Monday, January 23, 2017

MARC JORDAN - A Hole In The Wall +2 [AOR Heaven Classix remaster]

MARC JORDAN - A Hole In The Wall +2 [AOR Heaven Classix remaster] (2014) full

Regarded by many as a true West Coast / AOR classic, "A Hole In The Wall" by MARC JORDAN is indeed one of the Top albums of all time from the genre. German label AOR Heaven made justice to this superb LP and via their 'AOR Heaven Classix' series has remastered this little gem, plus 2 bonus tracks.

This is the second batch of CD pressing (the first was two years ago) but become sold out soon so here it is again for all to enjoy.
The problem with a cult abum like "A Hole In The Wall" until now was that it was only released in Japan. This classic needed a proper remaster and be available for everyone at a decent price, as it is a recording that must be listened to by a larger audience.

MARC JORDAN - A Hole In The Wall +2 [AOR Heaven Classix remaster] (2014) booklet

What most West Coast albums from the '80s have in common is an impressive list of songwriters and musicians, and for "A Hole In The Wall" (which took 14 months to complete) Jordan and his record company invited co-writers like David Foster and Steve Kipner as well as famous players like drummer Mike Baird, keyboard player Robbie Buchanan, Richard Page to provide heavenly backing vocals, percussionist Lenny Castro, Mike Porcaro from Toto and Neil Stubenhaus to play bass, and many more.
... And many more include no other than Jay Graydon, Mike Landau & Steve Lukather to handle all guitars: having these 3 monsters (on many songs playing together) on you record is like a dream come true.

MARC JORDAN - A Hole In The Wall +2 [AOR Heaven Classix remaster] (2014) back

All that L.A. Session magic resulted in a Top quality album, featuring such beauties as the opener "Slipping Away", the title track, "Love Like A Wheel" or "Thieves" (which is about Jordan's mother).
The remaster by Chris Lyne is perfect, and we have two previously unreleased tracks as bonus (that were recorded later and therefore the production is little different).
"A Hole In The Wall +2 / AOR Heaven Classix remaster", needless to say folks, is a Must Have.

01 - Slipping Away
02 - Margarita
03 - She Used To Be My World
04 - A Hole In The Wall
05 - Where Did We Go Wrong
06 - It's Only Love
07 - Love Like A Wheel
08 - Thieves
09 - Dance With Me
10 - Hold On
11 - Holding Up The Sky (bonus track)
12 - Soldier Of Fortune (bonus track)

Lead Vocals – Marc Jordan
Electric Guitar – Mike Landau, Steve Lukather, Robben Ford, Jay Graydon
Bass – Mike Porcaro, Neil Stubenhaus
Drums – Mike Baird
Keyboards – Robbie Buchanan
Synths – Michael Boddicker, Robbie Buchanan, David Foster
Percussion – Lenny Castro
Saxophone – David Borliff, Ernie Watts
Backing Vocals – Richard Page, Steve George


STAN MEISSNER - Dangerous Games [Yesterrock remaster +3]

STAN MEISSNER - Dangerous Games [Yesterrock remaster +3] full

Two of the most highly praised Melodic Rock / AOR albums from the '80s have been recently remastered by Yesterrock Records: STAN MEISSNER's Dangerous Games / Windows To Light.

Considered as one of the most influential artists from Canada's '80s scene, Stan Meissner personifies the sound of that decade like no one else.
Exquisite musician, songwriter and producer, Meissner has always put out quality product in whatever role he performs in. He has written songs for many international acts such as Lee Aaron, Alias, Darby Mills, Eddie Money, Triumph, just to name few.
As solo recording artist he has released three albums and all of them deserve to be called 'classics' in the Melodic Rock / AOR genre.
Stan Meissner two first albums where originally released by A&M Records, later expanded and reissued in the Nineties by legendary German label Long Island Records but in limited quantities, becoming much sought after pieces.

