Tuesday, November 22, 2016

THE PAUL GODFREY BAND - More Of The Same Excellence; The Anthology (1988/2008)

THE PAUL GODFREY BAND - More Of The Same Excellence; The Anthology (1988/2008)
Established in the San Fransisco Bay Area, during the '80s there was several incarnations of THE PAUL GODFREY BAND, fronted by guitarist and songwriter Paul Godfrey.
By the middle of the decade, the group turned a female-fronted melodic rock band with the classic American sound from the genre spiced with radio-friendly AOR melodies. At charge of the mic was Celeste Alexander, Paul Godfrey's wife.
After several demos, The Paul Godfrey Band recorded their self-titled 8-track debut LP released via private label Dolphin Productions in 1988. Only few vinyls were pressed resulting sold-out in few months and turning over the years a collector's piece.

However, two years after the album was re-released for the first time on CD re-entitled 'Magic Touch' including two previously unreleased tracks.
Yet again, the reissue went out of print soon becoming another highly-priced, hard to track down artifact that only true connoisseurs of AOR-tistry ever got to hear.

Fortunately, twenty years after the original LP, the album was re-released again including the 2 extra tracks, plus 5 previously unreleased demos recorded by the band in 1987, hence the 'more of the same excellence' title.
While these demos are good and fun, the real pearl here is the main album, a collection of pure US '80s Melodic Rock / AOR of the highest order, at least female-fronted speaking.
This pop-up comparisons to bands / artists in the same style like Scandal or Cindy Valentine but The Paul Godfrey Band at places sound like many well known all-male bands in the genre. Additionally, Paul provides back up / supporting vocals on most tracks, and full leads on 'Wild Ones'.

THE PAUL GODFREY BAND - More Of The Same Excellence; The Anthology (1988/2008) back

There's no weak tracks here, even the two cuts left-off in the original LP release are among the best of the bunch. All are catchy, plenty of keyboards and melodic riffs, plus great guitar (solos) contributions by master Marc Bonilla and John Wedemeyer (Starship).
"More Of The Same Excellence; The Anthology" is a delicious slice of pure mid-80s American Melodic Rock / AOR still unheard by many fans of the genre. 
Requested by a friend... request yours!

01 - Magic Touch
02 - Only One
03 - Love Lies Deep
04 - Never Felt This Way Before
05 - Too Many Lonely Nights
06 - Tonight
07 - Can't Get My Mind Off You
08 - Wild Ones
09 - Hold On
10 - Got Lucky (Demo) [bonus track]
11 - Hot Night In The City (Demo) [bonus track]
12 - Jenny (Demo) [bonus track]
13 - Can't Live Without You (Demo) [bonus track]
14 - Tonight (Demo) [bonus track]

Paul Godfrey: lead & back-up vocals, guitar
Celeste Alexander: lead vocals
Paul Fox: bass, vocals
Kirk Gibbs: keyboards, vocals
Norm Plischke: drums
additional musicians:
Marc Bonilla: guitar
Don Frank: drums
David Nowlin: bass
John Wedemeyer: guitar
Doug Caldwell: keyboards

PAUL GODFREY BAND - More Of The Same Excellence

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

BILL WRAY - Seize The Moment (1983)

BILL WRAY - Seize The Moment (1983) front
BILL WRAY started as solo artist in the Seventies releasing several albums but since the mid-80s focused his career writing and producing songs for other artists including Loverboy, Eric Martin, Lisa Hartman, Trixter, just to name a few.
He is also known as an active contributor to lovely '80s soundtracks. Wray has penned and / or performed tracks for 'Tilt', 'Private School', 'Navy Seals' or the mythical AOR tune 'No Mercy' included in the 'Lionheart' OST.

His (last?) solo album, "Seize The Moment" is a cool Rock 'N Roll album featuring some really good early Eighties radio-friendly AORish tracks.
Opener "(You're A) Heartbreaker" is a clear proof of that, from the first notes you can hear those magical keyboards to die for. This was the b-side of the first and only single, a melodic and commercial tune hungry for radio airplay.

Follower "She Loves The Radio" has a title that speaks for itself: absolutely catchy and wimpy AOR song with massive synths. A winner.
Then "Goin' Down" (the lead single) is a vintage R'nR with some honky piano and classic rock structure. "After All These Years" is the ballad here, a nice classic soul-bluesy rock slow tune with female buck-up vocals.
The AORish "Someone To Love" including a fine guitar solo ends the 'side A' of this vinyl.

