Wednesday, May 23, 2012

THE PRESIDENT - By Appointment Of [Japan CD] (1983)

Requested in "Request & Fill Corner" section...

Classy AOR / West Coast is not an exclusive patrimony of the prodigious L.A. scene.
THE PRESIDENT was an eighties project involving both genres by two excellent Dutch musicians & producers; Pim Koopman and Okkie Huysdens.
Huysdens was previously part of the rock&pop band Swan as well a renowned session vocalist recording for many artists.
Koopman was the drummer of Kayak in early seventies and then joined rockers Diesel as the drummer and keyboard player during the '80s.

But The President isn't a rocking affair at all. "By Appointment Of" is a pure early eighties AOR-flavored West Coast album with delicate sounds, refined arrangements and instrumentation.
Opener "Hot Blooded Lady" is a catchy and pleasant groovy typically L.A. session tune. "Workin' Girl" is more relaxed and breezy with excellent harmony vocals, while "Makin' Millionaires" is a top class ballad that reminds me early eighties Alan Parsons.
"Don't Put Me On Hold" has a vibrant vocal performance yet a cruisy melody in the style of Canadians Blue Rose (already presented in this blog). "Turn Me On" is more moving, AOR oriented, with great keyboards like Americans I-Ten and a stabbing guitar solo.

Also in the wonderful first half of the '80s AOR style is one of the highlights of the album; "That's The Way That It Is", penned by the great Paul Bliss and recorded by Uriah Heep on their 'Abominog' album.
"Only Once Is Enough" is another upbeat track with a pop / radio-rock sensibility, followed by the extremely delicate Toto influenced "You're Gonna Like It".
"Outland" is an interesting instrumental with climatic moments, then the disc ends with the uptempo and funky synth of "Goin' Places".

"By Appointment Of" is a classy '80s beauty from start to finish, with a first rate production.
This is a rip from the first ever 2001's CD release, only issued in Japan, @ maximum quality incl. artwork.
Highly Recommended.

01 - Hot-Blooded Lady
02 - Workin' Girl
03 - Makin' Millionaires
04 - Don't Put Me On Hold
05 - Turn Me On
06 - That's The Way That It Is
07 - Only Once Is Enough
08 - You're Gonna Like It
09 - Outland
10 - Goin' Places

Pim Koopman - Keyboards, Drums, Background Vocals
Okkie Huysdens - Lead & Background Vocals, Keyboards
Bas Krumperman - Guitar
Frank Papendrecht - Bass
Hans Vermeulen - Background Vocals

THE PRESIDENT - By Appointment Of

Friday, May 18, 2012

AOR TREASURES - The Japan Bonus Vol.04

This is it. A new volume of Melodic Rock tunes only appeared in Japanese pressings.
Some relatively new, some old ones.
Compilation made some months ago but didn't find the time to post it 'til now.
Cool stuff. Enjoy!

01 - Serpentine - Dreamer (Radio Mix)
[Living And Dying... bonus]

02 - Kharma [Goran Edman] - Cold As Ice
[Wonderland bonus]

03 - House Of Lords - It Might Have Been Madness
[Come To My Kingdom bonus]

04 - Last Autumn's Dream - Hello, Hello, Hello
[Dreamcatcher bonus]

05 - Pride Of Lions - Stand By You
[Pride Of Lions ST bonus]

06 - Stan Bush - Don't Say It's Over
[Shine bonus]

07 - Wild Frontier - I Can't Believe (2007 Version)
[Bite The Bullet bonus]

08 - Talisman [J S Soto] - Final Curtain
[7 bonus]

09 - Mr. Big - Love Makes You Strong
[Lean Into It bonus]

10 - Vital Escape - Here To Stay
[Escapism bonus]

11 - Radioactive - Remember My Conscience
[Ceremony Of Innocence bonus]

12 - Brett Walker - Midnight Angel
[Nevertheless bonus]

13 - Damn Yankees - Come Again (Radio Mix)
[Don't Tread bonus]

14 - Tyketto - Wait Forever
[Strength In Numbers bonus]

15 - Captive Heart - Time Out
[Home Of The Brave bonus]

16 - On The Rise - We All Got To Change
[On The Rise ST bonus]

17 - Change Of Heart - (When Are You) Coming Home
[Continuum bonus]

18 - Khymera - Aftertouch
[Khymera ST bonus]

Back Cover, CLICK HERE:

Japan Bonus Vol.04 HERE

Friday, May 11, 2012

BRENT LAMB - One Man (1986)

Requested in "Request & Fill Corner" section...

