BY THE TIME of the late 70s, rock music had coalesced into various styles and genres. One branch moving towards perfection and, by contrast, experimentation was accurately labelled pomp rock. It was a finely-honed amalgam of early seventies progressive rock, art rock and hard rock, bound together by a developed sense of melody and a keen feel for songwriting. The music world was on fire with such magnificent purveyors as Styx, Kansas, Starcastle, Saga and Trillion. These were acts that took their craft seriously, making sure that musicality and melody were at the very forefront of every move. Zon were no exception to the ensuing flood of young pomp rock hopefuls. Originating from Toronto, they garnered the attention of Epic records, who signed them hoping to score big with the band’s unique brand of quirky, yet superbly crafted, rock that sounded not unlike a young Styx. Their debut album, ‘Astral Projector’, made quite a splash, hooking fans and critics with its punchy content and adventurous arrangements. Vocalist Denton Young leading the band through a knock-out selection of tracks that were determined to impress. Boasting a full complement of streamlined tracks, such as opener ‘Put On The Show’, and the fascinating ‘Man In The Mirror’, their glorious mash-up of Styx/Kansas and Genesis is electrifying. There’s even pop rock on offer, such as ‘Talkin’ About’ and ‘Melody’, but the undoubtedly brilliant title track is the cream of the crop. Also look out for four previously unreleased bonus tracks, including ‘The Battle’, an eight minute pomp rock masterclass.
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, Canadian pomp rock classic album, 4 bonus tracks, 16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork, rare photos and new interviews
TRACK LISTING: 1. PUT ON THE SHOW 2. TIME FOR YOUR LOVE 3. POINT OF VIEW / WHERE TO SPEND MY DOLLAR? 4. MAN IN THE MIRROR 5. TALKIN’ ABOUT 6. MELODY 7. ON THE ROAD 8. ASTRAL PROJECTOR 9. HOLLYWOOD BONUS TRACKS: 10. ASTRAL PROJECTOR (Alt Take) 11. THE BATTLE (Unreleased) 12. HOLLYWOOD (Full version) 13. ON THE ROAD (Alt Take)
ORPHAN WAS FORMED in Winnipeg, Manitoba in the early 80s, initially going under the handle of The Pumps. They released a moderately successful album titled ‘Gotta Move’ in 1983 but a planned follow up album was inexplicably shelved, forcing the band to re-evaluate their future. Undeterred, they regrouped, switched their name to Orphan and scored a coveted contract with label giant Portrait Records. Under this guise they recorded the, now highly praised, album ‘Lonely At Night’ (also available on Rock Candy) produced in New York by Tony Bongiovi and Lance Quinn - the same production team that nurtured Bon Jovi’s early records. ‘Salute’, the band’s highly anticipated follow up album, was a more mature and sophisticated record. Produced by the same British team who worked on The Pumps album (Jon Astley and Phil Chapman) and recorded in Long Island, New York, the record oozes quality and class. Blessed with a polished sheen and a rich tapestry of songs the sound is highly reminiscent of equally impressive Canadian acts such as Red Rider, Honeymoon Suite and Streetheart. But don’t go running away with any idea that they had mellowed out, there’s enough pulsating hard rock to satisfy the most discerning heavy-leaning ear. Check out tracks such as ‘Stand Up’, ‘Lyin’ To Me’ and ‘Uncle Sam Wants You’ for proof positive of a new found sophistication, whilst the luxuriant, widescreen, vibe of ‘The Way It Should Be’ displays them as more than just a one dimensional rock outfit. We can’t recommend this album highly enough.
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, Classy Canadian's second highly rated AOR album, 12 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork and new interviews
TRACK LISTING: 1. OPEN UP THE SKIES 2. LYIN’ TO ME 3. WOMAN IN LOVE 4. CRAZY FOR THE NIGHT 5. STAND UP 6. A LITTLE HEART AND SOUL 7. OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW 8. UNCLE SAM WANTS YOU 9. STEEL & IRON 10. THE WAY IT SHOULD BE
OF ALL THE British bands that were big in America during the 1970s, Foghat were, without doubt, the least known in the UK. With a succession of hit albums to their name it was not unusual for them to achieve gold-selling status and pack out large venues in every city they visited. By the time of this album (their 5th) the band was primed and ready to join the superstar league. They didn’t disappoint and were jet-propelled to Platinum status by delivering a major hit single, with the uncompromising but entirely ear worm friendly ‘Slow Ride’, a song that has firmly cemented itself in the hard rock hall of fame. Formed in 1971 from the ashes of British blues boomers Savoy Brown, Foghat (a name coined from a game of Scrabble), scored a deal with newly-formed American label Bearsville, an operation owned and operated by Bob Dylan’s manager Albert Grossman. Moving lock stock and barrel to the US a year later, they started to ascend the ladder of success by gaining a reputation as one of the most relentless and loud rock bands of the era. Their monstrously heavy style of twelve-bar boogie and pounding musical riffs cemented them a reputation second to none. ‘Fool For The City’ is a work of perfection. Produced by the band’s new bassist Nick Jameson, and boasts a number of killer tracks including the eight minute centrepiece ‘Slow Ride’, together with ‘Drive Me Home’ (featuring the sound of a real car crashing) and the crushing title track. Housed in one of the most humorous album sleeves of the era, the record is a golden milestone in the hard rock pantheon.
