Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...
What else can be said about HEART? The Wilson sisters' band is the greatest female fronted Melodic Hard Rock act ever.
Like its two predecessors, their 1990 album "Brigade" was a commercial smash, reaching number 2 on the Billboard Album Chart and delivering another wonderful slice of slick Melodic Rock / AOR / rock&pop.
Including songs penned / co-penned by the likes of Robert John "Mutt" Lange, Holly Knight, Sammy Hagar, Diane Warren or the fantastic AOR factory of Tom Kelly / Billy Steinberg plus Richie Zito's out-of-this-world production, and you have a winner.
On songs like "Stranded", "Secret", "I Want Your World to Turn", the rocking "Tall, Dark Handsome Stranger" or the mega-hit "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You", female-Rock vocals do not get any better.
Although my favorite Heart albums are the previous 'Bad Animals' and 1985s 'Heart', in my opinion "Brigade" features the best Ann Wilson vocal performances of her career.
This out of print "Brigade [Deluxe Japanese 2CD Package]" came out in 1991, packed in velvet-textured slipcase, and with a bonus CD including 3 bonus tracks. And these songs worth your attention, believe me.
You have the awesome AOR of "Cruel Tears" co-written with Mark Spiro, the super ballad "(I'll) Never Stop Loving You" penned by AOR stalwarts David Cassidy / John Wetton, and the midtempo "The Will to Love", again from the Tom Kelly / Billy Steinberg pen.
"Brigade" is a must have in your Melodic Rock / AOR collection, and this Deluxe Japanese 2CD Package, even more.
01 - Wild Child
02 - All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You
03 - Secret
04 - Tall, Dark Handsome Stranger
05 - I Didn't Want To Need You
06 - The Night
07 - Fallen From Grace
08 - Under The Sky
09 - Cruel Nights
10 - Stranded
11 - Call Of The Wild
12 - I Want Your World To Turn
13 - I Love You
14 - Cruel Tears (bonus track)
15 - Never Stop Loving You (bonus track)
16 - The Will To Love (bonus track)
Ann Wilson - lead and backing vocals
Nancy Wilson - lead and backing vocals, guitars
Howard Leese - guitar, keyboards, mandolin, backing vocals
Mark Andes - bass, backing vocals
Denny Carmassi - drums
Kim Bullard - keyboards
Richie Zito - add. guitar, producer
HEART Brigade [Deluxe Japanese 2CD Package] HQ
Thursday, January 29, 2015
Updated January 31 , 2015
Published by Camelblue on Thursday, January 29, 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...
Sometimes you read an essay book and it reflects exactly what you were thinking about a particular theme. Same happens with CD reviews.
So in this case I will reproduce the critic of "Better Late Than Never", the requested record by LAST TEMPTATION:
"After the successful release of Marcello / Vestry in 2008 (one the best Melodic Hard Rock CDs from that decade), vocalist Frank Vestry resurrected the only album from his old band Last Temptation, entitled "Better Late Than Never".
This 'new' album contains tracks originally recorded back in 1989, and listening to it raises the question; how did people miss out on this band back then?
This CD contains everything that was popular in the late '80s - the big-hooks, strong melodies and memorable choruses.
If one were to teach a college course on the sounds needed to achieve massive success during Rock's late Eighties domination, all they would have to do is present this album to the class.
And twenty years later these songs still sound great, sure it's a step back in time, but doesn't sound dated at all.
What do you get while listening to "Better Late Than Never"? I hear traces of bands such as Hurricane, Tesla, Y&T, Flame, US Whitesnake and many more - in other words a mixture of what made the US Melodic Hard Rock / Hair revolution so great.
This is one of those discs in which you can play any track and find a winner, but the stand-outs for me are "Break It", the title-track, "Without Love", "Oh So Easy", "Save Me" and "Ice Queen". But like I said, you can't go wrong with any of the ten tracks here, they are all exceptional slabs of melodic hair metal.
"Better Late Than Never" is an appropriate title, as this shouldn't have taken twenty years to properly release. You also can't help but wonder how successful Last Temptation would have been with the right push back in the day, because these guys had everything that made others multi-platinum success stories. (written by Skid)
Indeed, a wonderful slice of classic American Melodic Hard Rock.
