Classic: Pretty Maids, Future World, 1987

pretty maids - future worldThe Danish dynamite tagged Pretty Maids have been storming the world for decades now. For many people it started somewhere in the Eighties. So I decided to go for this 1987 album Future World.

One of the things I have to share is that it is hard to believe that the lead vocals are all from one man: Ronny Atkins. He not only has parts where he sounds very raw and raspy, but is also able to sing smooth and velvet. Kinda special. Together with his writing partner and guitarist Ken Hammer he came up with 9 metal tunes that are as relevant today as they were back in the day. In this period they also used a lot of keyboards and operated as a 5 piece band. Later they became a quartet and I believe they still are.

One thing is for sure, whether it´s the opening song and title track firing away on all cylinders, the heavy rocker We Came To Rock, the ultra catchy Love Games, war song Yellow Rain or any other track, this gets in your system and never leaves. But it is an innocent addiction. Besides making you want to go out and buy all their other albums that is ;-). Over the years some changes in style became apparent. Yet the band always stayed melodic and rocking. Great band!

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Classic: Mr. Mister, Go On, 1987

mr mister - go onAs the missing fourth album (Pull) of this wonderful exponent of eighties studio aces formed band is finally getting an official release, I thought it was time to pay tribute to the album I love the most from them.
Okay, everybody is familiar with Kyrie and especially Broken Wings (both from their second album Welcome To The Real World), but this is the one I have played the most over time.

Mr. Mister were a band that took sophisticated rock music to a whole other level. And this is the album to prove it with. Strictly speaking it is hardly a hard rocking album, but the songs are so intense and so unbelievably well crafted and executed, it is every serious musicians wet dream I suppose.
Things kick off with Stand And Deliver, whose catchy chorus should have made it big. Next is Healing Waters that evolves from mystique into an almost gospel like tune. The mystery returns on the opening sequences of Dust. The chorus is instant, and the immense voice of Richard Page still grabs you in seconds.
I could go on bragging about this album. But I think it is best to just whet your appetite. An album to track down and play unto eternity…

Richard Page has released a few more albums since this, check his site for that. Drummer Pat Mastelotto has been active with King Crimson among others. Alas I lost track of keyboarder Steve George and guitar player  Steve Farris.

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Classic: Julian Cope, Saint Julian, 1987

Julian Cope - Saint JulianI have been thinking about what to call a classic. Is it because millions around the globe know and own it? If so, than this week´s album should not be considered. But like I said when I started this series, I choose one because I can…

So back to Julian Cope and his Saint Julian record. At the time I bought it purely for the single World Shut Your Mouth that got a little airplay. Or actually too little airplay… And discovered the LP was filled to the brim with contagious music. From the upbeat opening of Trampolene, the very visualizing middle part of Shot Down, the ultra melodic Eves’ Volcano, the straight forward rocking affair that is Spacehopper, to that highly addictive single I bought it for. And it doesn´t stop there. Any track here is mesmerising in it´s charm. You try to resist a track like Planet Ride! Worth mentioning is the unexpected use of instruments like French Horn and Oboe.

Looking back I clearly see two things. One is the question why I didn´t follow Cope´s career afterwards. I have no clue on what he went on to do or if he is still making music. And second I also have no clue as to why all those millions don´t own this record. Even World Shut Your Mouth rarely rides the waves. Which is a shame as it is a great track that deserves far more. I loved hearing it again so please pick it up and give it a few spins…