1. Same (USA/Private 1982)
2. Steal your heart (USA/Private 1986)

Totally unknown band from Illinois. Passenger started in the early eighties and played live in several “bar-dancings” around their home-town. In 1982 the first LP saw the light of day. Opener “Timepiece” is an average opener, but what far above average is, is the vocalwork of Rick Green, no not the brother of.. “Be mine tonight” is a fantastic follower, great progressive pomprock with great use of melody and extraordinair interplays. As you listen well you can hear that their songwriting is totally different than other pomprock bands you’ve heard. The lines are going in different directions, every instrument stand on it’s own.

It’s very hard to describe the music they play, sometimes they remind me a bit of the New York band Nick Nack (if people understand me now!). “Leave it behind” continues, then comes one of the best Passenger tracks “Long way to nowhere”, the Stonebolt-like intro flows over in an excellent uptempo track with a haunting chorus in the middle of the song, the intro returns and the guitarsolo follows. Yes, that’s the cliché we all love. The first side ends with “Line of fire”, a superb pussing track with a chorus you can sing along with for the rest of the week. “Give me” opens the flipside, a good song with a nice break. “She cries in the night” is one of my favourite Passenger songs, howling vocals with great guitarwork.

“My destination” is a let down, but “Don’t throw our love away” makes you forget it real fast, this is my favourite track on the first album, what a drive! In fact this singer is one of the best of it’s genre, a bit like Steve Perry. “Have you learned better” ends this classic gem. Yes, a near-classic we have hear and a rare one indeed! I give it an 8. 4 years later “Steal your heart” was released. A 5 track EP with exactly the same cover as the LP, only the Passenger logo was red instead of the blue collar on the LP.

The title track opens and continues where the LP four years earlier ended. A great song reminding of Journey. “Darker side of you” could also be straight from the first album. Good! “Bad boyzz” is a big let down. It has to be said, “Your kinda lovin’” is my favourite Passenger song, the atmosphere it has is just awesome!! “Red line” doesn’t have it for me. This Ep is a little less good than the first LP, maybe that’s one of the reasons why it turns up now and then, the first album is very rare and hardly turns up. I give the EP a 7.

Passenger was a great band with low budget and no distribution, with a bit more power and better recordings they would have been untouchable legends. Now they are just another obscure pomprock band, who only made it to wantlists of collectors and dealers. A pity for a band with such immense talent. Thanks goes out to Delbert Clemons for digging up some copies for me!

(This story was made by Richard Leskens)