Saturday, February 28, 2015

NICK JAMESON - A Crowd Of One (1986)

NICK JAMESON - A Crowd Of One (1986) full LP
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

Perhaps the name NICK JAMESON does not rings any bell on you, but chances are that you may saw / heard him.
He is a prolific actor in Hollywood with more than 100 film credits, still active in the business now mostly as voice-over actor. Although a US native, Jameson has become very well known for his ability to perform in a variety of deceptively authentic accents, particularly British English and Australian.
Among his appearances as main actor role, you'll remember Jameson as a Russian President in Kiefer Sutherland’s TV series '24' in various episodes.

But let's go with the music: Nick Jameson is a musician as well.
In the Seventies, Jameson was part of Foghat, the well known bluesy rock UK act Foghat playing bass and co-producing various albums with them. In 1977 recorded a solo album that disappeared without notice.
By the mid-80s Nick Jameson signed a deal and recorded ten tracks all written / co-written by him and playing almost all instruments. Released in 1986, "A Crowd Of One" was Nick's final solo album.

The LP is mixture of middle '80s sounds and styles ranging from Light AOR numbers, Rock&pop and some Hi-Tech in between. Among the similarities I could mention David Roberts, Tim Feehan, Jack Wagner, Alan Gorrie, Dakota and why not, Mr. Mister.
As proof of this comparison, opening track "Weatherman" was recorded a year later by Jack Warner on his 1987 album 'Don't Give Up Your Day Job' (already presented on this blog).
Then, the track which opens this LP side 2 - "Love's Closing In" - was also featured on the soundtrack to the 1986 film 'A Fine Mess'.
So you have a pretty idea about "A Crowd Of One" sound: gentle, catchy radio-ready songs with an '80s movie soundtrack potential.

NICK JAMESON - A Crowd Of One (1986) back cover

Jameson's vocals are smooth, he is quite skilled on all instruments, and production is very good as the album was released through a major label; Motown. This was a strange association, as Motown never was specialized in Rock-related artists.
As supposed, there wasn't any kind of promotion for "A Crowd Of One", not even dream to be released on CD. Never reissued, the vinyl LP of this album has become a rarity much sought after by collectors.
This is a very nice LP-rip cleaned and de-noised by me.

01 - Weatherman
02 - Bring Your Love To Me
03 - Gonna Hold You Tight
04 - Last Act Of A Desperate Man
05 - Love's Closing In
06 - Wishing My Way Back To You
07 - The Whole Truth
08 - I Don't Know Where I'm Going [The Train Song]
09 - Save Your Heart

Nick Jameson - Vocals, All Instruments
Kim O'Leary - Backing Vocals, Co-producer
Tony Carere, Kim Parks, Jon Marett - Horns
David Andersen - Drums on track 7


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

THE CAUZE - The Cauze [silver CD rip] (1987)

THE CAUZE - The Cauze [silver CD rip] (1987) front
Certainly THE CAUZE played a musical style not common at their home-State Texas: pure '80s AOR.
With two lead vocalists - who also handled drums and bass - the band managed to record their self-titled albums and release it through the little label USA Records International in 1987.
Seems these songs were taped two years before, hence the typical mid-Eighties sound and production.

This is very classy material combining the Melodic Rock bliss of Foreigner, Journey and Aviator with some early '80s Pomp AOR akin LeRoux, and lots, lots of keyboards / synths in the Giuffria mould. All the songs in "The Cauze" are perfect examples of these musical genres.
"Lovin' My Life Away", "Deeper", "Liar", the ballad "No Way", all are wonderful numbers. The vocals are in the right pitch, the guitars are strong, and the ever present keyboards permeate throughout, whether they be layers or counter-melodies.

THE CAUZE - The Cauze [silver CD rip] (1987) back

Rare to be found as black swans, "The Cauze" was released in very limited quantities and now it's an expensive collectors item. Be careful with the unauthorized reissue by a dubious reputation label which sounds horrible.
This is taken from the original silver-pressed CD, at maximum quality.
Another classic '80s AOR album that requires a compulsory seat in your collection.

