Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Day After The Sabbath 92: Pick Up Is Illegal on 401 [Canada pt.3]

Download from : [mf] or [mg]
Unzip password:  tdats
Here's my third Canadian collection after Vol23 and Vol58. I make plenty of discoveries from the land of the maple leaf and this one is an eclectic bunch from the golden period of '69 to '75 (maybe the best years in rock history?). Dripping with early 70's rock goodness, this set features a few album cuts, two tracks from recently-released retrospective ep's (Ax via Rise Above Relics & Twitch via Supreme Echo) and a load of great obscure singles that I mostly found on the gold-mine (if you look hard enough) site Museum Of Canadian Music.

The LymeNoah, Sun Band and Brave Belt have connection to Bachman Turner Overdrive, mainly through Randy Bachman who seems to have been an active guy in the early days, his first notoriety of course gained in The Guess Who, while playing with and producing many bands, on to Brave Belt and then some world-wide acclaim in BTO. Three of the included bands have appeared before on TDATS; Rose on the AOR special Vol91Heat Exchange back on the flute special Vol78 and Sex who were on the 2nd Canada special and appear again because I found this track on their second album, 'The End Of My Life', that is a blues rock groovathon.
references
Museum Of Canadian Music | Supreme Echo | Rise Above | Prog Quebec
Canadian Bands.com | The Canadian Pop Encyclopedia | All Music.com

01. The Village S.T.O.P. - Vibration (1969)
       single
02. The Lyme - Measles (1969)
       single
03. Sex - I'm Starting My Life Today (1971)
       single
04. Bush - The Grand Commander (1970)
       from album 'bush'
05. Ax - Babies Falling From The Sky (1970)
       from retrospective ep 'you've been so bad'
06. Morse Code Transmission - Never Ever Easy To Do (1971)
       from album 'morse code transmission'
07. Noah - Something's In My Way (1972)
       from album 'peaceman's farm'
08. Brave Belt - Waterloo Country (1972)
       from album 'brave belt II'
09. Long Time Comin' - Part of the Season (1972)
       single
10. Ronnie and Natalie - 6 Times (1975)
       single
11. Sun Band - Good Feeling (1972)
       single
12. Rose - Ride The Subway (1973)
       from album 'hooked on a rose'
13. Heat Exchange - Philosophy (1973)
       single
14. Twitch - Pick Up Is Illegal on 401 (1973)
       from retrospective ep 'things'

The Village S.T.O.P.
(l-r) Paul Marcoux,
Steve Urech, Fraser Loveman
So to begin, 'The Village S.T.O.P.' single is a heavily Hendrix-influenced fuzzy a-side from 68-69 and according to Museum Of Canadian Music the band was Fraser Loveman, Paul Marcoux, Nick Urech, Steve Urech and Jim Hall. It's stated in a couple of places including MOCM that UK-born singer Fraser Loveman was previously a member of The British Modbeats, later on he starred in theater shows of  "Hair" and "Annie Get Your Gun". There is more info on that site relaying stories of The Village S.T.O.P. performing a revolutionary 'freak out' section of their live set where the lights would go out and the band would whip their clothes off to reveal luminously-painted bodies (sometimes naked apparently) and do crazy dances.

The Village S.T.O.P. in body paints
The Village S.T.O.P. in body paints
Here's a quote from Fraser, found at MOCM: "Niagara bands were so overlooked and underproduced Ha! Ha! We appeared naked with just flourescent body paint (black light). We were huge on the eastern seaboard. Then Alice Cooper stole our act. But I'll tell ya one thing - The Village STOP outplayed anybody and put on a show like you wouldn't believe. We played gigs where major acts refused to go after us. The sheer force, colour, acrobatics and staging was unparralled at the time. The pix speak for themselves!" There is more information and photos with comments by Fraser here at MOCM.

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The Lyme 1969
The Lyme 45 (1969)

Here is some information on The Lyme, courtesy of the MOCM, including a mention of Randy Bachman's 'additional guitars': "The Lyme`s only release, the superb double-sider ‘I’m Only Dreaming’ b/w ‘Measles’, was purportedly the first stereo 45 released in Canada. And the record might even have scaled some local charts had it not been overshadowed by the Guess Who’s massive top-ten hit ‘These Eyes’, which was released just several months before. In fact, both bands were managed by the Quasimodo Agency, led by Don Hunter and Ray White. What’s more, these Lyme sides were produced by a young Randy Bachman (who also played guitar on both tracks), himself just months away from superstardom south of the border. 

The short-lived band came to be after the leader Terry Read had come back to Winnipeg from Burlington with Rick Keens to join up with Wade George and the rest of the band. However, Rick left the band shortly thereafter before the band recorded any material. Mark Thiessen replaced Keens as the bassist for all of the recordings including a demo version of "Morning Dew".  The Lyme debuted on National TV on the weekly afternoon CBC show that Chad Allen hosted along with the Guess Who. 

Both tracks on this single (along with two more unreleased tracks, one which was co-written by Randy Bachman) were recorded at the Peg’s Century 21 studios. The languid, organ-led ‘I’m Only Dreaming’ no doubt had its eyes on the AM charts, while the more-electric b-side features trippy, double-tracked vocals and a moody, downer vibe.  Both ‘I’m Only Dreaming’ and ‘Measles’ would find their way onto the excellent 2-CD set Buried Treasures, Winnipeg Rock Gems 1958-1974, issued back in 2009 by the venerable Super Oldies Record label. 
-Robert Williston 

