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Articles Home » 1994 Articles » 1st Avenue - 1994 Daily Battle
1st Avenue - 1994 Daily Battle

ARTIST: 1st Avenue
ALBUM: Daily Battle
SERIAL: 2001092
YEAR: 1994


LINEUP: Peter Strykes - vocals * Gil Lopez - guitars * Chris Allister - keyboards * Arko Bommer - bass * Nop Ton - drums

Additional Musician: Okkie Huysdens - backing vocals, production

TRACK LISTING: 01 Feel Love * 02 I Still Believe In You * 03 Ready For You * 04 Over And Done * 05 Maybe Tomorrow Never Comes * 06 Time After Time * 07 Don't Disappear On Me * 08 Can't Take My Heart Away * 09 Call Me * 10 A Party

1st Avenue were a Dutch phenomenon back in the late 80's. With keyboard god Robby Valentine part of the band during their early days, they nearly keeled over when he departed the band for fellow Dutchies Zinatra and then onward to a solo career. 1st Avenue for their part didn't roll over, even if some of their material was co-written by Valentine. They bought in a new keyboard player Joby Bosboom, and forged onto a quite sensational debut album 'Tears And Triumph'. With ex Vandenberg voice Peter Strykes leading the way, that album got a lot of airplay from me during 1992, even though it didn't set the media on fire. Hardened AOR fans embraced the album wholeheartedly, but 1st Avenue disappeared off the map for two years, reappearing again in 1994 with 'Daily Battle'. Gone from the lineup was Bosboom, replaced by Chris Allister, who had spent time with melodic rockers Allied Forces (the Dutch version) during the mid 80's. There's no slackening off with the bombastic approach from that first album, some terrific songs on offer, though I will admit that pompness has made way for more of a hard rock edge on some songs, but not all. Okkie Huysdens (The President, Limousine, Rainbow Train etc) adds backing vocals to his overall production duties.

The Songs
Picking up from 'Tears And Triumph' as if it were 1992, 'Feel Love' is a perfect reminder of the pomp bombast that pervaded that album. It also introduces the ivory skills of Chris Allister who steps in as the pinch hitter for this track. Strangely, the band resort to a ballad on only the second song. It's a cover too, 'I Still Believe In You' by country music legend Vince Gill, who is no stranger to this website thanks to his tenure with the Pure Prairie League. The ballad is thoroughly melodic but probably should've been pushed down the running track order. Next up is 'Ready For You' is dominated by a great chorus but the album's coup-de-grace is the utterly fantastic 'Over And Done (Between Us)' which has been a personal favourite of mine for years. Perhaps one of 1st Avenue's finest recorded songs? 'Maybe Tomorrow' is the second ballad, a forlorn expression of lament for the children of the future and the world they face. 'Time After Time' is my next favourite track, a hard charging rocker full of pumping bass lines, fluffy keyboard lines and muscular vocals. 'Don't Disappear On Me' takes on a Treat like stance a la their 'Organized Crime' period, before we switch back to the third of the ballads 'Can't Take My Heart Away' which for me is the weakest of the three. 'Call Me' fascinates with its intricate and sometime complex arrangement whilst keeping the melodic elements to the forefront, with Allister's boisterous keyboards and stinging guitars from Gil Lopez keeping things interesting. Despite the song-title, 'A Party' is not as throwaway as one would think, 1st Avenue changing tack slightly though, presenting a fun time romp albeit with a cliched chorus.. not the worst track I've ever heard.

In Summary
'Daily Battle' would prove to be a much underrated and under-appreciated album during 1994. The Japanese didn't think so, as Zero Corporation reissued it for the Japan market later that year. Unfortunately, this would be the final 1st Avenue album, but some of the personnel moved onto other projects within the Netherlands. Both of their albums are pretty easy to get hold of in the second hand market.

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#1 | gdazegod on August 20 2012 01:06:40
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#2 | jefflynnefan on August 27 2012 04:23:01
Thanks for reviewing this one. I have Tears and Triumph and really do like it a whole lot. I'm going to get this one now based on your positive review.
#3 | gerard on August 26 2014 23:09:01
Don't know if this is mentioned elsewhere on this site, but Peter Strykes and Robby Valentine released an album together in 2009 called 'Peter Strykes sings Robby Valentine'. It also includes Valensia on 1 song.
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