01 - Lovin' My Life Away
02 - Deeper
03 - No Way
04 - Liar
05 - Tied Up (Shackled In Love)
06 - Use It Or Lose It
07 - Be Good To Me
08 - She's So Cool
09 - Flaming Heart
10 - Walk On Water

Kevin Davis - Bass, Lead Vocals
Jonathan 'Landreth' Teague - Drums, Lead Vocals
Jesse Ropeburn James - Guitars
Donnie Pendleton - Guitars
Jay Hamilton - Keyboards

THE CAUZE silver CD rip 1987

MARIETTA - Main Artist (Camelblue's compilation)

MARIETTA - Main Artist (Camelblue's compilation) front
Re-post from 6 years ago, as requested

MARIETTA (Waters) wrote countless songs for Rock&pop artists for over 3 decades and has participated as lead / backing singer and vocal trainer in a diverse variety of groups.
She was a contracted A&M studio / session singer for many years, then it was in the early '80s when motion picture soundtrack guru Harold Faltermeyer hired Marietta to put vocals on several of his songs composed for films.

As solo artitst, Marietta released officially 2 singles only, one the title track from the film "Fire And Ice" (was a great success in the European charts), and "Born To Dance", impossible to find vinyl that I've been looking for for years.
Marketed as euro-dance artist, I think her style is rather rocker (with a pop base in the production) especially for her powerful voice and the attitude in the vocal interpretation.

MARIETTA - Main Artist (Camelblue's compilation) back cover

As requested by a reader, I've compiled all her solo recordings as main artist (except "Born To Dance"), including the Top Gun track, two pretty unknown contributions for a '90s German soundtrack, plus a track from one of her performances as the Sergio Mendes Band vocalist.
If you grabbed this one from the blog years ago, take notice I've added an extra track now.
This is a very nice compilation, mixing upbeat Aorish Rock & Pop tunes with ballads.

1 - Fire And Ice 
[Feuer Und Eis OST]
2 - Thunder & Lightning 
[Fire, Ice & Dynamite OST]
3 - A Call From The Heart 
[Zeit Der Sehnsucht OST]
4 - Never Give Up (with Chris Thompson) 
[Fire, Ice & Dynamite OST]
5 - Fire And Ice 
[Special Ski Dance Extended Mix]
6 - Together Against The Storm 
[Zeit Der Sehnsucht OST]
7 - Destination Unknown 
[Top Gun OST]
8 - Harley
(with Sergio Mendes band)
9 - Fire And Ice 

MARIETTA - Main Artist

Friday, February 20, 2015

JOSEPH LEE WOOD - Joseph Lee Wood (1989)

JOSEPH LEE WOOD - Joseph Lee Wood (1989) CD
Re-posted as requested. You won't find this one available in any place on the net, and when it was, it was taken from this blog.

What can I say about this album? It's a lost AOR / Melodic Rock GEM.
Joseph Lee Wood recorded this baby in 1989, but incredibly no major label resulted interested. Perhaps due the Rock musical climate at the moment, with melodic hard / hair metal acts at their peak.
Yes, Joseph Lee Wood's self-titled album sounds much more circa '84 / '85, plenty of hooky AOR melodies, catchy choruses and lots of keyboards.
Anyway, Wood managed to finally release the CD in 2002 via his own label.

The entire album is pure AOR / Melodic Rock magic, but if I had to name some favorites there's the ivory heaven of "Don't Stand So Far Away", "Love Is the Light", "Time to Come Home", "Love You Like I Love You", "Talk to Me", all are true diamonds flavoured with that classic mid-Eighties sound akin Stan Bush, Michael O'Brien, Jeff Paris, Aviator, Survivor, etc.
Joseph Lee ows a sweet, ultra-melodic vocal register, while the session musicians are top notch including guitarist Monty Smith (Alice Cooper, Blue Oyster Cult), drummer Chris Leighton (Beach Boys, Randy Bachman), and awesome keyboard wizard Gregg Fox which has recorded for Heart, Asia, Queensryche, Quiet Riot, etc. and now has his own band The Renaissance Rock Orchestra.

JOSEPH LEE WOOD - Joseph Lee Wood (1989) back cover

Immaculately produced by Tom Hill (Queensryche), "Joseph Lee Wood" sound is excellent.
Shared by my friend Troynew (where art thou man?) taken from his personal collection.
This is Top Class AOR / Melodic Rock, very rare and out-of-print.

