Lost AOR Classics. Any others?

coltrane2

Musicologist
Joined
Dec 25, 2011
Posts
350
Reaction score
0
Location
UK
If there's one classic rock genre that lends itself to a whole host of underrated major label classics it's this. Maybe it's the fact that it was never metal enough to hit that market, but not pop enough for Milli Vanilli fans to care. Maybe it's simply that the late 80's were hi-jacked by Bon Jovi. Maybe it was never taken seriously because of the lyrical prevalence linked to all things lovelorn and relationship driven.

Anyway, this music has been a source of lasting listening pleasure to me for almost 25 years and it's time I shared my knowledge of some of those long lost gems. Some more obscure than others.

The rules:

1. Major label or large independent: This type of music begs a huge sound, so as much as I love The Ramones and The Replacements, that won't cut it here.

2. Vocalist with fantastic range

3. 50 - 50 keyboard to guitar ratio. Anything either side of this moves it out of
the AOR genre

4. Generally US West Coast, but not essential

5. Hooks, hooks, hooks and big choruses.

6. Probably late 80's, but I'll accept 1975 onwards or up to around 1995. After
that, is it really that long lost?

Here goes (and this is just the start. I'll add more if the conversation interests anyone)

Full Contact - Tim Feehan (1990, MCA. Fabulous album by Canadian expat, features Steve Lukather of Toto fame and a host of other top notch session musicians. Top class).


Last of The Runaways - Giant (1989, A&M. If you love AOR you'll already have this along with second album Time To Burn. Perfect AOR. Brilliant guitarist too)

Under The One Sky - Distance (1989, Warner Bros/ WEA. Featuring Robert Hart and, astonishingly, the Chic rhythm section!)

Wired Up - Jeff Paris (1987, Polygram. An embarrassingly rich collection of top quality tunes, expertly produced and damn what a voice)

Thump - Michael Morales (1991, MCA/ Wing. Pure AOR with multi track harmonies and massive choruses).

More to follow. Please add to the list!
 

LG

Fade To Black
Joined
Apr 20, 2009
Posts
36,967
Reaction score
52
Well not from the West Coast but here's a candidate for your consideration.

City Boy, an overlooked band from England, lots of hooks, good vocals plenty of keyboards one very talented group, I have 6 of their albums.

This one came to mind when I read your prerequisites Coltrane2.

You must be registered for see images
 

coltrane2

Musicologist
Joined
Dec 25, 2011
Posts
350
Reaction score
0
Location
UK
Well not from the West Coast but here's a candidate for your consideration.

City Boy, an overlooked band from England, lots of hooks, good vocals plenty of keyboards one very talented group, I have 6 of their albums.

This one came to mind when I read your prerequisites Coltrane2.

You must be registered for see images

Always meant to get my hands on some City Boy. Young Men Gone West is the album everyone seems to rave about. Good choice.
 

Big Ears

Music Lover
Joined
Jul 3, 2011
Posts
5,226
Reaction score
133
Location
Hampshire, England
Heads Are Rolling is a great album, but no-one bought it, except me and a few others. Book Early is their commercial breakthrough album, containing the hit singles 5705 and What a Night, but it is great and every track is strong. It was helped by the addition of Roy Ward on drums, who is an excellent singer. City Boy is a band that never recorded a bad album.
 
Last edited:

Big Ears

Music Lover
Joined
Jul 3, 2011
Posts
5,226
Reaction score
133
Location
Hampshire, England
Vital Signs by Survivor
Everybody's Crazy by Michael Bolton
Over the Edge by Mickey Thomas
Save your Prayers by Waysted with Danny Vaughan
Soldiers and Sailors On Riverside by Danny Vaughan
 

Rock Candy

Rock 'n' Roll Doctor
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Posts
1,008
Reaction score
0
Location
Space Station #5
To name just a few (Some of these may perhaps be a tad borderline, but stay with me):

Michael Bolton - S/T & Everybody's Crazy
The Strand - S/T
Michael Thompson Band - How Long
Gregg Rolie - ******
Signal - Loud & Clear
David Roberts - All Dressed Up
Unruly Child - S/T
Strangeways - S/T, Native Sons & Walk in the Fire
Eric Martin - S/T & I'm Only Fooling Myself
Jim Jidhed - Jim
Red Dawn - Never Say Surrender
Misha Calvin - Evolution (Maybe a bit too heavy in places to fully qualify)
 

LG

Fade To Black
Joined
Apr 20, 2009
Posts
36,967
Reaction score
52
Always meant to get my hands on some City Boy. Young Men Gone West is the album everyone seems to rave about. Good choice.

I was playing their discography a few months ago and my older brother really liked City Boy, he'd never heard them before.

Heads Are Rolling is a great album, but no-one bought it, except me and a few others. Book Early is their commercial breakthrough album, containing the hit singles 5705 and What a Night, but it is great and every track is strong. It was helped by the addition of Steve Broughton on drums, who is an excellent singer. City Boy is a band that never recorded a bad album.

I'm one of the few Martin..:D...I am not positive but believe Heads Are Rolling was the last record City Boy ever released.:think:

My favorite...it's a toss up between "Heads Are Rolling" and "The Day The Earth Caught Fire."
 

Big Ears

Music Lover
Joined
Jul 3, 2011
Posts
5,226
Reaction score
133
Location
Hampshire, England
The Day the Earth Caught Fire is a consistently strong album. The first album and Dinner at the Ritz have their moments too (Jackal & the Fox and Walk On Water respectively). There was one more album called It's Personal, in 1981 (later released on CD), which meant they went out on a good album and never had a weak release.

Roy Ward sung for Tight Fit, but I don't know what happened to him after that. Lol Mason had a hit single with The Maisonettes. Guitarist Mike Slamer formed Steelhouse Lane and worked with Steve Walsh from Kansas. Steve Broughton and the others seemed to vanish.

Leather-lunged Norwegian, Jorn Lande, covered The Day the Earth Stood Still on Starfire and did it justice.
 

LG

Fade To Black
Joined
Apr 20, 2009
Posts
36,967
Reaction score
52
^^I'm a big Jorn Lande fan, must have 10 of his albums now.

I wondered what happened to them all, it's too bad they didn't have more success a very solid ban all 'round.

I might have to search for "It's Personal" now to complete the collection...:hm:
 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
29,650
Posts
999,066
Members
6,000
Latest member
MatthewHoork

Staff online

Members online

Top