Thursday, April 25, 2019

MICHAEL THOMPSON BAND - Love & Beyond (2019)

MICHAEL THOMPSON BAND - Love & Beyond (2019) full

Great news fellow readers; The MICHAEL THOMPSON BAND is back with a brand new album entitled "Love & Beyond", and it's a pure delight.
To be released tomorrow via Frontiers Music, for this release Michael wanted to return to the polished AOR sound of the band’s 1989 debut, so once again teamed up with Wyn Davis to mix the album.
Renowned songwriter and musician Mark Spiro is involved as well as appearing on vocals together with Larry King and Larry Antonino, who is best known for being the bass player in Unruly Child. Another member of that band, Guy Allison, appears on keyboards.

So this is pretty much the same line up of that awesome debut, and let me tell you, at places, "Love & Beyond" is even better.

01. Opening
02. Love & Beyond
03. Save Yourself
04. Passengers
05. Red Sun (Interlude)
06. Supersonic
07. La Perouse (Interlude)
08. Don't Look Down
09. Far Away
10. Penny Laughed (Interlude)
11. Love Was Never Blind
12. Black Moon (Interlude)
13. Flying Without Wings
14. Forbidden City (Interlude)
15. Just Stardust
16. What Will I Be Without You
17. Starting Over
18. 'Til We Meet Again

Guitars: Michael Thompson
Lead Vocals and bass: Larry Antonino
Lead vocals: Larry King, Mark Spiro
Drums: Sergio Gonzalez, Tim Pedersen
Keys: Guy Allison

Pre Order:


GYPSY ROSE - Reloaded (2019)

GYPSY ROSE - Reloaded (2019) full

This is the first release from new Melodic Rock label ScandiRock Records, and what a great way to start: the re-issue of the GYPSY ROSE debut album under the new title “Reloaded”, with a new cover artwork, remastered by Martin Kronlund and with the previously unreleased track 'Solitude' added.

GYPSY ROSE was founded back in 1981 in Sweden by Håkan Gustafsson and Martin Kronlund, but their self-titled debut album was just released in 2005 - almost 25 years later! Now life has not been all too kind for the band during the '80s. Labels that went belly-up after signing, warm attention from foreign producers (Taavi Mote - Geffen Records) that in the end was nothing more than a cold shower.
Finally GYPSY ROSE broke up in 1993, but with the during the past decade Melodic Hard Rock resurgence they reunited for this debut album.

Originally titled 'Gypsy Rose', this is one of my favorite Melodic Hard Rock albums from the past decade, now revitalized, indeed "Reloaded" by a terrific remastering.
All tracks here are pure gold for the genre, driven by biting guitars, stupendous vocals, keyboard flourishes and packed with sing-along choruses.

It's hard to choose a favorite, honestly, all tracks are killer.
'Promise to Stay' is one of the best songs from the genre since the 2000's, but darn, just listen to opener 'When You Leave At Night', 'The Look In Your Eye' or the AOrish 'December Night'. This is top class Scandinavian Melodic Hard Rock.

"Reloaded" packs an assassin load of terrific songs, uptempo rockers melodic as it gets, powerful and catchy as hell.
GYPSY ROSE is one of the most underrated bands out there - mastermind Martin Kronlund is a truly talented guy, while singer Hakan Gustafsson is very close to ex- Bonfire singer Claus Lessmann - and this remastered reissue is a must have in your collection.
DON'T miss this.

01. When You Leave At Night
02. You Drive Me Crazy
03. Promise To Stay
04. Moonlight
05. You
06. Queen Of The Night
07. Burning
08. Light Up My Way
09. December Night
10. Fender 59
11. The Look In Your Eye
12. Solitude (bonus track)

Hakan Gustafsson - Vocals
Martin Kronlund - Guitars
Imre Daun - Drums
Mats Bostedt - Bass
Rikard Quist - Keyboards

Pre Order:


LONERIDER - Attitude (2019)

LONERIDER - Attitude (2019) full

Debut album by LONERIDER, featuring an all-star line-up: Steve Overland, Steve Morris, Chris Childs, Brian J Anthony and legendary drummer Simon Kirke.
The album has the feel of classic Bad Company, yet the songs are modern, fresh and vibrant.

