Friday, May 24, 2013

HANG LOOSE - Radical Scavenger (1995)

HANG LOOSE - Radical Scavenger
Today we have here a real rarity requested by a reader.
Despite their Swiss origin, HANG LOOSE used to play a catchy Melodic Hard Rock strongly influenced by the Canadian sound of bands such as Honeymoon Suite or Von Groove.
Hang Loose released a bunch of albums between the nineties and 2005 before disappear without notice, all of them through a small label and only distributed in central Europe.

"Radical Scavenger" was the first full length CD by Hang Loose, and beyond the dodgy cover, we find some truly melodic tunes rich in harmonies.
The only hard rockin' tracks here are the effective "Come Alive", the groovy "See Me Burn" and the slightly naive "Summertime Shuffle", the rest of the material waters the pure Canadian Melodic Rock style from the late '80s.
The Aldo Nova-like "Two Pretenders" is one of my favorites, but also title track "Radical Scavengers" and the absolutely Honeymoon Suite feel on the melodic "Substitute", which surprisingly, is a cover of the South African million-selling all-girl rock band Clout.
Other cuts are more dynamic yet with the same melodious essence as the radio-friendly "Angel To Me" (very Von Groove), "Every Young Man's Dream" (Nazareth cover) and the bit generic "Music". The ballad of the disc is "You", in fact an intense power ballad in the Stone Soup way.
The group also delivers some acoustically filled songs in the midtempo melodic rocker "Have A Drink On Me" and "Shoreline", the former quite compelling especially during the chorus.

Very well produced by drummer Padu Ziswiler, "Radical Scavenger" is a pleasant listen plenty of good Canuck-like melodies not usually heard in bands from Switzerland. Strong musicianship and accent-free vocals as well.

01 - Summertime Shuffle
02 - Two Pretenders
03 - Have A Drink On Me
04 - Radical Scavengers
05 - Come Alive
06 - You
07 - Music
08 - Don't Wanna Get Along
09 - Angel To Me
10 - See Me Burn
11 - Substitute
12 - Shoreline
13 - Every Young Man's Dream

Roger Z.: Vocals, Guitar
Opthmar Mexx Brugger: Guitars, Backing Vocals
Toni Stockli: Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Dany Kirchhoffer : Bass, Backing Vocals
Bert Padu Ziswiler : Drums, Backing Vocals

HANG LOOSE Radical Scavenger

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

AOR TREASURES - The Japan Bonus Vol.6

AOR TREASURES - The Japan Bonus Vol.6
Some of you have been requesting another Japanese bonus volume. You wanted, you got it.
Vol.6 comprises almost entirely bonuses from present and last year popular releases, plus some rarely seen cuts as "Will You Remember Me" from 1993's 'Going Crazy' female fronted rockers Sahara, "Someone" off Finnish act Carmen Gray's debut, or Khymera's acoustic remix of the title track "The Greatest Wonder".
There's Player recent album 'Too Many Reasons' bonus "Walk That Walk" which I don't like at all, but it's new and that's why it is included here.

Some kind of 'intrusion' is H.E.A.T's "Too Far On The Wild Side" as it isn't a Japanese bonus, but an exclusive to "Address The Nation" Korean edition, and a worthwhile listen for sure.
Despite relatively recently released, I never seen in the blogosphere the bonus tracks from Degreed's 'Love, Life, Loss' ("Constant") or "Time For Changing" taken from the lovable Swedish westcoast/AOR combo State Cows debut.
Nice new instalment, as usual, with myself-made artwork.

01. GYPSY ROSE - Solitude
(Gypsy Rose bonus - 2005)

02. OSUKARU - Tell Me You'll Stay [feat. Philip Lindstrand]
(Never Too Late bonus - 2012)

03. H.E.A.T - Too Far On The Wild Side
(Address The Nation Korean bonus - 2012)

04. DIAMOND DAWN - Follow Your Heart
(Overdrive bonus - 2013)

05. EDGE - Please Come Back To Me
(Heaven Knows bonus - 2012)

06. PRIDE OF LIONS - Everything That Money Can't Buy [acoustic]
(Immortal bonus - 2012)

07. DEGREED - Constant
(Love, Life, Loss bonus - 2011)

08. JADED HEART - Your Soul To Keep
(Common Destiny bonus - 2012)

09. HOUSE OF SHAKIRA - Wish You Survive
(III bonus - 2001)

10. PLAYER - Walk That Walk
(Too Many Reasons bonus - 2013)

11. STRYPER - Together As One
(Second Coming bonus - 2013)

12. DYNASTY - Stand As One
(Knock You Down bonus - 2011)

13. CARMEN GRAY - Someone
(The Portrait Of Carmen Gray bonus - 2007)

14. SAHARA - Will You Remember Me
(Going Crazy bonus - 1993)

15. GRAND ILLUSION - The Desperate Man's Plea
(The Book Of How To Make It bonus - 2001)

(On Air bonus - 2013)

17. STATE COWS - Time For Changing
(State Cows bonus - 2010)

18. KHYMERA - The Greatest Wonder [acoustic remix]
(The Greatest Wonder bonus - 2008)

Back Cover, CLICK HERE:

Japan Bonus Vol.6 HERE

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

IF ONLY (Jackie Bodimead) - Destiny (1989-90)

Re-posted per request. Very good and hard to find disc.

