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Below are some reviews of recently re-issued or re-released albums on CD. These ones appeared in our last past-issue, issue 7. This year there will be many more re-issues and re-releases. Whenever possible, we will print them on this page.


In Strutter’zine-issue 12- you can read an interview I had with Dane Spencer and Kevin Bullock, who were the 2 original members of the American band Sojourn. Sojourn was a pomprock/melodic rockband that released 2 albums. The first album was titled ‘Looking for more’ and released in 1985. The 2nd and last album ‘Different points of view’ was only released as cassettetape. But for the die-hard fans, both albums have now been re-issued on 1 CD by the German recordlabel Point Music.

So, you’ll get 19 songs with a total playing time of 70 minutes. The CD also includes their best song “In the city”, a fantastic A.O.R.-semi-ballad a la SURVIVOR, this song can also be found on the famous AOR-compilation album ‘Hot nights in the city’. Other songs that are very much worth listening to are “Healing wings”(a re-recorded version of this song can be found on the first album of Spencer/Bullock), ”We were so young”, ”Lead me on”, “Neon lights” and “Won’t cry for you”.
The album is recommended to fans of melodic rock with some touches of symphonic and pomprock, although some songs (like “In the city”) can also be seen as AOR-orientated songs.

The style is hard to describe, but there can be comparisons made to bands like WHITE WOLF, WRABIT, UFO, STRATUS and even SHOOTING STAR.

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)



Finally! In past-issue 1 we did a story on Franke&The Knockouts, an American band that released 3 fantastic A.O.R.-albums in the early 80’s. These albums were only available on LP until now. We are very glad to inform you that 2 of these albums have now been re-issued on CD by the English AOR-recordlabel Escape Music. And I can also say to you that also the final re-issue, the self-titled debut album of Franke&The Knockouts will be re-issued by Escape Music later this year. So, there’s something to look out for.

First, I'm more than happy to give you a review of their re-issued 2nd album 'Below the belt',which was a masterpiece of high-class-A.O.R.-music of the early 80’s. On the original release were 9 tracks, but this re-issue gives you 10 tracks, including 1 unreleased bonustrack titled “Every little bit helps”. Unfortunately this bonustrack is a popsong that is in today’s genre and could easily become a big hit. The song also sounds a bit like TOTO, but the 9 original songs from 1982 can now be listened to perfectly on CD. Boy, what a classic-aor/pomprocktracks can be heard on this CD. Opener “Never had it better” is really fantastic A.O.R. like a perfect mix of SHERIFF and TOUCH, including the brilliant vocals of Franke Previte.

The following track “Without you(not another lonely night)” is superb, a calmer A.O.R.-ballad that has a hot summernight’s feeling when you hear it. The band also scored a hit with this song in the USA, where they toured with the likes of LOVERBOY and TOTO. The song also sounds a bit like TOTO, but TOTO had wished that they would make a song like “Without you”, an instant classic in today’s A.O.R.-scene. The third song “Just what I want” has such a lovely start in the first verse that is similar to SHERIFF. A great midtempo A.O.R.-song. You can hear some fantastic early 80’s AOR-hooklines in the song “Any way that you want me” that is sounding very much like pomp rock gem TOUCH, especially the calmer parts just before the chorus. Track 5 “Morning sun(dream on)” is just a good song, a bit calmer in some parts and not as glittering as the first 4 tracks, but still a typical Franke-song.

“Shakedown” is on the other hand pretty heavy in some spots and has a very good chorus. Same goes for “Keep on fighting”. The remaining 2 tracks are the calmer songs “Have no fear” and “Gina” that are great to hear late in the evening. “Gina” is actually a very relaxing AOR-song,pretty soft,but it gives you the feeling you don’t have any problems to think about. This re-issue cannot be missed by any fan of the 80’s AOR and Pomprock, especially the first 4 songs are gems for fans of bands like TOUCH,SHERIFF,early TOTO,early FOREIGNER (I forget to mention it, but if you listen carefully you will hear that some parts of Franke&The Knockouts’ music is very similar to the late 70’s-albums of FOREIGNER).
And last thing I would like to add is that I always loved that fantastic cover and Escape Music hasn’t changed it happily.

(Points: 9.0 out of 10)


One of the last A.O.R.-classics that now has been re-issued on CD. The third album of Franke&The Knockouts is an AOR-gem that must be in every collection. The album was produced by Bill Schnee(Pablo Cruise) and the original release by RCA/Millenium Records contained 9 tracks and this re-issue gives you an extra unreleased bonus-track. That bonustrack is the original version of “Hungry eyes”, which was an enormous hitsingle for ERIC CARMEN in the 80’s. “Hungry eyes” was written by Franke Previte and John DeNicola(former member of the 70’s band FLIGHT), and this version of Franke&The Knockouts has a real 'AOR-feeling' coming over you, far better than the pop-version of Eric Carmen. What can I say about the 9 re-issued songs on this CD? These are the AOR-classics everyone dreams about.

Songs like “You don’t want me (like I want you)”(one of the best pure AOR-songs ever recorded!), ”Come rain or shine”(superb),”You’re all that really matters”(magnificent AOR-ballad),”Carrie why?”(AOR at its best with keys,guitars and harmonyvocals in the chorus), “So cool(nobody’s fool)” and “Outrageous” are classics in the AOR-genre. Songs like these made this genre unique and so interesting. This is AOR at the highest quality.

Then I even haven’t mentioned yet all the famous musicians that appeared on the album. In the line-up of Franke&The Knockouts in 1984 were Tico Torres (Drums,member of BON JOVI) and Guitarist Bobby Messano (who played with STARZ,MESSANO and JOE LYNN TURNER). Some of the additional musicians were Jeff Porcaro(TOTO),Lenny Castro(THE STRAND),Nathan East(RICHARD MARX), Kim Bullard(STAN BUSH) and Benji King(SCANDAL).

Besides them,also famous mixers such as John Van Nest,Jack Puig, Doug Sax and Pat Glasser made this album an instant classic in today’s musicscene. All these people are very famous and appeared on hundreds of albums, Although Franke didn’t became so famous with his own band, he became a very famous songwriter and wrote major hits for Bille Medley&Jennifer Warnes(Their song “I’ve had the time of my life” is one of the biggest selling singles ever), Cyndy Lauper,Celine Dion and Kim Carnes. Unfortunately these are all popsongs, so I guess you can say that Franke said farewell to the AOR-music. But still we can enjoy his albums that contain some of the best AOR material ever recorded.

(Points: 9.5 out of 10)


Another re-issue by Escape Music. HUSH featured Robert Berry, who later released some great albums with ALLIANCE,3 and a couple of solo-albums. This HUSH-album was his first musical effort. It was released in 1979 on an obscure recordlabel that went bankrupt and caused a split of the band that worked on this album between 1975-1980. They had some success in Japan and were promised to become popular in The States, something that never happened.

Their re-isued CD contains 10 tracks that is a mix of A.O.R., hard 70’s Poprock and Pomprock. Especially the midtempo aor/ pomp-classified tracks “Alright” and “It’s all too much” does sound pretty good and quite a bit like ROADMASTER at times. Tracks like “Saturday night”,”Money” and “You” are pure hard late 70’s/early 80’s uptempo poprockers like a mix of RICK SPRINGFIELD’s early 80’s material and RUSS BALLARD’s albums ‘Barnet dogs’ and ‘Into the fire’. Combine these elements and you will know how this album sounds. A pretty good album and if you like some of the mentioned acts in this review, you must get yourself a copy of this CD.

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)

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