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Atlantic - 1994 Power

ARTIST: Atlantic
ALBUM: Power
LABEL: Music For Nations
YEAR: 1994
CD REISSUE: 2008, Escape Music, ESM176


LINEUP: Simon Harrison - guitars, keyboards * Phil Bates - lead and backing vocals, guitars, keyboards * Andy Van Evans - guitars * Chris Taylor, Glen Williams - keyboards * Paul Hoare - bass * Andy Duncan, Phil Ridden - drums

Guests: Tony Mills, David Saylor, Jo Bates, Pete Green - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 It's Only Love * 02 Power Over Me * 03 When The War Is Over * 04 Bad Blood * 05 Can't Hold On * 06 Hands Of Fate * 07 Every Beat Of My Heart * 08 Dangerous Games * 09 Nothing To Lose * 10 Hard To Believe

An English band that released a fantastic one-off AOR album during the grunge era. Atlantic were formed by Simon Harrison and Phil Bates during 1991, or thereabouts. Bates is the better known of the duo, having been a member of 70's melodic rockers Trickster. Bates also had significant time with the Mk2 version of Electric Light Orchestra, along with his solo career, so how he managed to find time to play with Atlantic during what was a busy time frame is a mystery to us all. Harrison and Bates put the music together, Bates wrote most of the lyrics, while the album was produced by Harrison and bassist Paul Hoare, with Bates co-producing. Atlantic are in a similar vein to FM, A.S.A.P, and Brian Howe era Bad Company, though the songs are more AOR than those outfits (FM excluded of course), with Bates' vocals being an album standout, sounding like a cross between Johnny Edwards (King Kobra, Foreigner) and the aforementioned Brian Howe.

The Songs
If you read opinion elsewhere on the Internet, it would seem that this album is an absolute AOR masterpiece. Yes, it's good, and very well produced as well, but not quite in the stellar league as a Strangeways 'Native Sons', Dare's 'Out Of The Silence', FM's 'Indiscreet' or the Heartland debut, those four hold a special place in British AOR, but I will admit that Atlantic is not too far behind. 'Power' as an album is full of lush keyboards, providing a rich backdrop for songs such as 'It's Only Love', the amazing 'Power Over Me' and the tearjerker ballad 'Hard To Believe'. Mostly, the album rocks out but when then divert to the ballad 'When The War Is Over' for instance, the result is outstanding. 'Bad Blood' is a so much like FM during their early 90's era, mixing up a blues like strain of AOR with parping brass lines, while 'Hands Of Fate' sounds as if it could've been sourced from the underrated Foreigner album 'Unusual Heat'. All in all, some great moments onboard.

In Summary
Released in the UK on Music For Nations, the album also saw a release through Europe on the Bellaphon label. During 2008, 'Power' saw a re-release on Escape Music's roster - a nice confirmation and recognition of a very good album that still holds its head up fifteen years later.

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#1 | Jez on May 21 2009 09:05:29
Certainly a lost jewel in the long list of Great uk AOR releases. This is a brilliant album. Reminds me of the mega Strangeways alot in places, aswell as Dare, FM and Harem Scarem (s/t) especially on 'Hands Of Fate' and 'Every Beat Of My Heart'. Can't list any bad tracks on this as there aren't any, which you can't say about many releases these days. Along with the aforementioned UK bands, one of the best Brit AOR releases ever.
#2 | george_the_jack on May 21 2009 11:06:44
'Can't hold On' and 'Power Over Me' are absolute killers! Fantastic album indeed! Brit AOR at its best! I remember myself playing 'Can't hold on' as an opening tune in my radio broadcast at a local radio station. Great memories
#3 | Eric on May 21 2009 23:15:46
Good in spots like 'Power Over Me' but not a great album overall. Tends to get mentions on ELO sites.
#4 | LALOROCK on February 21 2010 04:44:37
Great AOR,melodies and catchy songs,a real wet dream for any melodic rock AOR lover,Power over me (can't take off from my head!).
#5 | george_the_jack on December 26 2011 12:07:26
To anyone that owns the "Escape" re-issue of this: Is it really worth replacing my "Music For Nations" copy with the "Escape" one? Note, I love the original CD cover of the album, the one I own... Wink

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