"Tonight" is a fresh commercial rocker with a contagious chorus, followed by the retro-rock "Somethin' I've Gotta Do" that doesn't do much for me.
But "Jealous" has a very nice AOR feel thanks to the keyboard arrangement and the midtempo pace. Very good song. "Young Girls Rule The World" is a cheap 'ol rock while the southern tingled "You And Me Tonight" is a gentle semi-slow classic rocker.

BILL WRAY - Seize The Moment (1983) back

Well produced and recorded with a classy American radio-rock sound, "Seize The Moment" is interesting due the aforementioned AOR tracks
An album not easy to find only released on vinyl LP, restored by myself including artwork.

01 - (You're A) Heartbreaker
02 - She Loves The Radio
03 - Goin' Down
04 - After All These Years
05 - Someone To Love
06 - Tonight
07 - Somethin' I've Gotta Do
08 - Jealous
09 - Young Girls Rule The World
10 - You And Me Tonight

Bill Wray - vocals, guitar
Craig Hull - guitar
Dennis Belfield - bass, guitar
Nicky Hopkins - keyboards
Jeff Silverman - keyboards, synths
Mike Baird - drums
Lenny Castro - percussion

BILL WRAY - Seize The Moment

Thursday, November 10, 2016

EARL VALENTINE - Danger Zone (The Unreleased Album)

EARL VALENTINE - Danger Zone (The Unreleased Album) front
As promised in the previous EARL VALENTINE post, here's the unreleased stuff the band recorded during the '80s. None of these tracks appeared on any Earl Valentine albums.
Earl Valentine as band released 3 LP: their debut in 1980, the featured on the blog Night Blindness (1987) and the last one, more like a Earl Valentine-solo album and musically oriented to AC / MOR.

EARL VALENTINE - Danger Zone (The Unreleased Album) back

I suspect the material on this "Danger Zone" was recorded between 1984 / 88 judging the mid-Eighties AOR sound & style (check the video-tracks below), all highly enjoyable stuff, that despite the programmed drums and the demo nature all have a pretty good sound.
Edited & compiled by me plus a little home-made artwork.

01 - Danger Zone
02 - Call Me
03 - Thinking Of You
04 - Stay
05 - If We Knew
06 - Thinking It Over
07 - It's Just A Matter Of Time
08 - It's Over
09 - Love Me If You Want
10 - Destiny
11 - All In The Name Of Love
12 - Hold On

EARL VALENTINE - Danger Zone (The Unreleased Album)

Monday, November 07, 2016

DUGAN McNEILL - In The Velvet Night (1989)

DUGAN McNEILL - In The Velvet Night (1989) front
This is a request from a post originally featured here more than 7 years ago

To complement Chameleon's discography here's vocalist & bass player DUGAN McNEILL solo album "In The Velvet Night". The record was gestated four years after Chameleon split, so the musical orientation chosen by McNeill is pretty far removed from early '80s light AOR vein of his former band.

To be clear, "In The Velvet Night" is 'adult rock & pop' material with contemporary AOR traces in a style according to the era. Think 88-92 Canadian sound, like Glass Tiger or Bryan Hughes Group (Beau Geste) then add some English styling and a hi-tech stamp on some songs.

DUGAN McNEILL - In The Velvet Night (1989) back

"Stranger Than Paradise", "There Goes My Heart Again" and specially "Love You Today" are the highlights for me, elegant tunes with a nice atmosphere and McNeill smooth vocals.
A fine, pretty unknown album.

01 - Walls Come Down
02 - Israeltown
03 - Stranger Than Paradise
04 - Eyes Of A Child
05 - Take A Chance
06 - There Goes My Heart Again
07 - Ghost On The Radio
08 - I Will Be There
09 - Love You Today

Dugan McNeill: vocals,bass, guitar, keyboards
Donny Paulson: guitar
Dik Shopteau: bass, guitar
Kurt Barkdull: drums, percussion
Charlie Adams: drums, percussion
Stephanie Eubanks: backing vocals
Yanni: keyboards (uncredited)

DUGAN McNEILL - In The Velvet Night (1989)