STAN MEISSNER - Dangerous Games [Yesterrock remaster +3] cd scan

Both essential albums to any Melodic Rock / AOR fan are now again available through YesterRock, remastered for the first time and featuring 3 bonus tracks each.
Appeared in 1984, "Dangerous Games" was Meissner's solo debut. With a combination of catchy melodies, killer choruses, hooks galore and pristine instrumentation, the disc is a winner. Not to mention the glossy, awesome production.
You can't resist to songs like the "Can't Let Go", "Rebel Heart", "Hide The Night Away", "Heart Of The Fire" or the pure AOR of "No Turning Back".
Meissner is a terrific ballad composer as well, check the heavenly "Walk Out Of My Life" and the atmospheric "Walking In The Dark".

This reissue is different from the original A&M Records release.
Many tracks were remixed by Meissner himself, as example "I Need Your Love" has an extra piece at the end, while "Heart Of The Fire" was replaced by its original pre-production version, because this one just sounded a lot better than the one that landed on the original LP.
And there's 3 worthy bonus tracks originally discarded due to vinyl LP's lack of physical space: "You Make It All So Easy" featuring Toto's Jeff Porcaro on drums, "At The Water" and the excellent "Renegade".

STAN MEISSNER - Dangerous Games [Yesterrock remaster +3] back cover

This "Dangerous Games" reissue was digitally remastered by George Graves at The Lacquer Channel in Toronto and sound excellent. Provided with 12-page booklet, containing all the lyrics and liner notes by Stan Meissner himself, re-issues can hardly come in a better way.
A Melodic Rock / AOR classic.

01. I Need Your Love
02. Hide The Night Away
03. Can't Let Go
04. Once Over
05. Rebel Heart
06. No Turning Back
07. You Make It All So Easy (bonus track)
08. Heart Of The Fire
09. Walk Out Of My Life
10. At The Water (bonus track)
11. Renegade (bonus track)
12. Walking In The Dark

Stan Meissner - guitars, keyboards, vocals
Paul Daiter - bass
Jorn Andersen - drums
Fred Mollin - percussion
Shelby Daniel - add. vocals on track 1
Jeff Porcaro - drums on track 7
David Hungate - bass on track 7
Matthew McCauley - keyboards on track 7
Gary Berman drums - on track 10
Anton Evans bass - on track 11


Sunday, January 22, 2017

BULLETBOYS - ST [Rock Candy remaster]

BULLETBOYS - ST [Rock Candy remaster] (2014) front

One of the most fun, cool acts emerged from the Californian scene during the second half of the '80s was without a doubt BULLETBOYS and their self-titled debut album, now freshly remastered by Rock Candy Records.

There is no getting away from it, Los Angeles in the late Eighties was ground zero for hard rock and hair metal. The Sunset Strip was home to literally hundreds of up and coming acts, all desperate to place their stake in the ground and climb the ladder to a bigger and better future.
One such act was the BulletBoys, a lean and mean rocking machine who’s melodic yet raw sensibilities set them apart from the competition by a country mile. However, although the band’s upward trajectory was a veritable rocket powered climb, it hadn’t always been that way for the individual members.
Guitarist Mick Sweda had been in lauded but poorly performing rockers King Kobra and towards the end that band’s existence it also featured bassist Lonnie Vencent and vocalist Marq Torien.

It was these three renegades that jumped ship to form the BulletBoys. With shrewd management and a desire to impress, the band stayed away from the LA clubs and concentrated on rehearsing and writing songs, a plan that paid handsome dividends when Warner Brothers records, and, in particular, their head of A&R legendary producer Ted Templeman (Van Halen, Montrose), jumped at the chance to sign them.
With Ted in the production seat, their self-titled debut album quickly attained gold certification harboured a string of energy infused tracks that still sound great today.

BULLETBOYS - ST [Rock Candy remaster] (2014) back

"Hard As A Rock", "F#9" and of course "Smooth Up In Ya" are my all-time favorites, but this album Rocks from start to finish, no weak song in sight.
This Rock Candy remaster is bright and clear, and a Highly Recommended addition to your collection.

