AOR and Melodic Rock News on 27/05/2014

VEGA TO RELEASE THEIR STEREO MESSIAH ON FRONTIERS:
Frontiers Records is pleased to welcome back to the label British Melodic Rockers Vega who plan to release their third album “Stereo Messiah” in the fall of 2014.

“It is a pleasure to be part again of the best label in the world!” said James Martin keyboardist and co-songwriter of the band. The recordings are almost completed and the band is currently putting the finishing touches to the album which can certainly be enlisted as one of the Melodic Rock highlights of the second part of the year. “Stereo Messiah” has been produced by John Mitchell and will be mastered in June by Harry Hess of Harem Scarem. It will also see Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott appear on a duet with singer Nick Workman on a rare Def Leppard song given to Vega by the Sheffield front man himself! “It’s a clichй to say this, but it really is a dream come true for us. Leppard are a massive influence on us. This is such an honour!” said Nick.

Vega have also finalized already the first batch of UK shows. More dates will follow in the rest of Europe and UK in the following months:
November 1st: Nottingham Rescue Rooms
November 6th: Bolton Railway
November 7th: Swansea Static
November 8th: London The Garage


TIMO TOLKKI’S AVALON “THE PARADISE LOST” LYRIC VIDEO:
Timo Tolkki’s Avalon “The Paradise Lost” Lyric Video. Order the album on Amazon www.smarturl.it/avalonangelsamaz or iTunes www.smarturl.it/ttokkkisangelitunes. Or buy it on www.frontiers.it.

AOR ­ LA CONNECTION DUE JULY 18:
Escape Music will release the new AOR album L.A Connection July 18.
Track listing: On The Edge Of Glory / Pride Of Strangers / Closer To Zero / Once Off Guard / Lost Souls Don’t Cry / Exiled In Sadness / Age Of Desire / Circle Of Danger / The Crystal Heart.

Audio Preview: Lost Souls don’t cry.

Musicians: Frйdйric Slama : Guitars & Keyboards; Tommy Denander : All Instruments; Bill Champlin : Lead & Backing Vocals; Paul Sabu : Lead & Backing Vocals; Jeff Paris : Lead & Backing Vocals; Sherwood Ball : Lead & Backing Vocals; David Forbes : Lead & Backing Vocals; Philip Bardowell : Lead & Backing Vocals; Bob Harris : Lead & Backing Vocals; Rick Riso: Lead & Backing Vocals; Tamara Champlin: Lead & Backing Vocals; Pete Newdeck : Backing Vocals; Colin Rodgers : Guitars & Bass; Pat Thern : Drums.

Band bio: “Frederic Slama has continued to inspire us through the years with his “LA” themed releases. Ranging from soft rock to west coast to harder, edgier tunes Frederic has always brought quality music to the table. Now in 2014 Frйdйric Slama’ s AOR project is back with lucky number 13, with an impressive new album called L.A Connection, featuring a fantastic list of guests such as Tommy Denander, Bill Champlin (Chicago), Paul Sabu (Sabu, Only Child, Kidd Glove), Jeff Paris, Sherwood Ball (Jay Graydon), David Forbes (Boulevard), Rick Riso, Philip Bardowell (Places Of Power, Unruly Child), Bob Harris (Axe), Tamara Champlin & many others.
For this 13th album, AOR is flirting with heavier territories with songs reminiscent of Foreigner, Giant, Journey & Toto. The first class production by Frйdйric Slama & Tommy Denander will leave you breathless and the legendary singers of L.A Connection will surely take Melodic Rock to new heights. So it’s time for the “L.A Connection”.
This is AOR’s best outing to date and worthy of your attention, like a great red wine AOR just improves as each year passes.”
WebLink: www.Escape-Music.com.


MORE FROM THAT VOICE:
Here’s a better view of the 3 songs Steve Perry sung with The Eels this weekend past. It seems Perry’s arrival on stage has gone viral!

