This week it is all about the album-oriented rock.
AOR is set to release The Secrets of L.A. on November 29 in the U.K. (it’s already available in Japan). This group is a project of Frédéric Slama that began in 2000. Each of the 10 tracks has a different singer of AOR note. Singers have experience with bands like Toto, Chicago, Journey and Alien to name four. As befits this sort of project if it is done well, the singers are well matched to the tracks on offer. This release is hardly essential, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t warrant the attention of AOR fans everywhere. It is always great to hear good vocalists stretch their vocals in such a way.
Def Leppard have released Viva Hysteria and what a package it is for fans of the band. It is, as you might imagine from the title, their multi-platinum release Hysteria album live in its entirety. It was performed in their epic Las Vegas stint a few months ago. Cleverly they opened for themselves with a collection of tracks from their past, most not that often performed. It is great to hear tracks from On Through the Night and High and Dry performed live again. Quite why they included the title track from their bloody awful grunge-light effort Slang and left out the goofy “Let’s Get Rocked” is beyond me. I discovered when I posted on Facebook that quite a few friends of mine dig Def Lep, so I suspect I have sold a few copies already with my positive noises about this release. Twenty-nine tracks of Def Lep live goodness, what else do you need?
Lita Ford drops a live album November 5 called The Bitch is Back Live. it opens with an enthusiastic hard rock cover of Elton John’s “The Bitch is Back.” Recorded in L.A. in front of adoring crowd, this is Ford at her live best. The highlights are inevitably “Close My Eyes Forever” (though it misses someone, not being a duet) and “Kiss Me Deadly” from her 1980s prime. However, as she treks through her career we are reminded that Ford has been involved with damn good songs. She may not have the strongest vocal prowess, but she still delivers the goods.
The Producers originally released the album Run for your Life in the mid-1980s (and only in vinyl) and it has now been re-released by Yesterrock. Surprisingly, besides a touch of cheesy keyboard, this album is actually quite good. It has a bit of a new wave tinge to it. I am sure were it released in the U.K. at the time it would have done well. More surprisingly, the band hail from Atlanta, Georgia, a place not known as a hot bed for the new wave movement. Interestingly enough, the track “Can’t Cry Anymore” also appeared on a Kansas album in 1986 as the two bands did some collaboration. Much of the album has aged rather well and it is quite an enjoyable listen.
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