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Articles Home » 2008 Articles » Roulette (Sweden) - 2008 Better Late Than Never
Roulette (Sweden) - 2008 Better Late Than Never

ARTIST: Roulette (Sweden)
ALBUM: Better Late Than Never
YEAR: 2008


LINEUP: Thomas Lundgren - vocals * Magnus Nelin - guitars * Thomas Nesslin - keyboards * Hansi Fellbrink - bass * Mats Nelin - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Better Late Than Never * 02 Only The Strong * 03 Evangeline * 04 Run Girl * 05 Give Me Some Affection * 06 Hearts Keep On Burning * 07 So Far So Good * 08 Bittersweet Love * 09 Dancin' * 10 City Heat * 11 Fool For Your Love * 12 All I Want * 13 Reachin' For You * 14 Call My Name * 15 Body N Soul * 16 Turn Me On * 17 Tonights The Night



Just quite how this Swedish quintet missed the boarding pass to AOR popularity back in the heydays of the glorious 80's remains a mystery to me. And to a few of you too no doubt. Not that it truly matters some twenty years later because at least their career and discography has been recaptured in this excellent 17 track CD issued by AOR-FM Records. Some of us have had old dubbed cassette tapes of this Sundsvall based outfit which did the rounds back then. the quality of the songs did the band a great injustice, and to hear these now in full digital restored glory makes my heart sing. You can read all about the history of Roulette on AOR-FM's band page (click here). No need for me to repeat it here. What is interesting however, is that the band went head to head with Rat Bat Blue for the attention of the Execs at CBS (Scandanavia), and though both bands were signed by the label, it was their rival which trumped an album, with Roulette (then named Cherry Red) being given the cheap 3 track single as consolation for coming second.

The Songs
A shame really, as Rat Bat Blue weren't an AOR band as such, because their 'Squeak' album - although good, contained more doses of hard rock with a funky edge. Going back in time; Roulette's first recording was the harder edged rock of 'Turn Me On' reminding us of Treat during these early days. 1988 was their first major push with the label TAB Records behind them. Tracks such as 'Hearts Keep On Burning', 'Call My Name', 'Tonight's The Night' and the superb Newman like 'Run Girl' were released during this phase. 1989 saw the release of their best known song 'Fool For Your Love', with vocalist Thomas Lundgren proving a winner with his Tommy Nilsson meets John Sloman styled vocals. The other key song from this period was 'Give Me Some Affection', which hinted at Europe's vision of how to construct a melodic rock song. Songs such as 'City Heat', 'So Far So Good' and 'Body N Soul' round out what was an industrious year for the fledgling AORsters. 1990 saw the band mature their sound even more, the influences of what was popular during that era reflected in their music. You hear it on the title track plus other tunes 'Dancin' and 'Reachin' For You'. For me personally, I think the songs that came through in their last year of 1991 were the best. The Easy Action flavored 'Only The Strong' and the picture perfect ballad 'Evangeline' with a Brother Firetribe like piano intro are two of the strongest songs the band released IMO.

In Summary
With CBS placing their attention elsewhere during the 1990/1991 era, Roulette subsequently split, the band members continuing on years later as a Def Leppard cover band of all things. The band really do capture the essence of Scandinavian AOR, their career spanning 1985 through to 1991, which was the pinnacle of all things Swedish and fluffy to be honest. Like AOR-FM's Bruce Donachie, I too am astounded as to why this band slipped off the radar, and can only thank common sense that AOR quality such as this is given a rightful digital airing on CD. Remember folks, this has only a limited release of 1000 copies. Get in quick because once these are gone that's it.. Enjoy Scandi AOR as it used to be.

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This article has been tagged
#1 | george_the_jack on June 11 2008 13:47:47
This compilation-album is out since 2003...Huge AOR harmonies in a melodic album indeed with catchy hooks that sticking in your brain. A pity that this band didn't make it out
#2 | Traveller in time on June 14 2008 17:39:28
Hi Bruce,

absolutely great work, the artwork, the remastered songs. I think, this is a jewel.

And to the comment from george the jack:

You are wrong, the new CD from AOR-FM is NO bootleg, contains more and some different songs!

And i think, it`s not good to compare Demos with off. releases.
#3 | YNGWIEVIKING on June 17 2008 08:17:52
The prod is very OK,it doesn't sound like old demos at all, even if the sound is clearly from the late 80's!
nice release!musicmusicmusic
#4 | erik on June 19 2008 21:08:15
Owning i think every scandi aor/rock album ever put out i think i qualify enuf to comment on this beauty clap
sheer scandi class. A mix of Talk of the Town meeting Crystal Blue - Caught in the Game. But i dare say its even better. Unbelievable these guys were passed out on back in the day. As with many a band these guys should have been great in the melodic aor scandi ock scene. Excellent songwriting, good voice. And Bruce we owe you big time for re releasing this gem. 95/100 Doesnot come much better scandi rock wise GrinGrin
#5 | Flo on January 09 2011 14:06:23
Very goos stuff
#6 | swazi on January 09 2011 22:25:30
This one was sold on evilbay for $102.50 just yesterday. Damn ..., I should have bought more than just 1 copy!
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