All members were from Winnipeg, Manitoba; George Crakewich : lead vocals, Gary Sherbanow : guitar, Terry Read : keyboards, Wade Gargan : drums, Rick Keens : bass guitar (replaced by Mark Thiessen), Mark Thiessen : bass guitar (replaced Rick Keens), Randy Bachman : additional guitars"
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Sex - The End Of My Life LP (1971)
Sex - The End Of My Life LP (1971)
Quebec's Sex appeared on TDATS before with their controversially-lyricised song 'I Had To Rape Her'. Here I am using a much less shocking track that was a single of theirs taken from the second album. It's a wicked slab of groovy blues rock. I found some information on the band on the Prog Quebec site and here it is: "Sex  was formed by Yves Rousseau (guitar), Robert Trepanier (vocals, bass, flute, harmonica), and Serge Gratton (drums). They released a self-titled album in 1970. The LP features rudimentary hard rock tracks based on heavy blues, a style prevalent in Britain at the time. (In fact, one could describe the album as a cross between Budgie and Black Sabbath.) This strong blues influence could explain it being labeled as "psychedelic" by some. Lyrics are sung in English with a heavy French accent, which was still mostly the case in Quebec, until Dionysos, who played many shows with Sex, broke the trend by singing all in French. Song titles and lyrics are consistent with the group's name, and contain some disturbing themes. Highlights on the album include 'Come Wake Up' and 'Not Yet', both of which were released as a single.
Sex - The End Of My Life LP (1971)
Sex - The End Of My Life LP (1971)
1971 saw the release of a second LP entitled 'The End Of My Life'. Their obsession with the group's name returned with a vengeance, this time producing tracks like 'Syphilissia' and an overall concept concerning a young man whose sexual "coming of age" involves heartbreak followed by promiscuity, then terminal infection, and ultimately imminent death. The band added Pierre (Pedro) Ouellette on sax and flute, lending a little more variety to the music. The album opener, 'Born To Love', starts off as psych-blues for the first minute, embarking suddenly on a jazz-rock penchant for the next, and bringing in a prog twist for its conclusion. "I'm Starting My Life Today" is an interesting blues-rock venture that was chosen as album single. 'Emotions' is not so successful, initially bordering on prog-rock with a frantic sax-and-xylophone intro that recalls Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, but settling immediately thereafter into a rudimentary (though adequately performed) blues. Some tracks can find a distant comparison to post-psych group Blue Öyster Cult. Only the 8-minute title track that closes off the album succeeds in completely breaking past the psychedelic/blues barrier into the realm of the progressive, with enjoyable stylings resembling early  Jethro Tull. Like label-mates W.D. Fisher, Sex was managed by Pierre Gravel out of Granby, and both bands' vocals (sung in broken English) detract the listener somewhat from the now dated sounding music. Also, like W.D. Fisher, Sex failed to bridge the gap from the psychedelic 1960's into the progressive realm of the 70's, when true inspiration, originality and musicianship finally exploded in Quebec music."
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Toronto's Bush pedaled a particularly funky brand of hard rock. They only released one album, from which I have used the track "The Grand Commander". The band were Roy Kenner (vocals), Domenic Troiano (guitar), Penti "Whitey" Glan (drums), Hugh Sullivan (keyboards) and Prakash John (bass). Following is their article over at Canadian Bands.com : "Also an alumni of Robbie Lane & The Disciples, when Dominic Troiano left Mandala in 1969, he was looking for a change from the high class big band r&b rhythms. Along with Mandala-mates vocalist Roy Kenner and Pentti 'Whitey' Glan on drums, they moved to Arizona early the next year to get different musical vibes and a fresh start. They recruited bassist Parkash John and began playing the circuit, cutting their teeth on the harder blues based riffs and less sophisticated material they were trying out on a hungry market looking for something different to wet their appetite.
They caught the attention of Reb Foster, an LA disc jockey while he was in Arizona. Foster ran a management company through his Cuordoroy Records that was affiliated with ABC/Dunhill Records. He agreed to manage the band and had them signed to Dunhill in early 1970. Bush in fact was the first band to sign with Cuordoroy. They got bigger gigs, opening for the likes of Steppenwolf and Three Dog Night, but found themselves in the middle of a nightmarish R&R political BS situation as they prepared to release their first lp. ABC/Dunhill sued Cuordoroy, and Bush became the football, punted back and forth with no one ever scoring. Their first and only lp was self-titled and like the band's name, straight forward, simple, catchy and easy. Tracks like the lead off "Back Stage Girl, "Got To Leave The City," "Messin' Around With Boxes" and their only single "I Can Hear You Calling" all showed Troiano and company were looking for a different direction, straight to the bones driving rhythms. The reminiscent "Yonge St. Patty" paid homage to 'the girls from home,' not far from where Troiano grew up.

They carried along the dusty trails but by early the next year, they were broke. The band packed it in, but Troiano and Kenner weren't out of work for long. The James Gang came knocking on Troiano's door to fill Joe Walsh's guitar duties, and he convinced them Kenner would be the perfect vocalist for them. Troiano then would go on to join The Guess Who and cut several solo albums, as well as form his Black Market project before becoming immersed in production and behind the scenes work, scoring a number of soundtracks for film and television. Kenner would also appear on again off again in Troiano's solo projects, as well as in Black Market, as did John, who also went on to record with Alice Cooper, along with Glan.


The album was re-released in 1995, but not without controversy. Around the same time that Troiano was remastering the album, a band came out of Britain with the same name. To avoid legal hassles, they changed their name to Bush X for their Canadian release. The original Bush did indeed re-release their only lp, but oddly - with a different cover. Also included were four live tracks from the last show they ever performed at LA's Bitter End club with Three Dog Night.

Two years later, Troiano and Gavin Rossdale, leader of the British band held a press conference in Toronto to announce they'd been given permission to use the 'Bush' name on recordings. Troiano succumbed to prostate cancer in 2005."
--------------------
Ax
Ax
In 2010 Rise Above Relics released "AX - You've Been So Bad" a limited edition 10" ep of 600 copies. Amazingly the master tapes of these three killer tracks, recorded in 1970, were salvaged by baking and mastered for the first time ever. This obscure 70's Canadian hard psych band from Kitchener, Ontario were around since the late 60's and the members were John Frederiksen, Jack Smith, Gary Gross (vocals) and Brian Shearer.

Despite being a popular draw in their local area, these guys sadly faded into obscurity without ever releasing anything... until now that is.


--------------------
Morse Code Transmission - debut LP (1971)
Morse Code Transmission - debut LP (1971)
Morse Code Transmission were from Quebec and the song I have used is taken from their debut s/t 1971 album. Following is a small bio taken from The Canadian Pop Encyclopedia. They comprised Christian Simard (keyboards, vocals), Michel Vallee (guitar), Jocelyn Julien (guitar) and Raymond Roy (drums). If you'd like to read further there's a more extensive history here at Canadian Bands.com

Morse Code Transmission (Quebec)
Morse Code Transmission (Quebec)
"Quebec's Morse Code Transmission had its roots in 1967 as Les Maitres which was founded by Vallee and Roy. They became quite popular playing cover tunes in both French (Robert Charlebois, Claude Leveillee) and English (Bee Gees, Tom Jones, Peter And Gordon). They recorded three unsuccessful singles before changing their name to Morse Code Transmission in the early '70's after signing a recording contract with RCA Records. Their self-titled debut, featuring phonetically learned songs in English by the likes of Stan Rogers, Bill Misener and others, was released in 1971 and had success with the single "Oh Lord". The band performed and recorded intermittently throughout the 1970's and 1980's and even managed a few gigs into the '90's before finally calling it quits in October 1990."
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Ontario's Noah appear at the midway point. Like a few bands on here, they had support from Randy Bachman who occasionally played 2nd guitar with them live and, along with production duties, allegedly played on parts of the the bands second (and final) album 'Peaceman's Farm' (1972). The album is a mix of rural sounding rock which is perfectly complemented by Paul Clapper's husky vocals as you can hear on 'Something's In the Way'. It is less pop-orientated then their debut, which is still a pretty good record but quite different to Peacaman's Farm, closer to what they recorded under their previous moniker 'Tyme And A Half'. Other band members included Barry "Buzz" Vandersel (lead vocals, bass), Marinus Vandertogt (lead & rhythm guitar, vocals), Peter Vandertogt (drums, percussion, vocals), Ron Neilson (lead guitar; replaced Clapper) and Al Manning (guitar; replaced Neilson). My gripe with this album is that while it's all of good quality, it's weighted a bit to too much towards balladeering, the four or so 'rocking' tracks on it are brilliant and I would have more of them!

