Thursday, April 17, 2014

0 Day Rock

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Updated April 18 , 2014


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

KEANE - Today ,Tomorrow And Tonight (1982) [remastered]

KEANE - Today ,Tomorrow And Tonight (1982) [remastered]
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

After the successful self-titled debut as a band, KEANE quickly started the recording of this, their sophomore and final album "Today, Tomorrow And Tonight".
The Keane brothers turned things even more rocking for this new offering, still retaining their trademark melodies but more sharp in its delivery. The Toto influences are still here, but a more organic melodic rock vibe was thrown into the mix.

Bass player Mike Milwood was replaced by no-other than talented Jason Scheff (before joining Chicago) not only providing his deep bass lines but also enhancing even more the band's vocal harmonies.
There's a simple but catchy rocker on the commercial "Oh, Oh, Oh", a lovable melodic rock tune on "Don't Make Me Love You" (early Night Ranger-like), and a strong sharp guitar-driven track on "Tomorrow Is Today".
More AORish is the jumpin' "It's All Over", where Tom Keane's vocals gets a rougher delivery and Scheff plays a quasi-solo with his bass.

The full of bite and melody "I'm Ready Tonight" sounds again as a proto-Night Ranger, "I'm Ready Tonight" is groovy in the vein of 707, while the urgent "You Don't Have To" has some Loverboy on it.
Of course we have two fine ballads on the album; the smooth midtempo AOR of "My Kind" filled with clean guitars and a multi-part harmony chorus, and the superb closer "One Too Many Lovers", a Westcoast AOR sounding little gem.

KEANE - Today ,Tomorrow And Tonight (1982) [remastered] back cover

Sadly, KEANE was a short-lived affair delivering two excellent albums, but the group disbanded because all its talented restless members were hungry for personal musical challenges.
Tom Keane become one of the best and more requested AOR songwriters in history, and together with bro John recorded in countless albums as session musicians. Mark Moulin formed the great AOR outfit Dreamer and played with Stan Bush, and Jason Scheff met stardom fronting Chicago and pursuing a successful songwriting career as well.

As far I know, "Today, Tomorrow And Tonight", this final album by KEANE, never was released in the US. Seems the master tapes were lost for many years, but fortunately, Japanese label Cool Sound reissued both records in 2001 with a superb remastering job.
A mandatory addition to any Melodic Rock / AOR collection.

01 - Oh Oh Oh
02 - My Kind
03 - Don't Make Me Love You
04 - I Can See You
05 - Tomorrow Is Today
06 - It's All Over
07 - I'm Ready Tonight
08 - Mindreader
09 - You Don't Have To
10 - One Too Many Lovers

Tom Keane - Vocals, Keyboards
John Keane - Drums & Percussion
Mark Moulin - Guitars, Backing Vocals
Jason Scheff - Bass, Backing Vocals

KEANE Today ,Tomorrow And Tonight remastered

Monday, April 14, 2014

KEANE - Keane (1981) remastered

KEANE - Keane (1981) remastered
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

The KEANE brothers Tom & John were prodigious kids, as in the mid-seventies at the age of 11 and 12, both fronted their own musical TV show and signed a major record deal. As 'Keane Brothers' they released two LP's produced by the likes of David Foster, Lamont Dozier and David Paich.

At the beginning of the '80s, the bros. formed their own band simply called KEANE, musically oriented to the AOR / Melodic Rock waves so en vogue with a more than a passing nod to the Toto sound. Indeed Keane was called 'Little Toto' but not only for their musical similarity, but also for the quality in their compositions and performances.
Tom Keane (only 18 years old at the time of the recording) shows a remarkable maturity on his greatly harmonized vocals, while the rest of the band including brother John on drums is impeccable.

KEANE - Keane (1981) remastered back cover

Cuts like the dynamic opener "Tryin' To Kill A Saturday Night", the muscular "Bad Little Baby Girl" or the rocking "You Got The Better Of Me" are no-brainers for any Melodic Rock / AOR aficionado.
"Baby I'm Dead" has something of REO Speedwagon, and the highlight "Kill Or Be Killed" somehow reminds me I-Ten, but the rest of the album is clearly impregnated by Lukather & Co: the sweet and melodious "Lorelei", "Anything Less Than Love" or the superb ballad "My Special Way".
Production is top notch and this remaster from the specialized Japanese label Cool Sound, pristine and clear.
Out of print.

01 - Tryin' To Kill A Saturday Night
02 - Bad Little Baby Girl
03 - You Got The Better Of Me
04 - Kill Or Be Killed
05 - My Special Way
06 - Baby I'm Dead
07 - I Love My Life
08 - Anything Less Than Love
09 - Lorelei
10 - Judy

Tom Keane - Vocals, Keyboards
John Keane - Drums & Percussion
Mike Milwood - Bass & Vocals
Mark Moulin - Guitars & Vocals
David Pearlman - Lapsteel Solo
Michael Zorro Singers - Background Vocals

KEANE 1981 remastered

Saturday, April 12, 2014

THE JAMES PROJECT - Desert Bloom (1996)

THE JAMES PROJECT - Desert Bloom (1996) B.E. Taylor
James Lawrence Berk is a gifted songwriter and arranger who has worked for numerous artists and composed music for TV / radio commercials and film soundtracks. This rich background in the music business helped James to locate top-notch musicians to crystallize his ambition: THE JAMES PROJECT, the recording of his original songs under his own musical direction.
Berk is the 'orchestrator' on "Desert Bloom", driving all these talented musicians to his vision: timeless Melodic Rock with AOR and rock&pop elements.

