Saturday, May 02, 2009

Mr Mike's AOR Project 1989

In 1989 Arena Rock saw equality towards the sexes as the number of female rockers rose. It was like the 25th century had arrived.

Here we are, the dream we all dream of. It's 1989, the last year of my car CD set of 80's Arena Rock. In 1989, the tide shifted towards female rockers as Lita Ford, Vixen and others took hairspray and spandex back from the boys for a moment. '89 was also the start of the last wave of Arena Rock that would last until Kurt Cobain would wipe them all off the face of the earth in '92. But that is the future, it's now 1989.

Disc 1:

Danger Danger - Naughty Naughty

The the band band with with a a love love of of repetition repetition enjoys their moment in the sun.

Joe Cocker - When The Night Comes

Bryan Adams was a killer ghost writer, coming up with gems for Loverboy, 38 Special and Mr. Cocker in addition to his own sizable catalog. I got into this song when it was heavily advertised in commercials for the Tom Sellick flick An Innocent Man. I'm innocent I tell you! Can't you hear the Joe Cocker song in the background? If that doesn't say innocent, I don't know what does.

Vixen - Edge Of A Broken Heart

Speaking of songwriting, the all girl rock band that clearly took inspiration from the Wilson sisters turn out a Richard Marx jam.

Great White - Once Bitten Twice Shy

Before they became synonymous with tragedy, Great White was a second tier hard rock unit that rode a Mott the Hoople tune to #1.

Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe - Brother Of Mine

4/5ths of Classic Yes unite for some of that ten minute razzle dazzle excess they were famous for.

Signal - Does It Feel Like Love

To my surprise, this group finally became available thru ITunes so I now have this album after all these years. Brilliant power ballad cheese.

Blue Murder - Jelly Roll

Guitarist John Sykes came up with a lot of those magic sub-Zep riffs that Whitesnake's David Coverdale howled into hits before a failed coup attempt led to his dismissal. With "Jelly Roll", Sykes made some nice backwoods Metal.

Winger - Seventeen

Kip Winger took a second away from crafting his perfect hair and stubble beard to write this pop metal classic. Guitarist Reb Beach shreds all over the place and Winger goes for the perfect bass player spin move.

Bulletboys - Smooth Up In Ya

You can't have an Arena Rock set and not include the Bulletboys. You just can't.

Tesla - Love Song

Sac Town's favorite sons made it to the big time thanks to this power ballad. I know it's just me, when I hear the acoustic opening some of it sounds like the Buck Rogers theme to me. Love is gonna find a way Wilma Deering!

Lee Aaron - Whatcha Do To My Body?

Canada's Metal Queen has important questions and demands answers.

Joan Jett - I Hate Myself For Loving You

Jett's second #1, who would have known this would become better known than "I Love Rock and Roll"? This is now her signature tune.

Richard Marx - Satisfied

Marx wrote the Vixen track while still riding high on his own success, the lead single from his Repeat Offender album was pop rock brilliance.

Guns N Roses - Patience

Axl Rose chills out for a pleasant acoustic ballad. Maybe a song that best describes GNR fans who have to wait decades between albums.

Bad English - When I See You Smile

A Reeses peanut butter cup of a supergroup, ex-members of Journey and The Babys team up for one of Diane Warren's best known power ballads.

Disc 2:

Doobie Brothers - The Doctor

The Bay Area boogie band lays off the McDonalds and returns to their "China Grove" roots. Still my favorite Doobie Bros song.

Alice Cooper - Poison

70's shock rocker Alice Cooper couldn't get arrested most of the decade until he toned down and glammed up a little.

TNT - 10,000 Lovers (In One)

10,000 lovers? Better get tested wanna be Wilt Chamberlain.

Joe Satriani - Big Bad Moon

The Satch man shreds a plenty on Coldplay's next hit. Really looking forward to Chickenfoot, hope it lives up to the hype.

Shooting Star - Touch Me Tonight

Long running AOR group makes it to the end of the decade with their biggest smash hit (I think it made it to like #76 on the pop charts).

Warrant - Heaven

This group felt like a paint by numbers sort of rock band to me, case in point - generic power ballad. And yes, I play this one loud because that's what I like!

Motley Crue - Dr. Feelgood

The Crue close out their peak period with one of their best riffs, no one could deny the power of it.

Lita Ford - Kiss Me Deadly

Where ex-Runaways band mate Joan Jett went for leather and attitude, Ford was about curves and sex appeal. Years later Weezer would borrow the verse melody from "Deadly" for their hit "Hash Pipe".

The Cult - Fire Woman

All of those believers were validated when The Cult finally crossed over to a broad audience thanks to this blazin' hit.

Skid Row - 18 And Life

I'm not a fan of Skid Row yet it seemed wrong to deny their place in history...

Billy Joel - We Didn't Start The Fire

...or as Billy Joel would say "Flash in the Pan / Sebastian Bach / on the Rolling Stone cover / AIDS shirt / punch out fans / Slave to the Grind / We Didn't Start The Fire..."

XYZ - Inside Out

Don Dokken had protege's, yes, I'm not kidding. XYZ, not to be confused with the failed Yes and Led Zep combo, were actually pretty good and got on the radio with this chugging anthem.

Bon Jovi - I'll Be There For You

After resisting releasing "Never Say Goodbye" as a single from Slippery When Wet, Jon Bon Jovi gave in to the power ballad loving audience demands with awesome results.

Aerosmith - Love In An Elevator

The Beantown boys cemented their comeback with one of their best jams, a swinging ode to being stuck between floors.

Queen - I Want It All

A few years before his demise, Freddie Mercury and the band still had that talent for triumphant rock anthems.

Strangeways - After The Hurt Is Gone

Smooth AOR as it was meant to be done.

Trevor Rabin - Something To Hold On To

80's Yes fans left in the lurch by Jon Anderson jumping ship to ABWH were given something to hold on to with Trevor Rabin's solo album Can't Look Away.

And that was the '80's. I haven't decided if I'll continue up to '92 or back track thru the 70's yet so that's all for this project for now. Seacrest out.

1 comment:

Arsenette said...

LOL Can I have the 2 disc set? LOL I actually like some of the songs though I would have picked different songs for certain acts.. still.. sounds like we listen to similar music back then :p