Sat
11
Mar

TURKISH DELIGHT - Volume One (Album Review, 2022)

information persons: 
content: 
93%
Score: 
93
Categories: 
Reviews

Turkish Delight is an all-star project, the culmination of multiple years’ worth of work and a tribute to the life long dedication and passion of Escape Music’s boss Khalil Turk.

To celebrate his time in this crazy business, the respected label owner and A&R man has put a great deal of his own money into assembling a cast of musicians he admires and has worked with over the years.

The hardest thing to do in these circumstances is to remotely record 30+ musicians, multiple players and vocalists for each song in some cases and still make a record sound cohesive and of the one body of work.

Mick Devine, Steve Morris, Steve Overland, Lee Small and Steve Newman are responsible for the bulk of songwriting duties, while the cast of musicians has to be read to be believed.

On vocals alone you have Jeff Scott Soto, Robin McAuley, Billy Greer, Chris Ousey, Mick Devine, James Christian, Jerome Mazza, Lee Small, Robin Beck, Tony Harnell and more.

Joining them are Mike Slamer, Jeff Pilson, Billy Sheehan, Gary Pihl, Vince DiCola, Alessandro Del Vecchio, Ricky Phillips, Josh Devine, Marco Mendoza, Jim Kirkpatrick, Chris Childs, Steve Mann, Mark Stanway and so many more.

What you’re getting here is a superbly crafted ‘various artists’ melodic rock compilation, featuring the artists involved doing just what you want them to be doing – each one delivering a fan favourite performance. A retro tribute if you will but sounding ever fresh thanks to the efforts put into making this record sound as good as it does.

 
Sat
11
Mar

THRESHOLD - Dividing Lines (Album Review, 2022)

Score: 
95
Categories: 
Reviews

How do you follow up a career defining masterpiece, that itself was an album that followed any number of critically acclaimed records before that?

Take your time…

So Threshold did just that. Some five years since the perfect ‘Legend Of The Shires’, the band resists the temptation to record a sequel to that epic record by just doing what they do best – delivering another brilliant progressive hard rock record filled with hard hitting, memorable songs.

Threshold have always had their sound and this album continues to deliver exactly what fans would expect, but with the usual subtle changes that help each album the band delivers, carry its own identity.

This time around the mood is a little darker, the songs a little heavier and the harmonies buried a little deeper into the songs. As is always required, multiple listens over several days is needed to fully appreciate any new work from Threshold and this album reveals itself beautifully.

The formula of four heavy rockers and a mid-album epic is repeated in the second half of the album, ending with the second epic Defence Condition.

I think the intensity drops off over the last couple of tracks before the closer, but there’s no filler here at all.

The first half of the album is near perfect in anyone’s language, the overall result will satisfy all Threshold fans. Its another brilliant record. Awesome, but not quite another masterpiece.

 
Sat
11
Mar

GABRIELLE DE VAL - Kiss In A Dragon Night (Album Review, 2023)

Score: 
92
Categories: 
Reviews

Gabrielle De Val is a Spanish Singer, Songwriter and Voice-Over Actress, known for her role in The Val and most recently guesting on Bruce Mee’s concept album Circle Of Friends.

'Kiss in a Dragon Night', is Gabrielle's first solo album, organised and arranged by Bruce Mee. Together with producer Khalil Turk (Escape Music), he shaped the idea and created an album involving vocalists such as Steve Overland (FM), Mick Devine (Seven), Robin McAuley (MSG), Mark Boals (Yngwie Malmsteen) and Terry Brock (Strangeways) as well as musicians such as Gary Pihl (Boston), Eric Ragno (Joe Lynn Turner), Johan Kullberg (HammerFall) and Fredrik Folkare (Nordic Union).

And what a fine album it is too. Fresh, punchy production and a selection of memorable songs showcase Gabrielle’s powerfyul, yet smooth vocals, a perfect fit for melodic rock.

Her duet ballad with Robin McAuley is pure melodic bliss, the vocals entwining effortlessly.

Otherhighlights include the rocked up Mike Oldfield classic Moonlight Shadow; the upbeat opener Take On The World, with a classic AOR chorus; Pay For the Lonely Nights is classic 80s AOR while Candle In The Window is the Randall’s classic amped up to briliant effect.

Fight For Love (with Mick Devine) is another great duet, this time a faster paced anthem. And any song featuring Terry Brock is already a winner for me. Stayin‘ Alive doesn’t disappoint. No, it isn’t that song – it’s the classic Magnum song done perfectly.

