Monday, March 19, 2018

REFUGEE - Affairs In Babylon [vinyl rip] (1985)

REFUGEE - Affairs In Babylon [vinyl rip]
Thanks to Rocky Birboa for helping me to recover this original vinyl-rip

REFUGEE, the brainchild of Canadian songwriter / vocalist Myles Hunter (RIP), released this LP "Affairs In Babylon" in 1985 after an initial indie release under the moniker MICHAEL FURY.
You can read the story and get the album

REFUGEE's "Affairs In Babylon" wasn't released on CD until 2005 by a German label.
Unfortunately, they didn't take as a source the original master tapes, just a wasted & scratched vinyl, and also gently destroyed the original signal harmonics with a cheap processor.
That CD sounds terrible, a classic album like this deserves a better CD reissue.

From a pretty good vinyl rip (courtesy of troynew, thanks my friend), I've tried to get the best audio quality possible, de-crackling, de-clicking and de-noising the whole thing. To my ears, it sounds far better than the aforementioned German CD.
Tracks 1 & 2 are chained in the vinyl, I have left them as a single track to preserve continuity and avoid the typical mp3 gaps. Anyway, included into the file, are both as separated tracks as well: you choose.
320K including re-worked artwork.

01 - Affairs In Babylon
02 - Thunder Of Another Night
03 - Listen To Your Heart
04 - Hot Words *
05 - Dream On Anastasia
06 - Exiles In The Dark
07 - No Survivors, No Way Out
08 - Body To Body
09 - Here We Go Again *
10 - These Are The Good Times

Myles Hunter : Lead Vocals, Guitar
Rob Kennedy : Lead Guitars, Backing Vocals
Howard Helm : Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Martyn Jones : Bass, Backing Vocals
Brian Doerner : Drums
Greg Bociek : add. Keyboards *

REFUGEE - Affairs In Babylon [restored audio] (1985) HERE

Friday, March 16, 2018

MICHAEL PATTO - Time To Be Right (1991)

MICHAEL PATTO - Time To Be Right (1991) fronr
Re-posted as requested, quite rare album

MICHAEL PATTO is a British musician, songwriter and producer. Born of Mike Patto Snr. who was a highly respected Rock musician (Spooky Tooth, Patto, Timebox, Boxer), Michael started out on bass but switched to piano in his late teens and soon began to write his own songs.
Patto was signed by a major label aged 20 and released this "Time To Be Right", however soon decided to move on and started his own recording company, being involved with some of the finest talents from the UK music scene.

MICHAEL PATTO - Time To Be Right (1991) back

His one and only album as solo artist, "Time To Be Right" is a soft breeze of genres mixing stylized pop, soul and smooth Westcoast.
There's several pieces of fine Euro-pop on songs like "So Much For The Lovin´", "Few Good Moments" or "What Can I Do". But also a strong Westcoast feeling on "Calling", the smooth "The Very Thought Of You" and "Don't Say A Word". The ballad "Hold On" sounds pretty American L.A. session style.

MICHAEL PATTO - Time To Be Right (1991) cds

"Time To Be Right" features some kind of musical waves not usually associated with this this blog, but it was requested by a reader and it's extremely hard to find. Also included as bonus are 2 different versions of the track "So Much For The Lovin` ", taken from the single CDs of the same name.
It's a nice, relaxing piece of music, very well performed, recorded and produced.
CDrip at maximum quality including artwork. RARE.

01. So Much For The Lovin'
02. Calling
03. Few Good Moments
04. Hold On
05. Paradise Has Gone
06. (I've Got) Love Enough For Two
07. Time To Be Right
08. The Very Thought Of You
09. What Can I Do
10. Don't Say A Word
11. So Much For The Lovin' (7'' version)
12. So Much For The Lovin' (Radical Mix)

Michael Patto: Vocals, All instruments
Session Musicians: unlisted

MICHAEL PATTO Time To Be Right + bonus

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

MICHAEL FURY - Affairs In Babylon (1984) restored audio

MICHAEL FURY - Affairs In Babylon (1984) restored audio - front

Myles Hunter (ex Avalon Canada), bassist Martyn Jones and guitarist Rob Kennedy founded MICHAEL FURY (named after a character in James Joyce's short story, "The Dead") in 1979. They did the predictable round of club gigs throughout Canada until split up in 1983.

Hunter met keyboard wiz Howard Helm (ex Zon) one year later and start to play with him the songs he has been written. Together decided to call Kennedy and Jones back, and with the addition of drummer Dave Mihal reform MICHAEL FURY.
An initial demo was picked up by a local small label and the result is "Affairs In Babylon", released in 1984.

