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Articles Home » 1980 Articles » Strand, The - 1980 The Strand
Strand, The - 1980 The Strand

ARTIST: Strand, The
ALBUM: The Strand
LABEL: Island
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: 2011, Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY102
SPONSOR: Rock Candy Records


LINEUP: Rick 'Moon' Calhoun - vocals * Scott Shelly - guitars * Peter Reilich - keyboards * Dean Cortez - bass * Kelly Shanahan - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Rock It Tonight * 02 Long Hot Summer * 03 I Like It Like That * 04 Just A Little More Time * 05 Prisoners In Paradise * 06 Stay Away From My Girl * 07 Frustration * 08 Children Of The Night * 09 Dirty Little Girl * 10 Can't Look Back

I don't know much about these guys circa 1980, apart from the fact that 'Moon' Calhoun is a fairly well known session singer and is also a cohort of other L.A luminaries Michael Thompson and Jeff Paris. The other guys in The Strand are pretty much unknown, but their collaboration on this their only album is excellent. The results being a terrific slice of radio rock with some nifty keyboard runs. Not having played this album a great deal, it came as quite a surprise to me to slap it on the turntable and become somewhat impressed by what I heard. There is a lot to like about The Strand and their melodic radio rock style, taking the best bits of Head East, Airborne, and throwing in a dose of Pablo Cruise and Toto to complete the recipe. In 'Moon' Calhoun they have a great singer, but the other star of the show is keyboardist Peter Reilich. Added to the mix is the influence of Toto drummer Jeff Porcaro. Not normally known as a producer, Jeff throws his hand in this time around. He's obviously spent a bit of time in the studio, so you'd think he'd know what he was doing. Well, the end result speaks for itself. A pretty good effort indeed.

The Songs
The album opener 'Rock It Tonight' gives us a good feel as to what the rest of the album will be like. A stomping back beat with some intricate synth work in the background. Next track 'Long Hot Summer' is a mid paced effort, high on melody, with a nice chorus and great keyboards throughout. 'I Like It That' is a highlight, sort of like the stuff that Michael Stanley plays. Reilich gets his piano going on 'Children Of The Night' with a constant staccato attack, while 'Can't Look Back' has a definite Toto (circa 'Hydra' era) feel to it.

In Summary
A definite collectors piece for all you diehard AOR collectors out there. Not sure whether this has seen a CD release as yet. But if so, you'd be wanting to get a copy of it.

Footnote: this has finally been released on CD thanks to Rock Candy. Rather than me embellish anything in this review, it would probably be best if you just read Reyno's fantastic liner notes instead.

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#1 | reyno-roxx on February 14 2008 12:49:49
This has to be one of the most underrated albums of all-time. A little talked about gem of a record. It's certainly been played to death in my home over the years and is crying out for a long overdue reissue on CD.
It appears that 'Moon' Calhoun was also a drummer and had played/sung with Rufus and Chaka Khan ('Street Players' album) and had also a stint with the Gap Band.
I am sure that the bassist, Dean Cortez, is closely related to Jody Cortez (Stone Fury/Cinderella) as they look virtually identical.
#2 | Jez on August 20 2011 11:19:03
Glad to say I now have this in the old collection thanx to Rock Candy. Super album with some really great songs.
#3 | Eric on September 09 2012 00:59:50
I'm listening to the Rock Candy issue right now. Sweet sounds and 'Stay Away From My Girl' is a lost classic. Perfect Saturday night listening...
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