01 - Don't Stand So Far Away
02 - Flirting Eyes
03 - When's the Last Time You Felt Like a Woman
04 - To Have and to Hold
05 - Won't Stop Loving You
06 - Love Is the Light
07 - Talk to Me
08 - Love You Like I Love You
09 - Time to Come Home
10 - Letters in the Rain

Joseph Lee Wood: lead and backing vocals
Marty Randles: bass, drums, guitars, backing vocals
Monty Smith: guitars, backing vocals
Chris Leighton: drums, percussion
Greg Fox: keyboards, backing vocals
Bo Wittmer: guest guitar in 'Love You Like I Love You'
Skyler Duryea: backing vocals


Saturday, February 14, 2015

MARC JORDAN - C.O.W. [Conserve Our World] (1990)

MARC JORDAN - C.O.W. [Conserve Our World] (1990) cdrip
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

I already featured here one album from Canadian singer-songwriter MARC JORDAN, the elegant Talking Through Pictures (1987). While composing, producing or playing as session musician for others, during the Eighties / Nineties Jordan managed to release a solo album every 3 years, more or less.

On his 6th album "C.O.W. [Conserve Our World]" issued in 1990, Jordan changed a little his West Coast smooth melodies in favour to a more poppy, light AOR sound akin Mr. Mister. So between the extensive session musician list it's not strange to see guitarist Steve Farris, drummer Pat Mastelotto and Richard Page doing backing vocals, all from Mr. Mister.
Just check opener "Big Love" or one of my favorites, "Edge Of The World" (featuring a great guitar solo by talented Bruce Gaitsch) and this seems like a Mr. Mister lost record indeed.
Other luminaries appear as guests such as Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon, Timothy B. Schmit, Renee Geyer, Stan Bush and lots more.
There's some Hi-Tech on "Power", suave atmospheres on "Bridges In The Dark", and a nice, West Coast / AORish arranged version of Todd Rundgren's "Can We Still Be Friends?" including a sharp six-string solo by Gene Black (Wild Blue, Device).

MARC JORDAN - C.O.W. [Conserve Our World] (1990) back

While pretty poppy oriented, Jordan's vocal work on this album is one of his best in my opinion.
"C.O.W. [Conserve Our World]" is not easy to find on CD, or a good, high quality CDrip.

01 - Big Love
02 - Edge Of The World
03 - Guns Of Belfast
04 - Burning Down The Amazon
05 - Bridges In The Dark
06 - Silent Night
07 - Inside My Piano
08 - Can We Still Be Friends?
09 - Power
10 - Holding Up The Sky

Vocals, Keyboards: Marc Jordan
Guitar: Steve Farris, Stuart Mathis, Dany Jacob, Bruce Gaitsch, Gene Black, Doug Macaskill
Keyboards, Bass: John Capek
Keyboards, Bass, Producer: Kim Bullard
Mandolin: Eric Williams
Strings: Rick Sailon
Drums: Pat Mastelotto, Billy Ward
Backing Vocals: Stan Bush, Billy Trudel, Amy Sky, Renee Geyer, George Merrill, Richard Page, Shannon Rubicam, Timothy B. Schmit, Mark Lennon, Kevin Cronin


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

WIGHTHOUSE WANDERLAND - Wighthouse Wanderland (1991)

WIGHTHOUSE WANDERLAND - Wighthouse Wanderland (1991)
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

The self-titled album by WIGHTHOUSE WANDERLAND it's some kind of an obscure release. The one and only recording by this band from Finland never appeared at auction sites like eBay or listed among collectors rarities.
Published in 1991 through a small local label, it was pressed in very limited quantities.
A pity, because these guys are darn good with their bluesy Melodic Hard Rock mixture.

With an American vocalist at the microphone, "Wighthouse Wanderland" packs a really nice set of songs inspired by US acts but with typical Scandinavian touch. On their more melodic tunes they are similar to Norwegians Stage Dolls and perhaps some Dream Police, while at places Mariah and the more bluesy side of Tangier.
Tracks like "Rescue", "End Of The Line", "Wildside" or "Young Heroes" are fine slices of Melodic Hard Rock with an AOR touch. "Only Fools" adds groove to the proceedings, "Missing Home" is a great midtempo with lots of feeling, and "Open Your Heart" is a nice ballad that somehow reminds me Thunder.

