DAKOTA re-issues

Dakota/Runaway

Rock Candy 2012

Formed by vocalists / guitarists Jerry Hludzik and Bill Kelly, this band had their roots in the early 70s as ex members of The Buoys and Jerry Kelly Band, before signing to Columbia and releasing their eponymous debut in 1980.

The sound is a fine blend of pomp rock, pop and AOR, with touches of Trillion, Styx, Peter Frampton and Toto. The melodies feature many a layered harmony, the twin guitars balanced with two keyboard players, and a bass and drums that provide a solid rhythm.

Opener If It Takes All Night is an early FM Radio styled hit, and the guitar / keyboard interplay stands out on Crazy For Your Love. Possession is another big full on AOR song, and You Can’t Live Without It is more of a ballad, with a good melodic guitar solo. There’s a funk edge to Lady, and Restless is a fast paced pop/rock number. Hard to believe the tracks on this album didn’t take off at the time.

1984’s Runaway (MCA) is just as melodic and solid, if not more so. Survivor and Bon Jovi could easily have taken a leaf out of this album. It’s got an air of what Tony Carey was doing at the time. It is full of huge melodies that make it an AOR classic.

Both albums come with extensive sleevenotes and two bonus tracks apiece. Perfect treatment by Rock Candy.

Both 4/5

Joe Geesin


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
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In this show, first broadcast on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio on 2 February 2020, David Randall plays a selection of tracks from some of the artists who impressed at this year’s Giants Of Rock event in Minehead (24-27 January).

Featured Albums w/c 17 February (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 NEWMAN Ignition (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 BLACK SWAN Shake The World (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 CORMAC O CAOIMH Swim Crawl Walk Run (indie)

Power Plays w/c 17 February (Mon-Fri)

SHAKRA Turn The Light On (AFM Records)
THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA Transmissions (Nuclear Blast)
RYDERS CREED Lost Soul (Off Yer Rocka Recordings)
FRAMING HANLEY Puzzle Pieces (Thermal Entertainment LLC)
ROBERT HART Mysterious (Escape Music)



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