· Produced By:
· Running Time:
· Release Date: Out Now
· Genre: AOR
· LabelLink: avenue-of-allies.com
GTS – Tracks From The Dustshelf (United Kingdom, 1995)
All songs written by Blue / Hart / Sadler, except
“Fascination” written by Blue / Calcutt / Garrett / Stevens,
“Hands Of Time” by Hart / McFarlane,
“Love Like Fire” by Sadler / O'Shaughessy,
“The Other Side” by Blue / Sadler
Produced by GTSMixed by Mike Roberts
GTS are :
Greg Hart : electric & acoustic 6 & 12 string guitars, vocals
Toby Sadler : all keyboards, programming, bass, piano, vocals
Sam Blue : lead vocals, backing vocals
'GTS' were the brainchild of Greg Hart, Toby Sadler & Sam Blue in the spring of 1995. Three London based musicians with a firm friendship and love of classic AOR music. Formed originally as a 'studio project' for the three songwriters to write and record the kind of songs they loved to hear, GTS went on to record two sublime AOR albums, each showcasing the wealth of talent the three musicians were known for.
Greg Hart, guitarist & chief songwriter for 'Moritz' & 'If Only' had built up a reputation as a fine writer and he had worked with the cream of songwriters in both the UK & USA. Indeed it was in 'If Only' that he worked with Toby Sadler, who was keyboard player for the band in both live and studio capacity. Toby by then had a huge CV of bands he had been a major force in. 'Samson', 'White Spirit' & 'Mrs Loud' to name a few, but it was Toby's involvement in UK AOR giants 'Airrace' that had sealed his reputation as a supreme player and writer. Sam Blue, at the time of GTS's formation, was one of the UKs most in demand session singers, and he had already achieved critical acclaim for his vocals on the Warner Brothers 'Yaya' album, was the vocalist for 'Laurence Archer's Secrets' and was also a member of 'Paul Samson's Empire' in the 80s, after leaving Newcastle rockers 'Emerson'. Sam had also auditioned for a very early incarnation of 'Moritz', which is where this story actually began!
Each member had crossed paths many times over the years playing in various UK bands, and had forged a great friendship that they all agreed one day would 'yield a mighty collection of self penned AOR tunes”.
Their debut release, 'Tracks From The Dustshelf', was written and recorded in the UK during 1995, in 'down time' from each member's hectic schedule. Sam being in demand as a session singer, Toby was in the midst of relocating to Germany and doing session work, and Greg was playing up and down the country in his various live shows.
“..'Tracks' was a real joy to record, and working with Greg & Toby was always immense fun. We all had such a gas doing the album, we all agreed a follow up would be necessary for our sanity!” Sam quoted in a 1995 interview.
The album was, at the start, a batch of unused ideas from their previous bands, hence the title of the album, but they quickly found a spark to their writing, and the new songs came thick and fast. Possibly the opener 'Endless' really summed up the album, at that point, being a classic slice of pure keyboard driven AOR. The band were likened in reviews to 'Toto', which was a real honour.
Album two 'Time Stood Still', was a different approach entirely. By now Toby had relocated to Arolsen, Germany, and with everyone's schedules now so full, the only option was for the three of them to send cassettes of ideas through the post, in the days before the internet really took hold, and it was these cassettes that became the basis of the album. Sam & Greg squeezing precious writing time at Sam's house in London proved to be essential for the recording which was to take place in January 1996. The band decided to relocate to Germany for the entire month in sub zero conditions at Toby's new studio, and they set a gruelling 30 days straight, to arrange, record, mix and master the album!
“It was a fantastic time for us, although we all went stir crazy in the end, the time we spent hidden away in deepest Germany under four feet of snow was an amazing time, and we had an absolute ball. We have some great memories from those times. We all joked that none of us had actually recorded a 'second album' for any band we had been in-so we were suffering 'second album syndrome' sort of!” Greg reminisced.
The madness increased when the band flew out 'Samson' drummer Charlie 'Mack' MacKenzie to play drums on the album, which by then had taken on a slight 'concept' feel about it, hence the title. Tracks like 'Innocence', 'Fight To Survive', co-written by Mike Moran (Queen, Survivor, Ozzy Osbourne), 'I Remember' co-written by Bob Mitchell (House Of Lords, Fiona, Cheap Trick) & the remake of the Airrace classic 'Caught In The Game' make this album an absolute AOR cracker. The album which was finished in spring 1996, a year from when the band formed, never really got the release or distribution it should have, and it soon became a forgotten classic.
With each other's paths still crossing, and their friendship firm as ever, never write off the chances of a possible third album! If their schedules ever slow down enough for them to regroup, you never know.
But for now the last copies of both 'GTS' albums (manufactured for GT Records in 1995 and 1996) are available in a very limited quantity.