There are no fillers to point out – just an album chock full of new songs and fresh takes, produced and mixed beautifully. For anyone that enjoyed the Circle Of Friends release, this is an absolute no brainers.

Fans of female fronted melodic rock and 80s style anthems with a modern touch will also appreciate.

 
Thu
09
Mar

JOHN WEST ‘Days Of Destiny’ Compiles 1988-1991 Material on MRC

Artist: 
Categories: 
MelodicRock Classics Label

MelodicRock Classics is excited to team up with one of hard rock’s premiere voices – the great JOHN WEST. John has an extensive resume that dates back to the late 80s, yet his emergence as one of hard rock’s go to vocalists didn’t come until the mid-90s.

Fronting such legendary bands as Royal Hunt, Artension and Sun Red Sun, as well as delivering several solo records, his unmistakable and powerful vocals founded a solid following of fans.

This album also features 3x Grammy winning producer/songwriter, keyboardist Lonnie Park.

This collection of early works, some of which were released on cassette only under his own name and the group name Destiny were all recorded between 1988 and 1991.

The lineup for these tracks was:

John West – Lead Vocals, Guitars

Lonnie Park – Keyboards, Backing Vocals

Ian Budha – Drums, Backing Vocals

Billy Ray Gunn – Bass, Backing Vocals

John West: “My plan was never to end up as a journeyman lead singer. I was a band guy, and even more so – a band of friend’s guy. I assembled a group of friends and players to form Destiny with Ian and Billy, after our days in Adam/West together. Here you will find the Destiny four song cassette that we released and sold at shows. You will also find the six songs from my first solo release. In addition, we have some demos to throw in for you music lovers. Not perfect, but perfectly ready to be heard by the world! Enjoy -and thanks to all involved in my formative years and beyond. What a career, and all based on plan B.”

Lonnie Park: “When I first saw John and Ian play I was 17 years old and instantly became a fan of them both. When they started the band Destiny and invited me to join, I jumped at the chance. It was also the beginning of a lifelong brotherhood. These recordings take me back to being a hungry but clueless kid learning how to record, write, perform, a lot about the business, and discipline.”

Billy Ray Gun: “I’m truly honored to grow up as one of John West’s best friends and I’ll always have a profound appreciation for everyone in this band – seriously some of the greatest years of my life. PLAY IT LOUD!”

Ian Budha: “At the age of 17 I was fortunate enough to cross paths with John who saw something in my playing and took me under his wings. Just a couple of kids with big dreams, drive and determination to be successful in the music business. The culmination being these 13 songs we recorded in our band called Destiny. Unfortunately, we came up just a little short in our quest but this was the bedrock we all stood upon to launch our music careers.”

MRC will release JOHN WEST – Days Of Destiny on March 24.

PRE-ORDER NOW AT: https://melodicrockclassics.com/johnwest.html

Track Listing and Track Info:

01. Look Into My Eyes #

02. Side By Side *

03. Set Me Free +

04. Fountain Of Youth

05. Burning Summer Nights +

06. Sail On #

07. Don’t Run Away *

08. The End #

09. Lady Ice #

10. All My Life *

11. Do You Want Me *

12. You Say I Say #

13. Save Your Love #

* Officially released as Destiny on the 4-song cassette

# Recorded after Destiny broke up (But same lineup). Released as John’s first solo record on cassette

+ Recorded after and never released

Remastered by JK Northrup

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Thu
09
Mar

THE KOO Cult Classic AOR Album Comes to MelodicRock Classics

Artist: 
Categories: 
MelodicRock Classics Label

MelodicRock Classics is honoured to partner with cult classic 80s high-tech AOR band THE KOO for a long-awaited remaster of their classic 1985 LP, which was briefly released on CD in 1988.

It was the band’s one and only release and copies soon disappeared and the album has been sought after and sold for big money over the last couple of decades.

Restoring the original LP artwork as well as the original running order was top of priorities for the label and the band. As is always the case with MRC releases, audio guru JK Northrup has lovingly remastered the audio, as taken from the original CD release.

Bob Hayman comments: “The album was originally released on LP and cassette in 1985 and the analog masters are no longer in existence. The original release was only 10 tracks. In 1988 we released the CD with 2 additional tracks, “Got To Get Together” and “Runaway”.

Thank you for your interest in reissuing The Koo. This album meant a lot to John and I and we appreciate you wanting to preserve it.”

MRC will release THE KOO ‘The Koo’ On March 24.

