Saturday, May 28, 2016

LARRY LEE - Marooned [Japanese Blu-spec CD2 - remastered] (1982)

LARRY LEE - Marooned [Japanese Blu-spec CD2 - remastered] (1982) front
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

Founder member of Ozark Mountain Daredevils whom ejoyed some success during the Seventies, singer / songwriter LARRY LEE started his solo career at the beginning of the '80s when Ozark Mountain Daredevils disbanded.
Signed by Columbia / CBS, Larry Lee recorded his debut "Marooned" in 1982 featuring the whos' who from the now legendary LA Session scene.
Take note; Toto's David Hungate on bass, Ike Stubblefield, David Sanborn, great drummer Mike Baird and no other than the likes of Bill Champlin, Tom Kelly, Richard Page and Rosemary Butler (among others) contributing harmony vocals.

As you could imagine, "Marooned" is a breezy slice of classic US West Coast AOR with that lovely sound from the first half of the '80s.
The sweet 'Waiting To Let Go', the AOR waves of 'Don't Talk', the FM radio ready title track, the highly melodic 'Number One Girl' and of course the elegant ballad 'The Best Is Yet To Come' are all impregnated with exquisite instrumentation and the smooth vocals of Lee.

LARRY LEE - Marooned

Produced with a pristine atmosphere by skilled John Ryan (Styx, Greg Guidry), "Marooned" is a wonderful album with a sound that defined an era.
The European / American edition featured a different cover artwork with a picture of Larry Lee at front, then the Asian release is much more fun and properly reflects the music inside.
This Japanese remastering on Blu-spec CD2 (Blu-ray technology) is a must.

01 - Waiting To Let Go
02 - Don't Talk
03 - Marooned
04 - The Best Is Yet To Come
05 - Number One Girl
06 - Satisfaction Guaranteed (I Could Give You Love)
07 - Only Seventeen
08 - Hollywood
09 - Just Another Girlfriend
10 - Hang On

Larry Lee: lead vocals
John Goin: guitars
David Hungate: bass
Nicky Hopkins: keyboards
Gabriel Katona, Ike Stubblefield: synths
David Sanborn: saxophone
Lenny Castro: percussion
Mike Baird: drums
David Campbell: orchestrations
Bill Champlin, Tom Kelly, Rosemary Butler, Vanetta Field, Maxyn Lewis, Richard Page, Rick Danko: backing vocals

LARRY LEE - Marooned [Japanese Blu-spec CD2 - remastered]

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

AGE OF FAITH - Heart Of The Young (1992)

AGE OF FAITH - Heart Of The Young (1992) front
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

Smooth. This is the word which better fits AGE OF FAITH's second album "Heart Of The Young".
The band comprising Jimi Ray and Rick Harwell, both sharing lead vocals, playing some instruments and co-writing, was some kind of a CCM answer to Nelson.

The duo had a dream team for the album making, including talented Bill Baumgart (producing and playing) plus the great Dann Huff at charge of most guitars, brother David Huff on drums, Mike Brignardello (Giant) on bass, Bob Carlisle and many more.
Many tracks were co-written by guitarist Michael Hough (who also play on the record) ex- member of underrated melodic rockers The Creek
So expect great quality on all departments.

As noted before, Age Of Faith sounds a lot like Nelson. The joyful 'Change Your World', the uptempo rocker 'Stick To Your Guns' and especially the highly melodious 'I'm Ready (Walk On Water)' are from the same factory of Matthew & Gunnar.
There's very smooth ballads in 'When All Else Fails', 'Will I Find Love' and the acoustically based 'Someday', the latter, again with a strong Nelson feel.
Title track 'Heart Of The Young' is the more anthemic track with some White Heart on it (perhaps due Dann Huff's guitar work), while 'Over You' close the album with energetic crunch.

AGE OF FAITH - Heart Of The Young (1992) back

Age Of Faith is a fine melodic hard rock album from the smoother side of the of genre, really well produced and impeccably produced by Bill Baumgart.
Fans of Nelson, Tyketto, Giant and sweet rocking melodies in general will enjoy "Heart Of The Young" for sure.