KILLER DWARFS IN HIGHWAY SMASH:
Killer Dwarfs frontman Russ Dwarf airlifted after band was involved in a multi-car freeway pileup returning from Rocklahoma appearance. Details: www.metalsludge.tv/?p=43662 
I’ve just heard via Mitch Lafon that “Russ okay in hospital. On plane now coming home…”

INTRODUCING GERMAN ROCK BAND AT EAZE:
The German newcomer rock band At Eaze has just released their new record Another Shot – modern hard rock at its best!
“Back in the years we released our first album Facing the Odds in 2010, which gave us a huge respect of the music scene in many countries. With our new record Another Shot we wanted to start something amazing, something that’s a milestone in modern Hard rock music. Well, we’ve got it. And this one is for all of you guys out there!”, singer/bass player Laura Fink says.
Another Shot will kick your ass with modern Hard rock and a strong woman’s voice. So blow up your mind and hit your ears.
Don’t miss these four awesome musicians and their powerful rock music. You can download the record on iTunes and Amazon. WebLink: www.facebook.com/ateaze.


MITCH LAFON TALKS TO GREAT WHITE:
In episode 16 of One On One With Mitch Lafon, Mitch sits down with, in part one, Great White’s Michael Lardie to discuss the band’s recently launched Official Great White TV channel on YouTube. The pair also discuss the band’s upcoming touring and recording plans as well as singer Terry Ilous. They also talk about Michael’s involvement in the ‘A World With Heroes – Kiss tribute CD’ (that raises money for a Montreal Palliative Care home), his cover of the Kiss song ‘beth’, Great White’s Elation album and Michael’s time with Night Ranger.
WebLink: www.spreaker.com/user/talkingmetal/one-on-one-with-mitch-lafon-episode-16.

In Part 2, Mitch chats with Great White’s Mark Kendall and his wife Bridget Kendall. Topics of discussion include the launch of the Official Great White TV channel on YouTube. The challenges of being a rock ‘n roll married couple and dealing with every day life while on the road (from taking care of the family, to paying bills, etc). This was Bridget’s first ever interview with her husband, Mark. It offers a unique perspective of being a rock ‘n roll family.
The episode of One On One With Mitch Lafon was co-hosted by former Guns ‘N Roses & Great White manager, Alan Niven.
For more about Great White visit: http://www.greatwhiterocks.com. Follow Mark Kendall on Twitter: @MarkKendall_GW and Great White: @GreatWhiteBand 
For more about the Kiss 40th Anniversary Tribute album for Palliative care on iTunes visit: itunes.apple.com/ca/album/world-heroes-kiss-tribute/id716859684.

NEW SHOWCASE:
A new Showcase online today for the Frontiers Rock Festival 2014 Compilation. Check it out here and purchase here: www.frontiers.it/album/5207/.

 

NEW REVIEWS ONLINE:
New Reviews added to the site today – the LAST batch before the launch of the new MR website!
Online today are reviews for: California Breed, Neal Schon, Timo Tolkki, Seven, Diesel, SunStrike, Mother Road, Alien, Dynazty and Brother FiretribeCheck them out now.

Today’s reviews reflect a few things. First – there’s a lot of great releases around. Plenty to pick and choose from for all!
Secondly, with the development of the new MR website, I haven’t had much time to devote to reviews as is needed, so what I’m reviewing right now are the main titles around right now – and as far as those – they are mostly very consistent and of high quality. The ratings have been high all year – because of the quality with mainline releases and the fact I haven’t had time to get to the secondary releases which may not obtain such high praise and help average out the scores, but equally deserving of coverage.

Which leads to my final point – the increased consistency and quality of releases is leading the reviews to tend higher and if I keep going we’ll need a 110 rating soon enough.

So with today’s reviews, say goodbye to the old MR site and stand by for the new. The new design allows me a whole lot more flexibility to add reviews one at a time, instead of painfully working up a batch and HTML’ing them to add in one go. That means more reviews, less constraints over what titles and the length of reviews (long if I want, short if I want…) and a slight tweak to the ratings system.

