Reviews December/02

Robert Fleischman / World in your Eyes / Frontiers CD 128


Robert Fleischman - A mighty return!! Tracklisting:World in your Eyes; Heaven to me; The Crush; Words aren't enough; Over my Head; Look at the Dream; Only Room for one; I can't sleep at Night; Just one Kiss; Walking on Fire.

According to the press-info on this SPLENDID album it " the Ex-singer of Journey and Vinnie Vincent Invasion with the track "Over my Head" penned by Bryan Adams..." and somewhere I think Robert Fleischmans past will haunt him forever - despite the fact that his first solo record "Perfect Stranger" from 1979 was very successful including shows with Van Halen, Eddie Money, Boston and Sammy Hagar. In the early 1980's, Robert formed the explosive melodic rock band, Channel. The band was signed to Epic Records and they released their self-titled debut in 1984 to great critical success. Channel broke up when Robert joined Vinnie Vincent (ex KISS) and fellow band members Dana Strum and Bobby Rock to record "Vinnie Vincent Invasion" (Chrysalis) in 1986. The record featured Robert's piercing vocals and Vincent's wicked guitar playing and included the hit single "Boyz Are Gonna Rock". Over the next decade, Robert would greatly expand his involvement in the music industry. Featured as a staff songwriter for the prestigious Almo Irving Publishing. Robert would also begin a career as a composer, writing musical score for feature film and television projects until he met music agent and manager Michael S. Robinson while pursuing a film-scoring project. A big fan of Robert's work, both as a composer and a singer/songwriter, the two quickly become friends and began a mission together. This mission was to thrust Robert's long-silenced voice back into the AOR spotlight. "World In Your Eyes" delivers a dynamic, traditional AOR sound that Robert's fans have come to expect, with an updated edge that propels Robert's songs into the new Millennium.
"World In Your Eyes" features both as a performer and songwriter The Storm/Two Fires/Hardline guitarist Josh Ramos, as well as Heaven & Earth members Richie Onori on drums and Marvin Sperling on bass plus Edward Roth on keyboards. Production duties, some guitars, keyboards and background vocals have been supplied by Kelly Hansen (Hurricane).
"World In Your Eyes" (as anyone who heard the previews at this years Gods will attest) is a fire cracking hard edged AOR album in the best traditions of bands like Journey, Giant and The Storm. Blessed with a rich, multilayered production which brings out the best in Fleischman's seductive, gravelly and hoarse vocals. There are a lot of memorable tracks here such as "Words Aren't Enough", "The Crush" and "Look at the Dream" - but also the ballads like "Heaven to me" and the catchy Aams penned "Over my Head".
All songs are here delivered with elegance, class and a lot of power - one of the genres long lost sons has returned!

Harem Scarem / Live at the Gods 2002 / Frontiers CD 137


Harem Scarem - Alive & Kickin'! Tracklisting:No Substitute; Get going; Inside out; Return forever; Life on a Wire; Magic Radio; Game of Love; Keep me alive; Back in the Race; Fire still burning; Why why.

Harem Scarem are back this year with their inspired album "Weight of the World". To support this multi layered and large produced album the band went to "The Gods of Rock festival 2002" - and this is the hard kicking, in-your-face produced live result. I think the first official live recording with Harem Scarem - if you not include the expensive Japanese recordings!
Now & Then/Frontiers recorded the whole show for CD and DVD releases - this is the audio version of Harem's set. I wasn't there but according to a lot of reviews this was THE performance of the night!
And i must admit it is one hell of a tidy Greatest Hit Show here - taking a few classic tunes from the debut album, several off this years "Weight Of The World" album, a few Rubber tracks and almost everything in between.
In fact, with the album's track listing, every Harem/Rubber album is accounted for. So, established fans of the band should really dig this, as there is something for everyone. Those few that still haven't forgiven the band for changing after Mood Swings still might not be convinced, but if any are reading this - you don't know what you are missing! The live album's sound is good - you can still feel the energy and power in the live output - mixed by the band themselves.
The band this night featuring two original members Harry Hess on vocals and guitar and Pete Lesperance on guitar joined by bassist Barry Donaghy who has been around since 1995 when Mike Gionet left and drummer Creighton Doane who replaced Darren Smith in 2000! As far as the performance - well, this is obviously a very stripped, raw, rock n roll attitude - with a lot of power. There are no keyboards and no facy-pants multi-layering, but with the band's own tight, well oiled live machine working in overdrive, the vibe of the whole set is great. Especially if you like honest live albums.

Blackmore's Night / Past Times with Good Company / SPV 092-74492


Blackmore & Wife on a 16th Century travel! Tracklisting CD1:Shadow of the Moon; Play Minstrel play; Minstrel Hall; Past Times with Good Company; Fires at Midnight; Under a Violent Moon; Soldier of Fortune.
Tracklisting CD2:16th Century Greensleeves; Beyond the Sunset (instrumental); Morning Star; Home Again; Rennaissance Faire; I still remember; Durch den Wald zum Bach Haus (instrumental); Writing on the Wall.

One of my recommandations for a good Christmas present is the new Live Double CD with Mr. Blackmore & Candice Night called Blackmore's Night. This is the bands first live CD and called "Past Times With Good Company" and was released in certain countries in Europe.
There are many more release dates scheduled, check Blackmore's Night for details. One funny thing I noticed that there are some alternate version of some of the songs on the limited edition version of the album. "Home Again" is recorded in the Greek language?!?. A couple of other songs were used as bonus tracks and were recorded at a very intimate press show at Schloss Burg in Solingen in September.
In the Land of the upcoming Sun - Japan, where Ritchie always have had a big fan base the album will be released in November. Their Japanese record company, Yamaha, created a very whirlwind-esque type of promo poster for the new album.
On their website they state that they already have quite a few songs written for the next studio album - after the success of "Fires At Midnight". Blackmore & Night will probably be heading back into the studio this winter and hope to have the album out by late Spring of 2003. By then a DVD that they shot while they were on tour in Germany last month at the Solingen show and the Wartburg show should be out. Interview segments were filmed as well as a lot of footage of the orchestra being wandering minstrels through the forests of Eisenach.
... but as I said if you want to surprise someone, buy this odd mix of electrical guitar, hymns, hurdy gurdy and Gaelic folklore - I must say that I'm absolutely sold to Candice Night's beautiful voice (..and looks, by the way) combined with Ritchie's characteristic guitar sound. Hoh hoh hoh .... and a merry Christmas to you all!!

Steen Peitersen 1999-2002