THE LADDER - THE LADDER (1986, ATCO)
Frank Mancano - vocals
Tim Jordan - guitars
Doug Grigsby - bass
Joe Parente - keyboards
Joe Franco - drums
Along with Aviator
, another great rocking band from New York which surfaced in 1986 were The Ladder. Classy, and laced with a heavier than usual dose of melodic rock among the predominant AOR grooves this band generates. This their debut, is also unfortunately their last, and it has become a collectors item ever since. One listen and you can make an assumption why. Light and fluffy it isn't. It's weighed down by a superb production job, where the keyboards compete for room with the guitars. The effect? Some heavy atmospherics laying over the sugary melodies and the booming rhythm section, of which Joe Franco (the ex Good Rats
drummer) stands out.
Some of the songs are so memorable. 'Time Soldier', the epic 'Double Shot Of Love', and the heavy backbeat of 'Breakdown' all stand out. But then again so do efforts such as 'Don't Turn Me Away' (sounding like a Wrabit
ballad!!) and the dubiously titled 'Women Have Secrets'. A good example of their unique sound is best represented by the track 'Standin', a great snapshot of melodic rock circa 1986, full of pounding drums, parping keyboards and big production.
Typically, the best albums just simply went nowhere. The Ladder were no exception. Not even up. As a consequence, the album was confined to the annals of melodic rock history, albeit, a very high ranking place it does occupy. They also had some unreleased demo's (five that I know of, which I have on tape. These are: 'Take Love On The Run', 'Inherit The Wind', 'The Star', 'Heart Of Darkness', and 'City Of Women'). These came out a few years later, and at some stage, we might feature them on our Online Jukebox!
01 Daydreams At Night
02 Double Shot Of Love
03 Time Soldier
04 Don't Turn Me Away
07 Women Have Secrets
08 Lie To Me
10 Dancing In The Dark
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