Tuesday, July 25, 2017

CAPTIVE HEART - Home Of The Brave [Japan release +1] (1997)

CAPTIVE HEART - Home Of The Brave [Japan release +1] (1997) front
Requested and updated to its Japanese Edition

CAPTIVE HEART was a pure American AOR / Melodic Rock band from Chicago, one of the many that arrived too late into the scene but deserved the stardom. They recorded this bunch of songs in 1991-92 to land a U.S. deal, but you already know what happened after those years.
Luckily a German label released the tapes in 1996 as "Home Of The Brave", a year later issued in Japan plus the bonus track "Time Out".
And what an impressive material it is.

Captive Heart strongly reminds me of Signal (Mark Free's band) and Survivor on some compositional structures. Rick Tratar is a really good, second-to-none singer, accompanied by very talented musicians.
We have classic sounding AOR wonders such as "Outlaw", the awesome "It's Too Late" or the smouldering "Over You Over Me".
Title track "Home Of The Brave" has that lovable pulsating midtempo we all love (hints of House Of Lords), while "Can't Stop" is a soaring melodic rocker plenty of harmony vocal layers.

On the softer side "Shattered Dreams" is really American with its anthemic refrain, the soulful "Just One Touch" fits in the good power ballad mould, and "´Til The End" is a compelling slow acoustic number.

CAPTIVE HEART - Home Of The Brave [Japan release +1] (1997) back

"Home Of The Brave" is rarely seen in many AOR / MR favorite's list, but largely deserves the honor.
I remember reading in a magazine some members of Captive Heart stating this recording as pre-production demos, something that you won't notice at all. I can't imagine what they would have been able to deliver with a full-fledged production budget.
This is classic stuff really well composed and performed, with all the magic mojo from the golden years of the genre.
Very Recommended.


01 - Outlaw
02 - It's Too Late
03 - Home Of The Brave
04 - Shattered Dreams
05 - Over You / Over Me
06 - Helpless
07 - Just One Touch
08 - Can't Stop
09 - Heartache
10 - Ride Of Your Life
11 - 'Til The End
12 - Time Out (Japanese Bonus Track)

Rick Tratar - lead and backing vocals
Chuck Kawal - guitars, bass, backing vocals
Tim McGovern - guitar, backing vocals
Scott Bahry - keyboards, drums, backing vocals
Paul Balsamello - bass
Guy Dominick - bass, backing vocals
Steve Moss - drums, percussion, backing vocals




CAPTIVE HEART - Home Of The Brave [Japan release]
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MSG - Built To Destroy [Expanded Edition] (1983)


How about some classic hard rock stuff, and with a personal favourite?
"Built To Destroy" is the best MSG album - in my opinion - of their early era. Features Schenker's finest fretwork and the return of Gary Barden as frontman.
For this album keyboardist Andy Nye has more presence both in the playing as in the songwriting, which redounded in a more commercial sound.

As happened with many albums in this genre during the eighties, there was a different mix for the American audience. This edition consists of both, exquisitely remastered on a single CD.
The first nine tracks are the British version, which features the classic Euro Schenker sound, while tracks 10-18 are the noticeably different American version, with more prominent keyboards, enhanced drums and a much more melodic feel.

According to the liner notes, Schenker himself preferred the American version. This expanded edition allows the listener to choose. I like both, as the remastering job has done miracles with these tapes.
This CD really sounds terrific.

MSG - Built To Destroy [Expanded Edition] 2009 tracklist

Gary Barden - vocals
Michael Schenker - guitars
Chris Glen - bass
Andy Nye - keyboards
Ted McKenna - drums
Derek St. Holmes - vocals on Still Love That Little Devil [US Mix]


MSG Built To Destroy UK/US mix

Saturday, July 15, 2017

REQUEST & FILL CORNER 21

Request & Fill Corner PART 21

From now, all request & fills goes in this post Comments.
If you need an album or a single track, request it here, if you have it, be kind with other readers, upload the file and post the link here as well.
Access to this page will be placed at the right column ------>
(the "CLICK HERE" neon sign)
It will be opened in a new window.

Check this section regularly.
You'll find many albums uploaded by readers, not present on the main blog ...

Help each other people!


and don't forget to check out ARCHIVES:



ARCHIVES PART 17

ARCHIVES PART 18

ARCHIVES PART 19

ARCHIVES PART 20



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Friday, July 14, 2017

TOYS OF JOY - One Of These Days (1990)

TOYS OF JOY - One Of These Days (1990) front
Requested by one of you...

Hailing from Denmark, TOYS OF JOY is basically a duo formed by songwriters Henrik Launbjerg and Hans Egestorp, who recorded the single 'When The Rain Falls' at the very end of 1989.
The band got signed by a local label and subsequently released a full album titled "One Of These Days", regarded as one of the finest debuts of the year. The CD soon becomes out of print and since then collectors piece among AOR fans.

