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Articles Home » 1984 Articles » Qwest - 1984 Dream Zone
Qwest - 1984 Dream Zone

ALBUM: Dream Zone
LABEL: MCA/Quality
YEAR: 1984
CD REISSUE: 1996, Pacemaker Records, PACE-014


LINEUP: Shelly Gellner - vocals, guitars * Barry Gellner - vocals, bass * Greg Gunhold - guitars * Jim Symchych - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 We Need Love * 02 Don't Say No * 03 You're Not So Hot * 04 Nothing To Lose * 05 Dreamer * 06 (I Don't Wanna) Break Your Heart * 07 Never Forget * 08 Trouble, Trouble * 09 Come To Me * 10 Hold Me

Canada certainly provided us with some legendary names in AOR, such as Prism, Harlequin, Streetheart, Wrabit and others, but these guys have remained more obscure despite two very impressive albums. It seems that being signed to a minor record company is like a death knell for your chances of big success, and folks, Quality /MWC were minor enough to make sure that Qwest didn't stand a fair chance. Still, the music is worth celebrating. A combination of Journey, Coney Hatch and 80's Le Roux would be a fair description of what's awaiting us.

The Songs
This classic second Qwest album opens up with two big AOR anthems called 'We Need Love' and 'Don't Say No', both very melodic, both very 1984. This sets the tone for the whole record, while 'You're Not So Hot' and 'Nothing To Lose' keep the melodies flowing at midtempo, the latter track is somewhat stronger. Side one closes off with 'Dreamer', where the guitar and vocal attack of the Gellner brothers really comes through with a killer chorus.Yet another blueprint mid 80's anthem opens side two, in the form of '(I Don't Wanna) Break Your Heart' - great hook, great vocal melodies, great keys. 'Never Forget' and 'Trouble Trouble' provide the big AOR riffing and ever present lush vocals, until we reach 'Come To Me' - a more restrained affair with a chorus that calls to mind the melodic side of Blue Oyster Cult, especially the Eric Bloom like vocal delivery. The power balladry of 'Hold Me' closes off the record with verses right out of the Scorpions songbook, while the chorus rises up powerfully in the Le Roux tradition. (Scorpions meets Le Roux? hmm very interesting concoction, not sure I can visualise it myself! Ed)

In Summary
While their debut album 'Tampico Gold' was very good, it lacked the keyboards and glistening production on show here. Although some tracks are stronger than others, there's really no filler track that will have you reaching for the skip button in disgust - what's more, both Qwest albums are available on CD thanks to Pacemaker Records. If you take your AOR collection seriously, now's a good time to add Qwest to your shopping list.

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#1 | richardb on June 13 2008 13:23:25
A superb album and a quantum leap from 'Tampico Gold'. One of the best releases (IMHO) from what was a watershed year for AOR.

Richard B
#2 | aor-fm on August 01 2009 15:00:13
agreed...for fans of Honeymoon Suite and Loverboy
#3 | super80boy on December 13 2014 23:20:43
This second album takes it up a notch with additional production quality, a more focused effort in the melodies and arrangements and it just has more of a punch. As the review states, Dream Zone is a consistent affair with no subpar/filler tracks. The official single taken from the album was the pure AOR gem 'I Don't Wanna Break Your Heart'. The only thing the debut LP has over this exceptional sophomore outing is it's interesting cover art.
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