I have grappled with this for months, but decided that to do anything completely different would throw 16 years of past reviews into disarray, so the % system will stay and I’ll continue to talk about the details within each release in as much detail as necessary, but at the same time, there is one additional rank being added within the current 0-100 system, plus I have tweaked the descriptions each color rank uses. On top of that, you can expect me to be tougher on scores and a general depreciation in overall marks (just slightly), as this will allow greater scope to point out truly outstanding releases, focus on the good records and allow room to grow once again. 

80 is the new 90 🙂

I’m looking forward to getting the new site launched….I hope the new layout and system makes sense and is as popular as the reviews here have been over the years. Once the new site is launched I will begin the slow process of cataloguing all past years’ worth of reviews into one mega-searchable database at the new site!
Thanks for the support and awesome feedback over that time.

BEAUTIFUL GOODBYE FROM RICHARD MARX IN JULY:
A new Richard Marx album titles Beautiful Goodbye will be released worldwide July 8 via Marx’s own independent label. The tracks featured on the album are: 01 Whatever We Started 02 Suddenly 03 Inside 04 Beautiful Goodbye 05 Forgot To Remember 06 Turn Off The Night 07 Have A Little Faith 08 Like The World Is Ending 09 To My Senses 10 Getaway 11 Eyes On Me.
Check out the first single now:

STEVE PERRY JOINS THE EELS ON STAGE:
Great to hear the legendary Mr. Steve Perry on a stage once again – making a short cameo lead vocal appearance this weekend with The Eels. Check it out here: www.facebook.com/MelodicRockAU/posts/10152339516022326.

BRITISH MELODIC ROCKERS SERPENTINE RETURN:
Press Release: “We are delighted to announce that after twelve months in the proverbial wilderness, Serpentine are back!
After parting ways with our former singer Matt Black last year, and with our beloved bassist and founder member Gareth Vanstone bowing out in early 2014 due to health issues, it is with extreme pleasure that we welcome two new recruits to the band who represent the cream of the South Wales rock scene. Vocal powerhouse Adam Payne (ex-Tidal) was identified almost immediately upon Matt’s departure as the voice to represent the new era of Serpentine, and is joined by bassist Owen Crawford whose work on former band Triaxis’ ‘Rage & Retribution’ album is beyond impressive.
You may have gathered by now from our Facebook posts that work in the studio on our yet-to-be-titled third record, which is being produced and co-written by Gary Hughes (Ten), is well underway. The sessions so far have been great and we are more than confident that the songs we’ve chosen represent our best work to date. With that in mind, we are also very excited and honoured to have landed the services of Neil Kernon (Queensryche, FM, Judas Priest, Autograph) to mix the album this summer, which promises to have a harder and darker edge than previous releases.
More details will be available in a full press release, which will be out at the beginning of next week. In the meantime we hope that you will all join us in welcoming two class acts into Serpentine. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your continued support while we’ve been away. Now we’re back, and you’re gonna know about it!!”


PAUL DEAN’S PRE-LOVERBOY BAND STREETHEART RELEASES 1993 LIVE REUNION ALBUM:
One Night One Take features Dean, Matt Frenette and Ken “Spider” Sinnaeve reuniting with Kenny Shields and Daryl Gutheil

New York, May 23, 2014–Long before they became full-time members of Loverboy, guitarist Paul Dean, bassist Ken “Spider” Sinnaeve and drummer Matt Frenette were members of another legendary Canadian band, Streetheart. Long gathering dust in Dean’s archives, One Night One Take finally sees the light of day, a live recording made at Winnipeg’s Rolling Stone Cabaret on Friday, August 13, 1993, part of a week-long stint marking the band’s reunion after Dean was “dumped” 15 years before.