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, Features the definitive monster boogie anthems ‘Fool For The City’ and ‘Slow Ride’, 16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork, memorabilia, rare photos and new interviews
TRACK LISTING: 1. Fool for the City 2. My Babe 3. Slow Ride 4. Terraplane Blues 5. Save Your Loving (For Me) 6. Drive Me Home 7. Take It or Leave It
THE SEVENTIES WERE a golden time for rock music. It was a period where musically anything and everything was given free rein, not least the rise of a succession of landmark live albums. Records from KISS, Humble Pie, The Allman Brothers and, especially, Peter Frampton blew the roof off sales wise, helping to elevate those acts to superstar status. Of course, if acts were great on stage then anything should be possible and those live recordings were viewed as not only career markers but also accelerants to future success. ‘Foghat live’ was a defining moment for both the band and their audience. It is without doubt one of the greatest live albums of all time. Its quality and contents were undeniable and the fact that it wasn’t a full blown double live offering is something of a mystery to this day. Despite that, the record is a blistering example of unrelenting hard rock muscle. Featuring six full-on live versions of the band’s finest tracks, it captures the band in prime form, blessed with the cream of the group’s compositions - no room for back peddling or inconsequential ballads with this band. Produced by their former bassist Nick Jameson, the record explodes from the opening salvo of ‘Fool For The City’ through a succession of crushing rockers such as ‘Home In My Hand’ (displaying Rod ‘The Bottle’ Prices masterful bottle neck guitar work), the eight minute ‘I just Want To Make Love To You’, and their frantic charge of ‘Road Fever’. Of course the ace in deck is a definitive recording of the band’s boogie behemoth ‘Slow Ride’, a track that defines everything you need to know about their style.
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, Features the definitive monster boogie anthem ‘Slow Ride’, 16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork, memorabilia, rare photos and new interviews
TRACK LISTING: 1. Fool for the City 2. Home in My Hand 3. I Just Want to Make Love to You 4. Road Fever 5. Honey Hush 6. Slow Ride
FASTWAY ROARED OUT of the starting block in 1983 with all cylinders firing. Their self-titled debut album made a huge splash, particularly in North America where the record achieved gold status in a matter of months and signalled their arrival as major contenders in the hard rock sphere. It was a particularly rewarding experience for their founding member, guitarist ‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke, who had recently left Motorhead under aggravated circumstances. But, even Fastway’s formative steps proved fractious when former UFO bassist Pete Way jumped ship before a note was even recorded. Despite the band’s fast acceptance and good fortune with their debut album, subsequent albums failed to capitalise on that success, leaving the band to commercially flounder, despite providing a slew of captivating tracks, solid songwriting and a sound and swagger crafted from the very best of British blues rock. ‘Trick Or Treat’ was the band’s fourth album and in some ways their swansong. It was an unusual creation, being effectively the soundtrack to a fairly successful heavy metal horror film, issued November 1986, one month after the film’s commercial release. Amazingly, the album contains a brace of raw recordings that hark back to the praised debut and 2nd albums. It was an approach that had been somewhat shelved with their previous, more melodic, record, but throwing caution to the wind their thick raunchy sound is firmly back on track, allowing ‘Fast’ Eddie to rip it up in fine form, and Dave King’s vocals to take centre stage. Songs such as ‘Get Tough’, ‘Stand Up’ and ‘Don’t Stop The Fight’ are high water marks in a career that should have seen them rise to super stardom.