On these smooth tunes, Launbjerg / Egestorp captured the truly essence of American FM radio soft AOR better than many native US musicians. The absolutely outstanding opener "Watching Your Moves" remains in my book as one of the better 'feelgood' AOR songs ever.
The breezy, sophisticated 'Some People' is another personal favorite. Is there Mr. Mister playing here? Very, very close in sound & style.
Launbjerg's voice reminds me of Richard Page: perfect pitch and tone, an underrated vocalist with tons of class.

'When The Rain Falls' is a magical ballad, a lot like a Jay Graydon's Planet 3 track. Perfect song and melody. Then you have "Can't Get Nobody Else", with its intelligent guitar arrangements is pure class. Then "Let It Out" is a catchy, sing-along tune with a huge chorus, what a great song!
In fact, the whole "One Of These Days" is fabulous with terrific & beautifully arranged songs and a 10/10 production job.

TOYS OF JOY - One Of These Days (1990) back

Recently Toys Of Joy's original indie label has resurrected this little masterpiece with a fresh reissue, and here I am bringing it to you @ maximum quality.
I can't recommend you "One Of These Days" enough.
It's High class AOR. Just don't miss it.


01 - Watching Your Moves
02 - Hold On
03 - Bring On The Night
04 - One Of These Days
05 - Some People
06 - When The Rain Falls
07 - Can't Get Nobody Else
08 - Make A Difference
09 - Let It Out
10 - Leaves

Henrik Launbjerg: vocals
Hans H. Egestorp: guitars, keyboards, programming
Morten Bolvik: keyboards
Steffen Qwist: guitar
Lars Elswing: bass
Jakob Iisager: drums


TOYS OF JOY - One Of These Days (1990)
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Thursday, July 06, 2017

MICHAEL WHITE and THE WHITE - ST (1987) [digital reissue]

MICHAEL WHITE and THE WHITE - ST (1987)
Requested in "Request & Fill Corner" section...

American born Michael White started his career at the end of the seventies as member of underground L.A. bands such as 'The Boys' (alongside pre-Dokken George Lynch and Mick Brown), 'L.A. Rocks' with W.A.S.P.'s Randy Piper, and in Nikki Sixx's pre-Motley 'London'.

Looking for a more classic sound Michael formed 'The White', his own band.

Mixing originals with Led Zeppelin covers, the group toured extensively throughout North America, and at the mid eighties White signed a deal with Atlantic Rec. for an album to be recorded in Germany with producer Mack (Queen, Billy Squier) behind the desk.
Alongside his band, many well names contributed with the recording (although uncredited in the credits), as Danny Bilan (Moxy), Randy Piper (W.A.S.P), Alan St. Jon & Bobby Chouinard (Billy Squier).

"Michael White and The White" was released in 1987, but a bad promotion and the explosion of the L.A. Metal scene sank the disc.
Occurs that Michael White plays classic rock heavily influenced by Zeppelin and vocalist Robert Plant in particular. On many parts throughout the album, Michael sounds like a Plant's clone. And a good one.
It's true, some songs here (and the general atmosphere) definitively have a Zepp style, as the rocking "Matriarch", the beautifully orchestrated slow tune "One Good Turn" or the spacey "Psychometry" (where White, apart from Plant, recalls Kingdom Come's Lenny Wolf). This isn't a bad thing, on the contrary, all these tracks are magically written and performed.

But Michael White and The White also plays commercial '80s American Melodic Rock here; the catchy "Fantasy", the keyboard filled "Radio" or the incredibly smooth "I Know You Need Someone", one of my favorites here.
On the radio friendly "Deja Vu", White goes AOR-rock, and "Dirty Dancer" rocks with a melodic sense.

"Michael White and The White" is a really good album in my book, including finely crafted songs, much better than you can appreciate at first listen. Production is truly good, with a slick '80s sound and a classy vibe.
The album was released for the first time on CD -remastered- in 2003 (now out of print) with the legend 'and the White' on the cover.

MICHAEL WHITE and THE WHITE  original cover
original album cover

This file is the 2007's digital only re-issue called 'LP version' (?), featuring on the cover Michael White's moniker alone. There's a flaw on the track "Psychometry" around 3:18 min. (it happens on all the copies distributed of this reissue), but does not affect the listening experience.
A praiseworthy album, pretty unknown and hard to find.


01 - Fantasy
02 - I Know You Need Someone
03 - Bring On The Night
04 - Matriarch
05 - One Good Turn
06 - Psychometry
07 - Deja Vu
08 - Jumpin' The Fence
09 - Radio
10 - Dirty Dancer


Michael White: Lead & Backing Vocals
Claus Heuser: Guitars
Phil Bolenz: Guitars
Rick Dellefield: Keyboards
Steven Wissnet: Bass
Curt Cress: Drums
Session musicians (uncredited);
Danny Bilan (Moxy): Drums
Bobby Chouinard (Billy Squier): Drums
Scot Gaines: Bass
Alan St. Jon (Billy Squier): Keyboards
Randy Piper (W.A.S.P.): Guitars
Paul Vincent (Meat Loaf): Guitars


MICHAEL WHITE and THE WHITE
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