Noah - Peaceman's Farm LP (1972)
Noah - Peaceman's Farm LP (1972)
Here is some more information from the Canadian Pop Encyclopedia: "The band started originally playing local clubs around Trenton, Ontario in 1964-65 as Buzzy And The Belvederes. The band featured 'Buzzy' Vandersel’s (who was 14 at the time of the band's inception), his older cousins Peter & Marinus Vandertogt and finally, lead singer Paul Clapper. The band was re-christened Tyme And A Half by Nimbus 9 Productions' manager Al MacMillan during the recording of their first single "It's Been A Long Time". They would release the song and a second single in 1969. The group landed a deal with RCA-Victor through their Nimbus 9 producer Jack Richardson, and with a final name change to NOAH, released their eponymous debut in 1970. 

Paul Clapper, unhappy with the direction the band was taking under the leadership of Al McMillan, left and was replaced by Ron Neilson as they toured the debut album. However, Neilson also left and Noah carried on as a three piece. Moving to ABC/Dunhill their 1972 album 'Peaceman's Farm' was produced by Randy Bachman. Bachman also wrote the song "Sussex" for the record and played guitar on several tracks as did keyboardist Jim Morgan. The song "World Band" would later be covered by US group GRIFFIN. 

The album not only recieved great reviews in RPM, Cashbox and Billboard magazines, but increased their profile as one of the featured acts in the Canadian music industry's summer Maple Music Junket. Noah began extensive touring in the USA to promote the album in the Spring of 1972 and Bachman toured with them. One stint included a live broadcast on radio station WCMF in Rochester, New York. Al Manning joined the group at this time as well. 

With the group on it’s way to big success, it was back into the studio for production of their third album 'California Man'. During the recording of a re-working of Bachman's "Sussex", Vandersel took ill and was rushed to the hospital. Recording was completed in mid-1973 but shortly thereafter Vandersel was rushed to the cancer ward of Kingston General Hospital in Kingston, Ontario for examination which confirmed the growth of a malignant brain tumor. After two years of chemotherapy treatments (and a temporary remission) Vandersel succumbed to his illness in the fall of 1975 at the age of 23. The group disbanded following his death and the 'California Man' album remains unreleased to this day. - with notes from Ron Neilson and Keven Rector." After Noah, At least one member (Al Manning) went on to Coyote, which is mentioned in this article.
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Brave Belt - s/t debut LP (1971)
Brave Belt - s/t debut LP (1971)
with Randy Bachman (left)
Not an obscure artist I know, but one that seems to have been involved in the industry at the time and many of the bands in this comp, Randy Bachman re-appears for track 8. Brave Belt were a transitional band for him, moving from the pop/commercial rock of The Guess Who and other acts he was involved with in the 60's/early 70's, towards the tough rural rock sound that Bachman Turner Over drive is known for. The transition is displayed perfectly by comparing the first two Brave Belt records, the fist having a psychedelic pop sound with some great tracks like Wandering Fantasy Girl and the second having rockers like the song I am using here, 'Waterloo Country', which established the BTO sound. Following is some background found at Canadian Pop Encyclopedia, and there's more here at Canadian Bands.com: "[Brace Belt were] Chad Allan (vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards), Randy Bachman (guitar), Robin Bachman (drums) and C.F. Turner (vocals, bass). During the 1960's Randy Bachman was a founding member of Chad Allan & The Expressions who would go on to fame and fortune as the Guess Who. Bachman had been slugging it out for 10 years by the time the band struck gold with #1 hits like "These Eyes", "Laughing" and "American Woman" and decided to leave the group while they were on top. Upon leaving the band, he released a solo album called 'Axe' for RCA in 1970. The album did little and Bachman found himself yearning for the creativity of a collaborative atmosphere. He called his old Guess Who cohort Chad Allan and they decided to put a new band together. Allen would supply vocals, keyboard and rhythm guitar while Bachman's younger brother, Robin, would handle drums. 


Brave Belt - II (1972)
Brave Belt - II (1972)
The trio became Brave Belt and headed into the studio to record their debut album with Bachman doing double duty on bass guitar. As fate would have it, they landed C.F "Fred" Turner as bassist just as 'Brave Belt' was completed (Turner doesn't appear on the album). The album was released in 1971 on Reprise Records. By 1972's 'Brave Belt II', the band was starting to show its heavier side particularly with the new addition of C.F. Turner's songwriting and gritty truck driver vocals which appeared to conflict with Chad Allan's vision of the band. Allen contributions to the record were minimal and he quit before the record was released. ('Brave Belt II' would eventually be re-issued following the success of B.T.O under the auspicious handle of 'Bachman-Turner-Bachman As Brave Belt')

