GET ALL THREE JOHN NORUM ALBUMS FOR A DISCOUNTED PRICE - TOTAL CONTROL + FACE THE TRUTH + ANOTHER DESTINATION
THE FORMERlead guitarist for Europe, John Norum’s career had blossomed since his departure in 1986. With two well received solo albums under his belt, including ‘Face The Truth’ featuring Glenn Hughes on lead vocals, he set about recording his next album in Los Angeles using a template very much cast by a solid commitment to heavy, yet melodic hard rock embellished with soaring lead guitar and worldclass vocals. For John Norum, the emergence of grunge in the early ‘90s was an aberration that had virtually no impact on his personal musical vision.
‘Another Destination’, originally issued in 1995, was recorded in his adopted home of Los Angeles, and benefits hugely by the presence of vocalist Kelly Keeling, a classic gravel-throated blues based frontman who was previously a member of Baton Rouge. Norum also enlisted drummer Gary Fergusson who had played with Gary Moore and Hughes/Thrall. Again, like the previous albums, it was a dream team of talent that crafted a record of immense firepower, allowing John to unleash a tirade of hard riffs and blistering solos.
Amongst the melee of full-throttle melodic rock are two choice covers; ‘Sunshine Of Your Love’, originally penned by Cream, and Humble Pie’s ‘Strange Days’, both tracks indicating his devotion to blues-based rock. Elsewhere the material is impressive and fully-formed, indicating that John’s original decision to leave Europe was well-founded and it also paved the way for him to rejoin his former compatriots in 2003, when their sound was re-engineered, reflecting their original harder rock ambition.
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, features ‘Whose Side Are You On’, ‘Inside’ and ‘Strange Days’, 12 page full colour booklet – 3,500 word essay and enhanced artwork
TRACK LISTING: 1. INSIDE 2. RESURRECTION TIME 3. STRANGE DAYS 4. SPIRIT WORLD 5. SHIMMERING HIGHS 6. WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON? 7. SUNSHINE OF YOUR LOVE 8. CATALINA SUNSET 9. HALF WAY HOME 10. HEALING RAYS 11. JILLANNA
THE SHOCK OF John Norum’s departure from Europe was a disappointment somewhat tempered by the release of his debut solo album, a work of real purpose and commitment to a heavy sound and style that suggested his tenure in Europe was not as musically harmonious as originally thought. Norum, it seems was somewhat aggrieved that too much pop was being woven into Europe’s sound and that the original intention of a hard rockin’ unit in the manner of Deep Purple and Rainbow had been sidelined.
It was a fair conclusion and one that sparked a well received solo career. Following his debut, John worked in Los Angeles joining forces with Don Dokken for Don’s debut solo album ‘Up From The Ashes’ and toured the USA extensively. It was a positive experience that also led John to enter into a stunning collaboration with Glenn Hughes, the wayward bassist/vocalist of Deep Purple and more recently in Hughes/Thrall.
John’s second solo album, titled ‘Face The Truth’, was a match made in heaven, with Norum and Hughes providing a number of high energy yet melodic hard rock tracks that stand proud as musical highlights in an era that was slowly succumbing to the emergence of grunge.
Originally issued in 1992, and recorded in Los Angeles, the album boasts a number of stunning tracks, including ‘Still The Night’ a re-recording of a Hughes/Thrall song originally released on the much praised Phenomena concept album. Also included is ‘Opium Trail’ a tribute to Norum’s enduring love for Thin Lizzy, and a well received co-write with Joey Tempest titled ‘We Will Be Strong’.
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, features ‘Still The Night’, ‘Opium Trail’ and ‘We Will Be String’, 12 page full colour booklet – 3,500 word essay and enhanced artwork
TRACK LISTING: 1. FACE THE TRUTH 2. NIGHT BUZZ 3. IN YOUR EYES 4. OPIUM TRAIL 5. WE WILL BE STRONG 6. GOOD MAN SHINING 7. TIME WILL FIND THE ANSWER 8. COUNTING ON YOUR LOVE 9. ENDICA 10. STILL THE NIGHT 11. DISTANT VOICES
WHEN GUITARISTJohn Norum left Europe in 1986, at the very height of their popularity, the news was met with shock and incredulity. It was a stunning decision considering that he had been a founding member of the band (and its predecessor Force) for seven years and seemed so musically at ease with their exciting and successful brand of melodic rock. There was a lot of head scratching and amazement that someone with his fortitude and talent could turn his back on mass adoration and financial security by leaving Europe to follow his own muse. But all was not lost as John’s game plan was simple and deftly executed, setting course for a well received solo career.
