Easily in my Top20 rank of the best US Melodic Hard Rock records of all time, the self-titled debut by DAMN YANKEES still sounds awesome today, even better on this fresh remaster done by Rock Candy Records.
SuperGroups come and go; often in an initial blaze of glory and then more often than not disappear in a puff of smoke due to a half-assed work ethic and the sound of clashing egos.
This was not the case with Damn Yankees, a veritable smorggersboard of prime time American musical hard rock talent: Ted Nugent, Tommy Shaw (Styx), Jack Blades (Night Ranger) and drummer Michael Cartellone.
A four man wrecking crew who came together with the objective of celebrating not only their considerable reputations but also to establish a new beachhead for further success.
Formed in late 1988 in New York City, the band quickly solidified via a series of rehearsals and a demo that led them to sign a record deal with Warner Brothers, who promptly put them in the studio with renowned producer Ron Nevison (Led Zeppelin, Bad Company, UFO, Heart), a man with not only great chops but also a certain hard working reputation.
Recorded in Los Angeles, the album exceeded all expectations, providing the band with a springboard to double platinum success, a #13 place on the Billboard LP chart and an impressive run of sold out live dates.
Musically, the band were firing on all six cylinders, notching up an impressive number of hits and anthems such as ‘Come Again’, ‘Coming Of Age’, ‘Runaway’ and the massively successful power ballad ‘High Enough’, a song that reached #3 on the US singles chart.
"Damn Yankees" already sounds incredible in its original release, but this remaster is more than welcomed as the CD become pretty hard to find.
And together with these terrific songs you have the bonus track "Bonestripper", the rocking single B-Side also used in a movie soundtrack.
A Must Have.
1. Coming Of Age
2. Bad Reputation
4. High Enough
5. Damn Yankees
6. Come Again
8. Rock City
9. Tell Me How You Want It
11. Bonestripper (bonus track)
Tommy Shaw – guitars and vocals
Ted Nugent – guitars and vocals
Jack Blades – bass and vocals
Michael Cartellone – drums
Steve Freeman - keyboards
Alan Pasqua - Hammond organ
Neverleave Brothers - backing vocals
B.J. Ingram, David Niwa, Marion Pinhiero, Marti Sweet, Gerlad Tarack, Sarah Carter, Jesse Levy, Charles McCracken - strings
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Wednesday, January 18, 2017
For many years, MARTINA EDOFF has been a familiar name in the Swedish music business as coach and backing vocalist for many rock&pop acts.
After more than twenty years, now she had the opportunity to record his own album, and in the musical genre she loves from the heart: melodic rock.
But the road to her self-titled debut album and the music she had closest to her spirit proved longer and more crooked than Martina expected. She’s been singing all her life.
After honing her skills in a few rock bands, she secured a place at Wallman’s in Stockholm, a restaurant concept where the staff was made up of talented singers who performed during the dinner. It was there that disco-pop star Dr Alban saw her singing and immediately asked her to perform harmony vocals on his upcoming world tour.
Martina traveled the world in subsquent years, and while Dr Alban recharged the batteries between tours, she spent a lot of time at the Cheiron studio in Stockholm, where producer and songwriter Denniz Pop was busy building the pop empire that soon would make Sweden famous as a driving creative force.
Ace Of Base and numerous other Cheiron productions soon had Martina’s backing vocals on hit after hit.
In 1999 started to perform backing vocals with Swedish techno star E-Type, which again took her out on major international stages. At around the same time she persuaded her - then boyfriend - to start a cover band specializing in '80s poodle rock. They called themselves The Poodles, which would become the excellent melodic hard rock act.
Martina toured a lot with The Poodles, but as fun it was, it didn’t take her closer to a solo career based on her own music. She participated in the Swedish TV reality/talent show 'Fame Factory' during 2003-2004, but despite offering some interesting insights in how modern TV is produced, it didn’t advance her musical career.
After becoming a mother in 2005, Martina decided to take a break from music. She studied to become a coach, and basically had decided to quit the music business.
But a friend she met during her studies sensed that her real passion still was in singing, and thought it was a shame to throw away such talent.