01 - Break It
02 - Last Temptation
03 - Catch Me Now I'm Falling
04 - Without Love
05 - Oh So Easy
06 - Emotions
07 - Sailin Away (Northern Winds)
08 - Save Me
09 - Next To You
10 - Queen Of Ice
Frank Vestry - Vocals
Arnie Miot - Guitars
Steve Hervatic - Bass
Allan Gabay - Keyboards
Steve Murphy - Drums, Backing Vocals
Jeff Cropper - Drums
LAST TEMPTATION Better Late Than Never HQ
Monday, January 19, 2015
Re-post from 7 years ago, as requested
O'RYAN is the pseudonym of Irish-born multi-instrumentalist Mervyn Spence. In the early Eighties, Merv moved to England and took part of the Phenomena project, was a stable member of Whishbone Ash and collaborated with other acts.
At the end of the decade started to work on his own solo career as O'RYAN, and released two stupendous albums.
"Something Strong" was the first, and makes justice to its title.
The CD is a wonderful collection of late '80s sounding Melodic Rock / AOR tunes, mostly performed by Spence itself with the help of some friends on few tracks.
Killer uptempo songs like "Stronger Than Love", "Lying Eyes" or "Shaky Ground" are mixed with excellent ballads in the form of the great "Don't Let it Slip Away" and the beauty of "Emer May".
On the AOR side, "Reaction" is simply awesome, while "Blood Upon A Stone" is irresistibly catchy.
Mervyn Spence's vocals are specially designed for this classic MR / AOR style, smooth when needed and powerful at the time to rock.
I love "Something Strong". This is what '80s UK's AOR is all about, both in sound and feeling. There's no weak tracks here, all are pure gold.
This is a rip from the rare Japanese pressing of the CD, with a superior output in my opinion and with a slightly different album artwork.
A must have in your Melodic Rock / AOR collection.
1. Stronger Than Love
3. Don't Let It Slip Away
4. Shaky Ground
5. Something Strong
6. Emer May
7. Blood Upon a Stone
8. Lying Eyes
9. Deeper Than the Ocean
Mervyn Spence: lead vocals, guitar, keys, bass
Dieter Petereit: keyboards, bass, production
Curt Cress: drums
Pit Low: add. keyboards
Hermann Weindorf: piano
Peter Weihe: add. guitars
O'RYAN - Something Strong [Japanese Edition]
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Re-posted as requested, expanded and augmented
Extraordinary vocalist Gary Barden left the Michael Schenker Group at their peak of its popularity in 1984, aiming for solo career. He spent some time auditioning musicians for his back-up band and composing new material.
The opportunity of a record deal arrived next year, but the label wanted a real band, with Barden as frontman. So he called long time friend drummer Bruce Bisland from the very good hard rockers Wildfire to join in, who also suggested his bandmates.
Soon STATETROOPER born with Gary Barden at the mic and the full Wildfire crew at charge of the instruments.
Statetrooper recorded the pre-production demos while waiting for the record label deal, but as happened many times in the musical industry, it never arrived due to management troubles.
Anyway, the Statetrooper self-titled LP was released in UK through the legendary FM Records, though, in limited quantities. There was also a Belgian edition but via a small label too, so "Statetrooper" become a collectors piece in years to come.
Despite of being pre-production tapes, the quality of the recording is very good sporting a vibrant rocking edge, and according to the times (1986), with a very melodic AORish punch.
Great Melodic Rock / AOR songs like the awesome "Shape Of Things To Come" driven by sharp guitar riffs and stabbing keyboards, or the extremely catchy "She Got The Look" are mixed with harder rockers such as the six-string layered "Set Fire To The Night" or the killer "Veni Vidi Vinci".
Over the tight instrumentation, Gary Barden's pipes are fantastic, fuller, plenty of power and melody. "Statetrooper" finds Gary at his best.
To complete the LP release, the band added two tracks recorded live at the Marque Club in London, including a terrific version of MSG's classic "Armed And Ready".
"Statetrooper" was remastered and reissued in 2003 (now out of print) with the addition of two worthy studio bonus tracks - "How Does It Feel" is great - plus a bunch of songs recorded live but in studio during the '86 sessions.
Statetrooper is a superb exponent of the boiling UK mid-Eighties rocking AOR scene. You need this one in your collection.
01 - Shape Of Things To Come
02 - Set Fire To The Night
03 - Dreams Of The Painful
04 - Stand Me Up
05 - Veni Vidi Vinci
06 - Last Stop To Heaven
07 - She Got The Look
08 - Too Late (Live)
09 - Armed And Ready (Live)
10 - How Does It Feel (non album track)
11 - Juliet (non album track)
12 - Faster Than Light (Live bonus Track)
13 - Set Fire To The Night (Live bonus Track)
14 - She Got The look (Live bonus Track)
15 - Too Late (Live bonus Track)
Gary Barden - Vocals
Jeff Summers - Guitars
Martin Bushell - Guitars
Steve Glover - Keyboards
Jeff Brown - Bass
Bruce Bisland - Drums
STATETROOPER [remastered + bonus]
Saturday, January 10, 2015
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...