One Night, One Take shows off a band where chops, musicianship and communication resulted in an almost 14-minute-long cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Under My Thumb” and a fiery version of Them’s Bert Berns-penned classic, “Here Comes the Night,” both spotlighting Dean’s intense guitar-playing. Sinnaeve’s virtuoso bass and Frenette’s frenetic drumming are showcased on one of the previously unreleased tracks, “Mr. Tall”, while the other new track, “Losin’ Streak”, features vocalist Kenny Shields and keyboardist/vocalist Daryl Gutheil. Also, check out Dean’s electric violin solo on “Move On Over,” where Shields playfully dubs him Paul “Charlie Daniels” Dean, or his guitar pyrotechnics in “Can You Feel It” for further proof of Streetheart’s legendary jamming prowess. “At rehearsal, I said to myself, how the heck am I gonna pull that off – did I actually play that?” laughs Dean today. Their musical touchstones included such powerhouse outfits as Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, and Cream (catch the snippet of “Sunshine of Your Love” in the midst of the almost 10-minute-long “Mr. Tall”). The CD is available now at Streetheart gigs as well as online, and can be downloaded worldwide from digital retailers like iTunes and Amazon, as well as streaming services such as Rdio, Beats Music and Spotify. 

Based in Edmonton at the time, longtime musical collaborators Dean and Frenette were playing in a local cover band, Great Canadian River Race, when they heard about a group from Saskatchewan playing a bar in town. Dean says he and Frenette were impressed, to say the least. Soon after, they found themselves in Regina with Shields and Gutheil, and a year later they recorded their only album, Meanwhile Back in Paris. Dean was replaced in the group shortly thereafter, and eventually joined up with vocalist Mike Reno to form Loverboy, along with bassist Jim Clench (soon to be replaced by the late Scott Smith) and keyboardist Doug Johnson, with Frenette coming aboard soon afterward. “Spider,” who went on to play with Tom Cochrane’s Red Rider, rejoined his ex-Streetheart mates in 2001, after the tragic death of Smith.
Streetheart went on to receive a Juno Award, two Ampex Golden Reel Awards and were voted the most popular Canadian act at the People’s Choice Awards. During the course of their career, they toured with fellow Canucks Chilliwack, Rush, Aldo Nova and April Wine, as well as Sammy Hagar, Styx, Kansas, Blue Oyster Cult and AC/DC.

“I thought we were a great band,” says Dean. “We definitely had dynamics and communication on stage, and it took a live album to showcase that. Yeah, I was pretty distraught when I got kicked out – that was a heavy period in my life, but I got over it. I survived. And now I think I can speak for Matt and Spider – it wouldn’t take much convincing for us to do a tour one day. We’re totally appreciative of all our Streetheart and Loverboy fans. Personally, it blows me away that people are still behind us as much as they are, and I’m excited we can finally offer them something like this in return.”

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New From Rock Candy Records

The six new Rock Candy titles are all available now from www.rockcandyrecords.com for a discounted price including postage to anywhere in the world for the next two weeks ending on April 7.

Toto ‘S/T’ CANDY 221 / The release of the debut Toto album signalled a significant tipping point in the development of rock. Similar sounding acts such as Foreigner, Journey and Steely Dan had sowed the seeds of melodic AOR but none at that point had truly crafted the definitive role model. Toto took basic elements and turned them into pure gold by crafting a sound that was precise, cultivated and pretty much flawless, blending memorable songs with state of the art production and melodies that would propel their songs onto the airwaves from Los Angeles to London and all points in between. Formed by the cream of the LA session circuit, the band’s credential were further enhanced by keyboard player and composer David Paich, a man who had carved a successful song writing reputation with artists such as Boz Scaggs. Joining him was guitar prodigy Steve Lukather, lead vocalist Bobby Kimball, bassist David Hungate, and two brothers in keyboardist Steve and drummer Jeff Porcaro; all men with their eyes on the prize and talent to burn. Originally issued in 1978, the album produced two massive worldwide hit singles, ‘Hold The Line’ and ‘I’ll Supply The Love’, securing them a top ten album in the Billboard Charts and double Platinum certification. Elsewhere the tracks range from the soulful pop of ‘Georgy Porgy’ to the raging, almost malevolent, hard rock of ‘Girl Goodbye’.
Special Deluxe Collector’s Edition, fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, 1 bonus track, 16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork and rare photos.
Track Listing: 1 Child’s Anthem 2 I’ll Supply The Love 3 Georgy Porgy 4 Manuela Run 5 You Are The Flower 6 Girl Goodbye 7 Takin’ It Back 8 Rockmaker 9 Hold The Line 10 Angela Bonus Track: 11 Georgy Porgy (Extended remix)