The executive of MRM Production gave her an offer to record a solo album completely on Martina's own terms, which of course was impossible to resist. So they chose renowned producer, engineer and mixer Robert Wellerfors (The Poodles, Lion's Share) and some of Stockholm’s best musicians, and then recorded this, her self-titled debut album.
"Martina Edoff" can be summarized in one word: heart. Or “Heart” with a capital H, rather - we’re talking about the American group that under creative leadership from sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson were female rock pioneers.
Back in the day, seventeen-year old Martina was totally mesmerized by Heart’s powerful impact – a fascination that continues to this day.
And you can say that listening this impressive collection of classic melodic hard rock songs.
Martina's vocals reminds you Ann Wilson, but also Scandal's Patty Smyth. The songs sound a lot like the '80s productions, but with a modern touch akin Norwegian singer Issa (Isabell Oversveen).
The session musicians are truly professional, including guitarists Martin Hedström, Benny Jansson and virtuoso Johan Randén, drummer Per Lindvall (ABBA), and the very tight, tasteful, great tone and solid groove of bassist Thomas Lindberg.
With songs written by Martina in various songwriting partnerships, the very nice cover of "Just Take My Heart" by Mr. Big is the only non-original track.
There's not much space for true mid-80s female melodic rock these days, and "Martina Edoff" is a really welcomed album for the genre.
It's well produced and arranged, the songs are hooky and authentic, and Martina's pipes trained to obtain colorful expressions and warm harmonies. A genuinely entertaining record.
01 - On The Top
02 - Back Home
03 - Who You Are
04 - Hero
05 - Heartland
06 - Just Take My Heart [Mr. Big cover]
07 - Seeds Of Love (Mother Nature Song)
08 - Seduce Your Mind
09 - My Moment
10 - Before I Die
11 - Tear Apart [hidden track]
Martina Edoff - lead and backing vocals
Martin Hedström, Benny Jansson, Johan Randén - guitars
Per Lindvall - drums, percussion
Thomas Lindberg - bass
Robert Wellerfors - keyboards, backing vocals
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Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Not to be confused with the Canadian band of the same name, USA melodic rockers URGENT released two very good albums halfway the '80s: 'Cast The First Stone' in 1984 and "Thinking Out Loud" in 1987.
While the debut already got re-issued some time ago, "Thinking Out Loud" gets its first re-release / remaster via the AOR Heaven Classix series. There was a first press limited to 1.000 copies two years ago, but sold out and the label is presenting a second string now.
URGENT was built around the three brothers Michael, Don and Steve Kehr, but also featured guitarist Yul Vasquez who later joined cult melodic rockers DIVING FOR PEARLS.
After the excellent debut, theg guys wanted a gutsier sound according to times (1987) and it was Vasquez who came up with the name of Tom Allom, known from his work for bands like Judas Priest, Krokus, Loverboy, Rough Cutt and Y&T.
"Thinking Out Loud" exactly resulted as the band members had in mind: retaining the melodic hooks, catchy choruses and swirling keyboards of the debut, plus an edgy, more punchy output.
The album features 11 killer-no-filler tracks like the strong rockers "Shot In The Dark", the guitar driven "I Can't Take It No More" and a re-recorded version of the monster single "Running Back", that had peaked at # 79 in the Billboard Hot 100.
There's supreme AOR in the terrific "Always Be There" and the keyboard oriented "If This Is Love" while the ballad "All Over the World" is simply gorgeous.
Although the album was surely a worthy follow-up for the debut and sold pretty well, Urgent lost its deal with EMI Manhattan soon after. The cause? A restructuring! That same year (1987) the band folded, but Yul Vasquez and Klyph Black would carry on in the music business.
If you want to find out what they did after Urgent's demise, you can read the detailed liner notes from Dave Reynolds in the booklet with this re-issue.
"Thinking Out Loud" is a classic record into any Melodic Rock / AOR book.
All the songs are huge with layers of harmonies all over, sharp guitar work and classy keyboards / synths, kicked by a fuller, 'big' glossy production. The remaster by Chris Lyne (Soul Doctor) is very dynamic, crystal clear.
Fans of classic '80s Melodic Rock / AOR in the vein of Aviator, Loverboy, Honeymoon Suite, Aldo Nova, etc. need to add this one into your collection ASAP.