01. My Imagination
02. Lonerider
03. Hard Heart to Break
04. Fast Train
05. Wanted Man
06. Yesterday Heroes
07. Angel Without Wings
08. Rock 'n Roll Dreamer
09. One in a Million
10. Gimme Your Love
11. Rhythm of Life
12. Heart & Soul

Steve Overland: All vocals (FM / Shadowman)
Simon Kirke: Drums (Free / Bad Company)
Steve Morris: All Guitars and keyboards (Ian Gillan / Heartland)
Chris Childs: Bass (Thunder / Tyketto)
Brian J Anthony: Acoustic Guitars (Steve Walsh / Overland)

Pre Order:


RICK SPRINGFIELD - Orchestrating My Life (2019)

RICK SPRINGFIELD - Orchestrating My Life (2019) full

01 - Kristina
02 - I've Done Everything For You
03 - Don't Talk To Strangers
04 - Jessie's Girl
05 - Affair Of The Heart
06 - Love Somebody
07 - Human Touch
08 - Celebrate Youth
09 - World Start Turning
10 - State Of The Heart
11 - Irreplaceable
12 - My Father's Chair

Pre Order:


ALAN PARSONS - The Secret (2019)

ALAN PARSONS - The Secret (2019) full

Eleven-time Grammy nominated legendary music icon and master of progressive rock, ALAN PARSONS will returns with a new album, "The Secret". Alan's longtime hobby has been performing magic and this brand new album showcases his own passion for the craft, hence the title "The Secret."
The album will see a return to the pop rock sound with symphonic and progressive rock interludes which the Alan Parsons Project was known for.
Features guest appearances by Steve Hackett, Jason Mraz, Lou Gramm (Foreigner), and more.

01. The Sorcerer's Apprentice (feat Steve Hackett)
02. Miracle (lead vocal: Jason Mraz)
03. As Lights Fall (lead vocal: Alan Parsons)
04. One Note Symphony (lead vocal: Todd Cooper)
05. Sometimes (lead vocal: Lou Gramm)
06. Soire Fantastique (lead vocal: Todd Cooper, Alan Parsons)
07. Fly To Me (lead vocal: Mark Mikel)
08. Requiem (lead vocal: Todd Cooper)
09. Years Of Glory (lead vocal: PJ Olsson)
10. The Limelight Fades Away (lead vocal: Jordan Huffman)
11. I Can't Get There From Here (lead vocal: Jared Mahone)

Lead Vocals: Jason Mraz , Lou Gramm, Alan Parsons, Todd Cooper, P. J. Olsson, Jordan Huffman, Jared Mahone, Mark Mikel
Additional Vocals: Alan Parsons, Todd Cooper, Dan Tracey, Jordan Huffman, P. J. Olsson, Carl–Magnus “C-M” Carlsson, Andy Ellis
Narration: Alan Parsons
Guitars: Steve Hackett, Jeff Kollman, Dan Tracey, Tony Rosacci, Ian Bairnson, Alan Parsons
Synth, Keyboards: Andy Ellis, Tom Brooks, Dan Tracey, Alan Parsons
Piano: Pat Caddick, Angelo Pizzaro, Tom Brooks
Bass: Nathan East, Guy Erez, Jeff Peterson
Drums: Vinnie Colaiuta, Danny Thompson, Carl Sorensen
Saxophone: Todd Cooper
Orchestra: The CMG Music Recording Orchestra of Hollywood
Orchestral Arrangements: Tom Brooks, Dan Tracey, Milton Olsson
Orchestra Conducted by: Tom Brooks, Alan Parsons
Cello: Michael Fitzpatrick
Percussion: Alan Parsons, Todd Cooper
Ukulele: Jake Shimabukuro
Trombones: Oscar Utterstrom
Trumpets: Vinnie Ciesielski