"Desert Bloom" is almost an 'unknown' B.E. Taylor solo album, as Taylor carries most of the lead vocals here. If you don't know B.E. Taylor, the singer and his band has released four albums during the '80s, all considered cult AOR pieces. His vocal style is an amazing cross of Michael Bolton and Steve Perry, a truly excellent voice, clear and smooth.
The personnel in the recording includes ex- members of Beau Coup, Jonah Koslen, Three Dog Night, American Noise, Michael Stanley Band, etc., so quality is guaranteed.
Opener "Love Is Forever" is a cool commercial song, a bit poppy but with a catchy chorus. "I Don't Know How" is a good mid-tempo, followed by the warm "Can You Feel It" with a very good performance by Taylor.
But the real first monster track arrives with "Take Me To The River". It sounds like a song off THE STORM's debut, and B.E. like Steve Perry. Awesome track.

"Sorrow In Disguise" seems -at first glance- out of place on this album, but it's a really, really good tune, performed by Anne Cochran. She has a deep voice, and the song wraps you into a tremendous groove.
"Tell Her I'm Home" is a pretty obvious ballad, but the unknown (to me) Gary Grimes sings quite well sporting a very nice vocal timbre.
"Mend My Broken Heart" is a Benny Mardones' type song, thus I love it. Lead singer John Salamon remembers me AORster BJ Thomas at the mic.

THE JAMES PROJECT - Desert Bloom (1996) back cover

The following tracks are the best part of this recording: "Sooner Or Later" is a great duet, B.E. sounds almost exactly like Michael Bolton circa 1985, while "Matter Of Time" is gracious and sweet (another top vocal performance).
"Everything About You" steals the show, a brilliant AOR track, and one of the highlights here. Then we have another pearl in "Take Good Care Of Her Heart" performed by Beau Coup's leader Frank Amato. It's great to hear him again. A Beau Coup lost song! Excellent.
"Promised Land" is gorgeous, tell me if it doesn't sounds like a Pride Of Lions / Jim Peterik tune.

THE JAMES PROJECT "Desert Bloom" is a criminally unknown album appeared in a time when good music was sunken by the abhorrent 'trend of the moment', but it's one of the best Melodic Rock project albums out there, soulful, cohesive and with terrific songwriting and performances.
Highly Recommended.

01 - Love Is Forever [Long Version] (lead vocals: B.E. Taylor)
02 - I Don't Know How (lead vocals: B.E. Taylor)
03 - Can You Feel It (lead vocals: B.E. Taylor)
04 - Take Me To The River (lead vocals: B.E. Taylor)
05 - Sorrow In Diguise (lead vocals: Anne Cochran)
06 - Tell Her I'm Home (lead vocals: Gary Grimes)
07 - Mend My Broken Heart (lead vocals: John Salamon)
08 - Sooner Or Later (lead vocals: B.E. Taylor & Sasha)
09 - Matter Of Time (lead vocals: B.E. Taylor)
10 - Everything About You (lead vocals: B.E. Taylor)
11 - Take Good Care Of Her Heart (lead vocals: Frank Amato)
12 - Promised Land (lead vocals: B.E. Taylor)
13 - Love Is Forever [Single Version] (lead vocals: B.E. Taylor)

B.E. Taylor: Lead and Background Vocals
John Salamon: Lead Vocals
Gary Grimes: Lead Vocals
Kevin Raleigh: Lead and Background Vocals
Anne Cochran: Lead and Background Vocals
Frank Amato (Beau Coup): Lead Vocals
Ed Sarley: Electric and Acoustic Guitars
Robert Fraser: Acoustic Guitars
George Sipl (American Noise): Keyboards and Bass
Andy Kubiszewski: Drums and Percussion
James L. Berk: Programming
John Klayman, Mike Lee: Sax
Oliver Hairston: Background Vocals
Donnie Iris: Background Vocals
Peter Hewlett: Background Vocals
Sasha: Background Vocals

Produced by James L. Berk


Tuesday, April 08, 2014

SEPTEMBER - Dreams & Lessons (1987) [bootleg CD]

SEPTEMBER - Dreams & Lessons (1987) [bootleg CD]
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

Founded by brothers Russ & Doug Kirkland and their sister Dale, the St. Louis-based band SEPTEMBER was already featured on this blog some years ago with their second album Lines Are Falling.
"Dreams & Lessons" - from 1987 - was the band's last release and musically the most complete in my opinion, mixing classic '80s AOR with Melodic Rock and some Westcoast touches.