A Must Have.
01. Pain (Love Is A Victim)
02. Shot In The Dark
03. I Can't Take It No More
04. If This Is Love
05. Always Be There
06. Running Back
07. Extra Extra
08. Turning The Knife
09. Give 'Em Enough Rope
10. Inch By Inch
11. All Over The World
Michael Kehr - vocals, guitar
Don Kehr - vocals, keyboards
Steve Kehr - drums, vocals
Yul Vasquez - guitar, vocals
Klyph Black - bass
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Coinciding with their return and a fresh album in two decades just released, Rock Candy Records are reissuing / remastering KIX's most celebrated records from '80s: ‘Blow My Fuse’ and ‘Midnight Dynamite’.
By the time Kix had recorded "Blow My Fuse", their fourth album, all eyes in the hard rock biospace were upon them as a band expected to rise up from the ranks to achieve success and exert influence.
Certainly their record label Atlantic Records believed in the band enough to steer them towards not one, but three top notch producers; that’s Tom Werman (Mötley Crüe, Twisted Sister, Dokken) together with the dynamic duo of Duane Barron and John Purdell (Ozzy Osbourne, Dream Theater).
Recorded in Los Angeles and issued in August 1988, the record was immediately heralded as the best Kix album so far, with critics pointing out the quality of songs and a refinement of their trademark rough and tumble sound. In addition they had made a significant change in their back office by enlisting new management who also handled the affairs of Twisted Sister and Zebra, both signed to Atlantic Records.
Strangely, the record was slow to react commercially, dragging its feet until the label were persuaded to issue the Bob Halligan Jr. co-write "Don’t Close Your Eyes" as a single to radio.
This enduring power ballad became an instant smash, rising to #8 on the Billboard singles chart and paving the way for over a million sales of the album, whilst drawing attention to notable album tracks such as "Red Lite, Green Lite, TNT", "Get It While It’s Hot" and "She Dropped Me The Bomb".
All these cuts were much more melodic hard rock oriented than any material previously released by Kix, positioning the band in the same league of Warrant, Stryper, Autograph, etc.
"Blow My Fuse" is the more 'commercial', glossy recording of Kix, another fine slice of the Californian Melodic Hard Rock movement that ruled the US in the second half of the '80s.
Compared to the original CD release, this Rock Candy remaster of "Blow My Fuse" is a bit tougher. I don't really have an issue with the original pressing, and this new version doesn't add quite as much as the Midnight Dynamite remaster does.
Yes, there is better bass response but not anything the volume knob can't fix on the original. There is a little more ooomph to the guitars too. So it's really up to you as a fan if you want to hear the slight improvements.
But this reissue worth the purchase because there isn't a shred of brickwalling; all sounds natural and bright.
01 - Red Lite, Green Lite, TNT
02 - Get It While It's Hot
03 - No Ring Around Rosie
04 - Don't Close Your Eyes
05 - She Dropped Me The Bomb
06 - Cold Blood
07 - Piece Of The Pie
08 - Boomerang
09 - Blow My Fuse
10 - Dirty Boys
Steve Whiteman – lead vocals, harmonica
Ronnie '10/10' Younkins – guitars
Brian 'Damage' Forsythe – guitars
Donnie Purnell – bass, keyboards, backing vocals
Jimmy 'Chocolate' Chalfant – drums, percussion, backing vocals
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Monday, January 16, 2017
A long lost AOR / Arena Rock cult classic from the '80s has been rescued by Rock Candy Records; FORTRESS lone album "Hands In The Till".
With a touch of Pomp also thrown into the mix, this album really is a one-off all time classic of it's type. Full of glorious uptempo rockers, this is music from a bygone era when albums were ten-fold, and often got overlooked - as was the case with "Hands In The Till".
The music business is littered with sob stories. Those that shoulda, coulda, woulda made it if matters hadn't conspired against them. It's a familiar tale of woe alright and one that we've heard a million times before yet the strangest thing is some of the world's greatest recordings have been cruelly thrown to the kerb by a simple twist of fate.
Step forward Fortress, an act that really ought to have made a much bigger splash than they did. Although the band came and went in the wink of an eye, their members had actually been active for a number of years, even rubbing musical shoulders with several prestigious outfits during the seventies, including Tom Petty's Mudcrutch and cult hard rock act White Witch.
