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Line Up - 1992 Lucky One



ARTIST: Line Up
ALBUM: Lucky One
LABEL: Bums Records
SERIAL: 39123
YEAR: 1992

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Patrick Axelsson - vocals * Bjorn Asander - keyboards, backvocals (yep that's what the sleeve says!) * Peter Jones - bass, backvocals

Additional Musicians: Tony Nyberg - guitar * A.Lesis - drums * Kim Meinert - backvocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Endless * 02 You Say * 03 Heart On Fire * 04 Be Leaving * 05 Lucky One * 06 Power * 07 Sparepart Man * 08 Faraway * 09 Wings * 10 Love In My Heart * 11 Hold Me


Background
This was released at a time, when frankly AOR music had very few avenues for albums to be released. There were no Frontiers, no AOR Heaven, and no Avenue of Allies. Yes labels like Escape, MTM, Now And Then were starting to raise the flag. However at this time, you always seemed to have a number of releases pop up out of nowhere, often hard to find, and only written about in very few publications, maybe just a couple of sentences in the first primitive fanzines. It was these fanzines, like AOR Classics, Frontline and even a catalogue that was periodically sent out by JLB which became a vital source of information. It was a real cottage industry and from those bygone days of 1992, this was released in Denmark on the slightly amusing sounding Bums Record label, so did the listener get a bum deal, or did these guys, who incidentally were actually from Sweden (although Peter Jones who plays bass, doesn't sound that Swedish, I wonder if he was Welsh?) get a crack at the big time? Line Up were basically 3 guys who recorded this impressive selection of AOR and Scandi Rock, all worth investigating and found to be tugging on the coat tails of the likes of early Grand Illusion and the pop factor and overall happiness that can be found on any of the Craaft albums.


The Songs
I found the 11 tracks on offer here, having enough influence that it could even educate Johnny Vegas to speak the Queen's English, they are that memorising.

'Endless' puts the album into gear, keyboards are awash from the start, in fact firing more keyboards stabs in the first minute than sales of GTA 5 to under 18's. The family combination of Heartlyne and Fair Warning is appropriate, with a cherry of a chorus.

More upbeat and more European is the Craaft like 'You Say', which plays into the hands of the obvious suspects being Alien, Bad Habit, Swedish Erotica and Da Vinci.

I've seen this album get a bit of a hammering at the very good, Heavy Harmonies. Opinions are all very good, but I do feel they are a slight unwarranted in this instance because once the pieces fall into place the songs grow and become more essential. It's nearly taken me a good 20 years to fully appreciate this album. Maybe it's an album that has aged well, and an album style that has long gone out of favour to those who crave the more over produced, false collaborations and fails to meet the current AOR production line mentality. Better stop before I start singing Andrew Lloyd Webber, 'Memory', 'midnight, not a sound from the pavement, has the moon lost her memory' ... ahh too late!

'Heart Of Fire', really creates an AOR (grand) illusion or maybe even further back with Promotion.

Once you used to find groups like this a plenty in Derek Oliver's Wimpwire, but if you look thorugh what is essentially Wimpwire 2 (sequels are a never as good as the original) in a current UK monthly publication, then they hardly appear, that's more to do with the groups' out there, rather than the column which is definitely born from early Kerrang but seems to lack any fresh ideas to take this written format further.

'Be Leaving' stumps up keyboards again, but is a more overtly darker sense and sound, yes more to those who yearn love, lost, torn from your AOR heart, just how we like it. More backing vocals and the atmospheric nature of the keyboards is straight line Treat.

The title track really sounds like an 80's European song contest entry by Sweden. Flash shirts, keyboards shaped like guitars, it's that close to pop music, even Level 42 with the funky verses, which may be at odds with the AOR song writing nature of the chorus. Is this fun? yes and it makes me wonder why I seem to buy everything released on the Kscope label (great as they are but can be a tad downbeat), because after such a session listening to their artists I need a bit of cheering up (although that doesn't stop me listening to the likes of The Pineapple Thief and Gazpacho). The most fun since Manu Tuilagi put bunny ears behind David Cameron head (yes, perhaps Mr Tuilagi was using it as an future opportunity showcase to the the South Sydney rugby league team to sign him up in a few years?.. lol! Ed).

'Power' has a chugging keyboard opening like they are falling down a staircase. This confirms that there is more fluff on this album than found in the cumulative navels of all the members of Swedish Erotica and Alien, (I really must cut back on my alcohol intake in an evening). This tune is just brilliant, vocally may not be up with Joey Tempest, but it does have that old Europe sound.

'Sparepart Man' (you're kidding me?), seriously, yes this is no white van man here, this is a classy ballad, a slight sojourn to the mighty wings spread by The Scorpions and Fair Warning, then it just plugs in, embrace the pink.

It's not lost on me of the similarity of the title of 'Faraway', with the immense Zeno; this song could easily be a new winter Olympic sport being that of melodic freestyler. While we are flying with 'Wings' this song has the ability to leave melodic earthworks in your memory to be rediscovered later by generations of melodic rock contributions to various sites.

While in the past Westlife has poached the likes of Daughtry for a hit song that provides substance, they really don't need to look much further than 'Love In My Heart'. As obvious as an ending to a Jack Reacher film, Line Up manage to provide an anthem with 'Hold Me', this is melodic sun under a baking plain, this should be used as diplomacy to pass the law of AOR being all over the radio in all European countries. It's simple; it's perfect and good enough to provide a 2 page spread on its own.


In Summary
I was left with the thought, what happened to them, but the answer was already in my collection all the time, it seems Patrick went onto form Reckless, whose album wasn't released until sometime after on the MTM Classix series. I brought it at the time, for a staggering ?16 from Tower Records in London, and to be perfectly honest, a touch disappointed, it falls into a more heavier approach well at least compared to Line Up, but I think it requires a new reflection and I intend to approach it again with a fresh view, but as always an article already exists here and can be found listed in 2004 put together by George. The world is full of people making outlandish claims, like David Cameron saying he enjoys going out running, no Dave, I run - you jog, and that he enjoys a holiday on an isolated island, well mate the only isolation time I can afford and enjoy, is listening to Line Up for 5 minutes, and you know what I wouldn't swap it for the world. I am probably no different in my claims pushing this album, but just under 40 minutes it's a prime example of how it was done, how it should be done. No outside writers to stir their magic, they're not needed, just raw talent, just a group of guys with no contractual arrangements to produce that pop ditty, just pure AOR fun. If those record executives continue to drain the AOR well of old albums then they would be hard pushed to find a better album worthy of a second chance. With Yesterrock taking care of Tokyo I couldn't think of a better label to be first in the line up (!) to be best placed for such an adventure. Get lost in the pinkness, lose your way in the keyboard clouds, stuck in the sweet chorus and lose your footing in those stunning pre-choruses and crumble underneath those fluffy lyrics. Is it too soon to class 90's AOR output as pure nostalgia?


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Comments
#1 | gdazegod on October 04 2013 05:55:44
Haha.. A.Lesis - the drummer listed above, is (no doubt) a drum machine from the Alesis company. I should know, I owned three of them during this timeframe!
#2 | gdazegod on October 04 2013 06:57:47
You're right Chris. The singer sounds like Claus Lessmann (Bonfire) and Klaus Luley (Craaft). Where's Santa?
#3 | englandashes on October 04 2013 12:16:48
Thanks George, glad I didn't remake on how wonderful the drummer was! and wonder what he went on to....did make me laugh, didn't realise it was a drum machine!, good spot.

Well, not sure about the other Santa, but I mentioned The Scorpions, so does Rudolf count! ho ho ho
 
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