American Mylon LeFevre started his career in the Seventies playing in various bands but it was in 1982 when he founded his own crew; MYLON LeFEVRE & BROKEN HEART.
The group was one of the most important outfits from the '80s Christian Rock movement, however, they were one of the 'less religious' and most secular-market oriented.
After four radio-rock oriented albums (and a poppy one under the Look Up moniker), LeFevre and the guys definitely aimed for a mainstream sound of the era: their 1987 record "Crack The Sky" mixes stylized Rock&pop, radio-friendly melodic rock and elegant AOR melodies.
Plenty of catchy choruses, commercial hooks and a glossy production, "Crack The Sky" indeed sounds very '80s. You have electronic Simmons drums, lots of synths, compressed beats, etc.
There's really good songs like title track, the very Mr. Mister sounding "Love God, Hate Sin" (with a sing-along chorus), "Let Me Be The One", the slightly west-coast oriented ballad "I Belong" and the mid-tempo AOR "Reach For The Sky".
A prove of Mylon's Billboard approach is "Closer Than A Heartbeat", a sharp poppy tune with a single potential build over a clean guitar line, fine keyboards and smooth vocals. Same with the little Hi-Tech AOR craft of "Heart On Fire".
Although my favorite record from the band is their more melodic hard rocking '89 LP, this "Crack The Sky" features a very good pack of songs, and it's a faithful representation of the second half of the '80s sound through its bright and extremely polished production.
01 - Crack The Sky
02 - Love God, Hate Sin
03 - Closer Than A Heartbeat
04 - Give It Up
05 - I Belong
06 - Let Me Be The One
07 - Reach For The Sky
08 - Heart On Fire
09 - For My Growing (duet with Carole Ford)
10 - Prayer / Within My Heart (hidden track)
Mylon LeFevre - Vocals, Guitars
Scott Allen - Guitars, Vocals
Trent Argante - Guitars, Vocals
Paul Joseph - Keyboards, Synthesizers, Vocals
Kenneth Bentley - Bass, Vocals
Ben Hewitt - Drums, Percussion
MYLON LeFEVRE & Broken Heart - Crack The Sky
Monday, January 05, 2015
Somebody requested JOE LYNN TURNER demos recorded before his debut solo album Rescue You, but how about this rare performance presenting such LP?
Taped at Paradise Theatre, Boston, MA, 12.30.1985, and entitled "Soul Searcher", this 'official bootleg' is a much sought after piece by collectors.
Featuring the same line up who recorded the terrific Rescue You, that is excellent guitar wiz Bobby Messano (Tycoon, Fiona), Al Greenwood (Foreigner), Turner's bandmate in Rainbow Chuck Burgi, and bass player Barry Dunaway (Survivor, Yngwie Malmsteen), this recording Rocks with a great vibe.
Of course we have almost the complete Rescue You songs like the wonderful AOR staple "Losing You", "On The Run", "Young Hearts" and the lovely ballad "Endlessly", but more.
JLT and his band delivers as well hot versions of Rainbow's Turner era "Stone Cold" and "Street Of Dreams" (two gems in my book), and a killer, hard rockin' cover of Buddy Miles' funk classic "Them Changes" where Bobby Messano shows how skilled is on the 6 strings offering a fantastic guitar / vocal duet with Joe.
As plus, the CD includes "Heartless", the song recorded by Turner for the Heavenly Kid soundtrack.
"Soul Searcher" is much more than a 'live record', it captures a vital Joe Lynn Turner at his prime pushing his pipes, and his full-on-fire rocking band.
A collectors piece.
01 - I Found Love
02 - Losing You
03 - Soul Searcher
04 - Young Hearts
05 - Endlessly
06 - Rescue You
07 - Stone Cold
08 - Street Of Dreams
09 - Feel The Fire
10 - Guitar Solo / Good Girls
11 - Get Tough
12 - On The Run
13 - Them Changes
14 - Heartless (Heavenly Kid OST) [bonus]
Joe Lynn Turner - vocals
Bobby Messano - guitar, background vocals
Alan Greenwood - keyboards
Barry Dunaway - bass
Chuck Burgi - drums
JOE LYNN TURNER - Soul Searcher official bootleg