums

BOSS Step On It restored audio

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

BILOXI - Checkmate... The Game's Over (1993-94) re-worked

WHAT IF 1987 Tommy Funderburk
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

BILOXI was a short-lived melodic hard rock band from the city of the same name in Mississippi, not exactly the Rock capital for this kind of music. Anyway, commanded by talented singer and bass player Clyde Holly (RIP), the group made some impact in the L.A. area during the last agonizing months of the genre (before the grunge ruined all) with their debut 'Let The Games Begin' in 1993.

But Clyde & Co. started to work together in the second half of the '80s and managed to record a professional demo in 1989.
The good sales of 'Let The Games Begin' attracted Japanese label Zero Corp Records (EMI-Toshiba) to sign Biloxi and release in Asia not only the album, but also the earlier '89 six-track recording, entitled "Checkmate... The Game's Over".

BILOXI - Checkmate... The Game's Over (1993-94) re-worked by Camelblue - poster

Although their full length debut is a really good melodic hard rock album with some pomp overtones, I largely prefer this "Checkmate... The Game's Over", because it owns the real US Melodic Rock / AOR sound and style from the second half of the eighties.
Somehow Biloxi reminds me here US wonders White Sister, perhaps because Clyde Holly's vocal timbre recalling Dennis Churchill. There's also some Firehouse touches in few melodies, but what steals the show are their AOR delivery in tunes like the wonderful "Listen To Your Heart". A gem if you ask me.

BILOXI - Checkmate... The Game's Over (1993-94) re-worked by Camelblue back cover

Despite being demos, as said, all the tracks in "Checkmate... The Game's Over" were professionally recorded, but Zero Corp Records transferred the tapes without any remastering.
Well, I did mine.
I have enhanced the overall sound, attenuated the hiss, and properly (for a home studio) mastered the chunks. I doubt you'll find a better version of "Checkmate... The Game's Over" out there.
This is pure '80s stuff, very recommended indeed.

1 - Someone To Love You
2 - Listen To Your Heart
3 - One In A Million
4 - I'll Meet You On The Other Side
5 - Love Prevails
6 - Out On The Streets Again

Clyde Holly - lead vocals, bass
Pat McNulty - guitar, backing vocals
Billy Orrico - drums, backing vocals
Rich Symons - guitar, backing vocals
Douglas R. Docker - keyboards, backing vocals

BILOXI - Checkmate... The Game's Over