The big break came with the formation of Fortress yet, sadly, through no fault of their own, success failed to materialise.
Based in Los Angeles, the band attracted the ears of Freddie Piro, a producer who had already made a big kick recording the progressive rock band Ambrosia.
Piro's Fortress demos were enthusiastically received by Atlantic Records who promptly signed them, resulting in "Hands In The Till", one of the most impressive melodic rock albums of the early '80s, gaining eager comparisons to the likes of Journey, Roadmaster, Foreigner and Boston.
Led by the golden-coated vocals of Jim West, the Fortress brand of rock was punchy, energetic and melodious. Songs like "How Do I Exist", "Hands In The Till", "Kisses", the Axe-like "Requiem" and the utterly immense "Mystery" are still firm favourites to this day.
Fortress' rocking AOR / Arena Rock / Pomp style was tailor made for the Eighties, but still sounds fresh to this day thanks to this Rock Candy remaster conducted by Jon Astley.
01 - Hands In The Till
02 - How Do I Exist
03 - Comin' After You
04 - Requiem
05 - Kisses
06 - Let's Do It Again
07 - Breakin' Free
08 - Carry Me Back
09 - Back On The Path
10 - Mystery
Jim West - vocals
Eric Turner - guitars
Charlie Souza - bass
Donnie Vosburgh - drums
Gabriel Catona - keyboards
Gary Falcone, Ronn Price - backing vocals
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Guitar virtuoso Amadeus Awad is presenting his phenomenal Progressive Rock / Metal project AMADEUS AWAD'S EON featuring a notable cast including vocalists Russell Allen (Symphony X, Allen/Lande) & Amanda Somerville (Avanatasia, Kiske/Somerville), keyboard wizard Kevin Moore (OSI, Dream Theater, Chroma Key), John Macaluso (Yngwie, James LaBrie, TNT) on drums and other lesser known musicians but not less talented.
Amadeus Awad's Eon debut is entitled "The Book Of Gates", and this Special Edition features 3 bonus tracks.
"The Book of Gates" is an extraordinary achievement from an extraordinary group of musicians.
It's a concept opus with a few characters and a strong Egyptian thematic backbone in the story line, crafted in the Ayreon or Avantasia tradition. It's really well constructed story, but what shines here is the music.
It is truly hard to compare anything to the mind-blowing greatness of Arjen Anthony Luccassen, even if you consider the ones considered 'great' in the world of progressive metal. Well, Amadeus Awad's Eon it's pretty close to Arjen's perfection, all wonderfully polished and soundwise crisp, akin Luccassen's project Ayreon.
However, Awad adds to the proggressive arrangements a touch of Middle Eastern and Oriental styles resulting in a terrific combination that never grows dull to these ears. There is something about the Eastern music that is pure magic when on a collision course with our dearest form of music.
If you aren’t fully engaged by Amadeus Awad’s dancing fretboard, or with the brilliant songwriting team of Awad and vocalist Elia Monsef, then perhaps guest appearances from Russell Allen & Co. will entice your interest.
With a lyrical concept steeped in ancient Egypt, Allen plays the part of the dying Pharaoh with Somerville the evil Queen who deceives and leaves him dead. Unlike recent albums from a certain Finnish guitarist (who will remain nameless), Awad can have an album properly produced and mixed which brings out the true talents of the guest. The performances on "The Book of Gates" are brilliant, showing there is more than just a 'paid willingness' to participate, and instead there is true passion on this release.
"Visions" – the acoustic treasure of the release - leads off with an introduction. Elia Monsef (singer of progsters Ostura) delivers an outstanding performance, smooth with just a tiny bit of grit. Already you can hear the undertones of where this story of deception will lead.
The orchestration is alluring and the song bleeds right into "The Crown’s Fate" where we hear the first of the giant heavy riffs from Awad. Somerville’s performance here is one of her best I’ve heard on any album, soft and strong at the same time. Then Allen kicks in with his usual bravado proving over and over again why he can guest on every album and it would never be too much. The song rides a wave of melody with absurdly gorgeous solos and the heaviness kicks in right when you need it.
