Album review: MARK BAKER – The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be

MARK BAKER - The Future Ain't What It Used To Be

MelodicRock Records [Release date 26.07.19]

The name Mark Baker may not be immediately recognizable to many, but he is the man behind the classic Signal ‘Loud & Clear’ album as well as many other songs for the likes of .38 Special, Triumph and Boulevard. He was also the main co-writer on House Of Lords’ ‘Demons Down’ album.

This album is a compilation of Mark’s songwriter demos from the 80s and 90s, featuring various singers, including Mark Free nee Marcie Free (Signal, King Kobra), James Christian (House Of Lords) and Bill Champlin (Chicago). The tracks come from DAT masters which have been remastered by JK Northrup.

Mark Free shows his singing prowess on ‘Someday You’re Gonna Love Someone’ (also track down the Snake Charmer album with this one where Goran Edman is the vocalist), an 80’s movie soundtrack tune if ever there was one in ‘Superhero’ and ‘Nobody Gets Out Alive’, a tune to crank up on a warm summer’s day. All the songs featuring Mark Free on here will delight fans of his singing.

Then we have the songs featuring James Christian including ‘Demons Down’ from the House Of Lords album of the same name, plus a couple off his ‘Rude Awakening’ album – ‘Cold Day In Hell’ and ‘Better Days’. The latter one of James Christian’s best solo songs in my book.

Also on the album are an Alias song ‘X T C O I’ with Freddy Curci on vocals and a real AOR treat on ‘Dream On Little Dreamer’, featuring Bill Champlin. This one would have been all over the airwaves back in the day.

This is pretty damn essential listening for lovers of 80s melodic rock, especially if you have the Signal album or any of the first three House Of Lords albums in your collection. The production/sound on these songs is certainly better quality than you would be expecting given that these songs are demos. What a treat to have these songs given a proper release. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie


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