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Articles Home » 1985 Articles » Miles, John - 1985 Transition
Miles, John - 1985 Transition

ARTIST: Miles, John
ALBUM: Transition
LABEL: Valentino Records
SERIAL: 90476-1
YEAR: 1985
CD REISSUE: 2010, Krescendo, KRECD49


LINEUP: John Miles - vocals, guitars, keyboards * Bob Marshall - bass * Barriemore Barlow - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Once In Your Life * 02 Run * 03 Blinded * 04 You're The One * 05 I Need You're Love * 06 Hard Time * 07 Who Knows * 08 Don't Lie To Me * 09 Watching Over Me


John Miles is one of the best melodic rock exports out of the Newcastle area of UK. His career is populated with appearances just about everywhere, and with many appearances on his own material as well as others. Though involved with music at an early age, his solo career actually kicked off in 1976 with the album 'Rebel'. Prior to the release of this album we're reviewing, Miles had in fact released 8 solo albums between 1976 and 1983. John's vocals are in the same zone as Graeme Bonnet, but musically 'Transition' is mostly razor sharp AOR with a few smooth laid back moments too. During the early 80's, John was having an issue retaining a fan base amidst the changing styles and genres of that decade. As a result, Miles switched labels from Decca, to EMI. But eventually by 1984 he was without a label. During this period, John was keeping busy, playing clubs throughout the UK and Europe, and working on albums by the likes of Alan Parsons Project, and soundtrack albums for Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Thanks to some backroom dealing with Zeppelin's former label Atlantic, John finally signed to a new offshoot label called Valentino Records. 'Transition' would feature tracks from sessions produced with Trevor Rabin (2 tracks), Beau Hill (1 track) with Pat Moran doing the remaining 6 tracks. Beset by production delays on his last album for EMI, Miles was not wanting to wait on Rabin's other commitments, hence the reason for getting Hill and Moran involved.

The Songs
When compared to Mile's previous album (1983's 'Play On'), 'Transition' is a much harder beast. Certainly, AORsters will jump right in when they hear the opener 'Once In Your Life' (refer our Online-Jukebox). Classic sounding AOR never sounded better - hard driving choruses and brain-itching melodies. And to think this was manufactured by only three guys in the studio! Keeping the urgency going is the very Joe Lynn Turner sounding 'Run'. This could've been a missing track on JLT's 'Rescue You' album! Miles' belts out the vocal passion on 'Blinded' (one of the Rabin produced songs) which is followed by the laid back balladry of 'You're The One'. Also a ballad but with a bit more starch to it, is the other Rabin produced track 'I Need You're Love' - one of the better known tracks off the album. Over-highlighted drums and studio keyboards are a feature on the rocker 'Hard Time', a straight forward track with a bit of grit under the fingernails. Sounding a lot like 80's era Genesis (a la Phil Collins) is 'Who Knows', whereas 'Don't Lie To Me' fuses pop/funk and hi-tech AOR into a single pot pourri - with mixed results. The closing track 'Watching Over Me' sounds different to the rest. Probably because it's produced by Beau Hill - it takes snippets of John Parr, Go West, Genesis and The Police and shakes it all up. The lead guitar solo is pretty cool though..

In Summary
The album was received with mixed results during 1986 (the album was released in Nov '85). Most agreed it was punchier than some of his prior material, and very American sounding for a British act. For us at GLORY-DAZE it sits very nicely in that melodic rock/AOR niche. Unfortunately, it is an album that has yet to see an official release on CD. Maybe one day soon? In the immediate short-term, Miles kept his band situation going, was involved with the 'Night At The Proms' concept - and still is to this day, plus he played for long stints with Tina Turner's band - right up until 2000, and also appeared on Jimmy Page's 'Outrider' album, among others. Miles is still out there doing his thing, refer to his official website above.

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#1 | jeffduran on February 20 2008 18:07:03
Tasty stuff indeed...
#2 | Eric on February 20 2008 22:29:41
Nice, but not as good as his first few albums, in particular 'Zaragon'.
#3 | gdazegod on September 24 2010 03:06:52
Please do not go out and buy the 2010 reissue from Krescendo Records (UK). It is obviously a poor vinyl rip etched onto CD. Instead, go out and download the fileshare by the thousands, and put these bastards out of business once and for all. fromthegrave
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