01 - Hard As A Rock
02 - Smooth Up In Ya
03 - Owed To Joe
04 - Shoot The Preacher Down
05 - For The Love Of Money
06 - Kissin' Kitty
07 - Hell On My Heels
08 - Crank Me Up
09 - Badlands
10 - F#9

Marq Torien - vocals
Mick Sweda - guitar, backing vocals
Lonnie Vencent - bass, backing vocals
Jimmy D'Anda - drums


RED DAWN - Never Say Surrender [reissue]

VANGOUGH - Kingdom Of Ruin (2011)

Stop the press! One of the essential, must have albums in AOR / Melodic Hard Rock history has been reissued: we are talking about "Never Say Surrender", by RED DAWN, the awesome band put together by keyboardist, composer and producer David Rosenthal.

David's multi-faceted career has taken him to studios and stages across the globe with many of the most prominent artists in the world.
Besides his long tenure as keyboardist and musical director for Billy Joel, he has also worked with Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Robert Palmer, Whitesnake, Steve Vai, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, Cyndi Lauper, Yngwie Malmsteen, and dozens more.
But he has also arranged (uncredited) lots of famous melodic hard rock albums.

Rosenthal critically acclaimed work with Red Dawn was released around 1993 / 94 only in Japan, but in fact recorded during the late '80s / early '90s.
Now Rosenthal has made it available again, professionally pressed in the USA, and under his own label. You can get it from his website and in Europe through AOR Heaven Records.

RICHIE KOTZEN - I'm Coming Out (2011)tracks

This album is the perfect balance between elements taken from the AOR rocking side, Pomp, Melodic Hard Rock and commercial-era Rainbow mixed together into a masterpiece.
Yes, "Never Say Surrender" is a 5* Masterpiece for the genre.

All songs are brute diamonds, highly melodic, filled with killer keyboard stabs, powerful melodic guitar riffs, a bombastic rhythm section and a distinct lead singer owner of a potent, broken voice.
"Never Say Surrender" is perfect, and a MANDATORY purchase.

01 - Flyin' High
02 - I'll Be There
03 - Liar
04 - Dangerous Child
05 - Promises
06 - I Can't Get Over You
07 - Christine
08 - Take These Chains
09 - She's On Fire
10 - Never Say Surrender

David Rosenthal: Keyboards, Synths, Orchestrator
Larry Baud: Vocals
Tristan Avakian: Guitars, Backing Vocals
Greg Smith (Ted Nugent, Rainbow, Blue Oyster Cult): Bass
Chuck Burgi (Blue Oyster Cult, Rainbow): Drums,, Backing Vocals


Saturday, January 21, 2017


FROM THE FIRE - Evil Men Do (2014) full

Fans of the genre should remember FROM THE FIRE, the early nineties AOR / Melodic Rock act originated in the US East Coast who delivered the fantastic record 'Thirty Days and Dirty Nights' plenty of catchy tunes and smooth melodies.
Reuniting twenty-four years later, the band, consisting of core members J.D. Kelly on vocals, Michael Sciotto on drums, and Tommy Lafferty on guitar, have recorded a sequel to that wonderful album: a CD entitled "Evil Men Do".

After all these years, From The Fire have produced an album that explores their wide range of melodic rock tastes, from the pumpy uptempo opener "In Your Dreams" (akin the late Jimi Jamison), the AOR of "Leave Me Alone" (in the vein of Joe Lynn Turner's Sunstorm) to the layered, semi-autobiographical trip-hook tune "Stagefright (Some Kind of Dream)", where they even add a touch of progressive.
There's great power ballads in "Into Your Heart" and the semi-midtempo "Never Be Lonely" (which remind me Drive She Said), the candence of "Liar" recall House Of Lords or Mark Free, whilst the slow burner "Blame It On The Moon" is a beautiful lament written by American Glam-Rock legend Brett Smiley.