During high school, Brent Lamb started writing songs for other artists, and when his tune "Army of the Lord" recorded by the popular Christian group Harvest shot to #1, he was signed as solo artist and released a couple of albums.
By the mid-eighties, Lamb become pretty well known in the music industry, particularly as songwriter together with his wife. For his album "One Man" got a considerable budget for production and the prescence of top class session musicians such as the future core force of Giant: Dann Huff and Mike Brignardello.

"One Man" features truly good AOR tracks, some of them with a hi-tech sound in the vein of his contemporaries Allies, Robert Tepper, Brian Spence, Michael W Smith and why not, Michael Bolton.
Title track "One Man" is one of my favorites, a pumping AOR song with the typically middle '80s style.
Another winner is "Line Of Fire", and the title says it all, a track in the 'action movie AOR' style so popular those years. It's full of compressed drums, keyboards everywhere and a killer guitar solo by Huff.

We have more radio-ready, light AOR songs on the smooth "Destination Home", the catchy Kenny Loggins-like "Ambush", the midtempo "All That I Can Be", and the fine ballads "The Seasons Of My Soul" and "I Love You Anyway".
But my absolute favorite here is the climatic, pure '80s magic of "Tell Me Why". I love that chorus and the keyboard arrangement on this one.

"One Man" includes some really good and fun pure eighties AOR songs, rounded with melodious and accesible poppy-radio oriented tracks. A much sought after album, sadly only released on vinyl & cassette. 
I have restored / cleaned the vinyl-rip to make it sound smooth and nice.

01 - One Man
02 - Destination Home
03 - The Seasons Of My Soul
04 - A Dime Dozen
05 - Ambush
06 - Line Of Fire
07 - I Love You Anyway
08 - Crazy Mad Man
09 - Tell Me Why
10 - All That I Can Be

Dann Huff – Guitars
Mike Brignardello – Bass
Phil Naish – Keyboards, Programming
Mark Hammond – Drums
Jon Goin – add. Guitars

BRENT LAMB - One Man (1986)

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

THE TRUTH - Jump (1989)

After the split of Nine Below Zero in 1982, British vocalist and guitar player Dennis Greaves saw an opportunity to fulfil other sides of his musical passion and decided to form a rock group named THE TRUTH.
Relying on the soulful sound of the Hammond organ, two guitars, drums and bass, the band signed to WEA in the summer of '82. By the following summer the band had notched up two top twenty singles in UK.

In 1984 the band signed to Miles Copeland (The Police, Sting) on I.R.S. and released their first album 'Playground', a soul/pop record.
Their 2nd full length 'Weapons Of Love' really did ignite the band's popularity, touring USA and getting one track featured on Miami Vice, plus recording the main theme  soundtrack for the Hollywood's Si-Fi film 'The Hidden'.

The Truth's third album "Jump" was composed and arranged with the mind put in the American market. But the mangement and promotion were a disaster, with the first single "God Gave Rock n Roll To You" wrongly timed, published almost at the same time that KISS released the same song (and become a Hit).
Anyway, "Jump" is a truly fine and stylized radio-ready commercial American Melodic Rock / AORish album with the typical bombastic sound of the era: compressed drums, keyboards and a guitar attack that reminds me Giant and alikes.
Greaves also has added some of his personnal touch to some tracks, a bit of a 'British feel'.

The Truth's "Jump" is a 'suit & tie' recording, and elegant rock album with a top notch production and good melodies.
It isn't easy to find a cheap CD version of this album, ripped @ maximum quality by my friend totalaor.
Really Good.

01 - Wings Of A Prayer
02 - Throwing It All Away
03 - Shadow On The Sun
04 - Let Freedom Reign
05 - God Gave Rock & Roll To You
06 - Tug Of War
07 - Prisoner Of Love
08 - Jealous Man
09 - Listening To The Rain Again
10 - Straight To My Heart

Dennis Greaves: Lead Vocals & Guitar
Mick Lister: Vocals & Guitar
Andy Duncan: Drums, Percussion
Dennis Smith, Anthony Harty, Jaz Lochrie: Bass
Reg Webb: Keyboards
Mark Feltham: Harmonica
Mickey Roberts: Rhodes on "Straight To My Heart"

THE TRUTH - Jump (1989)

Thursday, May 03, 2012

CHRIS SUTTON - Chris Sutton (1986)

Requested in "Request & Fill Corner" section...

