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Articles Home » 1988 Articles » Aina - 1988 Living In A Boys World
Aina - 1988 Living In A Boys World

ALBUM: Living In A Boys World
LABEL: Mercury
SERIAL: 834 475-2
YEAR: 1988
CD REISSUE: 2005, MTM Music, 0681-143


LINEUP: Aina Olsson - lead vocals * Rolf Graf - guitar and intro solo * Marius Muller - guitar * Lasse Hafreager - hammond organ * Sigvart Dagsland, Per Oystein Sorensen - background vocals * Per Hillestad - hi-hat and cymbals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Intro * 02 Rocks Off * 03 I Must Be In Love * 04 Believe In Me * 05 Shot Down In Flames * 06 You Babe You * 07 Living In A Boys World * 08 A Love Forever Story * 09 I Need To Know * 10 Pleasure And Pain * 11 Save Me Father (Bonus) * 12 It's Raining It's Pouring (Bonus) * 13 To Good To Be True (Bonus) * 14 If I Can't Have You (Bonus) * 15 Shake Me Good (Bonus)

Would it surprise you that this 1988 effort from Norwegian rock vixen Aina is in fact her third release? Well it is, following on from her low-key releases from 1984 and 1985: 'In Ten Pieces' and 'Target Practice' respectively. Polygram invested in young Aina at an early age, her 1984 debut recorded when she was a mere seventeen years old. 'Living In A Boys World' was a bit of closet classic back in the day, the album originally saw action as a vinyl only release in 1988 throughout Scandinavia - though of course it came out on CD many years later. The following year she moved to Los Angeles, hooked up with House Of Lords singer James Christian, even singing backing vocals on their albums. So what of the songs on her third and (to date) final release?

The Songs
Well, if you like heavier female fronted melodic rock in the vein of Erika or late 80's era Tone Norum, then Aina is right up your alley. The overall feel of the album is very hi-tech and 'processed'. The fact that most of the members from the Norwegian equivalent of Toto - the band Lava - get to play on this album accounts for this observation. You'll also see a few outside contributions here. Notably Paul Janz's 'Believe In Me', Torsten Flakne's 'You Babe You' and the Randalls/James Christian penned 'A Love Forever Story'. Definitely the songs which stand out are those that are heavier. These include 'Rocks Off', 'Shot Down In Flames' the punchy title track 'Living In A Boys World' and the power-chord bruzer 'Pleasure And Pain'.

The 2005 re-release on MTM Classix

The tender ballad 'I Need To Know' is a change-up moment, sort of like Tone Norum at her wimpiest. Some of the bonus tracks deserve special mention too: namely the modern but power heavy 'Save Me Father', the Zep like 'Its Raining Its Pouring' - both showcasing Aina's powerful vocals. The other three are classy AOR efforts, namely the choice cut 'Too Be To Be True'. I'm not entirely sure when these bonus tracks were recorded, but if they were recent, boy oh boy a record label should sound this lady out for more tunes like this!

In Summary
Good on MTM Classix to get behind this release, and as I understand, they even gave it the digital remastering treatment. The fact that it contains five excellent bonus tracks is a chocolate cake with the hundreds and thousands on top. Pity the MTM CD didn't come with a wall-sized poster.. she is one very good looking lady isn't she? hehe!

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#1 | Jez on June 13 2008 16:03:55
Damn good album. All the Tone Norum, Joal, Fiona etc fans get ready if you haven't got this one. This re-issue also features 5 superb Bonus tracks (which I have on a Demo's cd from way back - superior versions here due to the excellent remastering) with 'Save Me Father' being an absolute belter of a track. I would go as far to say that the bonus tracks are better & Tougher than most of the actual album, which is a rareity in itself. Mega stuff.
#2 | KurtmanJP on December 24 2008 17:24:00
A Love Forever Story. Man, what a stunning song, one of those you can listen to over and over again. Reminds me of Tindrum more than Tone Norum or Fiona.
#3 | Terje Hoiland on December 30 2008 22:49:42
For those of you who might find this of interest, she have recently released a new album with the title of Little Escapades ( 2008 ) who you can buy as mp3 download at The voice are there still, but sorry to say not the music :-( Electronic pop who I find a little bit boring ..
#4 | code4 on October 13 2015 00:44:12
Hahaha - 'closet classic'- what a good term for this album. The production while a period one and a bit flat sounding is at the same time given some nice textural layers by the late Rolf Graf of Lava.

I didn't notice it right away but after listening to 'Rocks Off' a few times the underlying pad sounds emphasising the chord progression settled into my conscious leaving me increasingly more fond of the song. 'Living In A Boys World' is much more raw than Fiona's more popular version. I can see how Aina's version might be favoured by some melodic rock fans out there. 'I Must Be In Love' has a real cringeworthy chorus yet the track is not a total loss as the very big, sequenced sound of the verses is excellent (reminding me of something you might have found on Graf's own 1985's solo album).

'Believe in Me' I do not much like but I am not a good judge of Aina's take on it when I do not even like the writer Paul Janz's own version that much on his 'Electricity' CD (which is not a popular opinion as it's often cited as a fan favourite). 'Shot Down In Flames' reminds me a little of the infamous Ranveig Johnsen CD (no surprise to notice that Lava guitarist Svein Dag Hauge both had a hand in writing it and played the guitars if i recall correctly... as he did on a lot of the Johnsen album).

Stopping short of mentioning every song, two of my favourites would likely be 'A Love Forever Story' and the soft atmospheric 'I Need To Know'. I can also see how some would much like 'You Babe You' (didn't know it was a cover, thanks for that) but overall it's a little too much Erika and Tone Norum territory for me and that goes for a lot of this album (as the main review suggests).

It's not quite my taste. Still it is a minor 'closet classic' for sure (and funnily enough that's exactly where it sits in my house but then so do all my CD's). I have the original CD (Mercury Records Germany). not sure when it came out but likely early 90's if it was not the same time as the LP.
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