Friday, March 15, 2019

VAN STEPHENSON - Unreleased 4th Album (88-90)

This is a fresh re-post from another original VAN STEPHENSON compilation made by me.
Between 88-90 Van Stephenson with his friend Dan Huff worked together in a musical project which supposed to be the genesis of GIANT, including some renowned recording session cats. They taped several tracks but Huff was really busy with his session schedule for other artists and Giant as band, put on hold.

Then Van Stephenson accepted the offer from southern rockers BLACKHAWK to join in, leaving those great songs recorded with Dan Huff & Co. unreleased, plus some made by Van Stephenson alone. We have here some real gems with a quite good production & sound, enhanced and cleaned by myself including artwork.
VAN STEPHENSON is an AOR legend, and his musical legacy, a must have.
Get it while it's hot...

01 - Fear Of Falling
02 - Love Is Stranger
03 - Snow And Thunder
04 - Change
05 - Naked City
06 - Don't Walk Away
07 - Mambo Willie
08 - Louder Than Words
09 - Calm Before The Storm
10 - Years
11 - Get Used To It (recorded later by GIANT)
12 - If That Was A Lie (recorded later by BLACKHAWK)

Van Stephenson - vocals
Dann Huff - guitars, bass, vocals
Alan Pasqua - keyboards, vocals
Mike Brignardello - bass, vocals
Mike Baird - drums
... and more

VAN STEPHENSON Unreleased 4th Album


Monday, March 04, 2019

ARTI TISI - The Definitive Collection (hardrockaorheaven.blogspot exclusive compilation)

ARTI TISI - The Definitive Collection
Re-post as requested, quite rare and good material.
Perhaps the most controversial post ever on this blog; check reader's comments in the original HERE.

One of the biggest myths in the Melodic Hard Rock / AOR ground. Does ARTI TISI really exist? Some people argue that this band was actually a well known group of musicians who never revealed their names.
ARTI TISI (born Arthur Tisi Jr.) it's alive 'n kickin' and lives in NY. Songwriter, singer and multi-instrumentalist, has been writing and recording music since the mid '80s.

Around 1988, Tisi joined forces with keyboardist Al Greenwood (FOREIGNER, SPYS, JOE LYNN TURNER, HOLY WATER) to write & record songs for a Melodic Hard Rock / AOR album. Most tracks were penned by the team Arthur Tisi Jr. / Jordan Stanley / Al Greenwood.
With the skilled Al Pitrelli (DANGER DANGER, ALICE COOPER) on guitars, the result was this impressive collection of songs, superb melodic rockers with punch and melody.
Gossips of mainstream bands members (Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Deep Purple) participating in the studio sessions are uncertain.
As example, seems JR Blackmore (Ritchie's son) play guitar on "A Little Too Early", or Joe Lynn Turner did backing vocals on "Knock Knock" (this one was co-written and recorded by himself later), but I'm not sure.
Believe it or not, the album remains unreleased, incredible due the remarkable quality and production-wise.

The file containing this bunch of songs floating the web only has 11 tracks, known as 'Unreleased second demo'. But there's much, much more recorded.

I added 8 extra tracks from these recording sessions plus a mid nineties song ("Alone Forever").
In fact, Arthur Tisi Jr. has done tons of demos (I have 5 folders from different years), covering several styles like funk rock, modern rock, etc.
But what I offer here is the melodic rockin', awesome kick ass stuff from 89/90.
Do yourself a favor, don't miss this collection...

01 - Guilty Heart
02 - A Little Too Early
03 - Can't Face Another Night
04 - Limits Of Love #
05 - Love You Too Much
06 - I' ll Be There
07 - She Lights Dynamite #
08 - One Bad Habit
09 - Momma Sweet Evil #
10 - Love Finds You Guilty
11 - Responsible
12 - Change Of Heart #
13 - The Cut & Run
14 - Can't Live Without You
15 - New York City
16 - Can't Stop Breaking Down #
17 - When It's Over # (awesome!)
18 - Joanne #
19 - Knock Knock #
20 - Alone Forever #

# added tracks

ARTI TISI The Definitive Collection

Sunday, March 03, 2019

LITTLE YANKEES - All Or Nothing (1997)

LITTLE YANKEES - All Or Nothing (1997) front
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

Despite their name, LITTLE YANKEES was a Swedish band with a British vocalist... a little messy isn't it? Well, their album "All Or Nothing" is not a mess at all, but an enjoyable slice of European Melodic Rock / AOR.
The cover artwork also disorientate a bit (you may think of a Southern Rock band) but these guys were inspired by the late '80s Scandinavian AOR scene, and due to Paul Dexter's smooth vocals you got a feel of British bands like Overland's FM, Heartland, Dare, etc.

The CD starts with "Go To America", a commercial tune with an obvious radio target, melodic but too cheesy and ends up as the only weak track on the record. But the rest is really good since track 2 "The Power", a pumping melodic rocker where the band show its skills in writing catchy melodies and performing their instruments with taste.

More in this style is heard in "Die For You", the groovy "Give It To Me", title track, and later on "Give It Up" (great chorus!), while Little Yankees go for AOR smoothness in the atmospheric "Can't Live" (reminds me Virginia Wolf) or "Don't Leave Me" with an After Hours feel.
All the aforementioned songs are really good, as are the ballad "I'll Be There" adorned with fine orchestrated synths and in the middle featuring an arrangement akin bagpipes (perhaps Dexter is Scottish?).

LITTLE YANKEES - All Or Nothing (1997) back

As far I know only released in Sweden, Little Yankees "All Or Nothing" is a pretty unknown and good Melodic Rock / AOR album finely produced. The CD appeared in 1997 - obscure years for this genre - and the band split soon after.

01 - Go To America
02 - The Power
03 - Famous
04 - Can't Live
05 - Die For You
06 - I'll Be There
07 - Give It To Me
08 - Burning Feeling
09 - Don't Leave Me
10 - Give It Up
11 - All Or Nothing

Paul Dexter: vocals, guitars, keyboards
Heavy Eddie: bass, backing vocals
Johan 'The Preacher' Rydberg: drums, percussion
Tobias 'Snake' Wernersson: guitars, keyboards, backing vocals