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Messano - 1989 Messano

ARTIST: Messano
ALBUM: Messano
LABEL: Strategic
SERIAL: 88561-4001-2
YEAR: 1989
CD REISSUE: 2007, Retrospect Records, RR-324


LINEUP: Bobby Messano - vocals, guitars, bass * Erik Boyd - bass, backing vocals * Joey Zee - keyboards, backing vocals * Mike 'Hurricane' Gage - drums, backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Hide Our Love Away (Tell Me Why) * 02 Sing It Shout It * 03 You And I (Are Forever) * 04 Rock And Roll Heaven * 05 Stand And Fight * 06 Do't Tell Me It's Over * 07 Hot '' Heavy * 08 Rock Out * 09 (On The) Firing Line * 10 Four Play * 11 Face Behind The Axe


Bobby Messano will be known to many of the GDAZER's. Bobby was previously a member of Starz, Franke & The Knockouts and Tycoon, but has played with a heap more.. to numerous to name here. Just prior to this album being released in 1989, Bobby was working with the likes of Joe Lynn Turner and Lou Gramm - even going out on tour with Lou who was supporting his debut solo album at the time. Not bad for a Jersey boy who had a dream of one day becoming a famous blues oriented guitarist! I guess there would be a bit of interest in the album by AOR and melodic rock types, due to the inclusion of material co-penned by the likes of the late Norman Mershon from Tycoon, the guys from Starz, and of course Franke Previte and Tico Torres from Bobby's Franke And The Knockouts era. Musically it's good semi hair-metal/melodic rock with a nod to bands like Skull and Paul Sabu's Only Child, plus a handful of other contemporaries. At the time, Kerrang gave this album a healthy KKKK rating, and listening to this years later the rating is a probably a bit high in my estimation.

The Songs
Of the songs there are some interesting tunes for sure. Opener 'Hide Our Love Away' is better known to Franke & The KO fans as 'Carrie Why'. This song also appeared on Tycoon's third 'unreleased 'Opportunity Knocks' lp as 'Tell Me Why'. The Starz staple 'Sing It, Shout It' gets a reworking here, and by track three the album is sounding real good. The ballad 'You and I (Are Forever)' is a sweeping acoustic/electric affair played in a style that Tyketto would find success with a few years later. Bobby shifts up a few gears on 'Rock & Roll Heave' - a fast paced double kick drum fuelled tune, whereas 'Stand And Fight' is a mild rocker by comparison.. not quite living up to the song-title. 'Do't Tell Me It's Over' is the Messano, Previte, Torres contribution, a rollicking tune that you just know would've sounded great on Franke's 'Maki' The Point' lp - though it needed keyboards to flesh it out a bit. After listening to 'Hot N Heavy' I came away feeling neither hot nor heavy to be honest. It's another mild rocker. Messano's cred is kinda restored on 'Rock Out' where at least they live up to expectations. Bobby and Franke team again for 'Four Play', a song about a guy having problems picking up women! Err ok.. lol! The band grind it out with '(On The) Firing Line', similarly so with 'Face Behind The Axe' which by albums end is a 'hard-sell'.

In Summary
'Messano' has just seen a reissue on Retrospect Records, so it is now readily available after being a hard-to-find original CD on the small Strategic Records label. The re-issue includes five new bonus tracks, so that makes it a bit of a collectors piece. A good collection of melodic rock nonetheless.

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#1 | george_the_jack on December 07 2011 15:38:04
Except from being an influential musician and guitarist, Bobby can sing lead vocals as well, proof there is no end to a mans talent.These days he has also become an accomplished bluesman, releasing another successful blues album during the past summer.
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