The rapid, rocking "From The Fire" explores the desperation of war, while the title track, "Evil Men Do" is a dark, deep-cut tale of unbridled passion, countered by the sweet, harmonious "Forever And A Day" - a song that speaks from the soul of a band that never knew 'how far their lights would reach' - but will forever be grateful to the fans and friends who kept them in their hearts, all over the world.

With a good production for an indie (recorded and released through their own label) and mix handled by Pat Regan (Warrant, Crown of Thorns, and most recently, Mr. Big), From The Fire have returned with another fine slice of traditional, classy late '80s Melodic Rock / AOR tunes. Grab your physical copy at the next FireFest, where From The Fire will be playing on October, Saturday the 25th.
Highly Recommended.

01 - In Your Dreams
02 - Leave Me Alone
03 - Liar
04 - Into Your Heart
05 - Evil Men Do
06 - From The Fire
07 - Blame It On The Moon
08 - Stagefright (Some Kind Of Dream)
09 - Never Be Lonely
10 - Forever And A Day

Tommy Lafferty - guitars
Mike Sciotto - drums
J.D. Kelly - lead vocals, keyboards
Nicky Moroch - bass (session)


Friday, January 20, 2017

QUIET RIOT - Quiet Riot 'QR' [Rock Candy remaster]

QUIET RIOT - Quiet Riot 'QR' [Rock Candy remaster] full

Rock Candy Records have remastered all the '80s recorded Quiet Riot albums some time ago, and as repeatedly requested, we will present all of them here on this blog.
Now it's time for the band's last album from the decade; "QR", also known as "Quiet Riot" or "Quiet Riot IV".

The general consensus of opinion about Quiet Riot's career trajectory is that they started off taking a rocket ride to the stars - first '80s LP Metal Health sold in excess of ten million copies - only to embarrassingly crash and burn just a few short years later.
Commercially speaking that was a true account of the situation, but on a musical level many agree that the band's output was inversely proportional to their chart decline, getting better and more inventive as time moved on.

The band's reached their rock bottom following the release of 'Quiet Riot III', when their outrageous front man Kevin DuBrow was summarily fired from the line-up. They intended to carry on under a new moniker and looked to modify their sound, whilst searching for a replacement vocalist.

QUIET RIOT - Quiet Riot 'QR' [Rock Candy remaster] (2010) booklet

They quickly settled on ex- Rough Cutt singer Paul Shortino, developed a chest thumping bluesy hard rock style and met with their record company about recording a new album, only to be told that contractually, and for commercial reasons, they would have to continue using the Quiet Riot name.

Despite the odds stacked against them the band's final album (curiously self-tiled) originally released in 1988, was a spectacular statement drinking from the same bluesy well as Whitesnake, or '80s Deep Purple, mixed with Rough Cutt and early Winger melodies.
Paul Shortino's vocals are both impressive and effective, whilst the songs are little short of spectacular, leaving nobody in any doubt that had this project been launched as a brand new entity they might well have gained a new lease of life to rival their original success.
"Stay With Me Tonight" rocks and sports an inspired lead guitar work, "Calling The Shots" has a classic commercial riff, "Run To You" is a killer midtempo, and "In A Rush" pumps a monster groove.
For more melodic hard rock listen the catchy "King Of The Hill", or the AOR ballad "Don't Wanna Be Your Fool" with orchestrated keys and clean guitars.

QUIET RIOT - Quiet Riot 'QR' [Rock Candy remaster] (2010) back cover

"QR" includes some of the finest songs composed by Quiet Riot (or Banali / Cavazo in this case), however, production isn't the best in their discography. Rock Candy has done a good job (handled by Jon Astley behind the desk) trying to obtain the best from the original tapes.
It's a really good record that should have appeared under a different moniker, but sports the Quiet Riot name on the cover.

