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R.A.W - 1995 First

ALBUM: First
LABEL: Septima
SERIAL: SEP 195 05 02
YEAR: 1995
CD REISSUE: 2004, MTM Classix, SPV 085 59742
SPONSOR: RiotOz Distribution


LINEUP: Bo Lindmark - vocals, guitar * Michael Larson - guitar, mandolin, vocals * Anders Lindmark - bass, vocals * Adam Karsnas - drums, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Ran Out Of Love * 02 50 50 * 03 Turn Back Time * 04 Don't Tell Me Lies * 05 Michelle * 06 Why Stop * 07 T.G.I.F * 08 Golddiggers * 09 Touch Of Love * 10 To Hot To Handle * 11 Since You've Been Gone * 12 First Time Love * 13 It Just Came Down (Bonus) * 14 I Believe (Bonus)

Swedish band Dalton left an indelible mark on the Swedish melodic rock scene during the late eighties. Leaving behind two superb albums, the band disappeared off the scene, but thankfully did not disappear altogether. Some of the members decided to get together under the moniker of a cover band called Pump. This band featured a bevy of well-known members better known from past lives with Easy Action and Europe. Come 1992, the band signed to EMI (the same label as Dalton), and it wasn't until 1995 that R.A.W started seeing some action. The lovely ballad 'Since You've Been Gone' made some headway into the Swedish charts. But for whatever reason a dispute ensued between band and label. R.A.W then decided to go elsewhere with their album 'First'.

The Songs
The album contains many moments of good listening. There isn't a lot of filler onboard thank goodness, while the songs themselves are relatively short, sweet and succinct, evidenced by fourteen songs clocking in at a collective 52 minutes. Highlights for me include the opener 'Ran Out Of Love', the reflective and moody 'Turn Back Time', and the Dalton like 'Why Stop' reminding us that though the band name might have changed, there is some connection to the past. The bonus tracks 'It Just Came Down' and 'I Believe' are well worth listening to. The former is a great radio rocker not unlike Stage Dolls, the latter is another ballad with a load of melodic acoustic guitars and harmony vocals.

In Summary
The availability of the album became scarce over time, and made the list of many a collector, aware of who the band were and in particular, their relationship with past faves Dalton. R.A.W released a second album in 1997 called 'Now We're Cookin' before disappearing again. However, MTM Music have come to the rescue and re-released 'First' as part of their Classix collection. It is certainly a good contender for the label, and great to see it again.

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