CHRIS SUTTON may be a not well known name as solo artist, but this Scottish gentleman, working as multi-purpose musician hired by Polydor and other labels, has wrote and arranged music for major acts such as Starship ('Knee Deep in the Hoopla'), Paul McCartney and George Michael.

Primarily, at the mid-eighties, Polydor UK intended to launch Sutton as solo artist together with Brian Spence and alikes, to capitalize the radio friendly rock&pop so 'in vogue' at the time.
On his self-titled debut, Chris had the opportunity to record his own songs arranged by master Robbie Buchanan, commercial and smooth lite AOR poppy tunes with the typical '80s atmosphere. His style is not far from the aforementioned Spence, with nuances of several other Bristish artists as well. 

We have a cheesy cover of Russ Ballard's classic "Voices", a nice ballad co-penned by Sutton with Starship's colaborator Martin Page (incorrectly credited in the booklet as 'Paige'), the lovely eighties-soundtrack-like "Don't Push Your Love" and a mix of up/midtempo tracks with different degrees of quality.

"Chris Sutton" is a nice and gentle '80s album with a polished sound, well recorded and produced by platinum awarded Dennis Lambert (Player, Peter Beckett and countless '80s soundtracks via TuneWorks Inc.).
This rare CD edition includes as bonus the track "The Money Ain't Worth It", originally featured as B-Side of the single "Prince Of Justice" (which extended version 'Justice Mix 7:21' I am looking for years).
There's a rip of this album floating around featuring many noises. This is a pristine CD-rip made by my friend Alan (thanx mate!).

01 - Trouble
02 - Tell It Like It Is
03 - Prince Of Justice
04 - Voices
05 - (You Just Can't) Tear It From A Heart
06 - Don't Get Me Wrong
07 - You Worry Me
08 - Know It All
09 - That One Love Feeling
10 - Don't Push Your Love
11 - The Money Ain't Worth It [CD only bonus track]

Chris Sutton - Vocals
Martin Page - Bass, Backing Vocals
Robbie Buchanan - Arranger
Dennis Lambert - Keyboards, Producer
Rest of personnel unlisted

Updated HERE


Wednesday, May 02, 2012

EDDIE MONEY - Can't Hold Back (1986)

Requested in "Request & Fill Corner" section..

EDDIE MONEY career was basically inclined to mainstream radio rock, but his sixth studio album "Can't Hold Back", released in 1986, obviously followed the trend of the moment: AOR.
We find colaborating here the most renowned songwriters of the era such as Richie Zito (who also play guitar, keys, and mixed the whole thing), Stan Meissner or Henry Small (Prism).
Also present are top-notch session musicians including Nathan East, Michael Baird, Pat Mastelotto, Richard Page (Mr. Mister) and Ronnie Spector to name a few.

Precisely the duet with Spector "Take Me Home Tonight" become a #1 hit in the U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock chart, peaking #4 in the general Top 40. For this one, Money received a Grammy nomination for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance.
Besides, two other singles were amongst the 40 favorites: the excellent midtempo "I Wanna Go Back" and the '80s AOR of "Endless Nights".
All the songs are truly representatives of the golden decade. My favorite is "One Chance", penned by Stan Meissner (and also recorded by himself in his album Windows To Light).

If you don't know Eddie Money's work, "Can't Hold Back" is the album to start. Includes great commercial songs and a lush polished production & sound in the vein of Benny Mardones, eighties Michael Bolton and the aforementioned Stan Meissner.
HQ CD-rip incl. artwork.

01 - Take Me Home Tonight (feat. Ronnie Spector)
02 - One Love
03 - I Wanna Go Back
04 - Endless Nights
05 - One Chance
06 - We Should Be Sleeping
07 - Bring On The Rain
08 - I Can't Hold Back
09 - Stranger In A Strange Land
10 - Calm Before The Storm

Eddie Money - Vocals, Keyboards, Synths, Sax, Harmonica
John Nelson, Richie Zito, Darin Scott - Guitars
Nathan East, Greg Lowry, Randy Jackson - Bass
Steve George, E. Ulibarri, Richie Zito - Keyboards
Michael Baird, Pat Mastelotto - Drums, Percussion
Pat Mastelotto - Drum Programming
Sandy Sukhov, Ronnie Spector, Steve George, Jenny Meltzer, Richard Page, Henry Small, Becky West - Backing Vocals

EDDIE MONEY - Can't Hold Back HQ