MICHAEL FURY toured constantly throughout the country, but they began getting an identity crisis as people mistook the group name 'Michael Fury' for Myles Hunter himself.
To compound matters the label tried to push the band as a solo act. This didn't sit well to the group (Hunter included), then a major US label offers a deal to the band, they brought back the rights to the album and signed a new contract.
The disc was re-mixed and re-recorded for the most part, and modified with new songs, "Affairs In Babylon" was re-issued under the band name REFUGEE, with new drummer Brian Doerner (Helix).

As REFUGEE, Hunter & Co. released another album in 1987; "Burning From The Inside Out". Both REFUGEE releases are considered classic '80s AOR gems by fans of the genre (I totally agree).

But let's talk about this MICHAEL FURY album.
For the re-release of "Affairs In Babylon" under the Refugee moniker, 5 tracks were replaced by 5 new ones, and what a new songs!, the best they ever recorded in my opinion, the Refugee release is far superior, with an updated remix job and the new tracks getting big production. A classic indeed.

However, the exclusive 5 songs on this LP are very good too, and that's why I am posting here the original MICHAEL FURY recording. Besides, this album is really hard to find.
The sound is not so 'big' (self produced and mixed), and more direct than lush and polished. According to Hunter, he still prefer some of the original FURY's versions instead of the later re-recorded as REFUGEE.
As example; 'These Are The Good Times' (later popularized by Eric Martin, but written by Mr. Hunter) features completely different arrangements here.

MICHAEL FURY - Affairs In Babylon (1984) restored audio - back

Maybe not many readers will be interested in this post (Michael who?) because this album version is unknown and rarely mentioned on some specialized rock magazine / website. Big mistake, since "MICHAEL FURY - Affairs In Babylon" is a collector's item, and contains very good '80s Melodic Rock / AOR music.
Ripped from vinyl (never released on CD), de-crackled and de-clicked by myself, including artwork.

01 - Affairs In Babylon
02 - Through The Thunder Of Another Night
03 - Pictures And Prints *
04 - There's Gonna Be A Fire Tonight *
05 - These Are The Good Times
06 - (Janie) Here We Go Again
07 - Hot Words
08 - ... And We All Go Down To The River *
09 - White Wine And Roses *
10 - Love Comes Down *

Tracks marked with * are exclusive to this LP

Myles Hunter : Lead Vocals, Mustang (¿?)
Martyn Jones : Bass, Vocals
Rob Kennedy : Guitars, Vocals
Howard Helm : Keyboards
Greg Bociek : Keyboards on 6
Dave Mihal : Drums
Bear : Percussion, Noises & Effects

MICHAEL FURY - Affairs In Babylon (1984)

Friday, March 02, 2018

VA - Elektra AOR Collection [Japan only] (1993)

VA - Elektra AOR Collection [Japan only] (1993) Rare
Request fulfilled, hard to find

Some time ago a reader requested some early material from John David Souther, who in very late '70s changed his artistic name to J.D. Souther releasing the stupendous You're Only Lonely LP. His previous albums are not easy to find, but digging deep in my collection something appeared.
And it's this rare compilation only released in Japan (limited quantities) in 1993 by Elektra / Warner Records, including tracks from their AOR / Westcoast artist roster.

"Elektra AOR Collection" is wonderful compilation featuring some of the finest Westcoast artists from the late '70s / early '80s - the golden age of the genre. You can't go wrong with cats of the stature of John O'Banion, Bruce Roberts, Robbie Dupree (tracks from his 1st and 2nd albums) or Bill Champlin.
However, most of them are well known by AOR fans, and the real find here are the songs from J.D. Souther, plus the excellent Rupert Holmes, Andrew Gold and Terence Boylan.

VA - Elektra AOR Collection [Japan only] (1993) back cover

All the albums from where these tracks are taken have been reissued on CD, but today are almost impossible to find. So this is a great chance to have on CD quality these hard-to-get tunes.
"Elektra AOR Collection" is a collectors piece and a stunning set of songs to enjoy.

01 - John O'Banion - Love you like I never loved before
02 - Andrew Gold - Lonely boy
03 - Carole Bayer Sager - It's the falling in love
04 - Bruce Roberts - Cool fool
05 - Robbie Dupree - Steal away
06 - Terence Boylan - Don't hang up those dancing shoes
07 - Rupert Holmes - Full circle
08 - Andrew Gold - That's why I love you
09 - John David Souther - Black rose
10 - Robbie Dupree - Saturday night
11 - Bill Champlin - Sara
12 - Terence Boylan - Shake it
13 - John David Souther - It's the same

VA - Elektra AOR Collection 1993