PRE-ORDER NOW: https://melodicrockclassics.com/thekoo.html

Produced by: THE KOO

Remastered by: JK Northrup

Lineup:

Bob Hayman – Guitar, Vocals

John Powell – Lead Vocals, Drums

Tom Mgrdichian – Keyboards, Vocals

01. Strike

02. The Edge

03. Diamond In The Rough

04. 1,000 Radios

05. Maybe Right

06. Standin’ In The Rain

07. On My Way

08. Shame Shame

09. Work It Out

10. Killin’ Time

Bonus Tracks:

11. Got To Get Together

12. Runaway

 
Thu
09
Mar

PERSON TO PERSON And BRETT WALKER Releases Due on MRC

Categories: 
MelodicRock Classics Label

 

ORDER NOW: https://melodicrockclassics.com/brettwalker.html

THE BRETT WALKER ARCHIVES:

About The Audio:

Titled ‘Last Parade’ (after one of the unreleased tracks), the special limited-edition package paid tribute to one of the great songwriters of this genre. Brett tragically and suddenly passed away in July 2013, with a special tribute paid to him by his band and wife at MRF3 later that year.

I kept in touch, recalling various conversations I had with Brett about releasing his Person To Person songs and some of his unreleased demos, which collectors had been trading for some years.
Brett’s wife Sheron and I agreed to look at what was available and see what could be done. Brett’s entire DAT collection was sent to me to digitize, which lead to an extraordinary discovery.

Over no less than 47 DATs, it became evident that Brett was sitting on a treasure trove of unreleased material. I was blown away at the quality and the brilliance of these songs, with a cross-reference of styles present from throughout Brett’s career.
Some of the older unreleased material rivals the classic ‘Nevertheless’ album for melodic rock brilliance. Fans of all eras will in fact, be blown away I’m sure.

‘Last Parade’ is the most complex project I’ve ever put together, mainly because of the vast number of songs. At last count there was 174 song files in the “Work In Progress” folder. There were at least 2 versions of almost every track on the DATs and sometimes 5 or even 6! Some are from all different mixes, others various audio quality and some completely different versions of known songs.
JK Northrup has been mastering and remastering for the past several months!
Either way…lots of listening time and so many amazing songs.

Long may Brett’s music live on.

Now Out Of Print, the box set is brought back to life here in two individual sets, both featuring exclusive previously unreleased songs that only came as a digital bonus to purchases of the original box set.

There has been some demand for a truncated version of the box set, as well as a stand-alone release of the Person To Person tracks.

So it is with great pleasure that MelodicRock Classics has gone to work on two exclusive new releases due out February 24.

Person To Person – ‘The Complete Recordings’ (2CD Set) and
Brett Walker – ‘Highlights From The Last Parade’ (2CD Set)

That’s 4 discs of Brett Walker and Person To Person magic. The original purchase of the box set came with some 50+ bonus tracks in MP3 download – songs which we didn’t have room for on the original set, so several of those songs have been curated to appear as bonus tracks on each release – exclusively on CD for the first time.

For the Person To Person cover art, the band’s original and only promo shot was black and white. Par Winberg took the picture and used new AI colouring technology to make an accurate portrait of the band just as they were ready to launch.

MRC033 – PERSON TO PERSON – The Complete Recordings

Disc 1 – The Original Album

01. Undercover Love
02. Never Be The Same
03. No Shortcut To Paradise
04. Careless Nights
05. Lecia
06. More Than A Memory
07. Waiting For Love
08. Hard To Find An Easy Way
09. No Sense In Falling (Previously Unreleased Version)
10. No Fire Without You
11. Far Cry From Love
12. One Night Away
13. Ayla (Previously Unreleased)
14. Outta Site
15. Eye For Love

Disc 2 – Person To Person – Live, Alt Mixes and Brett Walker Demos

01. Hard To Find An Easy Way (91-93 Demo)
02. More Than a Memory (91-93 Demo)
03. Never Be The Same (91-93 Demo)
04. No Sense In Falling (91-93 Demo)
05. Undercover Love (Slower Version) (Previously Unreleased)
06. Never Be The Same (Alt Mix/Brett Vocal) (Previously Unreleased)
07. No Sense In Falling (Extended)
08. Waiting For Love (Original Demo)
09. Lecia (Mixed For TV Inst) (Previously Unreleased)
10. Undercover Love (Live)
11. Waiting For Love (Live)
12. Burning In The 3rd Degree (Live)