With the limited success of the first two albums Randy Bachman began hunting for a better record deal which he found with Mercury/Polydor. By then, Chad Allan had been replaced by another Bachman brother, Tim, on guitar and the direction of the band slid into an even heavier mode. By this time, 'Brave Belt III', was the intended next record but with a new label and band direction the group changed gears, literally, and became 'Bachman Turner Overdrive' or B.T.O. for short."
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Long Time Comin'
Long Time Comin' label
Long Time Comin' have been hard to find to find information on. I have found mention that they were from Vancouver and they recorded three singles (according to MOCM), of which 'Part Of The Season' was one. It's a catchy tune with great phased fuzz guitar and Mike Bosley is credited as writer, as with most of their songs. Here is what Allmusic.com has to say: "Artist Biography by Stansted Montfichet. An obscure footnote from Vancouver, BC's early 70's music roster, this foursome included Mike Bosley (songwriter and lead guitarist); Gary Webstad (bass); Jerry Lipinski (rhythm guitar); and Howie Atherton (drums). The band cut "Paper Rose" (1970) and "Part Of The Season" (1972) as singles for the local S.G.M. label; other self-penned repertoire included "Funny" and "Downhill Slope." In its folky California guitar stylings, "Paper Rose" hearkens back to Spirit and Moby Grape; while "Part Of The Season" is fuzz-funk with a more contemporary seventies feel. Like many of their contemporaries, the group vanished without a trace. Their two-single legacy resurfaced, however, on the History Of Vancouver Rock, Volume 4 (Vancouver Record Collectors' Association VRCA 004, 1991)."
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Ronnie and Natalie Pollock - Winnipeg Tribune
Ronnie and Natalie Pollock
(maybe?)
- "Winnipeg Tribune"
Facts on Winnipeg's 'Ronnie and Natalie' are sketchy and confusing too, but their song here is a winner, high-octane rock n roll with a punky performance from the female singer in her call and response vocals. Their surname in production credits is Pollock, so I can only guess that they were married, or brother and sister. It seems that they are fundamentally connected with a band called Stumpwater, who I used before with a brilliant heavy track 'Turn Me On Woman' on Vol70. Stumpwater may have been the backing band on the track included here; '6 times', which was the b-side to Turn Me On Woman on a single that is stated to have been released in 1972 (though elsewhere it says 1975). MOCM also atributes Ronnie and Natalie to two other singles, both of which are pop music. Here is some information on the single at MOCM that makes a connection to 'Guess Who' through guitarist Steve Heghi, though I have not yet found mention of that name being a Guess Who guitarist. It also says that Dave Chapman was the arranger and performer of 6 Times, though I can only guess that the female vocals are those of Natalie Pollock.
"heavy sounds from north of the border. Little-known in collectors circles outside of Winnipeg. Low down and dirty. .... 
Stumpwater / Ronnie and Natalie Split
Stumpwater /
Ronnie and Natalie Split 45
Steve Heghi (Kilowatt, Guess Who): guitars on "6 Times" 
Siggs & Johnson: vocals 
Rick Shmylkowski 
Lorne Tummon 
"Turn me On Woman" writen by Lorne Tumman 
"6 Times" arranged and performed by Dave Chapman 
Additional vocals by Stiggs & Johnson
Produced by Natalie and Ronnie Pollock 
Golden Boy Music 
Firehead Productions 
Recorded in Winnipeg at Century 21 Studios 
"Nifty" Natalie Pollock co-hosts The Pollock and Pollock Gossip Show".

MOCM also provides a link to a cryptic website that claims Natalie was co-host on "The Pollock and Pollock Gossip Show" which looks like it was a public access TV show.

NEW UPDATE: I have found some revealing information on Wikipedia here: "Natalie Pollock is a former musician and talk show host, and has campaigned for Mayor of Winnipeg three times. She attended Grant Park and Kelvin high schools in Winnipeg, and audited courses in Political Science at the University of Manitoba. She and her brother Ron Pollock worked as musicians in the 1960s and 1970s, under the names "Ron and Natalie O'Hara". Dionne Warwick produced one of their songs in 1968, and three of their songs hit Billboard Magazine's easy-listening charts in the early 1970s. Pollock later ran her father's podiatrist office, and unsuccessfully sought a Liberal Party nomination in the buildup to the 1984 federal election. In the late 1980s, she and her brother hosted a cable-access television program called "The Pollock and Pollock Gossip Hour". A report in the Winnipeg Free Press asserts that the program featured "off-beat political interviews" and "often-provocative dancing by Natalie". The show was canceled in 1990."
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'You Know There’s Nothing To It / Good Feeling' 45 (1972)
'You Know There’s Nothing To It /
Good Feeling' 45 (Sun Band - 1972)
Sun Band (formed Saskatoon, SK) was Wayne Rollack (drums), Brian Will (bass), Gerry Bowers (guitar), and Rod Salloum (keyboards). The track I chose, 'Good Feeling', is a b-side to 'You Know There’s Nothing To It'. Here is the bio at RYM:  "Sun Band was formed by Rollack, Will, and Bowers, shortly after leaving high school. Six singles were produced around 1972 by Randy Bachman: “Where Have You Been”, “Fixing My Ways”, “Thinking of the Days”, “Mr. Stevens”, “You Know There’s Nothing To It”, and “Good Feeling.” Salloum joined shortly after. The band played mostly in Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba, and North Dakota. 

In 1974, they went into the Tommy Banks studio, but never produced an album. The next year, A&M records contacted the band, wanting to hear more, but the band folded in 1975. Rollack is now a music teacher with the Saskatoon Public School Division. Will plays with the Paul Tobin Band and C95 Magic Band. Salloum works with independent artists, splitting his time between Saskatoon and Vancouver. Bowers has not played for some time."

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Rose - Hooked on a Rose LP (1973)
Rose - Hooked on a Rose LP (1973)
On to track 12, Rose started in the very early 70s and released their debut 'Hooked on a Rose' in 1973. At this point they were nearer the sound of Deep Purple on their heavy tracks (exemplified by the track I use here; "Ride the Subway") which is understandable as the LP was produced by John Stewart who had reportedly worked with Deep Purple & Jon Lord (though I have been unable to deduce which records as yet). They adapted early on to the production and sound of AOR and you can them in this later phaze on Vol91.


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Heat Exchange
Heat Exchange
The next track is from a Canadian group called Heat Exchange. This Toronto-based 5 piece were clearly very talented and showed great musical versatility. Unfortunately they did not make an album, though they earned a recording contract to do so, and the scant information available so far on the series of singles they made does not reveal what happened to them. 'Philosophy' is some frenetic prog which is quite heavy but accessible too, they could have been huge. 

Heat Exchange -
Philosophy 45 (1973)
I found a guy on YouTube who is the son of Flute player Graig Carmody, so I asked him for information on the band and this was his reply: "If I recall my dad's story correctly, they struggled to find a strong commercial hit--they landed a recording contract and Scorpio Lady was their first attempt at a commercial hit. It did pretty well in Toronto, landing in the top 40 countdown for some time. But the rest of their stuff was really creative and unusual, and I think they didn't want to veer too far away from that. A year later their momentum faded, and things just fell apart from there. My dad still plays after many years of repairing instruments as his profession, just in a couple local bands. If you're curious, here's a video of him in recent days."