DARK BLUE INC. (Goran Edman) - Linked To Life (2019)

DARK BLUE INC. (Goran Edman) - Linked To Life (2019) full

01 - Dark Blue Overture (Instrumental)
02 - Time Will Never Wait
03 - Karma Machine
04 - Deep Blue Sea (feat Ian Paice)
05 - Linked to Life
06 - Sacred Sin
07 - Cold Is the Night
08 - Island of Thoughts

Göran Edman - lead vocals
Frank Pané (Bonfire, Sainted Sinners, Ian Paice) - lead guitar
Andrea Vergori (Wheels Of fire) - keyboards, rhythm guitar
Lydia Pané (Hells Belles, AXEperience) - background & lead vocals
Harry Reischmann (Gregorian, Sarah Brightman) - drums
Hal Patino (Ex-King Diamond, Ex-Pretty Maids) - bass
Ian Paice (Deep Purple) - guest drums

Pre Order:


TANK (featuring David Readman) - Re-Ignition (2019)

TANK - Re-Ignition (2019) full

01. Walking Barefoot Over Glass
02. Power Of The Hunter (feat. Tom Angelripper)
03. Just Like Something From Hell
04. (He Fell in Love With A) Stormtrooper
05. This Means War
06. Shellshock (feat. Dani Filth)
07. W.M.L.A.
08. Honour And Blood
09. Blood, Guts And Beer
10. Echoes Of A Distant Battle
11. The War Drags Ever On

David Readman - Vocals
Mick Tucker - Guitars
Cliff Evans - Guitars
Bobby Schottkowski - Drums
Randy van der Elsen - Bass

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MIKE MACHINE - Alive (2019)

MIKE MACHINE - Alive (2019) full

MIKE MACHINE, a new band from the endless vaults of Sweden consisting of former and current musicians of power metal outfit CRYONIC is coming up with their debut CD "Alive" via AOR Heaven Records.
“Alive“ contains ten tracks for which the album title fits like a glove. Bombastic rockers like “Alive“, “Paradise“ or “Fireball“ as well as the ballad by the name of “It’s My Life“ immediately creep into your brain and stay.
Another track to check out is the wonderful groover “Living On The Road“, capturing the feeling within the band for sure.
Solid stuff for fans of HARDCORE SUPERSTAR, ZAN CLAN or MÖTLEY CRÜE, of course.

01. Fight To Survive
02. Alive
03. Paradise
04. It’s My Life
05. In Your Dream
06. Fireball
07. On And On
08. Living On The Road
09. Evil Mind
10. No More

Michael 'Mike' Löfqvist – Vocals
Mikael – Guitars
Crazze Crantz – Bass
Johnnny O’dee – Drums



MASS - Still Chained (2019)

MASS - Still Chained (2019) full

01. Back To The Music
02. Straight To Hell
03. Break Out
04. Kick Your Ass
05. Chained
06. Devil’s Gate
07. Restless
08. Dark Night
09. Shoot Out
10. Cry It Out
11. Born To Lose
12. Time Runs Out
13. War Law
14. It Is Done
15. We Are Back

Günther V. Radny - Bass
Andreas Gmeinwieser - Drums
Hans "Hyde" Heid - Guitars
Clemens Matejka - Keyboards
Matthias "Wauxl" Pfaller - Vocals

Pre Order:


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

WALK THE WIRE - Walk The Wire [Yesterrock remaster +3]

WALK THE WIRE - Walk The Wire [Yesterrock remaster +3] full

WALK THE WIRE is one of these little gems that deserves a towering place in your collection. Through the years, their sole album "Walk The Wire" became a hard to find collectors item, but fortunately YesterRock Records rescued this true blast of British AOR, reissued including 3 bonus tracks and with an amazing remastered sound.