Title track "The Book of Gates" is another jewel; riffs riding on riffs into an absolute masterpiece of progressive metal. The main melody rivals that in Ayreon’s instant classic 'The Theory of Everything'. The duet of Monsef (“The Necromancer”) and Allen (“The Pharaoh”) is nearly interchangeable, just before Awad lays down a near minute long solo that draws tears out like a Nile flood. There's a fantastic keyboard work by Kevin Moore, and I can't forget to say that Macaluso's drumming all over the record is terrific.
The story ends with "Incarnation", the Pharaoh’s revenge, and with it the heaviest and best riff sequence on the release.
The bonuses are part of a previous EP (for the first time worldwide released) featuring not less compelling songs written by Awad / Monsef, also perfectly recorded, mixed & mastered.
Taking inspiration from prog master Arjen Anthony Luccassen, Amadeus Awad has created a little diamond here, infused with tons of creativity and talent.
Pockets of pure power lay hidden like a minefield within an orchestrated masterpiece that is chock full of extraordinary guest performances, only to be topped off by inspiring and eloquent guitar solos.
Passing over EON's “The Book of Gates” would simply be a 'de-Nile' of true professional and engaging progressive metal.
02. The Crown's Fate
03. The Book Of Gates
05. Poetry Of Time (Bonus Track)
06. Noir (Bonus Track)
07. Song For A Loner (Bonus Track)
Amadeus Awad - All guitars, programming
Elia Monsef - Vocals as the "Necromancer"
Russell Allen - Vocals as the "Pharaoh"
Amanda Somerville - Vocals as the "Queen"
Kevin Moore - Keyboards on track 2, 3 and 4
Elyes Bouchoucha (Myrath) - Keyboards on 1
Danny Bou Maroun (Ostura) - Keyboards, Orchestration on 1
Dan Veall - Bass
John Macaluso - Drums
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Sunday, January 15, 2017
"Presence Of Mind" was the debut of ALYSON AVENUE, out of print for many years until YesterRock remastered the whole thing for a deserved reissue.
Formed in Sweden in 1989, ALYSON AVENUE originally was a male fronted band when backing singer Anette Olzon took over the mike duties for this debut CD. Her impressive pipes lead in years to come being named as the vocalist for Nightwish.
But Presence Of Mind has nothing in common with Nightwish, this is pure '80s inspired melodic rock / AOR with the typical Swedish flavor.
All songs are really good packing all we love about this genre; melody galore, glorious keys, cutting edge guitars, pulsing bass lines and the stellar vocals of Anette. So rich, full, and powerful.
It appears that a number of different musicians have contributed to the album, but it doesn't disrupt the flow at all, which is as stunning to start off with, as it is to end with.
Take a listen to the brilliant opener 'Free Like The Wind', and those killer lead vocals. Impressive.
'Every Now & Then' pulses along with strong guitar lines and keyboard tinklings everywhere. 'Lost & Lonely' is another powerful guitar based track.
'One Desperate Heart' is primetime Tone Norum-like, 'Its In Your Eyes' is a clear and powerful ballad absolutely swimming with keyboard layers then 'Without Your Love' has great commercial appeal, rich choruses and catchy hooks.
"Presence Of Mind" is one of the best AOR / MR albums appeared during the resurgence of the genre fifteen years ago. But more; is one of the finest female-fronted ever recorded in way only Swedes can do it.
Think a mix of Heart, Saraya, Witness, and speaking of Scandi AOR in general, there's some early Alien on the guitar riffs.
Alyson Avenue's "Presence Of Mind" is absolutely essential for any fan of female-fronted rock, and this YesterRock remastered reissue is the one to get for sure.
01 - Free Like The Wind
02 - Every Now & Then
03 - Lost & Lonely
04 - Tell Me You Love Me (Or Leave Me)
05 - One Desperate Heart
06 - Call Out My Name
07 - Walk Away
08 - It's In Your Eyes
09 - Without Your Love
10 - All This Time
11 - One Touch
Anette Blyckert - vocals, background vocals
Niclas Olsson - keyboards, background vocals
Jarmo Piiroinen - guitars
Thomas Loyska - bass, acoustic guitar
Roger Landin - drums
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Formed in Sweden in 1989, ALYSON AVENUE originally was a male fronted band when backing singer Anette Olzon took over the mike duties for the band's 2000 debut album with the aim to take the resurgent Melodic Rock world by storm.