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Twitch - s/t 7
Twitch - s/t 7" EP (1973)
Twitch finishes up this volume, here is the intro to the recent retropsective EP released by Supreme Echo: "Canada's long lost doom/proto-punk legends finally unleashed! Distancing themselves from the bustling local psych scene, they formed in 1971 on the rural outskirts of Vancouver becoming a hard rock trio unlike any other local group. Band leader Ian prompted the guys to wear bloody horror-fantasy make-up and bizarre outfits, becoming the first (and only) in Vancouver to do so (also believed to be first to use smoke & fog) packing full house night after night. Late March / early April they did two recording sessions documenting the entirety of original compositions - a mere four songs resulting in two 45 singles. The first 45 was issued in May and the second in August, both pressed in roughly 100 copies. Comparable to early Pentagram, Crushed Butler, Edgar Broughton Band, Stone Bunny, Troyka, early Alice Cooper, Wicked Lady, Bang, Dust, and others. Brace yourselves folks, Twitch's story will rewrite Canadian underground history! A true bone-cruncher! Now compiled onto one EP with orange repro labels, deluxe picture sleeve (not fold-over), and 16 page booklet with detailed history & tons of photos. Fully authorized, limited edition of only 600 copies. (Supreme Echo, 2012)


Twitch - 'Pick Up Is Illegal on 401' 45 (1973)
Twitch -'Pick Up Is Illegal on 401' 
demo (1973)
Reviews: "...looking like Norwegian Death Metallers twenty years ahead of their time...obscuro 1973 Vancouver rockers who graduated from the Sixties teen garage scene, compiling their first two 45s over two sides. “Things” is the centerpiece, a brooding bad-trip sounding proto-punker that bridges the gap between Sixties garage and psych (even if the band held the burgeoning “psych” movement in disdain) which was backed with the biker-rock “Pickup Is Illegal on 401 (Hitchhiker’s Blues)”..." - RK / Terminal Boredom, June 2012

"Glam-rooted hard rock from Vancouver circa 1973, with the morbid death wish of Alice Cooper folded in as a last-ditch attempt for notoriety... a band that was musically ahead of its time, and was likely pushing things along to some degree...menacing, brooding, simple yet memorable downers, with a penchant for mean riffs and body paint...strange, but effective, and interesting enough to merit closer inspection by aficionados of both the era and the underground rock history of western Canada..." - Doug Mosurock / Still Single, July 2012".

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tony Bourge (of Budgie) recent radio interview

DJ Andy Fox with Tony Bourge
(l-r) DJ Andy Fox with Tony Bourge
Here's a recent interview with Budgie guitarist Tony Bourge, recorded for a community radio station in Bristol, south-west England. Tony talks about the past and his new recordings. You can download the whole thing in mp3 and here's the blurb: Without doubt a very special Rockshow this week as ex-Budgie guitarist, the man who committed that legendary “Breadfan” riff (and so many more!) to vinyl, Tony Bourge joins Andy Fox in the GTFM Rockshow studio to talk about his days in one of Wales’ finest ever bands and introduce tracks from his long time coming solo album “Crank It Up“. The link with mp3/podcast download is over at the GTFM blog. Happy listenin'

For those that don't know, Budgie, from Cardif, Wales, was one the other early hard rock/metal bands that was there right at the beginning along with Sabbath, Led Zep and all the others. Covered by the likes of Soundgarden, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Van Halen, and with songs like 1973's Breadfan their place in history is secured......
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Monday, September 16, 2013

The Day After The Sabbath 91: Forced Landing [AOR Special pt.1]


Download from [mf] or [mg]
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The Day After The Sabbath 91: Forced Landing [Heavy AOR Metal special] by Rich Aftersabbath on Mixcloud

This volume mines a time period and style that I don't often concentrate on, the latter part of the 70s and what is often called AOR. Here I am using the term as defined by RYM:

"[Adult Oriented Rock]...characterized by a rich, layered sound, slick production and a heavy reliance on pop/rock hooks, which led to its huge popularity in the late 70s and early 80s".

This volume could also be seen as a document of where US/Canadian rock was going in the latter part of the 70s. Don't worry, it's not a sea-change for the blog, just an interesting diversion in all things 70s.

Setting the scene - some background as I see it to rock in the US in the late 70s
By this time, the rock and roll industry had come of age. The corporate promotion/recording/touring machine was firmly in place, as was the actual machinery; radio/vinyl and the new kids on the block, 8-track, cassette tape and the ultimately unsuccessful quadraphonic sound were established. Bands were becoming more adventurous with their stage setups and newer/bigger arenas were being filled. Cultural influences in music and art were changing; Vietnam war sentiments and hippy ideals were fading and the new record-buying "me" generation's attention was drawn in more materialistic directions. Music got closer to becoming just another cynically-marketed, "safe" product. Lyrical and conceptual themes were dumbing-down as a result of record label's construction of money-making bands. Music tastes were changing as they always do, new recording techniques and improved technology was making slicker-sounding, multi-faceted and bigger-sounding production the norm. Though not directly influential in an artistic sense, innovators like Pink Floyd were inspirational with their ever-increasing commercial success using these new widescreen soundscapes. Queen was a direct influence, their strident pomposity and multi-harmony arrangements were important to the pomp of AOR.

In the UK, Punk was the resulting antithesis to these times, and while punk existed in the US too, it didn't have as much impact in American culture. In the US, simplified riff-based bands like Kiss and the UK's Bad Company were pointing the way for popular hard rock. The well-known American bands that pioneered the typical AOR sound took influences from UK/European progressive rock like Yes and made them commercially viable and palatable for the masses who were tuning in to the burgeoning FM radio stations of the American midwest where this sound was largely evolving. These early bands include Chicago's Styx and Kansas (from Kansas strangely enough). Illinois's REO Speedwagon started very early too but remained a hard rock band for a while (See final track on Vol53). Other famous AOR names will all be familiar to you; Boston, Journey, Foreigner et al.

So....back to volume 91!
It's mostly fun, catchy, uplifting music. I have tried to choose the heaviest cuts, from albums that are all found at the obscure end of the sound and all worth investigating further, which was quite difficult as while searching for this kind of stuff I frequently encountered the situation of an album having one or two great tracks while all the others were sub-par. There's a mix of US and Canadian tracks here, as Canada seemed to have a knack for it too and produced a lot of great bands. Canada seemed particularly adept at turning out pomp-rock, pushing the limits of AOR with grand bombastic arrangements, heavy use of swirling synths and super-melodic lead guitar melodies. As usual, it's impossible to pin down any collection of bands to just one genre and on here are some bands that mix things up, Hounds is a great example with their mix of Queen-ish pomp and new wave rock they show what a big influence Queen had on pomp-rock. Rex Smith was an aspiring star who ended up with the lead role in the 80s 'man and machine' TV show Street Hawk, and the Californian 'Masters of the Airwaves' had a guitarist who used a double-neck 32-string steel resonating guitar for their distinctive sound.

Intro over....I must give another quick thanks to the members of the TDATS fb group, especially Marc Joseph (of Vitamin X), for some top AOR tips. There was also one site which I returned to again and again, and not just because Google searches were frequently pointing me there; GloryDaze Music, an amazing resource for AOR/Pomp rock (they cover other genres too).

