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Articles Home » 1982 Articles » Bentwood Rocker - 1982 Take Me To Heaven
 
Bentwood Rocker - 1982 Take Me To Heaven



ARTIST: Bentwood Rocker
ALBUM: Take Me To Heaven
LABEL: Quality
SERIAL: SV 2094
YEAR: 1982

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Dan Thompson - vocals * Barry Haggarty - guitars * Eric Baragar - guitars, keyboards * Michael Goettler - bass * Stephen Smith - drums, keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Hearts Say Go! * 02 Best Man * 03 Take Me To Heaven * 04 Turning All The Heads * 05 You * 06 Rock N Roll Overload * 07 Throw Away Love * 08 Too Old To Rock * 09 New World Coming


Background
It surprised me that Bentwood Rocker have yet to feature at Glory Daze, being the ultra early 80's type AOR outfit and yet another Canadian bred band, one who should have made the grade but never did. The band origins date back to 1966 in Bellville Ontario, where as teens the band was known as The Sands Of Time, at this point all of the above featured minus original guitarist Tim Campbell. The band fell apart, but in the late seventies the group reconvened for some gigs and Bentwood Rocker was born. The band evolved into period AOR and without a label recorded 1980's 'Not Taken', which admittedly pales compared to 'Take Me To Heaven' (despite featuring two tracks that appear on this album). The album shifted enough copies to secure a deal with Quality Records and the band expected the follow up to follow suit. It didn't happen but this is a highly admirable of driving AOR which to its credit doesn't take its cues from its Canuck cohorts.


The Songs
There's little room for breathing space through the entire album, 'Heart Say Go' an impressive start, timeless chorus and harmonies spiced up with the obligatory keyboard and guitar melodies resulting in a verified classic. 'Best Man' follows suit, as does the title track which is identical to SPYS in Thompson's vocals and the overall approach and if you toss in a piece of The Tubes also, then maybe you can grasp the priceless AOR on display. This momentum continues with 'Turning All The Heads', reminding me of Gus And The New Breed's 'On The Verge', a cross which delves into AOR and new wave beats. West Coast isn't out of the question, 'You' as convincing as the greats of the time and one of the few Canadian acts to have a punt at the much missed genre. 'Rock 'N' Roll Overload' does what the title suggests, melodic boogie similar to BTO. All manner of synths are broken out for 'Throw Away Love' which lends it an air of listenability, although 'Too Old To Rock' is restrained and perhaps too serious in tone. Maybe a form of homage to Jethro Tull? Luckily 'New World Coming' is an upbeat closer that should rouse any AOR'ster with its persistent chorus.


In Summary
Easy to find on CD this is an essential purchase. Bentwood were another great band who fell victim to the music industry, but to their credit they still exist and perform in their native Canada and recently released a box set that showcases all the stages of their career. Apparently they recorded a further album as Bentwood Rocker in 1996, but considering the year it was released in I'll take a guess and assume it was far from AOR. Interestingly the band changed their name to The Press following this album and released a single produced by Ian Thomas that would be worth more of a listen. For those with an undying passion for supreme AOR yet undiscovered, this is a goldmine otherwise. Anything from 1982 usually is.


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Comments
#1 | AOR Lee on July 27 2012 19:08:19
This is a stunning AOR disc Alun, much better than the disappointing 1996 disc about which your guess was correct. Couple of good songs on Not Taken but nothing to touch Take Me To Heaven. AOR purists please investigate!
#2 | richardb on July 29 2012 16:18:17
There's also some great material on "The works" boxed set released a while back.

I did have a copy of the Self-titled 1996 release but got rid of it a few years ago. A massive disappointment and not a patch on this album.
#3 | kim_hp on August 13 2013 07:12:12
Gave this a couple of listens but I'm not sold. Unspectacular AOR.
 
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