Recruiting a new backing band of long-time musical friends (including Marcel Jacob, a former Europe member, on bass) and continuing his relationship with Swedish executives at the Sony label he redefined his ambitions away from the lighter pop rock path of Europe. This time around the music was harder, heavier and full of serious conviction, allowing John to unleash full on guitar work, woven within leaner and meaner songs. Whilst his soloing had always been impressive, this time around the playing was simply out of this world.
Centre stage on three tracks was vocalist Goran Edman whose forceful and melodic voice is delightfully mature, lending the material a worldclass sheen. Indeed, Norum’s own voice was just as impressive. Songs such as ‘Let Me Love You’, the Whitesnake-influenced ‘Blind’ and ‘Someone Else Here’, set an impressive standard. Oh, and look out for the choice cover of the Vinnie Vincent penned ‘Back On The Streets’.
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, features 6 bonus tracks, contains ‘Let Me Love You’, ‘Blind’ and ‘Someone Else Here’, 12 page full colour booklet – 3,500 word essay and enhanced artwork
TRACK LISTING: 1. LET ME LOVE YOU 2. LOVE IS MEANT TO LAST FOREVER 3. TOO MANY HEARTS 4. SOMEONE ELSE HERE 5. ETERNAL FLAME 6. BACK ON THE STREETS 7. BLIND 8. LAW OF LIFE 9. WE’LL DO WHAT IT TAKES TOGETHER 10. IN CHASE OF THE WIND BONUS TRACKS: 11. WILD ONE. LIVE IN STOCKHOLM EP: 12. FREE BIRDS IN FLIGHT 13. ETERNAL FLAME 14. DON’T BELIEVE A WORD 15. BLIND 16. BAD REPUTATION
UNIVERSALLY ACCLAIMED on release, the Only Child album was handed an extraordinary accolade by Kerrang! magazine, with an ‘L’ rating - one letter more than the 5K’s previously awarded to exceptional albums, going on to proclaim it as one ‘L’ of a record. It was rightly given as most rock fans who heard it were gobsmacked by its musical sophistication. The songwriting was off the hook and Paul Sabu’s majestic voice (a breathy mixture of Lou Gramm and Joe Lynn Turner) positioned him as one of the most talented melodic rock performers on the scene, outclassing the competition by a country mile.
Paul’s previous album, ‘Heartbreak’, was a valiant attempt to raise awareness of his talent, but with limited promotion it failed to connect with the wider public. Yet, with typical drive and commitment, Paul returned to the recording studio to craft one of the greatest records of the era. His resolve paid handsome dividends when Rampage Records, a division of Capitol Records, leapt at the chance to sign him, under the handle of Only Child. It was a wise move as the record became a bench mark in the development of melodic hard rock.
Paul’s songwriting had always been superlative but the Only Child album moved his craft to another level. Tracks such as ‘Save A Place In Your Heart’, ‘I Believe In You’, ‘Rebel Eyes’ and ‘Just Ask’ took no prisoners in a space normally reserved for superstar acts. Sadly the project was hamstrung when the president of the label departed and all promotional momentum was lost, leaving us with a record that should have been an enormous success story.