Tracks
01. Groundstar - Forced Landing / It's All The Same (1978)
       from album 'forced landing'
02. Rex Smith - Dead End Kids (1976)
       from album 'rex'
03. Tantrum - Applaud The Winner (1979)
       from album 'rather be rockin'
04. Lynx - Lucifer (1976)
       from album 'missing lynx'
05. The Hounds - Angel Of Fire (1979)
        from album 'puttin' on the dog'
06. Network - Sundown (1978)
       from album 'nightwork'
07. Gamma - Solar Heat / Ready For Action (1979)
       from album 'gamma 1'
08. Masters of the Airwaves - Light Up The Heavens (1974)
       from album 'masters of the airwaves'
09. Striker - Hard On Me (1978)
       from album 'striker'
10. Wheatstone Bridge - Live Each Day (1976)
       from album 'bad connection'
11. Morningstar - Turn Out All The Lights (1978)
       from album 'morningstar'
12. Rose - Ride Away (1977)
       from album 'a taste of neptune'
13. Airborne - Optimystical (1979)
       from album 'airborne'
14. 1994 - Keep Ravin' On (1979)
       from album 'please stand by...'

references
Glorydazemusic.com | CanadianBands.com | The Review Revue
Ronniemontrose.com | Prog Archives | Pacific Northwest Bands
Robots For Ronnie | Rock Candy Records | kcmorningstar.com
Heavy Harmonies

Groundstar LP 1978
Groundstar LP (1978)
Groundstar were from Fresno, CA, and made one privately-pressed album in 1978 that was re-pressed in 1980. It has some entertainingly theatrical intros that set the scene of a band who are being transported on a space cruiser when it hits an emergency. The band members are listed as Sharon Jordan (vocals, strings), Doug Watkins (vocals, strings), Chris Smith (guitar), Gilbert Jones (guitar), Sam Arnold (bass) and Ron Holt (drums). The album was given a CD release in 2012 by Retrospect Records. More reading on Groundstar here.

Rex Smith LP 1976
Rex Smith LP (1976)

Rex Smith is the brother of Michael Lee Smith, singer in Starz, who I included on TDATS 14 and were managed by Kiss's manager in their early days. Rex was an aspiring star and pin-up who made a few attempts at musical success before becoming better known as a TV presenter and actor. His 1976 debut album (produced by Eddie Leonetti of Angel & Legs Diamond fame) was backed by a solid hard rock band comprising Orville Davis (bass), Mike Ratti (drums), Lars Hanson (guitar, vocals) and  Lou Vandora  (guitar, vocals). There's a few really great tracks on it, including the one I used here 'Dead End Kids'. Rex has a great voice here, but equally good are his backing band who played convincingly cool hard rock and though I haven't spent any time looking into it yet, I presume that Orville, Mike, Lars and Lou must have had some experience and other connections in rock. Rex's career veered further into pop music on later albums and he had a hit in 1979 with 'You Take My Breath Away', which appeared on an album and TV movie called 'Sooner Or Later' but he still included a few rocking tracks here and there and his final album was in 1983.

Tantrum 1979
Tantrum band photo 1979
Tantrum were from Chicago and had seven members, fronted by three girls on vocals; Pam Bradley, Sandy Caulfield and Barb Erber. The rest of the band was guitarist Ray Sapko, keyboardist Phil Balsano, bass guitarist Bill Syniar, and drummer Vern Wennerstrom. The song I have used here may well be my favourite in this comp, it is fantastic. At this time I don't know which one of the girls is singing this particular track but the vocals and the guitar work are just amazing. They released two albums and recorded a third in 1980 that was not released until 2005. The band has resurfaced for live shows recently, and I found film of them performing at a Chicago show called the Haymakers Reunion, at which another band appearing later in this comp played called Hounds. Their 1979 album 'Rather Be Rockin' was a lot tougher than their pop-rock debut and the track 'Applaud The Winner' I used here was also included on a record called 'Striktly for Konnoisseurs'. This was a compilation put together by Kerrang magazine staff in 1984 and having only just found it recently I realise it included a few other bands I have used before, like Moxy (Vol2), Starz (14), Angel (18 & 24) and Legs Diamond (29).

Lynx -
Lynx - "Missing Lynx" LP 1976
Toronto's Lynx are the first Canadian band to show up. They made three albums between 76-79 and this track is taken from the first, 'Missing Lynx'. This debut sounds different to the next two. It has a few AOR pretensions but these are nicely counterpointed by some heavy tracks with guitar distortion and vocal aggression that was ejected for the next two albums, as was the entire original lineup of the band save for keyboardist Tony Caputo and Guitarist Rob Swartz. There is a good account of Lynx's history here at Canadianbands.com.


The Hounds
The Hounds
The Hounds were another band from Chicago. They played a heady mix of hard rock, glam and pomp rock with a hint of new wave/post punk which was unique and they didn't really fit in with any particular scene of the time. They managed to get two albums out in 78 and 79 with out much more than local success. I have taken a track from the second of these, 1979's 'Puttin' On the Dog'. There is more reading on Hounds here and here and in those reviews the debut album is favoured, but 'Angel of Fire' from the second album is my pick as it's a great example of all their skills in one song. That said, the first album is equally good, maybe even slightly heavier and better over-all, and you should definitely seek out both of them! The pure pomp of the rousing intro and outro bookends this great track, which is made even more memorable by the unusual vocals of charismatic keyboardist/vocalist John Hunter. The Hounds performed live in 2012 at a reunion show at which the afore-mentioned Tantrum also played. Here is them playing Angel of Fire.

Network 'Nightwork' LP 1978
Network, from rear cover of the Nightwork LP (1978)
New York's Network included the talents of Michael Ricciardella (drums, vocals), Richie Cerniglia (guitar) and John Vinci (vocals). They were all in late 60s heavy psych band The Illusion which I used back on Vol66. The band also included Mike Coxton (keyboards, guitar), Howard Davidson (bass), George Bitzer (keyboards), Jean Paul Gaspar (percussion) and B.C. Gibson (vocals) during it's short life, with B.C. taking on vocals on the 2nd album 'Nightwork' which is where I found track no 6 here, 'Sundown'.

Network, Nightwork LP
Network's 'Nightwork' LP (1978)
This is a great, involving song with impassioned performances all-round, lush orchestration and a wild-west theme, it really plays out like a story. It's not the heaviest from their second, but it's my favourite. In general the album was a dramatic improvement over the self-titled debut, which was way too slick and commercial for me to use here. Something changed (maybe the producers?) on LP no2 and they played a set of harder rocking songs, Star Gazer being another good one. Previous to Network, Richie Cerniglia and Mike Ricciardella were in 'Wiggy Bits' who made one 1976 album which had a few good tracks on it like 'I'll Write You Off'. Reviews of both Network albums can be found here and here.