01 - Stay With Me Tonight
02 - Callin' The Shots
03 - Run To You
04 - I'm Fallin'
05 - King Of The Hill
06 - The Joker
07 - Lunar Obsession
08 - Don't Wanna Be Your Fool
09 - Coppin' A Feel
10 - In A Rush
11 - Empty Promises

Carlos Cavazo - guitars, backing vocals
Frankie Banali - drums
Paul Shortino - lead and backing vocals
Sean McNabb - bass, backing vocals
Jimmy Waldo - keyboards, backing vocals
Jimmy Johnson - bass on tracks 1 and 9


QUIET RIOT - III [Rock Candy remaster]

QUIET RIOT - III [Rock Candy remaster] full

Rock Candy Records have remastered all the '80s recorded Quiet Riot albums some time ago, and as repeatedly requested, we will present all of them here on this blog.

"QR III" is, as the name suggests, Quiet Riot’s third album (originally released in 1986) and showcases some major changes, not only musically but also on the personnel front; bassist Rudy Sarzo was replaced by Chuck Wright (from Giuffria).
Showcasing a far more mature sound, the band introduced keyboards and featured songwriting that suggested that they had finally come of age, relying less on simplistic shout-it-out-loud hooks and more on multiple layers of rich melody with impressive muscle. The arrangements were mature without giving way to syrupy lullabies or saccharin ballads.

"QR III" it's Quiet Riot's most 'pop metal' album, plenty of catchy melodic lines featuring more keyboards and de-emphasizing the guitar a little bit.

QUIET RIOT - III [Rock Candy remaster] booklet

The whole first half of this disc is incredible, especially "The Wild & the Young" and "Twilight Hotel", while Chuck Wright's bass solo "Bass Case" is phenomenal.
Simply put, if you like mid-Eighties Melodic Rock with FM radio AOR touches, "QR III" is a must.

Sadly, the band’s fortunes, through no fault of their own, continued to spiral out of control, resulting in an album that was critically lauded as their best work but one that in purely commercial terms sadly underachieved.
In the end, internal unrest resulted in flamboyant front man Kevin Dubrow being asked to leave the band – for many an unthinkable development – signaling the end of a once great institution.
Very good remaster by Rock Candy.

QUIET RIOT - III [Rock Candy remaster] back cover

01 - Main Attraction
02 - The Wild And The Young
03 - Twilight Hotel
04 - Down And Dirty
05 - Rise Or Fall
06 - Put Up Or Shut Up
07 - Still Of The Night
08 - Bass Case
09 - The Pump
10 - Slave To Love
11 - Helping Hands

Kevin DuBrow - lead vocals
Carlos Cavazo - guitars
Chuck Wright - bass
John Purdell - synthesizer, keyboards
Frankie Banali - drums


Thursday, January 19, 2017

WHITESNAKE - Live In '84 Back To The Bone

WHITESNAKE - Live In '84 Back To The Bone (2014) full

WHITESNAKE fans worldwide now have something to be excited about: To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of WHITESNAKE’s multi-platinum ‘Slide It In’ album, Frontiers Records are releasing "Live In ‘84 - Back To The Bone", a complete celebration of the group's awe inspiring lineup during what many feel was the incredible beginning of what Coverdale called his desire to make Whitesnake more ‘electrifying’ on record and on-stage.

Culled from audio and video recordings from the private collection of leader and vocalist David Coverdale, the release offers an ultra-rare collection of material performed by the band’s acclaimed 83-84 line-ups.
Featured on the record and driven by the awesome Cozy Powell on drums (ex-Jeff Beck Group, Rainbow, MSG and later on Gary Moore and Black Sabbath, among others) there's unique guitarist John Sykes, whom Coverdale credits with inspiring a whole generation of six-stringers after his breathtaking work on the '1987’ album, and bassist exceptional Neil Murray.

Opening with the trademark shout of 'are you ready' Whitesnake launch into the classic fast paced rocker "Gambler", quickly followed by "Guilty of Love". The recording sounds great despite its age, and the mix is pretty good as well.
Next up, is the famous 'here’s a song for ya' yell as David tells the crowd before slowing things down a bit with "Love ain't no Stranger".