01. Change Your World
02. I'm Ready (Walk On Water)
03. Will I Find Love
04. Stick To Your Guns
05. What She Needed Most
06. Heart Of The Young
07. Someday
08. Let The Hammer Fall
09. When All Else Fails
10. Over You

Jimi Ray: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Rick Harwell: Vocals, Keyboards
Guitars: Dann Huff, Michael Hough, Glen Pearce, Rick Elias
Bass: John Nicohlson, Mike Brignardello
Drums: David Huff, Julus Drummin, John Harwell
Keyboards: Bill Baumgart, Marc Hugenberger
Background Vocals: Bob Carlisle, Andy Chrisman, Carrie Hodge, Greg Barnhill
Produced by Bill Baumgart

AGE OF FAITH - Heart Of The Young 1992

Monday, May 16, 2016

SHARKS & WHALES - Reaped By Man (1988)

SHARKS & WHALES - Reaped By Man (1988) rare
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

"Reaped By Man" is the only album from Norwegians SHARKS & WHALES, the first known recording by the later celebrated guitar shredder Mads Eriksen. But Sharks & Whales' style was Hi-Tech Lite AOR with the typical sound from European bands from the genre mixed with sweet Westcoast touches.

In many ways Sharks & Whales bring to mind country fellows Drama and I.C. Eyes, with some German touches from bands like Freiheit or Swedes Time Gallery / Fingerprints.
However, with two singers sharing the lead vocals and Eriksen providing great rhythm guitars, Sharks & Whales put a bit more uptempo kick into their melodic sound, as on the festive 'Sound Of Love', the moving 'Shine On Me', 'Republic Of The Night' (nice guitar solo) or the awesome 'Dreamer's Lane'.

SHARKS & WHALES - Reaped By Man (1988) back

Sharks & Whales' "Reaped By Man" was - and still is - one of the most sought after CD's from the '80s Norwegian scene, originally released in limited quantities and never reissued.
I have checked some recent bids at eBay and last month a copy was sold for U$D 260... go figure.
Mega Rare.

01 - Shine On Me
02 - Reaped By Man
03 - Just Goodbye
04 - Old Man Freedom
05 - Softly Call My Name
06 - Dreamer's Lane
07 - Republic Of The Night
08 - Modern Song
09 - You Are The One
10 - Sound Of Love

Vocals, Keyboards – Jon Bertil Myklebust, Ronny Skaar
Guitars – Mads Eriksen
Keyboards – Hans-Petter Isaksen
Bass – Ole Vaksdal
Drums, Percussion – Erik Bergesen
Ole Jakob Hystad, Pål Roseth, Arne Hjortland, Stein Roseth – Horns
Backing Vocals – Inger Johanne Haaland, Tone Kristin Ljøkelsøy
Production, add. Keyboards – Mick Parker

SHARKS & WHALES - Reaped By Man (1988)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

EAST COAST - East Coast (1988) [original Dutch CD]

EAST COAST - East Coast (1988) [original Dutch CD] front
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

Riding the wave of successful Scandi-AOR in Europe during the second half of '80s, Dutch five-piece EAST COAST recorded this self-titled album in 1988.
The immediate reference should be fellow countrymen Zinatra, but East Coast were more influenced by Swedish bands of the era like Dalton (Out Of Control), add a touch of Germans Dominoe ('Tonight') and a bit of British AORsters Outside Edge ('He's Your Lover') and you get the picture.
The quite more vigorous 'Fight' and 'It Doesn't Matter Anymore' brings to mind the harder side of Norwegians Da Vinci, while the smooth 'Red Light Lady' and 'Save Our Planet' are fine ballads.

"East Coast" is a keyboard-driven AOR album with pumping bass lines, cool rhythm guitars and sweet lead vocals, with a typical Euro '80s sound pretty well produced.
Out of print for years, the album is fetching ridiculous prices at eBay these days, a true collector's piece.
"East Coast" was reissued in 2007 by a Spanish label - I assume unofficially, as the source is the vinyl LP. So avoid the purchase.

EAST COAST - East Coast (1988) [original Dutch CD] back

There's some mp3's file floating the web but all are taken from vinyl or the aforementioned bootleg.
This is a rip from the original Dutch CD release, rare as hell...

01 - Out Of Control
02 - Now The Time Is Right
03 - 67-68-69
04 - He's Your Lover
05 - Fight
06 - Save Our Planet
07 - It Doesn't Matter Anymore
08 - Angel Eyes
09 - Tonight
10 - Red Light Lady

H. Thussen - vocals
W. Dassen - guitar
M. Degroot - keyboards
J. Sonneveld - bass
H. Vermellen - drums

EAST COAST (1988) [original Dutch CD]