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, features 4 bonus tracks, contains ‘Save A Place In Your Heart’, ‘I Believe In You’ and ‘Just Ask’, 12 page full colour booklet – 3,500 word essay and enhanced artwork
TRACK LISTING: 1. JUST ASK 2. ALWAYS 3. I WANNA TOUCH 4. I REMEMBER THE NIGHT 5. LOVE TO THE LIMIT 6. I BELIEVE IN YOU 7. SAVE A PLACE IN YOUR HEART 8. REBEL EYES 9. SCREAM UNTIL YOU LIKE IT 10. SHOT HEARD AROUND THE WORLD - BONUS TRACKS - 11. MAYBE A LIFETIME 12. RUNNIN’ ON LOVE 13. YOUNG GUNS 14. VICE VERSA
WITH AN IMPRESSIVE musical CV and two lauded albums of melodic hard rock behind him, Paul Sabu was very much on the minds of most clued-in music fans. Whilst his previous project, Kidd Glove, had suffered at the hands of a record label that failed to support his ambitions, all eyes were still on Paul as a man to watch. Not one for kicking his heels or even apportioning blame to others, he immediately commenced writing songs for a new album. Indeed, Paul’s musical activity at this time was almost overwhelming, what with his colossal studio workload as a session musician and mixing, overdubbing and guesting on various projects, that it seemed remarkable that he could devote so much time to the writing and recording of this his, technically, third solo album. It was a record that he financed himself, utilising a backing band of hand-picked players. An independent British label heard the recordings and promptly offered him a deal, issuing the album in 1985 to entirely positive acclaim, further cementing Paul’s status in a world where melodic hard rock was now at the forefront of the mainstream. With tracks such as ‘Angeline’, ‘Hot Flash’, ‘New Girl In Town’ and the title track ‘Heartbreak’, it was clear that this was a record that would set standards. The only disappointment being a lack of significant paid for promotion, and live shows in the UK, but it’s a record of class and quality that further enhanced his status and reputation.
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, features 9 bonus tracks, contains ‘Angeline’, ‘Hot Flash’ and ‘Heartbreak’, 12 page full colour booklet – 3,500 word essay and enhanced artwork
TRACK LISTING: 1. ANGELINE 2. HOT FLASH 3. BREAKIN’ OUT 4. HEARTBREAK 5. NEW GIRL IN TOWN 6. TUFF STUFF 7. JUST FOR THE MOMENT 8. SHAKE, RATTLE & ROLL - BONUS TRACKS - 9. CALL OF THE WILD 10. STILL ALIVE 11. CASSIE 12. SHAKE IT OUT 13. STREET ANGEL 14. ASHES OF WRONG 15. DREAM BURNIN’ DOWN 16. COUNTDOWN TO LOVE 17. DOWN THE DRAIN
KIDD GLOVE ‘S/T’CANDY388
PAUL SABU - already with a superb rock album under his belt - had become an early ‘80s a name to watch. His superlative voice and penchant for crafting solid yet melodic rock made him a desirable commodity, something that didn’t escape the notice of a new record label called Morocco, a spin-off from Motown. It might have sounded like a strange coupling but the revered soul and pop label was keen to penetrate the burgeoning rock market and what better way to start than to sign Paul Sabu. However, in a strange and circuitous route, the label initially hired two renowned songwriters to write songs for an album and started the search for a frontman. Paul was recruited and the project was bestowed with the name Kidd Glove. Recording commenced at Motown’s famous Hitsville studio in Hollywood, but not without some curious manoeuvres by the label and the studio. Musicians were recruited from a proven roster of Motown session players and the producer was aghast when Paul wanted to use his Marshall amplification, equipment that had rarely been used at the studio before! Issued in 1984, the album initially looked like it was going to connect with the public, but for some inexplicable reason the label suddenly got cold feet and cooled their publicity efforts. That was a shame as the record contained a fine selection of tough yet melodic hard rock, with tracks such as ‘Hellzarockin’, ‘Killer Instinct’ and ‘Spirit Of The Night’ emphasising Paul’s distinctive vocals and superb guitar work. For Sabu it was a bitter pill to swallow but it didn’t diminish his desire or ability to continue on with his rock ‘n’ roll quest.