WHITESNAKE - Live In '84 Back To The Bone (2014) inside

The group are in great form, with the rhythm section of Cozy Powell and Neil Murray playing particular tight. David is at his peak as performer, and firing on all six John Sykes' playing is hot.
The entire set is excellent, including "Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues" - with Sykes adding his own magic sparkle to it, turning the song into a more hard edged rocker, "Ready an' Willing", always a live favorite where Coverdale introduces Sykes who plays a moody harmonic driven guitar solo before launching into a near eight minute epic version of "Crying In The Rain". Sykes in on fire here, the solo on this is both fast and fluid, backed by the ever dependable Cozy Powell.
In the release are three songs played at the Super Rock '84 touring rock festival held in Seibu Stadium in Tokyo Japan, offering slightly different versions of "Love Ain’t No Strange", "Ready an’ Willing" and "Slow An’ Easy".

Perhaps the more emotional portion on the CD is the recording of Jon Lord’s final performance as Whitesnake member: “Gambler,” “Guilty Of Love,” “Love Ain’t No Stranger” and “Ready An’ Willing”.
These are pretty special treat for every fan of early Whitesnake line-up, being the recordings of the last concert the late Hammond master Jon Lord played with Coverdale’s band at “Måndagsbörsen” Swedish TV show, April 1984.
The sound of these are not as good as the previous material, but are still pretty decent and certainly worthy of inclusion as 'in memoriam' to the great keyboardist.

WHITESNAKE - Live In '84 Back To The Bone (2014) back

Apart from the obvious aspects of enjoyable listening and high quality of digitally enhanced recordings, "Live In ’84 – Back To The Bone" is a back-to-basics, retrospective release that Whitesnake should have already released a long time ago, as it portrays the era that was a breakthrough for Coverdale and his band in many respects.
The Audio CD is not available separately nor digitally, you need to buy this Deluxe DVD/CD Edition to get it.

01. Gambler
02. Guilty Of Love
03. Love Ain't No Stranger
04. Slow An’ Easy
05. Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues
06. Ready An’ Willing
07. Guitar Solo
08. Crying In The Rain
09. Soldier Of Fortune
10. Love Ain't No Stranger
11. Ready An' Willing
12. Slow An’ Easy
13. Gambler (featuring Jon Lord)
14. Guilty Of Love (featuring Jon Lord)
15. Love Ain't No Stranger (featuring Jon Lord)
16. Ready An’ Willing (featuring Jon Lord)


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

DAMN YANKEES - Damn Yankees [Rock Candy remaster +1]

DAMN YANKEES - Damn Yankees [Rock Candy remaster +1] (2014)

Easily in my Top20 rank of the best US Melodic Hard Rock records of all time, the self-titled debut by DAMN YANKEES still sounds awesome today, even better on this fresh remaster done by Rock Candy Records.

SuperGroups come and go; often in an initial blaze of glory and then more often than not disappear in a puff of smoke due to a half-assed work ethic and the sound of clashing egos.
This was not the case with Damn Yankees, a veritable smorggersboard of prime time American musical hard rock talent: Ted Nugent, Tommy Shaw (Styx), Jack Blades (Night Ranger) and drummer Michael Cartellone.
A four man wrecking crew who came together with the objective of celebrating not only their considerable reputations but also to establish a new beachhead for further success.

Formed in late 1988 in New York City, the band quickly solidified via a series of rehearsals and a demo that led them to sign a record deal with Warner Brothers, who promptly put them in the studio with renowned producer Ron Nevison (Led Zeppelin, Bad Company, UFO, Heart), a man with not only great chops but also a certain hard working reputation.
Recorded in Los Angeles, the album exceeded all expectations, providing the band with a springboard to double platinum success, a #13 place on the Billboard LP chart and an impressive run of sold out live dates.
Musically, the band were firing on all six cylinders, notching up an impressive number of hits and anthems such as ‘Come Again’, ‘Coming Of Age’, ‘Runaway’ and the massively successful power ballad ‘High Enough’, a song that reached #3 on the US singles chart.

