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Mychael - 1979 Neon Dreams



ARTIST: Mychael
ALBUM: Neon Dreams
LABEL: RCA/Free Flight
SERIAL: AHL1-3400
YEAR: 1979

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Mychael - lead vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, iranian bells * James Gorin - drums * Greg Dotson - drums, syndrums * Robert Delogarzo - acoustic piano * Jay Patton - alto sax * Marcus Mitchell - keyboards * Gary Lunn, Tommy Gilstrap - bass

TRACK LISTING: 01 Neon Dreams * 02 Stay * 03 Hard Work * 04 Crossfire * 05 Cloud High * 06 I, You, We * 07 Love Me One More Day * 08 Breathless * 09 Twilight Melody * 10 A New Beginning

WEBLINKS: www.mychaeljohnthomas.com


Background
Anyone remember a 1971 album by an Alabama group called Felt? A big buck rarity for American progressive rock collectors and worth every penny I might add, Felt featured one Myke Jackson on guitar and vocals who happened to be just 17 at the time. After being arrested for drug possession and spending a few months in the big house, Myke changed his ways and Felt was no more, but he continued to work on his music landing a contract with the RCA subsidiary Free Flight as 'Mychael'. Like many deals, RCA had little interest in the record and abandoned Free Flight as a tax write-off giving 'Neon Dreams' little chance of success. A shame and because I have rarely seen or heard this album mentioned in the AOR community, it's time to give 'Neon Dreams' some long overdue praise.


The Songs
This record should hit most Glory Daze reader's right between the eyes like a laser beam and if the title track doesn't get the heart revved up, I don't know what will! A fantastic track and melodic to the core highlighted by searing guitar work from Mychael. I'm thinking a host of late 70's classics from Teaze and Striker to Hero, but the following 'Stay' is even better and fans of Roadmaster, Gulliver and Prism will think they had died and gone to heaven! No kidding, Mychael was really on to something here and while 'Hard Work' is pretty standard stuff, I can't help but wonder if Mychael had been listening to a Rex album or two and if that's not enough to give Mychael some serious credibility, check out the Angel styled keyboard touches on 'Crossfire' -cool! Side two's closer 'Cloud High' again pulls from the Gulliver and Prism songbook which is always welcome while on the flip side Mychael gets back to his roots and a little more proggy, although not before giving us the ballads 'You, We' and 'Love Me One More Day'. Both are nice, but 'The Life Sonata (A Composition for Rock Guitar Orchestra)' in three movements is where it's at. Mychael covers all the bases here, Yes-like acoustic interludes; early Styx guitar riffs and melodic passages ala Camel and The Enid. Entirely instrumental and wonderfully executed, this is the cherry on top of an already sweet rock album.


In Summary
Not sure if this is available as a download, but vinyl copies of 'Neon Dreams' are very easy to find from the usual sources and for obvious reasons I can't recommend this album highly enough!


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Comments
#1 | gdazegod on November 09 2008 22:35:52
Sounds very interesting. Looks like a treasure hunt is on! dogrun
#2 | DEMONAOR on November 10 2008 06:28:57
This album free for download at his home site.guns
#3 | DEMONAOR on November 10 2008 06:29:49
And i like it big time.Great songs.
#4 | Eric on May 21 2011 13:05:35
There is a Myke Jackson solo album released in 1975. 'Alone' is far from 'Neon Dreams' but a pretty good pop/ rock album and worth finding...
#5 | super80boy on January 28 2013 04:08:21
I picked up a SS copy of this based on your review. Side A is all killer tunes with the title song and 'Crossfire' being the standouts. Side B is much different, but I do like the instrumental prog and guitar riffing songs. Thanks for unearthing this one!
 
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