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, features 4 bonus tracks, contains ‘Hellzarockin’, ‘Killer Instinct’ and ‘Sprit Of The Night’, 12 page full colour booklet – 3,500 word essay and enhanced artwork
TRACK LISTING: 1. GOOD CLEAN FUN 2. KILLER INSTINCT 3. STREET ANGEL 4. SPIRIT OF THE NIGHT 5. FADE TO BLACK 6. HELLZAROCKIN’ 7. SOMEWHERE IN A SONG 8. SECRETS 9. SUSIE WANTS TO BE A STAR. BONUS TRACKS: 10. BROTHERS FOREVER 11. ROCK YOUR WORLD 12. ROCK DON’T RUN 13. VIKING BOY
THE NAME PAUL Sabu is held in incredibly high esteem amongst rock fans. His musical output has consistently attracted praise - the quality of songwriting, singing and performance securing him a star in the AOR/melodic rock scene that continues to burn brightly. However, his first foray into the music business actually commenced in the late ‘70s, producing a succession of successful disco records for a number of artists. He was quickly offered a solo deal and released a self-titled, but band-orientated, rock/disco hybrid under the Sabu handle, which had little commercial impact. After going back to the drawing board he was the offered an album deal with the giant MCA label, who were backing his plans to record a rock record. The result was another full band project issued, once again, with the album title ‘Sabu’, but this time the music was full-on melodic hard rock. MCA objected to a number of recorded songs and stripped a few tracks off the final release – making it a six song record of just 30 minutes duration. Clearly this was a blow for Paul, but the quality of the remaining songs was undeniable. Produced by Paul himself, the results are spectacular. Opening track ‘Rock Me Slowly’ has the feel and swagger of an all-time classic rock track, with sweeping chords and terrific vocals that wouldn’t be out of place on a Bad Company or Sammy Hagar record. And it only gets better. ‘Tracks such as ‘Wet And Wild’, ‘Turn Back’ and ‘Streetheart’ pack a massive punch. But it’s the addition of several blistering bonus tracks to this re-issue, original lost material, that will excite his followers most.
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, First time on CD! Features 5 previously unreleased tracks, Contains ‘Rock Me Slowly’, Wet And Wild’ and ‘Streetheart’, 16 page full colour booklet – 3,500 word essay and enhanced artwork.
TRACK LISTING: 1. ROCK ME SLOWLY 2. WET AND WILD 3. TURN BACK 4. SHAKIN’ LOOSE 5. STREETHEART 6. FOR LOVERS ONLY. BONUS TRACKS: 7. SKINTIGHT 8. SIX STRING GUN 9. SHE’S NOT THERE 10. NOWHERE TO RUN 11. BAD MOON
MOLLY HATCHET ‘S/T’ CANDY412
BY THE MID 1970s the southern rock sound had been well and truly established by the likes of the Allman Brothers Band, the Outlaws and, most prominently, Lynyrd Skynyrd. It was a style that seemed resistant to change but with the release of Molly Hatchet’s debut album in 1978, that tradition was challenged by a bigger, louder and harder sound that introduced elements of contemporary hard rock into the mix. Indeed, Hatchet’s debut album signalled a new, supercharged, approach to old school blues and country music. Formed in Jacksonville, Florida, 1971, and led by guitarist Dave Hlubek, Molly Hatchet finally settled on their classic line-up in 1977 and signed to Epic Records by A&R man and in house record producer Tom Werman. Skynyrd leader Ronnie Van Zant heard and liked the band early on and was originally scheduled to produce their debut but his tragic death in the infamous plane crash scuppered that idea. With Danny Joe Brown on vocals and two further guitarists to beef up the sound, the band relied on the more than capable Werman to assume the producer’s role. Released in 1978, the album single-handedly reset the southern rock template, introducing a raw and aggressive edge to the scene which won them immediate support and unexpectedly large sales. Check out tracks such as ‘Bounty Hunter’, ‘Gator Country’ and ‘The Creeper’ for unequivocal proof that southern rock had entered in a new era. There was, however, a nod to the past with a fine cover of the Allman Brothers anthem ‘Dreams’ retitled ‘Dreams I’ll Never See’. Oh, and let’s not forget the stunning album cover art by Frank Frazetta, a man that supplied the band with his distinctive artwork for the next two albums.
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, Southern rock classic album, 5 previously unreleased bonus tracks, 16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork, rare photos and new interview.
TRACK LISTING: 1. BOUNTY HUNTER 2. GATOR COUNTRY 3. BIG APPLE 4. THE CREEPER 5. THE PRICE YOU PAY 6. DREAMS I’LL NEVER SEE 7. I’LL BE RUNNING 8. CHEATIN’ WOMAN 9. TRUST YOUR OLD FRIEND. BONUS TRACKS MOLLY HATCHET LIVE 1978: 10. BOUNTY HUNTER 11. GATOR COUNTRY 12. BIG APPLE 13. DREAMS I’LL NEVER SEE 14. TRUST YOUR OLD FRIEND
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)