Toto ‘Hydra’ CANDY 222 / It’s fair to say that Toto’s debut album was one of the surprise events of 1978. It was rammed to the rafters with methodically crafted tracks, and produced two bonafide hit singles; ‘I’ll Supply The Love’ and ‘Hold The Line’. It was these two songs that reshaped the sound of melodic rock, giving rise to the style that forever onwards became known as AOR. Certified double platinum, the future for Toto looked assured or so they thought… When they returned with their second album ‘Hydra’, originally released in 1979, their fans and critics were confronted with a work that although immediately recognisable, was considerably more advanced and complex. Instead of serving up another dish of stylistic pop rock, they reached deep inside and committed to elaborate compositions and intricate arrangements. In many respects the approach could be traced directly back to the band’s progressive rock leanings; something that their musical ability and dexterity had always hinted at. Actually ‘Hydra’ is arguably Toto’s finest hour. It is a record that combines all the positive aspects of a band that not only wrote great songs but also presented them in a format that wasn’t clichйd or pedestrian. The title track, for instance, is a seven minutes plus anthem that has become a career cornerstone, whilst shorter, sharper tracks such as ‘White Sister’ and ‘All Us Boys’ reinforced the AOR backbone in spectacular form.
Special Deluxe Collector’s Edition, fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, 16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork and rare photos.
Track Listing: 1. Hydra 2. St. George And The Dragon 3. 99 4. Lorraine 5. All Us Boys 6. Mama 7. White Sister 8. A Secret Love.

Toto ‘Turn Back’ CANDY 223 / You could say that ‘Turn Back’ is the lost Toto album. Whilst their debut record achieved double platinum sales figures, producing two global hit singles, and it’s follow up ‘Hydra’, was eventually acknowledged as a neo progressive rock triumph, ‘Turn Back’ flew beneath the radar and barely caused a blip on the charts before disappearing from sight. The fact that their follow up album ‘Toto IV’ has won an unprecedented seven Grammys and contained three top 10 hit singles only seems to emphasise the point. But although it is the least well known early era Toto album, to die-hard fans of the band it is regarded as one of their creative highpoints. Originally issued in 1981, it found the band taking a far more aggressive approach, dialling down the keyboards and upping the guitar quota by a considerable margin. This was, for all intents and purposes, an arena rock album designed to stave off their detractors and emphasise that they could hold their own against meatier acts such as Foreigner and Boston. Once again, much of the material was written or co-written by David Paich but the songs are tougher and far more dynamic than their previous work. Much of this was due to the enlistment of renowned British co-producer Geoff Workman who provided a raw, heavy sound. Highlights include ‘Goodbye Elenore’, ‘A Million Miles Away’ and the brilliantly arranged ‘English Eyes’, a candidate for their greatest ever track.
Special Deluxe Collector’s Edition, fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, Produced by Geoff Workman,16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork and rare photos.
Track Listing: 1. Gift With A Golden Gun 2. English Eyes 3. Live For Today 4. A Million Miles Away 5. Goodbye Elenore 6. I Think I Could Stand You Forever 7. Turn Back 8. If It’s The Last Night.

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Fiona ‘S/T’ CANDY235 / During the 1980s women in rock were, in many respects, unfairly treated; often cast aside as little more than irrelevant eye candy whilst their male counterparts were lauded as golden gods. This was the environment that New Jersey born chanteuse Fiona found herself battling against when launching her career. Fortunately her voice and tenacity forced naysayers to admit that she was a major new talent in the making, one that would ultimately record a brace of albums and establish herself as in internationally known figure. Fiona’s path to a career in music started early, singing in night clubs all the time looking for that elusive break. It wasn’t until she hooked up with producer Eddie Offord and members of progressive rock band Dixie Dreggs that she got her first break recording a set of demos that won her a contract with Atlantic Records. This, her debut album, originally released in 1985, was produced by former Good Rats leader Peppi Castro and features a number of prominent East Coast backing musicians including Lou Gramm guitarist Bobby Messano. Containing a blistering selection of quality tracks, Fiona’s strong and confident vocals ram home the message that she was one of the few female vocalists ready to take on the competition at their own game. Check out tracks such as ‘Love Makes You Blind’ and ‘Talk To me’ for clear cut proof.”
Special Deluxe Collector’s Edition, fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology,16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork and rare photos.
Track Listing: 1. Hang Your Heart On Me 2. Talk To Me 3. You’re No Angel 4. Rescue You 5. James 6. Love Makes You Blind 7. Over Now 8. Na Na Song.