MRC032 – BRETT WALKER – Highlights From The Last Parade

Disc 1 – Highlights:


01. Still A Dream Away (Demo Version)
02. Branded
03. Bad Time For Goodbye (Alt Mix)
04. Crossroads Motel (91-93 Demo)
05. Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of
06. After The Tears Have Gone
07. American Dreamer (Rock Version)
08. A Little Too Late
09. Fools Paradise
10. Catchin’ On
11. Heaven Stops The Rain
12. Always A Place
13. Everything I Want To Do (Piano Ballad Version)
14. Don’t Turn Out The Lights (Guitar Mix)
15. On The Train Again
16. Higher Ground (Revision)
17. Last Parade

Disc 2 – Spotlights (All Previously Unreleased on CD):

01. Midnight Angel (Early Demo)
02. Quicksand (Early Alt Mix)
03. No Reasons Of The Heart (Alt Mix)
04. Living On The Moon (Remix)
05. It’s A Good Thing (First Mix)
06. Didn’t Mean To Say Goodbye (91-93 Demo)
07. Give A Little Love (91-93 Demo)
08. Don’t Mean Much (Demo)
09. A Far Cry From Love (Slower)
10. I Could Be Wrong (Alt Version)
11. Rain Dance (Alt Mix)
12. Hard Dark Music (Inst)
13. It Looks A Lot Like Rain (Inst)
14. Don’t Come Back Crying
15. Solo Piano (Freeform 2)
16. Last Parade (Early Demo)

 
Thu
09
Mar

CALIFORNIA BREED – California Breed (2014)

Score: 
92
Categories: 
Reviews

As is the case with several Glenn Hughes fronted projects, this album might be a real handful to get into for some, but the rewards are great. Glenn Hughes moves on from Black Country Communion with pal Jason Bonham and new recruit Andrew Watt to create another groove orientated power trio. This project has more of a Hughes solo stamp on it than BCC did, with control issues between Glenn and Joe Bonamassa now a thing of the past.
And Glenn gets to indulge in his favorite pastime here – delivering groove and blues based classic hard rock with a strong 70s edge. Much of this album could have come straight out of 1978, whilst the rest relies on some contemporary production tricks and effects to make a blend of classic rock for the new millennium.

12 tracks and 51 minutes is probably a touch too long, the album might have been a bit tidier at 40-45 minutes max, but that’s a small issue. The main issue is that this rocks! I’m a longtime fan of Hughes who thinks he is at his best when rocking out. To have a project that does that, but also includes his love of soul and blues is ideal.
And while I was sorry to see the demise of BCC, fans of that project will easily adapt to this band.

From the opening swagger of The Way and the more commercial groove of Sweet Tea, this is Hughes and Bonham at their best. And newcomer Watt gets on the map with his first outing.
The album features a lot of Led Zeppelin influences, Chemical Rain and the ballad All Falls Down most obvious.
Thankfully the guys keep the tempo up for a lot of the album, with rockers like The Grey flowing beautifully.
When they do slow down to that slow Zeppelinesque groove, such as Days They Come and the ultra-slow Invisible, they add in very likable chorus hooks to keep things moving.

Not an album for everyone, but for those it is aimed at, expect an almost unanimous praising of this release. You’re either going to love it or hate it. Thankfully for me I love it – it delivers exactly what I expected from the continued collaboration of Hughes/Bonham and new guy Watt shows he will be around for a long while to come.

 
Thu
09
Mar

ALIEN – Eternity (2014)

Score: 
92
Categories: 
Reviews

Any Jim Jidhead record is a good record and to have the original Alien back together lifts expectations higher than normal.
Thankfully the Swedish AOR Gods deliver – big time. This album sees direct comparison to their hailed classic self-titled debut. They really seem to have recaptured the magic fans hoped for.
Pure Scandi-AOR, delivered with a strong production and layers of vocals over guitars and keyboards galore….it just doesn’t get better for the pink and fluffy brigade.
This is old-school AOR – mid-80s styled, with a good mix and some very catchy songs. Jim Jidhed sounds great, as does the rest of the band in their respective roles.

This is a very consistent album with enough differences between the songs to make things interesting. The tempo is largely up, aside from a couple of big ballads – I Believe and the stark In Truth are both excellent. The mid-tempo ballad I’m A Fighter also appeals.
Elsewhere around the album, highlights include the terrific opening In Love We Trust; the fast moving Unbroken; the classic AOR of Love Will Lead Me Home and the warmth of Summer Of Love plus the feel good Liar Liar.
The only song that doesn’t really strike a chord with me is the jangly keyboard driven What Goes Up, whose chorus and keyboard fill are both kinda of annoying.