DAMN YANKEES - Damn Yankees [Rock Candy remaster +1] (2014)

"Damn Yankees" already sounds incredible in its original release, but this remaster is more than welcomed as the CD become pretty hard to find.
And together with these terrific songs you have the bonus track "Bonestripper", the rocking single B-Side also used in a movie soundtrack.
A Must Have.

1. Coming Of Age
2. Bad Reputation
3. Runaway
4. High Enough
5. Damn Yankees
6. Come Again
7. Mystified
8. Rock City
9. Tell Me How You Want It
10. Piledriver
11. Bonestripper (bonus track)

Tommy Shaw – guitars and vocals
Ted Nugent – guitars and vocals
Jack Blades – bass and vocals
Michael Cartellone – drums
Additional musicians:
Steve Freeman - keyboards
Alan Pasqua - Hammond organ
Neverleave Brothers - backing vocals
B.J. Ingram, David Niwa, Marion Pinhiero, Marti Sweet, Gerlad Tarack, Sarah Carter, Jesse Levy, Charles McCracken - strings


URGENT - Thinking Out Loud [AOR Heaven Classix remaster]

URGENT - Thinking Out Loud [AOR Heaven Classix remaster] (2014)

Not to be confused with the Canadian band of the same name, USA melodic rockers URGENT released two very good albums halfway the '80s: 'Cast The First Stone' in 1984 and "Thinking Out Loud" in 1987.
While the debut already got re-issued some time ago, "Thinking Out Loud" gets its first re-release / remaster via the AOR Heaven Classix series. There was a first press limited to 1.000 copies two years ago, but sold out and the label is presenting a second string now.

URGENT was built around the three brothers Michael, Don and Steve Kehr, but also featured guitarist Yul Vasquez who later joined cult melodic rockers DIVING FOR PEARLS.
After the excellent debut, theg guys wanted a gutsier sound according to times (1987) and it was Vasquez who came up with the name of Tom Allom, known from his work for bands like Judas Priest, Krokus, Loverboy, Rough Cutt and Y&T.
"Thinking Out Loud" exactly resulted as the band members had in mind: retaining the melodic hooks, catchy choruses and swirling keyboards of the debut, plus an edgy, more punchy output.

URGENT - Thinking Out Loud [AOR Heaven Classix remaster] (2014) booklet

The album features 11 killer-no-filler tracks like the strong rockers "Shot In The Dark", the guitar driven "I Can't Take It No More" and a re-recorded version of the monster single "Running Back", that had peaked at # 79 in the Billboard Hot 100.
There's supreme AOR in the terrific "Always Be There" and the keyboard oriented "If This Is Love" while the ballad "All Over the World" is simply gorgeous.

Although the album was surely a worthy follow-up for the debut and sold pretty well, Urgent lost its deal with EMI Manhattan soon after. The cause? A restructuring! That same year (1987) the band folded, but Yul Vasquez and Klyph Black would carry on in the music business.
If you want to find out what they did after Urgent's demise, you can read the detailed liner notes from Dave Reynolds in the booklet with this re-issue.

URGENT - Thinking Out Loud [AOR Heaven Classix remaster] (2014) back cover

"Thinking Out Loud" is a classic record into any Melodic Rock / AOR book.
All the songs are huge with layers of harmonies all over, sharp guitar work and classy keyboards / synths, kicked by a fuller, 'big' glossy production. The remaster by Chris Lyne (Soul Doctor) is very dynamic, crystal clear.
Fans of classic '80s Melodic Rock / AOR in the vein of Aviator, Loverboy, Honeymoon Suite, Aldo Nova, etc. need to add this one into your collection ASAP.
A Must Have.

01. Pain (Love Is A Victim)
02. Shot In The Dark
03. I Can't Take It No More
04. If This Is Love
05. Always Be There
06. Running Back
07. Extra Extra
08. Turning The Knife
09. Give 'Em Enough Rope
10. Inch By Inch
11. All Over The World

Michael Kehr - vocals, guitar
Don Kehr - vocals, keyboards
Steve Kehr - drums, vocals
Yul Vasquez - guitar, vocals
Klyph Black - bass



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