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Craaft - 1986 Craaft



ARTIST: Craaft
ALBUM: Craaft (#1)
LABEL: Epic
SERIAL: EPC 26880
YEAR: 1986
CD REISSUE: 2003, Bad Reputation, BAD010 * 2012, Yesterrock, YRCD 201238

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Klaus Luley - vocals, guitars, bass * Reinhard Bessser - guitars, bass, vocals * Franze Keil - keyboards, vocals * Sandy Gennaro, Jurgen Zoller - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 I Wanna Look In Your Eyes * 02 Breakin' Walls Ain't Easy * 03 Hold Me * 04 You're The Best Thing In My Life * 05 I Guess You Are The Number One * 06 Stranger * 07 Don't Wanna Wait No More * 08 Now That You're Gone * 09 Wasted Years * 10 Cool Town Lovers * 11 I'm A Mover


Background
If the discography is to be believed, this German melodic rock outfit were apparently formed in 1984 by guitarist Marcus Schleicher and Krokus bassist Tommy Keiser. Joining them soon after were Tom Schneider (drums), Franz Keil (keyboards) and Klaus Luley (vocals) who came from fellow German band Tokyo. Though German, the band is very American sounding, not unlike fellow Teutonic wonders Roko. They come complete with clean lines, silky keyboards and crunching melodic guitar. By the time their self titled debut was released two years later in 1986, the band had fallen away to a trio: Luley, Keil, and guitarist Reinhard Besser. Guesting on drums was drumming journeyman Sandy Gennaro (ex Blackjack, Pat Travers Band, Y&T). Utilising the production skills of Peter Hauke (who had just completed White Lion's 'Fight To Survive' album), they set about recreating US melodic hard rock - German style!


The Songs
Spiky keyboards are a feature of the opening cut 'I Wanna Look In Your Eyes', the blistering attack continuing on 'Breakin' Walls Ain't Easy'. Hard rock meets AOR on 'Hold Me', where the chorus is an absolute winner. A grand majestic sounding ballad takes shape with 'You're The Best Thing In My Life', with Side One finishing off with the rather stomping hard rock affair of 'I Guess You Are the Number One'. We get more of the same with the pomp and parp of 'Stranger'. 'Now That You're Gone' is an excellent power-ballad where Luley puts some grunt into the vocal and the solo soars way above the music. 'Wasted Years' is populated with all sorts of sound effects but overall the end result is melodic and hard. The final track 'Cool Town Lovers' has euro-metal styled guitar riffs, though the song itself is bright, breezy and fun sounding, exactly the same as Danish heroes Fate.


In Summary
The album initially got some small press in the US, alongside the Zeno album which was doing the rounds at the time. Of more interest to CD collectors is the fact that this album fetches significant dollars on Ebay, and is compared much more favorably than the superior (IMHO) effort of 'Second Honeymoon' which followed two years later! The CD also contains an extra track called 'I'm A Mover', as the original vinyl (which I have) only has the ten tracks listed below. Don't get me wrong, this is still a good album, but I much prefer 'Second Honeymoon'.. now that's a different story altogether.


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Comments
#1 | Jez on June 13 2008 11:12:40
Great album and my favourite of the three they released, although 'Second Honeymoon' is also worth tracking down. This is very 80's in its sound and maybe now a little dated for some people, but it does contain some great songs. Good to have it on re-issue aswell as the bonus disc contains some interesting demo versions and unreleased tracks.
#2 | george_the_jack on June 15 2008 13:39:45
unbelievable melodic hard/AOR band that combines with excellent essence the Brit AOR of the 80's with the SCORPIONS' sound! Certainly, one the most overlooked bands coming from Germany, playing impressive music and having a colorful history. they used to open concerts for Queen, Krokus and other monsters of the 80's decade. This album is great! Solid melodic arrangements under a sharp production, sung by the charismatic Klaus Luley. If this band wasn't from Germany but from UK or USA, would be HUGE! ESSENTIAL! 9,5/10
#3 | Eric on June 19 2008 00:42:10
Never got on with the vocals here.
#4 | george_the_jack on June 24 2008 16:27:55
I would like to see ''Second Honeymoon'' to be reviewed...
#5 | shelf stacker on September 30 2008 12:49:39
I seem to remember reading somewhere that Tommy Lee and Heather Locklear had 'You're the best thing in my life' played at their wedding. Probably jinxed the song for good! Played this LP loads way back when. Must give it another spin and re-acquaint myself.
#6 | super80boy on September 28 2014 16:25:13
An admirable effort in cranking out crisp hard edged melodic rock in an American style by this German band.
 
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