The Great­est AOR Al­bums Ever

Classic Rock - - Contents - Words: Paul El­liott, Dave Ling, Jon Hot­ten & Siân Llewellyn

Cel­e­brat­ing the very best of AOR from the golden age of the 70s and 80s. We also go be­yond the hits and the house­hold names to shine a light on the era’s cult clas­sics and lost he­roes.

dult Ori­ented Rock is the smooth sound that came out of the USA and be­came the sound­track to mil­lions of lives all over the world

– a sound de­fined by time­less an­thems such as Bos­ton’s More Than A Feel­ing, Jour­ney’s Don’t Stop Believin’,

Sur­vivor’s Eye Of The Tiger and Toto’s Africa, and by mon­u­men­tal power bal­lads, none big­ger than For­eigner’s global smash I Want To Know What Love Is. In a 15-page spe­cial, Clas­sic Rock cel­e­brates the very best of

AOR from the golden age of the 70s and 80s.

Here we present The 50 Great­est AOR Al­bums Of All Time.

In­cluded are some of the big­gest-sell­ing records in the his­tory of rock, and the sto­ries of the peo­ple who made them. We speak to Bos­ton’s mav­er­ick ge­nius Tom Scholz, Steve Perry and Jonathan Cain of

Jour­ney, For­eigner’s Mick Jones, Ann Wil­son of Heart, Sur­vivor’s found­ing mem­ber Jim Pe­terik, Jack Blades of Night Ranger and three mem­bers of the clas­sic line-up of Toto: David Paich, Steve Por­caro and Steve Lukather.

We also dig deep, go­ing be­yond the hits and the house­hold names to shine a light on the cult clas­sics and lost he­roes from this golden age. In AOR, as in life, there are win­ners and losers; for ev­ery fairy tale, a thou­sand hard-luck sto­ries. Some of the great­est AOR al­bums were made by artists

who never made it big, among them Div­ing For Pearls, New Eng­land, Bal­ance, Gi­ant, White Sis­ter, Valen­tine and Le Roux. And two now leg­endary al­bums were made by a singer who couldn’t get ar­rested when he was a rock artist, and failed an au­di­tion for Black Sab­bath be­fore rein­vent­ing him­self as a soul star – the one and only Michael Bolton.

Equally, while AOR is a quintessen­tially Amer­i­can art form, a hand­ful of Brits got in on the act, most no­tably Mick Jones, who founded For­eigner as an ex­pat in New York City in 1977. One of the great AOR voices is Lan­cashire-born John Waite. And placed high in this Top 50 are al­bums by Bri­tish acts FM, Strangeway­s (fronted by Amer­i­can singer Terry Brock) and Dare (fea­tur­ing fu­ture Pro­fes­sor Brian Cox on key­boards!).

Like­wise, while many of the lead­ing Amer­i­can bands live on – in­clud­ing Jour­ney, Bos­ton and Toto – the re­birth of AOR in the new mil­len­nium has come from Europe. At its fore­front are Scan­di­na­vian groups such as Eclipse and H.e.a,t., and the Ital­ian-based record la­bel Fron­tiers – named af­ter a clas­sic Jour­ney al­bum.

Af­ter the lean years of the late 90s, melodic rock rose again, and new al­bums of real qual­ity are be­ing made, show­ing that you can’t keep a good genre down for long. In the words that Steve Perry first sang back in 1981: ‘Don’t stop believin’, hold on to that feel­ing…’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.