Previously known as Frozen Heart, the band recorded a promising set of demos in the early Nineties, but this type of keyboard-driven Melodic Rock / AOR was in decline interest for record labels at the time.
However Swedish label Megarock picked up the band impressed by their quality, and with the group changing the name to Walk The Wire accorded the debut release.
As you can read in the booklet liner notes, the album was 'recorded in 11 days of total madness'. Well, I suspect a madness of fun, as in terms of production the result was top notch.

The album starts with the keyboard / synth heaven of 'Quadrature' an instrumental piece which precedes the grandiose AOR number 'Remember'.
Damn, this may have been recorded in the Nineties, but sounds like the best '80s AOR you could get; sharp guitars, pumping bass lines, soaring vocals, a monster chorus and keys to die for.

WALK THE WIRE - Walk The Wire [Yesterrock remaster +3] booklet

More majestic tunes appear with the awesome 'Nothing To Lose', the catchy 'On The Run', 'Storm Warning', the sing-along 'Stand Up And Fight' or the pompy 'Crossfire'.
Of course an album of this kind needs a ballad, and we have two, both stupendous: midtempo 'The Knives Are Out Tonight' and the sublime 'Running From My Heart'.

The YesterRock team asked keyboard player Nigel Hobbs if there were any previously unreleased songs that could be added as a bonus to this reissue and Hobbs took this opportunity to remaster three old tracks: 'Shoot It To The Top', 'Party Girl' and 'Armed And Ready'.
Although the sound is a little different than the main album, they certainly form a nice surplus especially 'Party Girl' plenty of sparkling keys, a characteristic of Walk The Wire and pure British AOR.

WALK THE WIRE - Walk The Wire [Yesterrock remaster +3] back

For years a collectors piece, this remastered reissue of ‘Walk The Wire’ turns this CD a mandatory purchase.
In the vein of early FM, Atlantic, Change Of Heart, Strangeways, etc and packed with terrific songs in the best UK AOR tradition, this is a true shining diamond.

01. Quadrature
02. Remember
03. Nothing to Lose
04. On The Run
05. The Knives Are Out Tonight
06. Stand Up And Fight
07. Storm Warning
08. Hold On To Your Dreams
09. Running From My Heart
10. Crossfire
11. Shout It To The Top
12. Party Girl
13. Armed And Ready

Paul Watkins - vocals
Andy Webb - guitars
Nigel Hobbs - keyboards
Mike Barker - bass
Phillip Wilson - drums



NIGHT RANGER - Somewhere In California [Japan Edition + iTunes + Amazon exclusive bonus]

NIGHT RANGER - Somewhere In California [Japan Edition + iTunes + Amazon exclusive bonus]

The release of "Somewhere In California" marked NIGHT RANGER's 30th Anniversary and it was some kind of a the culmination of the group's work all over these years. It packs everything the fans could ask for; melodic cuts and hard rocking numbers, pretty much returning to their classic '80s sound yet with an updated production.
This Japanese Edition includes a bonus track, but there's also the exclusive extra tracks from the iTunes and Amazon releases, 1 track each.

"Somewhere In California" makes justice to its title; after listening to it I have to say it’s the perfect soundtrack for making a roadtrip in your convertible under the sun.
The disc starts at full speed with the autobiographic and fresh sounding title track "Growing Up In California". This is a typical Night Ranger tune with lots of melody, screaming guitars and a contagious refrain.
You can keep your foot on the pedal with "Lay It On Me", a song in the style of their Nineties material. A catchy melodic hard rocker with furious guitar riffs. For Night Ranger standards a very aggressive and powerful kick ass song.

