MelodicRock Records [Release date 20.06.17]
Hats off to MelodicRock Record’s Andrew McNeice who finally got this long lost album released. Don Barnes, of southern rockers .38 Special fame, recorded this album back in 1989, however due the time honoured label politics it was never released. The musicians he was hooked up with by his then record label reads like a ‘who’s who’ of top 80′s session players including Toto’s Mike and Jeff Porcaro, Denny Carmassi (Heart), Dan Huff (Giant) and Alan Pasqua (Giant/Starship).
There are two discs, the first is a ‘rocked up’ version that has the guitars to the front and the second disc is the original recording, which sounds more like the era it came from with a smoother, AOR feel.
‘All My Life’ is a monster of a tune, from the hook filled chorus through to the guitar solo and those wonderful backing vocals. ‘I Fall Back’ (listen out for the funky bass line from Mike Porcaro) sounds like it should be on an 80′s teen flick, again the song has a massive chorus and sounds glorious when played loud.
‘Johnny Ain’t So Cool’ gives Bryan Adams (around the time of his ‘Reckless’ album) a run for his money, great tune. ‘Maybe You’ll Believe Me Now’ keeps the good time vibe going, in fact every song on here lifts the listener’s spirits and leaves you with smile on your face. In fact each song on here is a highlight, not a filler in sight.
Why this was never released back in the day is a crying shame as it would have been a hit, however at least we have it now and boy is it a great slab of melodic rock. You need this in your collection end of. ****1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
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