Once described as 'one of the greatest unknown gems in UK's AOR scene', IF ONLY was the British answer to American female fronted bands in the genre like Vixen or Heart.
Formed from the ashes of superb rockers Moritz by guitarist Greg Hart and bass player Ian Edwards, the band released their official debut 'No Bed Of Roses' in 1992 - only in Japan - with its subsequent European edition two years after. The singer in this disc was the fiery Tina Egan which joined the band around '91.

But around 1989 / 90, IF ONLY recorded a complete take of these songs with original singer Jackie Bodimead who sang in Girlschool for a while. That version was finally released by a US indie label as "Destiny" in 2004, with the addition of 5 previously unreleased tracks plus two Live Radio Session cuts.
I largely prefer these earlier versions, as Bodimead is one of the best and most underrated female vocalists ever. Her tone, expression and charm fits perfectly to this Melodic Rock / AOR style. Also to note is the excellent lead guitar work by Martin Chaisson.
Both Jackie and Martin left the IF ONLY when this original take of the album was nearly completed. It was a devastating blow to the band when she quit at the eleventh hour. To be fair, Tina Egan was a quality replacement, but she was no Jackie Bodimead.

IF ONLY (Jackie Bodimead) - Destiny (1989-90) back cover
Alongside Greg Hart, Bodimead forged a songwriting partnership that should have gone far.
Just listen to the likes of "Rock And A Hard Place", the old Moritz song "Hearts On The Line", the AOR bliss of "Hearts On The Line", "If Love Could Last Forever" or the simply perfect "Ghost Of You".
It's almost unbelievable they didn't had their breakthrough in the USA back then, because the music was just so perfect classy '80s Melodic Rock / AOR.
Hard to find limited release, out of print.

01 - Destiny (prev. unreleased)
02 - Voices Of The Heart (prev. unreleased)
03 - Ain't Nobody (prev. unreleased)
04 - Hearts On The Line (prev. unreleased)
05 - Change Of Heart (prev. unreleased)
06 - Rock And A Hard Place
07 - Tumblin' Dice
08 - If Love Could Last Forever
09 - No Bed Of Roses
10 - Forever My Love
11 - Loaded Gun
12 - Ghost Of You
13 - Red Hot Heaven
14 - All Over
15 - Man Against The World
16 - All Over (Live Radio Session)
17 - Ghost Of You (Live Radio Session)

Jackie Bodimead : Vocals
Martin Chaisson : Guitars
Greg Hart : Guitars
Ian Edwards : Bass
Andy Stewarton : Keyboards
Andy Elphick : Drums

IF ONLY (Jackie Bodimead) - Destiny

Friday, May 03, 2013

V.A. - Heard It On The Radio Vol.7 [Rdeg] (2012)

V.A. - Heard It On The Radio Vol.7 [Rdeg] (2012)
"Heard It On The Radio" CD series were released by the now disappeared Renaissance label comprising long lost 45 rpm singles from the late seventies / earlier eighties never obtainable on digital format before.
Ironically, few or these were radio hits - in fact, many of them are rather obscure - but should have been.
Renaissance's prime intention was the rescue from oblivion of these good '80s songs and made them available in good audio quality not only for musicologists and archivists, but for true lovers of the AOR / rock&pop that once ruled FM radio airwaves.

There were 3 volumes (already featured here), while in 2001 two more (Vol. 4 & 5) were presented only as 'promo' just to promote original album reissues from some of the artists included.
The "Heard It On The Radio" series were resurrected some years ago by the marketing label RDEG, re-releasing the official first three volumes, and then the previously not for sale Vol. 4 & 5, but with a slightly different tracklist due legal / permission issues.

This is the recently appeared (and last) volume numbered Vol.7... the guys at REDG seems to have skipped the '6'.
There's some very nice AOR tunes in this volume 7, as Max Carl's "The Circle" (featured in Weird Science soundtrack), "All The Young Heroes", the first single from Gary O' self-titled album, or the quite unheard cut by Glass Moon "On A Carousel".
Surprisingly (as does not match the general style of the other selections) we find the excellent track "Manoeuvres" by Greg Lake, featuring Gary Moore on guitar and co-writing.

It's always a pleasure to have some Ian Lloyd (two tracks) and classic rock tunes such as Jim Capaldi's "Living On The Edge" or 707 (underrated band) "I Could Be Good For You".
As usual in this series, some singles are quite obscure: The Neighborhoods' "Prettiest Girl" is a cool rock&pop song, the unknown "I'll Be Around" by What Is This meminds me The Rembrandts, and the atmospheric "Suspicion" by Scott Wilk And The Walls is a fine new-wave cut with 'that' eighties keyboards, and a definitive favorite here.
That's all folks, end of the "Heard It On The Radio" series. Get 'em as soon as you can, it won't be reposted.

01 - Gary 'O - All The Young Heroes
02 - The Neighborhoods - Prettiest Girl
03 - What Is This - I'll Be Around
04 - Donnie Iris & The Cruisers - Do You Compute
05 - Glass Moon - On A Carousel
06 - Ian Lloyd - Lonely Nights
07 - Gary 'O - Pay You Back With Interest
08 - Max Carl - The Circle
09 - Walter Egan - Fool Moon Fire
10 - Fanny - I've Had It
11 - Jim Capaldi - Living On The Edge
12 - 707 - I Could Be Good For You
13 - Mylon LeFevre & Alvin Lee - So Sad
14 - Greg Lake - Manoeuvres
15 - Ian Lloyd - Stop! In The Name Of Love
16 - Scott Wilk And The Walls - Suspicion

Heard It On The Radio Vol.7