"Bye Bye Baby (Not Tonight)" has sentimental feel wrapped up in a strong vocal arrangement and the hook of a big chorus. A track that reminds you the very earlier, anthemic Night Ranger. "Follow Your Heart" offers a steady pace, a hard bluesy classic rocker in the Damn Yankees style, full of guitars and very, very american.
"Time Of Our Lives" is one of the highlights. It's one of 'those' lovely Ranger's tunes. Starts off as a piano ballad before building up to a big chorus and some solid, melodic guitar work kicking in. If this was 1989 this would be an instant huge summer hit.

NIGHT RANGER - Somewhere In California itunes amazon bonus tracks

"No Time To Lose Ya" is another winner. A pure AOR / Melodic Rock screaming for radio airplay. The chorus is SO Eighties, so classy Night Ranger. You will love this. This is Night Ranger in its purest form.

Then there's the brilliant "End Of The Day", a great melodic rocker with a tasty chorus and tight guitar lead, with great vocals by Kelly Keagy. "Rock N' Roll Tonite" is exactly what you would expect: a fun anthem to rock; it's a rowdy hard rocker and gives the band a chance to put pedal to the metal, surely a winner in the live shows.

On the Japanese bonus track "L.A. No Name", Brad Gillis finds space to show his virtuosity on the six-strings with taste and emotion.
The iTunes exclusive track is a fun, cool version of AC/DC classic 'Dirty Deeds (Done Dirt Cheap)', done in a classy Night Ranger melodic hard rock style of course, while the Amazon exclusive a sharper reworking on Damn Yankees' 'Coming Of Age', featuring Ted Nugent as guest in a guitar solo duel with Gillis.

NIGHT RANGER - Somewhere In California [Japan Edition] - back

Long time Night Ranger fans resulted a bit disappointed with the so-called modern style of the previous 'Hole In The Sun'. "Somewhere in California" runs towards that anthem arena-ready sound that made them famous in the Eighties.
This is solid, well-crafted classic melodic rock, infectious and entertaining. The clear, crisp production showcases the band’s musical talents and they build up a layered sound complemented with hot riffs and multi-part sing along harmonies that will stick in your head after the first spin.
Highly Recommended

King Records Japan 【KICP-1560】
N I G H T  R A N G E R

01 - Growin' Up In California
02 - Lay It On Me
03 - Bye Bye Baby (Not Tonight)
04 - Follow Your Heart
05 - Time Of Our Lives
06 - No Time To Lose Ya
07 - Live For Today
08 - It's Not Over
09 - End Of The Day
10 - Rock N' Roll Tonite
11 - Say It With Love
12 - L.A. No Name [Japan bonus track]
13 - Dirty Deeds (Done Dirt Cheap) [iTunes edition exclusive]
14 - Coming Of Age (feat. Ted Nugent) [Amazon exclusive track]

Jack Blades – Bass, Lead & Backing Vocals
Kelly Keagy – Drums, Percussion, Lead & Backing Vocals
Brad Gillis – Lead & Rhythm guitars, Backing Vocals
Joel Hoekstra – Lead & Rhythm guitars, Backing Vocals
Eric Levy – Keyboards, Piano, Backing Vocals



WHITESNAKE - Ready An' Willing [Japan SHM-CD remastered MiniLP +5]

WHITESNAKE - Ready An' Willing [Japan SHM-CD remastered MiniLP +5] full

As requested, here's the only version on SHM-CD / cardboard sleeve of WHITESNAKE's "Ready An' Willing", remastered plus 5 bonus tracks. In my humble opinion, the best reissue you can get in terms of sound quality.

By the time Whitesnake unveiled their third studio long-player "Ready An' Willing", David Coverdale’s crew of English bluesy rockers had already been alive and kicking for a couple of years. But to say they’d achieved true stardom would be something of an overstatement.
Instead, it was "Ready An' Willing" that signaled the career turning point they’d been working toward, as it climbed into the U.K. Top 10 and became Whitesnake’s first effort to even chart outside their homeland.