The Bottom Line

Strike another one up for the Swedes. Surely it can’t keep coming without end in sight? Well, regardless of that, let’s enjoy these releases while we can. Quality like this helps fans of the glory days of the 80s continue without any need to move into the now. Welcome back Alien – nice to have you around again.

 
Thu
09
Mar

NIGHT BY NIGHT - Night By Night (2014)

Score: 
94
Categories: 
Reviews

British melodic rockers Night By Night have been hailed as the future of this aging genre and I’m here to back that claim and push it one step further – its vitally important to the longevity of the melodic music scene that we continue to welcome, nurture and promote awesome new talent like this or we may as well all give it up right now.

Night By Night prove that you can still write catchy, energetic and fresh melodic rock in 2014 and in doing so give some old rockers a kick in the pants as to what is expected that fans want today.

Not everyone wants nostalgia 24/7. But don’t think these guys are an all-new sound, they just take the old sensibilities and make it their own. This is the best of old-school hooks and harmonies, driving guitars and anthemic catchy choruses, delivered with a fresh spunky attitude and a contemporary production sound.And if you feel let down by the latest Tesla album, then this should fire a rocket up you! Vocalist Henry Rundell has an uncanny sound not far removed from Jeff Keith in his heyday.

Guiatrists Ben Christo and Tom Daniel guides the band through some cracking riffs and solos. The production on here is simply fabulous – balanced mix and a crunchy sound. The album has been a long time coming and is well worth the wait.

If Time To Escape, Holding Onto Holding On and Can’t Walk Away don’t blow you away, the more melodic Everywhere Tonight will insert itself into your brain for days at a time. If darker and heavier is what you want, Siren delivers, a hybrid of Tesla, Def Leppard and melodic Dokken.

Then there’s the glorious AOR of A Thousand Lies – perfect melodic rock here folks.

The Moment is another fast moving gem and the band saves one of their most urgent tracks for last – Never Die Again is a pounding guitar driven masterpiece.

 
Wed
08
Mar

LAST TEMPTATION ‘Love Wins’ Remastered Album Out Now on MRC

Label: 
MRC
Categories: 
MelodicRock Classics Label
MelodicRock Classics is excited to kick off 2023 with a fresh take on a much sought-after release from classic hard rockers LAST TEMPTATION.
The 10 tracks that made up the band’s original self-titled independent 2009 release have been re-ordered into a sequence the band thinks work better, but not only that, three unreleased tracks from the same original sessions have been freshly re-recorded and added to the album to make the definitive perfect LAST TEMPTATION release.
The upgraded album gets a new title too. Love Wins, with all tracks – classic and new – remastered by sound wiz JK Northrup will be released by MRC January 27. Pre-orders will be available next week.
The band states: “After all these years the band is very excited to record and release 3 new songs along with the original 10 tracks from our last album that some fans were not able to purchase.
The new album titled ‘Love Wins’ will feature 13 tracks, newly packaged and ready for release soon. Arnie, Frank, Steve, Steve and Allan would like to say thanks to Andrew and the melodic rock community for this opportunity and we’re excited for the possibilities of 2023 and beyond.
See you soon!”
About LAST TEMPTATION:
LAST TEMPTATION was started in the mid 80’s by guitarist/songwriter Arnie Miot and it wasn’t until almost 1990 that vocalist Frank Vestry teamed up with Arnie to create what would become the current version of the band. Bassist Steve Hervatic, drummer Steve Murphy and keyboardist Allan Gabay round out the group.
Arnie’s brilliant guitar work and Frank’s signature vocals along with top notch song writing are what made and still makes the band popular amongst melodic rock fans.
This New York/New Jersey based pro-level band is made up of members that have toured with national acts and played with some of the biggest artists in the industry.
Last Temptation had an amazing run, but never reached the level of stardom that they all wanted so badly. After all these years the band is thrilled to release “Love Wins” which includes 3 new tracks just recently recorded on Long Island and in Florida.
Track Listing:
01. Love Wins In The End (New)
02. Break It
03. Last Temptation
04. Emotions
05. You’ll Never Walk Alone (New)
06. Oh So Easy
07. Catch Me Now I’m Falling
08. Next To You
09. Without Love
10. You’re Trouble (New)
11. Sailing Away
12. Save Me
13. Queen Of Ice

 

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