Despite its indie origin, the sound and production of "Wighthouse Wanderland" is truly professional.
Apart from the aforementioned comparisons, call me crazy, but this band brings to my mind Damn Yankees as well.
A true rarity.

01 - Rescue
02 - Caroline
03 - End Of The Line
04 - Open Your Heart
05 - Wildside
06 - Young Heroes
07 - Only Fools
08 - Susanna
09 - Missing Home
10 - I'll Be There
11 - Place For Me
12 - B.O. (Sex Change Blues)

Christopher Anderson - Lead and Backing Vocals
Nalle Ahlstedt - Guitars, Backing Vocals
Matts Ignatius - Guitars, Slide
Janne Weekstrom - Bass, Backing Vocals
Martin Svanljung - Keyboards, Computers
T.A. Linnavalli - Drums
Miri Miettinen - Percussion, Backing Vocals
Richard Johnson, Kim Lonnholm - Backing Vocals


Tuesday, February 03, 2015

OLE (I'DOLE) EVENRUDE - Høy Og Mørk; De Beste (2005)

OLE (I'DOLE) EVENRUDE - Høy Og Mørk; De Beste (2005)
Re-post from years ago because it's out of print and was requested many times. Get it while it's hot.

Norwegian OLE EVENRUDE started his musical creer at the beginning of the '80s with a song included in a local 'unsigned bands' compilation.
At the age of 21, using the alias OLE I'DOLE, released his first album “BLOND OG BILLIG”, sung in Norwegian language.
His second; “POPAGANDA!” (1985), includes the song 'Ayatollah', banned in local radio stations due the controversial lyrics. Even the 7'' single was printed without a cover picture.

Signed by a major label (RCA) and produced by Andy Scott (THE SWEET), the next album “IDOLATOR” (1986) features the hit 'X-Ray Specs', later recorded by the swedes SHA-BOOM and BAI BANG, and by ANDY SCOTT'S SWEET as well.
“THIS OLE TOWN” (1987), produced by Geoff Downes (ASIA, YES), contains Ole's biggest hit: 'This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us', a heartful ballad.

OLE (I'DOLE) EVENRUDE - Høy Og Mørk; De Beste (2005) disc photo

His final album (and the best of all by far); “ONE SIZE FITS ALL” (1989), is a true scandi-AOR / MR gem, featuring classics like 'Broken Heart', 'Desperado' and more, skillfully produced by maestro NEIL KERNON (STREETS, KANSAS, DOKKEN, MICHAEL BOLTON).

In the Nineties, Ole become one of Norways' most important artistic producers / songwriters, working with bands such as WIG WAM, SWEDISH EROTICA, TONE NORUM, STAGE DOLLS, BAI BANG, A-HA, and many, many more.

OLE (I'DOLE) EVENRUDE - Høy Og Mørk; De Beste (2005) back cover

This 'Best Of' collection released in 2005 entitled "Høy Og Mørk" (High And Dark?), embraces his entire discography including the earlier songs, but also the great stuff from the second half of the '80s, plus songs only released as singles, and a new remix/recording of 'This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us'.
Norway only release, out of print.

01 - Det Va'kke Min Skyld *
02 - Hvis Jeg Var Gud *
03 - Framtidsskrekk *
04 - Space, Action, Sex Og Blo' *
05 - Heltene Er Trette *
06 - Sayonara (single only, 1984)
07 - Ayatollah +
08 - En Og En Er To +
09 - Ann-Helen +
10 - I Natt Er Verden Vår (single only, 1990)
11 - Nature (single only, 1986)
12 - Bad Times' Good For Writin' Songs #
13 - Take A Chance #
14 - This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us #
15 - Desperado =
16 - Make My Day =
17 - Broken Heart =
18 - X-Ray Specs (re-recording '89) =
19 - This Town Ain't Big Enough.... [New Version 2000]

* from BLOND OG BILLIG (1983)
+ from POPAGANDA! (1985)
# from THIS OLE TOWN (1987)
= from ONE SIZE FITS ALL (1989)

OLE (I'DOLE) EVENRUDE - Høy Og Mørk; De Beste