COLUMBIA: CK 69686
Produced by: Steve Perry
Ok, basically any Steve Perry release is a welcome one and will be lapped up by most - including me. After all he is THE AOR voice.|
So let me get the knit picking out of the way first.
1. Why no new photos? Why are all the photos outtakes from the For The Love Of Strange Medicine shoots?
2. Where are the Nuno Bettencourt tracks from before the Strange Medicine recording sessions? They would have made awesome inclusions on this collection.
3. Why is it now that the tracks that came from the Strange Medicine CD5 releases, are being touted as from the unreleased album Against The Wall? I was always under the impression that they were outtakes from his last solo record. But maybe then I was just presuming to much at the time.
As outtakes they sounded quite good. But listening to them as proper tracks that were to make an album - I think they come up short.
Anyway, to more detail...
Tracks one to five need no reviewing as they are long since classics.
Track six is out first taste of the shelved solo album Against The Wall. Is it just me, or are we just now hearing of such a shelved release? Please let me know - I am in Australia and may have missed the past talk of it.
The next seven tracks, including 3 in original form, are the backbone of this never released effort. And you know what? Despite enjoying these songs right now, I think this release could have been a real disappointment.
Here's why: When You Are In Love (For The First Time) is a poppy calypso flavoured number. Quite catchy and fine vocals for sure, but nothing that I would call classic.|
Against The Wall is a much better tune. A mid tempo ballad, it is typical of the moody Steve Perry pop we love and hints at some big AOR moments and that Street Talk guitar sound. Also some of the best vocals of the unreleased material.
Forever Right Or Wrong is another great tune. From the CD5 You Better Wait, this is a classy power ballad with a great chorus and fine vocals.
Summer Of Luv is another uptempo poppy track that I can't really pin down style wise.
A kind of tribute to Motown pop or something. Not bad, but again, not classic.
Melody is another really smooth ballad. Just Steve and a keyboard. From the Missing You CD5. I really like this track.
Once In A Lifetime, Girl is another simple pop song. Pretty light and a little more AOR than tracks 6 and 9. Not bad. Nice chorus anyway.
What Was is another very slow but high class ballad. The vocals here are awesome.
This completes the tunes from Against The Wall. Pretty good individually, but putting all these tunes on a proper solo album release would have made it too slow and poppy.
As it is I am ready for a rocker right now!
Thankfully I am rewarded with one of the great AOR tunes ever. You Better Wait is one of my all time favourite ever AOR tunes and sounds as fresh and awesome today as it did in 1994. I just wish there was more like it then and more now. Where are those Bettencourt tracks?
But then it is straight back into ballad mode with Missing You and the not very great I Stand Alone.
They are followed with a couple of more interesting numbers.
First up a demo of the tune that was also from the Missing You CD5. Another outcast of Against The Wall? Nice and raw. Good moody song. Check out the finished version on the single too.
If You Need Me, Call Me is another demo, with the original to be found on the You Better Wait CD5.
A lighter and rawer version and interesting to hear but it pales to the final version. The vocals aren't as strong here and the tune more light-weight.
And that is that. Probably the last Perry release for another couple of years.
One that highlights the past without offering any hints of the future.
There are certainly more unreleased tunes out there. I know of five others besides the Nuno tracks, of them I don't know how many there are.
I hope one day we will hear them and I hope that also we will hear a new rocking Steve Perry release.
Till then I will stick to playing my Journey CDs and Steve's 2 solo records. Nice collection, but I don't think I will be playing this that much. Shame really.
|PRODUCTION: 87%||SONGS: 75%||VIBE: 62%||ATTITUDE: 70%||ESSENTIAL FOR: Steve Perry fans and Journey die hards.|
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