SPECIAL COLLECTORS EDITION: Fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, Features Fast Eddie Clarke (Motorhead) and vocalist Dave King, 16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork, memorabilia, rare photos and quotes from Fast Eddie Clarke
TRACK LISTING:1. TRICK OR TREAT 2. AFTER MIDNIGHT 3. DON’T STOP THE FIGHT 4. STAND UP 5. TEAR DOWN THE WALLS 6. GET TOUGH 7. HOLD ON TO THE NIGHT 8. HEFT 9. IF YOU COULD SEE
OPERATING FROM Los Angeles during the early to mid 80s, Keel looked as if they could well be the next in line to follow hot on the heels of neighbourhood bands such as Mötley Crüe, Dokken and Quiet Riot. They had it all; a charismatic frontman in Ron Keel, two smoking-hot guitarists and solid industry support. Kiss man Gene Simmons had produced their last two albums, helping to establish them as the next big thing. When it came time to record this, their fourth, album, they had done their homework and prepared a clutch of world beating anthems, all injected with the energy and enthusiasm of men expecting big results. Recruiting super producer Michael Wagener (Mötley Crüe, Ozzy and Accept) the band wasted little time in laying down the law at a Los Angeles studio, creating a sound that combined all the exciting elements of hard rock at the time. Wagener’s crystal clean production paid handsome dividends whilst one or two of the songs benefitted by choice co-writes from Jack Ponti (Bon Jovi co writer) and Dio’s Jimmy Bain. Check out ‘Calm Before The Storm’, ‘Cherry Lane’, the cheeky ‘I Said The Wrong Thing To The Right Girl’ and the album’s first single ‘Somebody’s Waiting’. Released in June 1987, via the MCA label, the album received a very positive reception but inexplicably failed to commercially realise its potential. And that was a shame as the album is a fine and near perfect example of red hot rock from an era that embraced the style and sound that Keel perfectly embodied.
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Special Deluxe Collector’s Edition, Fully Remastered Audio, produced by Michael Wagener, 16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork, unseen photos and new interview with the band
TRACK LISTING: 1. UNITED NATIONS 2. SOMEBODY’S WAITING 3. CHERRY LANE 4. CALM BEFORE THE STORM 5. KING OF ROCK 6. IT’S A JUNGLE OUT THERE 7. I SAID THE WRONG THING TO THE RIGHT GIRL 8. DON’T SAY YOU LOVE ME 9. IF LOVE IS A CRIME (I WANNA BE CONVICTED)10. 4TH OF JULY
THERE WAS NO denying that Keel where being positioned as a band to watch. Their previous album ‘The Right To Rock’ had been well-received amongst the metal cognoscenti, and extensive touring had given them enough momentum to hold people’s attention as they prepared their third album. They were certainly coming to the table from a position of strength at a time when polished hard rock was being hailed as the next big thing. Produced once again by mentor and Kiss bassist, Gene Simmons, ‘The Final Frontier’ didn’t disappoint. Switching labels to Polygram, the band was given full support in all areas, crafting an album that fully underscored their potential. Recorded mainly in New York, at the famed Electric Lady studios and finished in their home town of Los Angeles, the record boasted ten razor-sharp hard rock nuggets, cementing a musical reputation that fully justified their new found stature. Issued in April 1986, the album climbed to #53 on the, all important, Billboard chart, setting in motion a worldwide tour that covered 14 countries including a well-received and prestigious UK run supporting Dio. Song wise the record boasted a lean and mean selection of tracks, including ‘Tears Of Fire’, ‘Rock And Roll Animal’ and a captivating cover of the Bruce Springsteen/Patti Smith penned ‘Because The Night’. Wrapped up in one of the most compelling sleeves of the era, the album stands proud as a highpoint in a career that accelerated this fine band into the hearts and minds of rock fans across the globe.
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully Remastered Audio, Produced by Gene Simmons, 16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, new liner notes by Malcolm Dome, enhanced artworK, previously unplublished photos and new band interview.
TRACK LISTING: 1. THE FINAL FRONTIER 2. ROCK AND ROLL ANIMAL 3. BECAUSE THE NIGHT 4. HERE TODAY, GONE TOMORROW 5. ARM AND A LEG 6. RAISED ON ROCK 7. JUST ANOTHER GIRL 8. TEARS OF FIRE 9. NIGHTFALL 10. NO PAIN NO GAIN
IN THE 1970s double live albums were often the calling card of an act that had either made its mark or were about to explode to international fame. They were a marker of confidence by both the record label and the artist. Angel was no exception as all eyes had been on the band for some considerable time in preparation for an anointment to the premier league. Because label mates KISS had exploded with their epoch-making ‘Alive!’ double album it seemed as though Angel could have the same success. Sadly, however, that success was not to be. With five studio albums behind them there was no shortage of material from which to compile this album. Recording two concerts in California during 1978, the band had a red hot selection of tracks that incorporated such nuggets as ‘Tower’ and ‘Feelin’ Right’ (complete with a Jeff Beck tribute) from their very earliest, prog-influenced, days to the pop metal of ‘Ain’t Gonna Eat My Heart Out Anymore’, ‘Got Love If You Want It’ and ‘White Lightning’. They also found room to include some surprises, such as a fine rendition of the Mott The Hoople standard ‘All The Young Dudes’ and a brand studio track, ‘20th Century Foxes’, recorded for the 1980 ‘Foxes’ film soundtrack. Despite the album’s explosive content and no-holds-barred performance, the record failed to connect in the way that everyone had hoped for. In addition, Casablanca Records were fast losing traction as a company and facing massive destabilising forces, which left the band pretty much rudderless. They had in many respects reached the end of the line but at least they went out with a bang!
