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Shelter - 1983 First Stop

ARTIST: Shelter
ALBUM: First Stop
LABEL: Polydor
SERIAL: 810 689-1
YEAR: 1983


LINEUP: Joe Lamente - lead vocals, guitars * Russ De Salvo - guitars * Peter Valentine - keyboards * Carl Bova - bass, vocals * Billy Messinetti - drums, background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 On The Line * 02 So Glad I Found You * 03 The Way I Feel * 04 Who Do You Love * 05 Why * 06 Underneath Your Make-up * 07 Shelter * 08 Tricks * 09 Foolish Lovers * 10 Because Of Love

Shelter are a band with a definite paid-up parking spot here at GLORY-DAZE. It is a wonder (and a shame) that they have not been mentioned previously in our hallowed halls. Hopefully this article will put paid to that oversight. One guy who hasn't been ignored is the acclaimed singer Joe Lamente (aka Joe Lamont). Joe, prior to Shelter had stints with other well-known outfits from the 70's/80's era: namely Spy, and Steeplechase. The latter band released their tremendous debut back in 1981 on their own label Big City Records. Because Steeplechase failed to make it out of the minor leagues (so to speak), Joe moved on. Within a year he had hooked up with the above named musicians to form Shelter, and though they were signed to a big label in Polygram, this album seems to have slipped the radar of many.

The Songs
The songs on 'First Stop' is where the strength of this band shines through. They dabble in AOR/pomp in the same vein as Balance, Foreigner, Le Roux and also take on a West Coast sheen as well. The resulting sound is delicious. Opening up with 'On The Line', Shelter immediately lay out their intentions for all to see. The pulsing bass lines, and incredible chorus set the scene for more to come. 'So Glad You I Found You' has a 'Hot Blooded' (Foreigner) riff through it, even the vocal has Lou Gramm wrapped around it, though the chorus is definite pomp material. 'The Way I Feel' is the epitome of radio rock/AOR from the era. The warmth of Lamente's vocal has to be heard. Again, the chorus is superlative. You'll be asking yourself 'why I haven't I checked out this album sooner?'. 'Who Do You Love' has a hard driving sound similar to 'Up' era Le Roux. Even the stabbing pianos toward the end there sound so similar. 'Why' opens up with a softish intro, moving this song in a West Coast direction. The juicy harmony vocals on the chorus will have you hooked. Side two of the album starts out with the energetic rocker 'Underneath Your Makeup'. Think Balance and Michael Stanley Band joining forces at a party and it'll be something like this. Helicopter effects whir in on the track 'Shelter', the song is predominantly mid-paced, and has a certain element of suspense about it - not unlike the undercover lover stance taken by some other artists around about this time in history. 'Tricks' sees Lamente's vocal sound similar to Coney Hatch's Carl Dixon, and similarly this is followed up by 'Foolish Lovers' which has an insistent pumping chorus that'll be hard to shake - next to 'The Way I Feel' is probably the albums best moments. The band finish of with the West Coast sounding 'Because Of Love'. The popping bass and mid-tempo style reminiscent of Ambrosia during their 1979-1982 era.

In Summary
For all those wanting to see an album re-released on CD then add Shelter's 'First Stop' to the list. This album has never seen the light of day on CD, and it is criminal that it hasn't! Lamente went on to release his solo album 'Secrets You Keep' two years later, which saw a CD re-release during 2010. Shelter meanwhile is truly well worth the listen.

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#1 | Jez on June 13 2008 09:15:50
Another blast from the past and pretty much essential for all the Aor/Pomp fans here. All the material is of a high standard, so no complaints whatsoever on that score. The Allegedly Remastered sound!(and I use the word Alleged with good reason)is pretty poor if truth be told, with my vinyl sounding a whole heap better. Still, worth getting on CD if you see it, as it is a little gem in the world of AOR.
#2 | gdazegod on April 01 2011 02:14:54
YouTube Video:
#3 | trillion1999 on October 17 2011 23:38:31
My favorite-tracks are Who Do You Love and Underneath Your Makeup.Very nice cover-art for me as well despite all that happened but might not otherwise have happened of course.rolleyes
#4 | rostoned on May 19 2012 00:35:10
Joe Lamente (real name Badalamente) the singer of Shelter and Steeplechase has nothing to do with Joe Lamont of "Secrets you keep" and soundtracks entries, two different guys. confirmed on YT by people friends with the guys in Shelter. just watch the 2 videos by Shelter and Lamont or take a look at the photos on the albums to have a proof....
#5 | gdazegod on May 25 2017 23:26:18
I need to re-edit this article to correct a couple of identity issues, as pointed by Rostoned.. computer work

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