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Mystic Healer - 1998 Mystic Healer

ARTIST: Mystic Healer
ALBUM: Mystic Healer
SERIAL: 199665
YEAR: 1998


LINEUP: Mark Mangold - keyboards, backing vocals * Todd Googins - vocals, piano

Other Contributors: Al Fritsch - guitars, bass, backing vocals * Randy Jackson - guitars, backing vocals * Bruce Kulick, Bob Kulick, Tony Bruno - guitars * Jeff Allen, Dave Ogrin - bass * D.L. Byron - 12-string guitar * Chuck Burgi, Chuck Bonfante - drums * Tamara Champlin, Michael Bolton, Joe Cerisano, Peppy Castro, Nicky Hopkins - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Crossed My Heart * 02 If You Ever Fall * 03 Tonight * 04 You Hold My Heart * 05 You Never Know With Magic * 06 Standin' In The Line Of Fire * 07 I Am The One * 08 Never Say Never * 09 Can't Wait On Love * 10 Live Wire * 11 It Must Be Love

Another of the MTM projects during the late 90's was Mystic Healer, with Mark Mangold (Touch) at the helm, along with singer Todd Googins. This was back in the days when MTM were the 90's equivalent of Frontiers, who since took a stranglehold on the melodic rock/AOR industry up to the current day. Back to Mystic Healer, who sound much the same as Drive She Said, Mangold's other band which also included Al Fritsch. However, the similarities end there.

There are some big names here, a literal who's who of the wider New York scene, but all of these songs go way back into the early 80's. Mangold had a whole heap of them in storage, and pulled them out for this project, re-dubbed the vocals with that of Todd Googins and then remixed them.

The Songs
Leading off with 'Crossed My Heart', which sounds so typical of a Drive She Said off-cut, and that's to be expected as it is a Mangold/Fritsch composition. 'If You Ever Fall' written by Mangold and Jack Ponti is the same track covered by Swedish vocalist Tone Norum. This rendition is quite heavy-handed, and not as good as Ms Norum's fantastic version. 'Tonight' is a fine track co-written by Mangold and Michael Bolton, but the version we best remember is the one performed by New York rockers Tour De Force from their classic 1995 CD 'World On Fire'. 'You Hold My Heart' is a co-write with D.L Byron, an artist who comes from the late 70's N.Y.C new wave scene. I can assure you, there is no hint of new wave in this song.. Lol Mangold provides huge brushstrokes of synths for 'You Never Know With Magic'. It kinda reminds me of Bolton's 'Don't Tell Me That It's Over', and therein lies its charm. 'Standin' In The Line Of Fire' was written by Mark and MCA recording artist Sandy Farina, another pure slab of AOR with all the right ingredients.

The ballad 'I Am The One' is next, this is one of the newer songs between Mangold and Googins, and demonstrates the vocal power Todd possesses. A tune that people should be mindful of Steve Perry when listening to it. 'Never Say Never' is a Mangold/Fritsch co-write, so one assumes this landed on the Drive She Said cutting floor. It's pretty powerful, and again, Googins sings his socks off. 'Can't Wait On Love' is a co-write with Tamara Champlin and is a big sounding affair, something you might expect on a Martee LeBow record. 'Livewire' with its tippy-tap piano work is straight out of the 80's, and as a Ponti/Mangold composition, could've been a contender for any of the artists back in the day. Think Aldo Nova, Surgin, Joe Lynn Turner.. 'It Must Be Love' is a goodie, a co-write with Bolton and Aldo Nova which probably goes back to around 1985.

In Summary
All of these songs were written or co-written by Mangold, and it's great to see them represented on one record as a body of work. As an adjunct, I have stared at the cover art of this album for ages trying to work it out. It's quite cleverly done, like three ninja's dressed up in the laundry taken from a Psych Ward! Anyone else have any vivid descriptions that they would like to share?

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Ebay Listing - Mystic Healer - 1998 st

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