Gamma 1 LP 1979
Gamma 1 LP (1979)
Halfway through volume 91 now and we come to a name that has appeared on TDATS before, Ronnie Montrose. He started out as a session guitarist who worked for notable names like Van Morrison, Herbie Hancock and Gary Wright. Throughout the 70s, along with solo releases, he recorded with a hard rock band called 'Montrose' and also recorded with The Edgar Winter Group. In 1979 Ronnie started a new band with a more modern AOR sound called Gamma. The singer was Scotsman Davey Pattison who had recently arrived in the US and previously sung in band Kid Gloves with former members of Peter Frampton's band, The Herd.

Gamma Band
Gamma band
During Gamma's prime they made three records with the additional musicians Jim Alciver (keyboards, 1979-81), Alan Fitzgerald (bass, 1979-80), Skip Gallette (drums, 1979-80), Glenn Letsch (bass, 1980-82), Denny Carmassi (drums, 1980-82) and Mitchell Froom (keyboards). I have used the track 'Ready For Action' from the debut. Bolted on the front of it is part of the preceding instrumental 'Solar Heat'. These two together are a great example of the spacey/proggy effects that AOR bands often overlaid their hard rock with, and Ronnie had tried doing something similar before with tracks like 'Space Station #5', which appears on Vol87. The atmospheric scene-setting gives way to some of Ronnie's blazing guitar skills as 'Ready For Action' kicks in, ready for action indeed.

Masters of the Airwaves band
Masters of the Airwaves band shot
California's Masters of the Airwaves only made one album. I will quote directly from RDTEN1's review at RYM, you can read the whole thing with a track-by-track breakdown here: "The short-lived Masters of the Airwaves was built around the talents of lead guitarist Jimmy Berick.  Berick had been kicking around the Northwest music scene playing in a number of local bands when his unique double-necked, 16 string, steel guitar caught the attention of Epic Records.  Signed to a contract in 1973, Berick turned around and recruited singer Jon Flak, who he'd previously worked with in the experimental band Acejet and Heatray.  At the time Flak was playing in the Oregon-based blues-rock band Silverhill.  Flak jumped at the opportunity, bringing Silverhill drummer David Rada and bassist Randy Rand along with him. 


Masters of the Airwaves LP (1974)
Settling on the hopeful name Masters of the Airwaves, the quartet went into Sausalito's Record Plant studios with producers Jorman Kurban and Michael Sunday (who was responsible for signing Berick to Epic).   Released in 1974, "Masters of the Airwaves" featured a set heavy on originals written or co-written by Berick (including two tracks with the infamous Kim Fowley's fingerprints on them).  On the surface this was a fairly conventional mixture of mid-1970s AOR with occasional progressive nods,.  The album mixed the usual formulaic young-horny-guys-suffering-from-an-overdose-of-lust rock songs ('In It for the Thrill') with a couple of pop-tinged numbers ('Highway To Hell').  Flak was certainly a decent lead singer who seemingly picked up most of his cues from listening to the likes of Paul Rodgers and Robert Plant, though he had a tendency to turn shrill (think John Waite) whenever he pushed himself too hard.  About all I can say is that in the lead vocalist department you've certainly heard worse and you've certainly heard better.  To his credit, most of Flak's performance grew on you after awhile.  The band's rhythm section was more than proficient with bassist Rand turning in some impressive moves (check out his work on 'Light Up the Heavens').  Still, the band's not-so secret weapon and major draw was guitarist Berick whose 'rocked-up' steel guitar made for some unique and entertaining material - imagine the sound of a Hawaiian slat-key guitar fed through the biggest fuzz guitar pedal you've ever heard.  It probably doesn't sound all that promising, but the man certainly generated some interesting sounds hat should readily appeal to any Jimmy Page fan out there. 


The band toured in support of the album, including some  Midwest opening slots for the band Kansas, but sales were dismal.  Your typical personality conflicts subsequently kicked in and Flak was promptly kicked out of the band which quickly folded. On first listen nothing special, but this is one of those albums that rewards a listener's patience.  Definitely worth the price of admission, if only to hear Berick's unique guitar. 

Under his given name Randy Schuchart, Randy Rand played in he metal band Autograph. Over the next two years Flak struggled on with a number of outfits including Redding, Acejet, Masters, and The Morgan Blackwood Group.  In 1976 he dropped out of music, got married, and joined the Air Force where he was trained to repair F-111 Aardvark electronic warfare boxes.  In an ironic move, he auditioned for a job singing with an Air Force band and closed out his tour of duty touring worldwide for the military.  He's still active in music, fronting a three piece named Man Up."

Striker Band Promo
Striker (l-r): Scot Rosburg, Rick Taylor,
Rick Randle, Rick Ramirez
Striker were a Seattle band that made one s/t album in 1978. They evolved from the band 'Randle-Rosburg' which started in 1971 and guitarist Richard "Rick" Ramirez has appeared on TDATS before, in the band Boomerang way back on Vol9 which also included Vanilla Fudge keys man Mark Stein. It seems that although Randle-Rosburg was around for a few years they did not release. The rest of Striker was Scott Rosburg (Bass, Guitar, Vocals), Rick Taylor (Drums) and Rick Randle (vocals, keyboards, guitar). Norm Lombardo and Rick Troppman are also listed as bass players. The album is a solid, if unremarkable collection of AOR-ish hard rock, but a good example of such. A hard rock band at heart, with the sheen of AOR added as popular tastes were maybe presumed to demand. I picked the track 'Hard On Me'  (huhuhuh, he said hard-on), and 'We Got The Power' is a good one too. There's a great collection of pictures of Randle-Rosburg here and Striker here & here.

Wheatstone Bridge - Bad Connection LP (1976)
Wheatstone Bridge - Bad Connection LP (1976)
Wheatstone Bridge are probably the most obscure band in this volume. I came across the album on the Robots For Ronnie blog ages ago and have been saving them up for a suitable comp, and this is it! There's a definite Bad Company sound to this one with it's pleasant verses breaking into the rock solid chorus. Certainly good enough to forgive some of the most hilariously bad album art I have ever seen haha! I will quote Robots For Ronnie directly as I cannot add anything further: "Wheatstone Bridge are one of those bands that few people have any information about. Aside from the fact that the band were based out of Kankakee, Illinois and recorded this LP in 1976 at Bob Millsap's Ironside Studios in Nashville, there are precious few historical traces left behind. Guitarist, Joe Bright was presumably the creative force behind the band, given that he is credited for almost all of the album's songwriting. It is also safe to say that Bright sang the material, although drummer Kim Berry and producer George Marakas were also credited for some vocal assistance as well. "Bad Connection" was issued in 1976 by Marakas' publishing/management company, SanRon Music. The album failed to break nationally but in hindsight has found a second life in collector's circles. Acid Archives featured a flattering review of the album and obscurity lovers have raved about if for years.