Fiona ‘Beyond The Pale’ CANDY236 / Fiona’s self-titled debut album certainly introduced a sensational new talent to the world of femme fronted rock. Her striking looks and gilded vocals made for a fascinating combination, giving her an edge comparable to the anthemic styles of Pat Benatar, Patty Smyth and Heart. The debut album made a sure footed impact, nicely setting up her next long playing foray. For ‘Beyond The Pale’, Atlantic Records teamed her up with fast rising production talent Beau Hill, a man who made waves producing a variety of Platinum selling hard rock acts, including Ratt and Winger. It was Beau who recruited a top selection of prominent musicians including Nile Rodgers, Kip Winger and Reb Beach, as well as sourcing a number of key songwriters, including material from the pens of Billy Steinberg, Bob Halligan and Peter Wolf. This time around, the material was rockier and far more contemporary, without losing any of her roughhewn charm or bonhomie. Originally issued in 1986, the record successfully combined clean cut hi-tech production chops with sizeable blasts of anthemic rock, allowing her distinctive vocals to punch home the choruses like a hot knife through butter. Check out songs such as ‘Tragedy’, ‘Thunder & Lightning’ and the up tempo ‘You Better Wait’, for irrefutable proof.
Special Deluxe Collector’s Edition, fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, contains 2 Bonus tracks, Produced by Beau Hill,16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork and rare photos.
Track Listing: 1. Tragedy 2. Hopelessly Love You 3. Living In A Boy’s World 4. Thunder & Lightning 5. Tender Is The Heart 6. Running Out Of Night 7. In My Blood 8. He’s On My Side 9. You Better Wait 10. Keeper Of The Flame Bonus Tracks: 11. Hopelessly Love You (Vocal Remix) 12. Hopelessly Love You (Dub version).

Fiona ‘Heart Like A Gun’ CANDY237 / You can take the Girl out of the East Coast but you can’t take the East Coast out of the girl. For Fiona’s third album the diminutive singer was transported lock and stock and barrel to Los Angeles in an effort to give her a creative makeover. It was a move that shaped her label’s (Atlantic Records) deep rooted belief in her potential, after recording two albums of top drawer melodic rock that indicated she was on the verge of a major breakthrough. ‘Heart Like A Gun’, originally issued in 1989, was primarily produced by studio wizard Keith Olsen, a man who’d notched up several platinum plus selling albums from a string of artists, including Fleetwood Mac, Whitesnake and Journey. The belief was that Olsen’s magic touch would help craft an album that would catapult her into the spotlight. With help from a number of name players, including noted guitarists Brad Gillis, Mike Slamer, Tim Pierce and Dweezil Zappa, together with key song writing co-writes by Mark Mangold, Aldo Nova and Van Stephenson. Originally issued in 1989, the album exudes class and quality, a tremendous example of rugged yet melodic hard rock, with a polished and accessible sheen. Look out for the album standout, an anthemic duet with hard rock heart throb Kip Winger, ‘Everything You Do (You’re Sexing Me)’, one the most impressive tracks of the entire era.
Special Deluxe Collector’s Edition, fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, Produced by Keith Olsen,16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork and rare photos.
Track Listing: 1. Little Jeannie (Got The Look Of Love) 2. Everything You Do (You’re Sexing Me) (Duet With Kip Winger) 3. Where The Cowboys Go 4. Mariel 5. Draw The Line 6. Here It Comes Again 7. Bringing In The Beast 8. Victoria Cross 9. Look At Me Now 10. When Pink Turns To Blue.

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