Highly praised by fans and the press that album was followed four years later with the equally impressive ‘Omega’ CD. The years that followed saw the band take a hiatus, as the various band members embarked on different projects and more significantly in 2007, when Olzon was named as the new singer with Nightwish.
These news was a kind of double edged sword, in one way the band had lost a great vocalist, but in another it also got the name of Alyson Avenue exposed to an even wider audience, which resulted in added interest in the bands first two albums, so much so that the band re-released their debut.
Then their second album 'Omega' was renamed "Omega II", after the band decided to redo the many of the instrumental parts, remix some and remastering, while keeping Olzon’s original vocals.
It also features 5 previously unreleased tracks that are so good it makes you wonder why they were abandoned on the original release.
Songs like "Can I Be Wrong", "When Dreams Fall Apart", "Do You Ever Miss My Passion?" or "Tonight Is All You Get" shows Alyson Avenue's harder Melodic Rock side with strong sharp guitars, while "Whenever You Need Someone" and "I Still Believe" are extremely melodic and catchy.
"Echoes of My Heart" is beautiful, classy power ballad worthy of being on a collection with Heart's "Alone" or any Vixen slow tunes.
The bonuses are equally great, including the hauntingly hooky "I Am (Your Pleasuremaker)" and the AOR bliss of "Hard To Feel Alive".
Released through YesterRock records, Alyson Avenue's "Omega II" is female fronted Scandi Melodic Hard Rock at its best.
Killer melodic songs, a great vocalist and this time with a very good production / mix, this is a criminally underrated CD among fans of the genre. You need this one in your collection.
01 - When Dreams Fall Apart
02 - Tonight Is All You Get
03 - Perfect Love
04 - One Life One Show
05 - Do You Ever Miss My Passion
06 - Echoes Of My Heart
07 - I Still Believe
08 - I Have Been Waiting
09 - Can I Be Wrong
10 - Whenever You Need Someone
11 - I Am (Your Pleasuremaker)
12 - Hard To Feel Alive
13 - Fight With Your Heart
14 - Every Day Is A Trial
15 - Another Night
Anette Olzon - Vocals
Thomas Löyskä - Bass
Niclas Olsson - Keyboards
Tony Rohtla, Jarmo Piiroinen - Guitars
Fredrik Eriksson, Roger Landin - Drums
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Saturday, January 14, 2017
Featuring the golden throat Joe Lynn Turner,"Cadillac" is the last album by FANDANGO requested here in its Rock Candy remastered form.
The great thing about the Seventies was that record companies actually allowed artists time to develop and refine their craft. Fandango, signed to the powerful RCA label, recorded a total of three albums of varying quality and content prior to the release of 'Cadillac', a record which most fans agree finally saw them take flight as a mature and fully confident melodic hard rock band in the finest late '70s / early '80s tradition.
This was tough-guy melodic hard rock with great songs, memorable hooks and punchy guitar work. It was also the coming of age of vocalist Joe Lynn Turner, a man who would, after the demise of Fandango, go on to achieve huge success with a number of projects not least of all as the lead vocalist of both Rainbow and Deep Purple.
It was also a record that divided the band internally whilst its commercial failure led to an inevitable final split.
Looking back there is no question that "Cadillac" stands loud and proud alongside revered classic of the genre bolstered by a choice song writing quota, fiery guitar playing and just the right amount of controlled mayhem in the drum 'n bass department.
In addition, Joe Lynn Turner leaves his mark as a vocalist of distinction, a voice that would propel him to deserved success in the following years.
An overlooked album when released, Fandango's 'Cadillac' is plenty of strong songs, and af course, there's Joe Lynn Turner great pipes all over. This Rock Candy remaster with a sound shaped from 24-bit digital via POW-r technology sounds excellent.
Also the new interview with Joe Lynn Turner is of a special interest, included into the usual Rock Candy full colour booklet plus enhanced artwork.