Both Russ and Dale share lead vocals most the time providing a very nice counterpoint on the varied material on offer here, as the Toto-esque "It Hurts Me", the highly harmonized midtempo "If You Believe", the poppy "Over My Wing", and the hardest rocking track on the record; "Stand Up Follow Me".
Dale leads solely on the Tane Cain sounding "Heaventime", while Russ does the same on the anthemic "Checkin' My Six" (somehow akin John Parr), the Starship-like rocker "I Fool Me" and the ballad "Sean's Song".
September even flirts with hi-tech stylings on "Animal Land", plenty of keyboards all over.

SEPTEMBER - Dreams & Lessons (1987) [bootleg CD] back cover

Unlike the more known groups from the CCM movement, September remained independent releasing their material through their own Sugar Records label. That's why their LP's are so hard to find and never were reissued on CD.
This is a rare, limited bootleg CD edition of "Dreams & Lessons" which sounds million bucks.
Get it while it's hot...

01 - It Hurts Me
02 - If You Believe
03 - Over My Wing
04 - Heaventime
05 - Sean's Song
06 - Animal Land
07 - I Fool Me
08 - Checkin' My Six
09 - Stand Up Follow Me

Dale Kirkland - Lead vocals, Keyboards
Russ Kirkland - Lead vocals, Synth, Electric Piano
Doug Kirkland - Keyboards, Vocals
John Hayes, Rob Williams, Scott Payne - Guitar
Jim Bullard, Jay Hungerford - Bass
Carl Albrecht - Drums, Percussion

SEPTEMBER Dreams & Lessons bootleg CD

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

FACE DANCER - This World (1979) [remastered 2009]

FACE DANCER - This World (1979) [remastered 2009]
As requested, here it is the U.S. state of Maryland proud FACE DANCER and their debut "This World", a lovable slice of late seventies Hard Hock, Pomp AOR and high octane Cheap Trick influenced Melodic Rock, all wrapped by funny, quirky lyrical themes.
The production of Richie Wise (Kiss, Stan Bush) made Face Dancer's first album sound quite unique, fresh and entertaining.

We have here the most known songs from the band (also re-recorded for Midnite Raid, recently posted in this blog) such as the swaggering "Red Shoes" and one of my favorites, "Time Bomb", a delightful rocker with an instrumental middle section emulating the first video games.
"Can't Stand Still" is a straight-forward hard rocker with rich guitar work, "Change" is one of most elaborated songs with excellent vocal arrangements, and "Cry Baby" rocks with melody.
Another favourite of mine is "If I Could Kiss You", a midtempo ballad with a strong backbone and pompy flavored keyboards all over.

FACE DANCER - This World (1979) [remastered 2009] back cover

This is the remastered version of Face Dancer's "This World" reissued not so long ago with a crystal clear sound and nice artwork.
Really enjoyable.

01 - Red Shoes
02 - Can't Stand Still
03 - Change
04 - If I Could Kiss You
05 - The Sphinx
06 - Cry Baby
07 - Heart's At Home
08 - Hard To Please
09 - Time Bomb
10 - When You Said

Carey Kress - lead vocals
Jeff Adams - lead guitar
David Utter - guitar, vocals
Scott McGinn - bass, keyboards, vocals
Billy Trainor - drums

FACE DANCER This World remastered

Friday, March 28, 2014

FACE DANCER - Midnite Raid (1990)

FACE DANCER - Midnite Raid (1990)

Hailing from the U.S. state of Maryland, FACE DANCER released their debut This World through major label Capitol at the end of the seventies, a wonderful slice of Pomp AOR / Melodic Rock.
There was a 2nd offering musically more 'middle of the road' (MOR) oriented, then the band practically disappeared although they continued occasionally playing gigs.

"Midnite Raid" is Face Dancer's third album, and quite unknown because it was released by themselves and mostly sold at their shows. This copy is from the 2003 re-release (with different artwork) sold at their website and now deleted. The CD was not silver pressed, but officially released by Face Dancer and is sought after by collectors.
Through the years Face Dancer's sound changed according to times, and in "Midnite Raid", recorded between 1989-90, most of the Pomp is gone giving room for a more Melodic Hard Rock style.

FACE DANCER - Midnite Raid (1990) back cover

All tracks - except the midtempo ballad "I Hope You Know What You Want" - are punchy uptempo rockers driven by a very good guitar work, heavy handed drums and catchy choruses.
We have as well a re-work of two songs from Face Dancer's first album; "Red Shoes" and the fun "Time Bomb", updated to the early '90s standards.
Despite the indie production, everything in "Midnite Raid" sounds fine and well mixed.
It's an enjoyable listen and a one to treasure as it's extremely rare.

1 - Can't Let Go
2 - Don't Get Me Wrong
3 - Gotta Find Love
4 - Shakin' Again
5 - Bad Luck With Money
6 - River Of Love
7 - Red Shoes
8 - I Hope You Know What You Want
9 - Time Bomb

Carey Kress - vocals
David Bell - guitars
Scott McGinn - bass, keyboards, vocals
Billy Trainor - drums
add. musicians:
Kris Fath - backing vocals
Stephen Hatfield - keyboards on 1, 8
Kenny F - sax on 8

FACE DANCER Midnite Raid