Musically, the band are a tight well-oiled machine. There's a slight British influence happening in some of the arrangements and a nice blend of distorted and clean guitar tones. Tracks like "Bad Connection", "Make It Rhyme", "Dance The Whole Night Long", "Thunderock" and "Nightflight" all featuring blistering guitars and stand among the best material on the album. There are a couple of ballads present as well that lack the immediacy and impact of the heavier tracks. The production is solid and crisp and the writing is nice and compact. This is definitely one of the better 70's private pressings I've heard in quite awhile. I have no doubt lovers of old-school melodic hard rock will eat this up. Dig this sweet vinyl rip.."

Morningstar LP art (1978)
Morningstar LP art (1978)
Morningstar were from Kansas City, Missouri. They made two albums from 78 to 79 and had a fair amount of local success, though not enough to overcome the issues that broke them up. The band comprised Rick Bacus (guitars, keyboards, vocals), Jerry Chambers (guitars, vocals), Michael Edmunds (guitars, vocals), Greg Harris (drums, percussion, vocals) and Greg Leech (bass, bass synthesizer). I chose a track from their debut s/t album, the most successful song from the album was the 'Premeditated Rendezvous' and it's certainly good, but I prefer the hard grinding riff of 'Turn Out All The Lights'. There is a revealing interview with Rick Bacus over at GloryDaze which throws some welcome light on things, and the band have a website here. Here's the brief intro paragraph from the site: "Talk about bad timing. Morningstar started their recording career in the late '70s, a time when disco was going strong and punk rock had just started to change the rock 'n' roll landscape. Rock artists that started their recording careers earlier in the decade (Styx, Journey, REO Speedwagon, e.g.) were changing to a more pop rock sound in an effort to retain airplay. Record companies seemed to be dropping artists who didn't fit into these categories. Morningstar was no exception. After two great rock albums, Columbia/CBS and Morningstar parted ways."

Rose lineup in 1977
Rose lineup in 1977
For track 12 the second Canadian band appears. Rose is one of the oldest on the comp, having started in the very early 70s and released their debut 'Hooked on a Rose' in 1973. At this point they were nearer the sound of Deep Purple on their heavy tracks (exemplified by this storming track; "Ride the Subway") which is understandable as the LP was produced by John Stewart who had reportedly worked with Deep Purple & Jon Lord (though I have been unable to deduce which records as yet).

Earth, Air & Water LP (1973)
Earth, Air & Water LP (1973)
It seems that 1973 was busy for Rose as they also worked on an unusual ecological record for kids called 'Earth, Air & Water', which was commissioned by marketing company Young & Rubicam for their 50th anniversary. It wasn't advertised as a Rose record but RYM lists it in the Rose discography and the label shows writing credits to Lalonde & King, who I presume were Gary Lalonde (bass) and Ken King (drums) of Rose. For Rose's final two records Ken King was replaced by a new drummer called Jim Fox who drummed on the Rose track I have chosen; 'Ride Away' from their 1977 record 'A Taste of Neptune'. It's a great track that mixes the sounds of older-70s, Deep Purplish rock with the newer AOR and Pomp embellishments, especially in some of the keys work. Jim Fox, Brian Allen and Gary Lalonde from Rose all went on to the AOR band 'Toronto' which existed until 1984 and made around five albums. More reading on Rose here and Toronto here.

Airborne 1979
Airborne
LA's Airborne were a band that made only one album, but it was top notch, good enough to compete with the best out there at the time. It has the glossy AOR production but at the same time the performances are stella and most importantly the playing is solid and heavy while being melodic and catchy as well, which is basically what you want from good AOR eh? The members names are listed as David Zycheck (lead guitar, vocals), Mike Baird (drums, vocals), John Pierce (bass guitar, vocals), Beau Hill (electric guitar, keyboards, lead vocals) and Larry Stewart (lead vocals, electric guitar, keyboards). The LP has recently been issued on CD by Rock Candy and here is the information they have supplied on their site: "We here at Rock Candy love to champion the underdog, acts that slipped beneath the radar before disappearing altogether. It’s a murky and sadly depressing world, one occupied by some of the world’s most talented musicians robbed of success by factors outside of their sphere of influence. 
Airborne LP (1979)
Airborne LP (1979)
Airborne were one such act. They were an amazingly proficient band crafting some of the best melodic rock that had ever been crafted yet somehow their fate was sealed when record company politics reared its ugly head. Featuring future producer Beau Hill (Ratt, Winger, Warrant), and signed to Columbia Records, this highly gifted five piece band recorded the debut album under the superior production guidance of Keith Olsen (Fleetwood Mac, Rick Springfield, Sammy Hagar), in Los Angeles and London (AIR studios) resulting in one of the era’s most compelling and streamlined records. Comparable with the best work of Styx, Touch and Foreigner the accent was on lovingly constructed songs underpinned with meaty guitar riffs and exquisitely crafted vocals, layered to perfection. 

Originally issued in 1979, the album attracted a slew of favourable reviews but just when things were looking to take off, including a proposed tour with the Cars, the President of Columbia Records jumped ship leaving the band high and dry with the new regime deeming Airborne as yesterday’s news. It was, in effect, a knockout blow. However we still have their sole album to remind us what could have been."

1994's
1994's "Please Stand By..." LP (1979)
We reach the closer, and it's the second band here with great female vocals. 1994's track "Keep Ravin' On" is raw and punky in it's delivery, especially Karen Lawrence's performance, while maintaining a melodious edge. This is another band that has had recent CD re-issues on Rock Candy and here are some 1994 excerpts from RC's site: "Fronted by the voluptuous Karen Lawrence, 1994 were one of the greatest North American hard rock bands that time and tide has indeed forgotten. Signed, in a blaze of publicity, to the mighty A&M label, produced by seventies studio wizard Jack ‘Aerosmith’ Douglas and hailed as the next big thing, the band never quite made the commercial impact all had hoped for. Critically, however, their music was bestowed with fervent praise attracting rave reviews both at home and abroad"

1994's band photo from debut LP (1978)
1994's band photo from debut LP (1978)
"This [Please Stand By...], their sophomore album, was released in 1979, Geoff Barton, then writing for Sounds magazine, and now, of course, Editor At Large of Classic Rock, made no secret of his love for 1994’s music and the charms of Karen Lawrence, going so far as to acclaim them as a veritable cracker box of explosive guitar based rock topped off by a stellar performance from one of the best (female) vocalists of the era; a deadly yet cool combination of Heart and Aerosmith. Produced by the dynamic duo of Eddie Leonetti (Angel, Legs Diamond) and Jack Douglas, the album was lavished with fervent praise, attracting rave reviews both at home and abroad."

Thanks for listening!, Rich.

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