01 - Blame It On The Night
02 - Rock 'N' Roll You
03 - Hypnotized
04 - Don't Waste My Time
05 - Stranger
06 - Cadillac
07 - Fortune Teller
08 - Getaway
09 - Headliner
Lead Vocals, Guitar – Joe "Lynn Turner" Linquito
Guitar, Vocals – Rick Blakemore
Keyboards, Synthesizer, Organ – Larry Dawson
Bass, Vocals – Bob Danyls
Drums – Abe Speller
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Founder member of the legendary FREE, during the '80s ANDY FRASER released a solo album titled "Fine Fine Line", recently finely remastered by Universal / YesterRock Records.
After playing bass and co-writing Free's classic rock smash hit 'All Right Now' and despite the band success, Fraser parted ways looking for a fresh musical horizon.
First founded the combo called Sharks, and then continued as session player for artists such as Joe Cocker, Rod Stewart and Paul Young amongst others.
Later, he released 2 albums with THE ANDY FRASER BAND.
In 1984, Andy Fraser released this "Fine, Fine Line", a very 'fine' album indeed, his first 'real solo' album and a truly consistent song collection.
Andy himself together with his partner Bob Marlette wrote and produced most of the songs. Top session monster Michael Thompson took over the guitar duties, while ex-Back Street Crawler drummer Tony Braunagel provided the dynamic beats.
Ranging from stylized rock&pop tunes ("Danger", "Chinese Eyes") to classy mid-Eighties AOR tracks like "Branded By The Fire" and the title track, this is a true '80s sounding record.
Another highlights include "Night To Last Forever" and the elaborated "Living This Eternal Dream", both elegant compositions plenty of class.
Available on CD for the first time and with a stupendous remastering, "Fine Fine Line" is a delicious piece of '80s music, with the pristine production from that unrepeatable era.
Not an instant classic, but one that grows with each spin.
For me this is just one of the best undiscovered and truly genial albums of the AOR genre ever. I have listened to the original LP 5 days a day, and when I checked this remastered CD just blew me away again.
This is not AOR by numbers, and every time you listen to it you hear new things. I think everybody should have a copy of this CD in their collection.
You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox
01 - Fine Fine Line
02 - Branded By The Fire
03 - Chinese Eyes
04 - Knocking At Your Door
05 - Million Miles Away
06 - Do You Love Me
07 - Night To Last Forever
08 - Danger
09 - One Night Love Affair
10 - Living This Eternal Dream
Andy Fraser : Vocals, Bass
Bob Marlette : Keyboards
Michael Thompson : Guitars
Davey Faragher : Bass
Tony Braunagel : Drums
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Friday, January 13, 2017
Swedish rockers FRONTBACK are releasing today their new album entitled "Heart Of A Lion", the follow up from the band's catchy debut featured here on the blog when appeared.
The new record continues with the band's appealing brand of melodic upbeat melodic hard rock which at places borders on retro '80s pop rock with a simply killer guitarist in Axel Graneskog.
Female Anlo Front, the band's lead singer, put muscle in every track here and along with the crunchy and heavier guitars make this album a must check for every serious female-fronted hard rock fan out there.
The first three songs, the poppy (yet powerful) "All The Way For Fame", the melodic rocker "Dead Man On The Road" and the hard rocking "Honest" are some cool samples of Frontback's music versatility: kickin', catchy and with the necessary melody enough to make you stand up and turn the volume on.
Other cuts such as "On And On" add more groove to the proceedings while in "Destiny" we are dealing with a killer and more commercial melodic hard rock tune.
Frontback's second album "Heart Of A Lion" is a fine piece of pure and old-school melodic / hard that is really enjoyable from start to finish. There's 10 strong songs, solid musicianship, and while production could be better, the band delivers a truly feel-good vibe all over.
So, if you love upbeat and in-your-face female fronted heavy rock stuff, then "Heart Of A Lion" is a release that you have to check out.
01 - All the Way for Fame
02 - Dead Man on the Road
03 - Honest
04 - Rival Sons
05 - On and On
06 - Liar
07 - Black Night City Light
08 - Destiny
09 - Fender
10 - Remember
Anlo Front - Lead singer and guitar
Axel Graneskog - Lead guitar and backing vocals
Jonas Persson - Bass and backing vocals
Koffe Stridh - Drums and backing vocals
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