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Bolton, Ron (Band) - 1983 Ron Bolton Band

ARTIST: Bolton, Ron (Group)
ALBUM: Ron Bolton Group
LABEL: Self Released
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 2009, Avenue Of Allies, 09-01-0002
SPONSOR: Avenue Of Allies


LINEUP: Ron Bolton - guitars, vocals * Mike Peters - keyboards, vocals * Dean Schulenberg - bass, vocals * George Kosta - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Maybe I'm Dreaming * 02 Do It All For Love * 03 Friends * 04 Search Of The Kind * 05 21 * 06 Livin' On The Line * 07 Midnight Lover * 08 Little Girl * 09 Play Your Game * 10 We're Gonna Make It

The Ron Bolton Group is the sort of band tailor-made for a website like GDM. AOR to the core, underground status, and near legendary in their local ports of call around the greater San Diego area. Coming to prominence during the late 70's, the band had stable gigs playing out of the Encinitas area. During this early phase, the band were a trio (Bolton, Kostas, and bass player at the time Robin Henkel). By the time Ron released this album, Robin Henkel had left to join up with another local area band called Johnny Almond, his place taken by Dean Schulenberg, with keyboardist Mike Peters also having joined the fold - Ron then opting for a name change, migrating from the Ron Bolton Group - to the inspired Ron Bolton Band. Err yeah.. Ron (no relation to Michael.. lol!) delivers a superb set of typical 80's AOR, with reference points taken from the likes Steel Breeze, Franke And The Knockouts, Dakota and The Producers.

The Songs
'Maybe I'm Dreaming' sets the scene for the rest of the album. A simply great tune, which builds nicely to an effective close out sequence, with keys and guitars going hard out. This is what great 1983 styled AOR is all about. 'Do It All For Love' features a gentle rolling style of AOR, based on great vocal melodies and a bank of keys/synths, not so action-filled as the previous track. Continuing the laid-back approach is 'Friends', which drifts effortlessly, topped by some soaring guitarwork from Bolton. The organ work from Mike Peters is prominent on 'Search Of The Kind', the overall sound coming across as pop/rock meets reggae, though not as blatant as the B.E Taylor Group did on their 'This World' album. Peters shines again on the keys, as '21' is graced with spicy synths throughout, and a full-on ivory tinkled solo which is not to be outdone by a guitar solo of equal magnitude. 'Livin' On The Line' takes a more aggressive approach, with Bolton sounding uncannily like Keith Murrell circa Airrace. Without doubt, the heaviest track on the album due to the raucous guitar work. 'Midnight Lover' is my favourite track on the album, simply exquisite from go to woe. Swirling keys, stunning melodies litter the song.. it is AOR the way it should be played. 'Little Girl' contains more gruff guitar, but is tempered by high strings and pianos. Another punchy guitar solo adds the icing on the cake. 'Play Your Game' takes its sound from a mainly 70's classic rock base. If you listen to a plethora of albums from this era (look on our review pages for inspiration), you will know what I mean. Closing out with 'We're Gonna Make It', Mike Peters greets us with more swirly synths, before we head off in a pop/rock come power pop direction.

In Summary
Ron only released this one album, and it's very unlikely it will ever see a CD release due to its original indie release status. Not much has been heard of Ron since this album, so if he ever gets to read this review, contact us please, so we can fill out the picture a little more.. In the meantime, look for it on Ebay, or get friendly with an AOR trader.

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#1 | jeffduran on September 20 2008 21:05:08
"Maybe I'm Dreaming" has been on my Top 10 AOR songs Of all time List for years!
#2 | Traveller in time on September 20 2008 22:31:23
I have this piece since some years, and what shall i say, i love it:-)
#3 | englandashes on September 21 2008 10:58:50
Great to hear a selection of tracks, always knew about his, but never heard it, wouldn't this be great to issued on cd for the first time,many thanks
#4 | Ralfster on November 13 2008 19:34:53
Wow, great to finally have this on CD soon! Yes
#5 | kim_hp on November 21 2008 17:33:24
Really? On what label? That's great news!
#6 | diamondsun on February 14 2009 14:14:17
Hi everybody,

the Ron Bolton Band album will be officially released on CD on the 27th of February 2009 through Avenue Of Allies. Following the albums of Daniel Nelson and Frozen Rain this is our third release.
Thanks to George for the great review.
All the best,
Avenue Of Allies Music
#7 | Jez on February 28 2009 10:55:20
Never ever thought this would see the light of day on CD, but here I am sitting with it in my hands right now and bloody marvellous it is too. music
#8 | Jez on March 02 2009 11:44:28
Bloody marvellous I said - I think I jumped the gun a bit in my initial excitement of holding this in my hands and not listening to it properly.
I Have lived with this over the weekend and there is defintley something up with the 'Remastering' on this. No bottom end whatsoever and a truly truly awful 'Boomy' kick drum sound that washes in and out of the mix at every given opportunity. VERY off putting and it really does spoil the whole sound. I know this album didn't have a big production job in the first place, but this sounds absolutely lousy. Will be interested to hear everyone else's comments about this one - I think a few people are gonna be mega disappointed. Be warned
#9 | gdazegod on March 02 2009 12:02:34
Oops! Shock
#10 | diamondsun on March 06 2009 16:11:43
I'm Greg from Avenue Of Allies and I'm responsible for this CD release. The Mastering got our approval to be pressed on CD after long hours of working on it and listening to different options and checking out the sound of the Master on different audio sources and set ups. What you can hear on the CD is a truly GOOD sound, not only in my opinion but also in the ears of a lot of musicians, reviewers and customers who have heard the final result.
I'm sorry to read that you don't seem to like the sound the way it comes out of your personal audio system.
#11 | jeffduran on March 07 2009 23:26:43
It sounds fine to me too, better than the vinyl and cd-r rip that's been circulating around the net -since Christ was in little league. I'm also almost deaf and according to many a little off in many ways. Thanks!
#12 | Jez on March 10 2009 11:21:17
Sorry Greg, but my reasonably well trained ears do not decieve and neither do the three different audio systems I have played this on. The better the system, the worse this sounds. The bottom line is that the mixing with it's boomy kick drum and inaudible Bass in places (I am a Bass player, believe me, I know what one sounds like and when it isn't there in the mix) do spoil this somewhat. I am not having a go as I think you should be congratulated for getting this album re-issued, but to say that the re-issue has a truly good sound, then I am afraid I have to disagree.
#13 | gdazegod on March 10 2009 13:07:45
Sorry to say, I have to agree with Jez. The bass and drum mix is not the greatest. Shock
#14 | diamondsun on March 10 2009 21:45:11
My comparisions for the CD sound are in relation to the sound of the vinyl and to me it still sounds good when I listen to the CD. And please let's not forget that the original production was made more than 25 years ago with the small budget of a private LP release.
Anyway, thanks for your comments.
#15 | Traveller in time on April 28 2010 22:28:15
No good sounding, the vinyl rip listens much better...
#16 | windsofmarch on January 30 2015 22:57:07
I've got both LP (mint condition) and CD. IMO it sounds better on vinyl as well (despite the low-budget production). Better balanced sound and bass and drums mix. However it is a little expensive and hard to find, so the CD version is welcome.Thumbs Up
#17 | super80boy on January 31 2015 16:26:56
I have the CD reissue and haven't listened to it yet, but I also have the vinyl and that sounds great for a private press. Every single one of these original tunes is good, better or absolute must have album. Thanks for the spot on review GdazeGod! I never get tired of finding and listening to the boat load of obscure AOR private presses out there, just like this gem!

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