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully Remastered Audio, 16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, new liner notes by Angel expert Dave Reynolds and enhanced artwork.
TRACK LISTING: 1. TOWER 2. CAN YOU FEEL IT 3. DON’T LEAVE ME LONELY 4. TELEPHONE EXCHANGE 5. I AIN’T GONNA EAT OUT MY HEART ANYMORE 6. OVER AND OVER 7. ANYWAY YOU WANT IT 8. ON THE ROCKS 9. WILD & HOT 10. ALL THE YOUNG DUDES 11. ROCK & ROLLERS 12. WHITE LIGHTNING 13. HOLD ME, SQUEEZE ME 14. GOT LOVE IF YOU WANT IT 15. FEELIN’ RIGHT 16. 20TH CENTURY FOXES
THE RATHER ODDLY named Wiggy Bits were formed from a long line of well known New York East Coast musicians during the early seventies. The various members had seen active duty in bands ranging from the Blues Magoos & Balance (vocalist Peppy Castro), Barnaby Bye & Aviator (drummer Mike Ricciardella) to psych rockers the Illusion (guitarists Ritchie Cerniglia and Mike Maniscalo together with Mike Ricciardella). With their various individual projects falling apart, Wiggy Bits were than formed as a rather effective hard rock band and handled by, none other than, Hall And Oates manager Tommy Motolla, a man who would eventually become the CEO of SONY music. Recording at the Record Plant in NYC, the band’s lone album is a fine example of strong yet melodic mid seventies hard rock with the emphasis on edgy dynamics, powerful riffs and the soaring vocals of Peppy Castro. Signed to Polydor, their album was produced mainly by the band (engineered by future superproducer Jimmy Iovine) was issued in 1976, and despite its quality received little fan fare outside of a handful of critics and fans from their previous groups. The album, building on a ground swell of solid hard rock tracks such as ‘Free To Ride The Wind’, ‘Oh Captain’, ‘I’ll Write You Off’ and ‘Place In The Sun’, showcase a band with an ambitious mandate, employing lots of solid lead guitar and impressive arrangements. Sadly the project faltered but several other better known successful splinter projects emerged from the ashes, including Network, Balance and Aviator.
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully Remastered Audio, 16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, new liner notes by Dave Reynolds and enhanced artwork.
TRACK LISTING: 1. FREE TO RIDE THE WIND 2. OH CAPTAIN 3. LIES 4. ELLIE 5. PLACE IN THE SUN 6. WIGGY 7. LOVE TRACKS 8. ALONE AGAIN 9. BAD SITUATION 10. I’LL WRITE YOU OFF
WHEN GUITARIST ‘FAST’ Eddie Clarke left Motorhead in 1982, few would have expected him to go on to eclipse the success of his former band. Motörhead, although hugely successful as a live act and feverishly lauded in the UK media, had not enjoyed significant record sales in North America; not unsurprising considering the raw ferocity of their sound. For Clarke this was an opportunity to take stock and build a musical outfit that could break into that market with a far more wide screen approach. It was a smart move as Fastway’s debut album struck gold in the USA, elevating their profile far beyond Motörhead’s niche appeal. Surrounding himself with a mixture of well respected band members, including former Humble Pie drummer Jerry Shirley, ex-Taste bassist Charlie McCracken and, sparkling new discovery, Irish vocalist Dave King, the band immersed themselves in blues rock but with a contemporary edge. It was a sound that won much respect and fitted in nicely with the emerging commercial interest in hard rock. Continuing their progress they recorded ‘All Fired Up’, a record that stylistically mirrored the band’s debut album and was produced once again by industry legend Eddie Kramer (Kiss, Hendrix, Humble Pie) who had so successfully guided the previous record. Issued in July 1984, ‘All Fired Up’ was positively received, getting off to a good start and attracting rave reviews. The album boasts a selection of tough, no-nonsense tracks, including such gems as ‘Steal The Show’, ‘Tell Me’, ‘If You Could See’ and the title track. It was a record that further enhanced Fastway’s reputation as one of the best band’s of the 80s.
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully Remastered Audio, 16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, new liner notes by Malcolm Dome and enhanced artwork.
TRACK LISTING: 1. ALL FIRED UP 2. MISUNDERSTOOD 3. STEAL THE SHOW 4. STATION 5. NON STOP LOVE 6. HURTIN’ ME 7. TELL ME 8. HUNG UP ON LOVE 9. THE STRANGER 10. TELEPHONE 11. IF YOU COULD SEE