The catalyst for all this being the group’s first bona fide hit single in “Fool for Your Loving” - one of the best Whitesnake songs ever - and perhaps some timely upgrades to their line up too, with the arrival of former Deep Purple drummer Ian Paice.
By joining up, Paice was of course reuniting with his erstwhile Purple bandmates, Coverdale and organist Jon Lord, and simply adding his formidable talents to those of guitarists Bernie Marsden and Micky Moody, plus bassist Neil Murray — all of which elevated the band’s creative and performing powers to the next level.

This upgrade was perfectly apparent in album standouts like the sharp-tongued “Sweet Talker,” the slowly building “Ain’t Gonna Cry No More,” the bluesy balladry of “Blind Man” (reworked from Coverdale’s solo LP), and that groove monster of a title track.
More feisty is the final track “She’s A Woman,” its funk-ish dynamism even more emphasized by the rich input from Jon Lord as well as Ian Paice’s thunderous work behind the drum kit.
And of course, 'that song' : “Fool for Your Loving”.

“Fool for Your Loving” is a terrific number that’s iconic to Whitesnake’s entire repertoire. Although the song is still widely connoted by an average listener with its updated 1989 version, there’s something unique to the original.

The sound is obviously blues-infused and more raw – somehow more authentic than the re-recording with the Vai-esque tricks. And there couldn’t have possibly been more genuine vocal performance of this particular song than of the angst-driven Coverdale back in 1980, as he belts out what is now a classic heartbreak song and what, at the time, must have been his own personal declaration of independence.

WHITESNAKE - Ready An' Willing [Japan SHM-CD remastered MiniLP +5] disc

Apart from the basic track list comprised of nine songs, this remastered reissue of "Ready An’ Willing" features also 5 bonus tracks.
“Love For Sale” is the only studio track among them, a dynamic piece of groovy blues rock that fits the rest of the material like a proverbial glove. The rest of the additional material was assembled from the live recordings from Whitesnake’s performance at the legendary Reading Rock Festival that took place in August 1979.
The quality of the recordings was obviously improved digitally, but even if still slightly detached from the clean-cut bootlegs of the modern-day era, it’s thus even more authentic, a splendid testimony to Whitesnake’s "Ready An’ Willing" era line-up.

Several years after its initial release, "Ready An’ Willing" definitely stands the test of time. Even in 2019, the album captures the rough, rich, blues-infused essence of the previous years rather than exploring new sounds and spheres.
It reaches right back to the roots of rock, combining the bluesy ruggedness with fine melodies that herald the latter-day era of Whitesnake.

Competent, solid musicianship adds much color to the album and so does David Coverdale in his best vocal shape, delivering a handful of genuine, emotionally-laden performances culminating in the album’s highlight “Blindman” that is a worthy successor of Purple’s “Soldier Of Fortune.”

WHITESNAKE - Ready An' Willing [Japan SHM-CD remastered MiniLP +5] back

And even though "Ready An’ Willing" is not a groundbreaking album for Whitesnake (at least in a commercial sense) it surely remains one of the finest records released by the band and an exceptional one within the history of Rock music.
I love "Ready An’ Willing", I grew up playing the vinyl LP to its ultimate death, and this SHM-CD remastered reissue took its place in all its quality sound glory. Among the most precious treasures in my collection.
HIGHLY Recommended

Universal Japan UICY-20236 【LTD SHM-CD】

01 - Fool For Your Loving
02 - Sweet Talker
03 - Ready An' Willing
04 - Carry Your Load
05 - Blindman
06 - Ain't Gonna Cry No More
07 - Love Man
08 - Black And Blue
09 - She's A Woman
10 - Love For Sale (previously unreleased)
11 - Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City (Live '79)
12 - Mistreated (Live At The Reading Festival '79)
13 - Love Hunter (Live At The Reading Festival '79)
14 - Breakdown (Live At The Reading Festival '79)

David Coverdale – lead and backing vocals
Micky Moody – guitars, backing vocals
Bernie Marsden – guitars, backing vocals
Jon Lord – keyboards
Neil Murray – bass
Ian Paice – drums



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