Tuesday, August 25, 2009

RICK SPRINGFIELD - Missing Shots [unreleased]

RICK SPRINGFIELD - Missing Shots unreleased
Any AOR fan should know Rick Springfield's career.
His 80's albums like "TAO" or "Rock Of Life" remains amongst the classic stylized hi-tech / Rock&Pop / AOR stuff of that time.
Grammy award winner and top 40 hitmaker, the man is a prolific songwriter.
Many of his recordings are still shelved, some in demo mode, some practically finished.

I've compiled some time ago a bunch of these 'missing shots' (demos, unreleased, alt. takes, plus a rare b-side) all songs with very good sound.
Myself made artwork included.

01 - Monkey (Sahara Snow unreleased)

02 - The Language Of Love (Rock Of Life single B-side)

03 - Faithful (unreleased version)

04 - Desperate Lives (TV movie soundtrack / vinyl fan club only)

05 - Stand Up For Love (demo - unreleased track)

06 - Veronica's Head (demo version)

07 - In Her White Room (demo version)

08 - My Depression (demo version)

09 - This I Promise You For Life (rare duet with Maggie Brandon)

MISSING SHOTS Updated here

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

CHAPTER - Open The Book (1987)

Unknown USA band, playing Pomp AOR that sounds like a 83-84 recording.
Their style remember me bands like SAGA and alikes, and why not; MARILLON.
But you can perceive they're an american band.
The big shot here are the keyboards, veeery pomp, you know what I mean; a lot of analog stuff...
I don't like the guitar sound though, but the player isn't bad at all.

Interesting songwriting, far from this genre's typical mould. I love the title track, a real tour de force counterpoint.
Todd Rundgren plays guest guitar in one track.

Private release, quite well produced and recorded.
Only vinyl, restored by myself for your listening pleasure.
A rarity.

01 - I Got Your Number
02 - You Want It You Got It
03 - Euphoria
04 - Factory Drum
05 - Place In Time
06 - Watching You
07 - Open The Book
08 - Here I Am
09 - Listen

Steve Porter - Bass, vocals
Doug Ott - Guitar, vocals
Jordan Leaver - Keyboards
Ed Jamieson - Drums

CHAPTER - Open The Book

O'RYAN - Initiate (1995)

O'Ryan is the pseudonym of vocalist Mervyn Spence.
Hope you've already listened his first album "Something Strong" posted in this humble site near 2 years ago.
A real classic AOR gem.

Talented musician, arranger and producer, also founder of FACE FACE (one of the best AOR outfits of the 90's).

During the golden decade he was involved in the superb project PHENOMENA (as songwriter, performer & executive producer).
Seems there was some sort of problem between him and Tom Galley (the half brain of the endeavour) after the release of the third & last Phenomena album.
Spence then decided re-record some of these songs himself, under his moniker.
This album consists of 7 covers from the Phenomena and Phenomena II albums, plus some re-recorded versions of tracks from his previous solo album.

The Phenomena songs covered here are fairly faithful to the originals, but some have a very good classical guitar arrangements, giving fresh air to them.
Smooth vocal performance, strong and rough when needed ("Stop"), to mellow and poppy ("Emer May").

Anyone who likes quality AOR music won't be disappointed with any song here, all well written & produced.
Thanx to troy for the links.
Japan only release, Out Of Print.

1. No Retreat - No Surrender
2. Still The Night
3. A Whole Lot Of Love
4. Believe
5. Emer May
6. Did It All For Love
7. Something Strong
8. Shape It Up
9. What About Love
10. Phoenix Rising
11. Don't Let It Slip Away
12. It Must Be Love
13. Stop

Mervyn "O'Ryan" Spence - lead vocals, guitars, bass, programming
Jason Fillingham - keyboards, programming
Martin Taylor - guitar, classical guitar
Huwie Lucas - guitars
Midi Man - drums
Carl Brazil - cymbals, hi hats

Produced by Mervyn Spence

O'RYAN - Initiate

Thursday, August 13, 2009

THE MUGGS - Rockin' In The Midnight Light (1985)

One and only album released by this California based band (not to be confused with the blues group of the same name).
We can find here some enjoyable AOR tunes, uptempo rockers with classic keyboard lines.
The best for me is the opener "Run For Your Life", that kind of songs deserving the hit status. A mix between SURVIVOR / AVIATOR / PRISM sound, with a thrilling chorus.
Title track is another winner, a very good pomp-rocker.

Obscure private release, only vinyl, restored by myself, including artwork.
Mid 80's AOR rockers; don't miss this one if you like AVIATOR, CHARLIE, QWEST, THE CAUZE, PRISM, etc.

1. Run for your life
2. Don't let go
3. No way to hide
4. I don't want to say goodbye
5. I can't sleep at night
6. Rockin' in the midnight light
7. Wire tappin'
8. Jungle
9. Matter of fact
10. Comeback

Lance - Lead vocals, guitars
Desiree - Keyboards, vocals
Bob - Bass, vocals
Blaine - Drums, percussion
Robert Irving - Synthesizer
Tro - Backing vocals

THE MUGGS - Rockin' In The Midnight Light

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

TODD HOBIN and The Heat - Turn It On (1985)

At the time of this release, Todd Hobin had a lush career over his shoulders.
This miniLP is the result of his new band assembled after the last tour he did.
1984: friendly radio AOR rock rule the air, and that's what you get here.
Uptempo and festive tunes, heavily synth dominated, strong guitars.

Todd has an 'affected' voice, and his vocal style fits like a glove into these well written songs, simple & effective.
My pick: title track, a very good mid-paced intro with a keyboard festival throughout the entire tune.
But all are good, no fillers here.
Recommended mid 80's AOR!

1. Everybody's Girl
2. For A Girl Like You
3. She
4. Alibi
5. Turn It On

Todd Hobin: lead vocals, guitars
Doug Moncrief: lead & backing vocals, keyboards & guitars
Mark Novak: bass & backing vocals
Shawn Hobin: drums & backing vocals

Updated HERE

HARDREAMS - Calling Everywhere (2004)

One of the few spanish bands playing Melodic Hard Rock / AOR nowadays.
And they're good.
'Calling Everywhere' was their 1st album recorded in Barcelona between 2002/03, and released a year later through an independient (now defunct) local label.
Real warriors fighting practically alone in the iberian peninsule trying to appeal they fellow countrymen into this genre.

English lyrics, 80's feel, straight production and nice guitar riffs.
Some songs have distinctive twists, due to the mixing of styles involved (some lite prog / bluesy touches).
Maybe the lack of more strong choruses let down a bit the interest throughout the album, but this is real grower, give it a try.

Here I offer the hard to find original spanish edition, recently was reissued plus 3 bonus tracks, if you like it, BUY IT, support the band.

01 - Intro
02 - Wings Of Fire
03 - The Crime Of Loving You
04 - Soul Dancer
05 - Calling
06 - The Right Side Of Mine
07 - I Don't Know Why
08 - A Place For Our Love
09 - Million Miles Away
10 - Pain
11 - After Hell

Manu Esteve: Vocals
David Aguera: Guitars
David Ruiz: Keyboards
Victor Muino: Bass
Sergi Hormigo: Drums

HARDREAMS - Calling Everywhere

Monday, August 10, 2009

BREAK POINT - First Serving (1979)

Let's go back in time for a moment...
Break Point come to life in the late 70's in Germany.
They were, however, a german/anglo/american band.
Recorded in Frankfurt in one month, and sold at the band's shows only.
This is a classic AOR / Pomp album, typical american sound like ROADMASTER, ALLIANCE, STYX, earlier TOTO.
Very good production for an indie, excellent vocals and accomplished instrumentation.
Doesn't sounds dated at all, trust me.
The best track for me is "The Wurst Song", love the keyboards and vocal performance.
Other goodies: "Hard Road" , "The Best Of Me" , "Down, Down, Down".

Bonus tracks are fine too.
By 1983, lead vocalist Daved Hallcom left the band.
Replaced by english frontman Steve Tolley, they went to studio to record a 4 track demo to negotiate a record deal, but the band parted ways soon after.
A good listen, taste it.

1 - Never Be That Way
2 - The Best Of Me
3 - Lifetime
4 - Down, Down, Down
5 - Hard Road
6 - French Fried Kiss
7 - Front Row Girl
8 - The Wurst Song
9 - Rockin', Rollin'
10 - Sign Your Life Away*
11 - In My Mind*
12 - Fallin' In Love Again*
13 - Trust Your Mind*

Daved Hallcom - Lead vocals
Trevor Johnson - Lead guitars
Martin Gerschwitz - Keyboards
James Stacy - Bass, Lead guitars
Mario Gerhards - Drums, percussion
Steven Tolley - Lead vocals and guitars on bonus tracks*