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Articles: 1989 Articles
9th Street - 1989 The Prayer
For those of you with a liking for hi-tech pop/AOR then a tour up 9th Street might just be your bowl of latte. This British outfit play in a similar style to bands such as Channel 5, Modesty, Valet Parking and Go West. There's a bit of Toto to be found here too.

A.R.S - 1989 Truth In A Structured Form
Better known as Atlanta Rhythm Section, the band did take their time coming back to the fold, returning at the end of the decade with this effort 'Truth In A Structured Form'. They had to resort to an abbreviated name (A.R.S) as some former band members complained about the continuation of the original name.

Aaron, Lee - 1989 Bodyrock
When we consider the discography of former Canadian metal queen Lee Aaron, we often overlook her 1989 album 'Bodyrock'. Really, this is one of the better hair-metal albums of that year, with a bunch of fun, infectious tunes.

Accept - 1989 Eat The Heat
This is of course the most controversial album of Accept's career, reason being the absence of original vocalist Udo Dirkschneider, who by the time of 'Eat The Heat's' release in 1989, had already recorded two solo albums.

Adelaide - 1989 Fast N Far
Ms Ferreira gives us exceptional female oriented AOR in the mould of Tone Norum and Marie Frederiksen. Seh occasionally dabbles in blues and straight up rock n roll too. Whatever the case, this bird can sing.

Akiko - 1989 Akiko
On many occasions we see how life imitates art, or how the clone imitates the original to the point of seamlessness. Case in point - Japanese female singer Akiko Kobayashi, who's 1989 self titled album is as close to the late Karen Carpenter, to the point of being scary!

Alexa - 1989 Alexa
Sensational slab of AOR/melodic rock from LA rock vixen Alexa, who vocally could be considered a Paul Sabu clone. Nonetheless, it's a fairly heavy affair, with raucous vocals very much to the fore.

Alexander, Gregg - 1989 Michigan Rain
Very much an atypical late 80s pop rock record; 'Michigan Rain' wasn't a success commercially and clearly Alexander was searching for his own voice but there are glimmers of a talent in the making. Richard Marx meets Bon Jovi minus the hard rock bombast of the latter are good comparisons..

American Angel - 1989 American Angel
American Angel are a five piece outfit coming out of New Jersey. Musically these guys have Icon surging through their veins like an intravenous drip of melodic rock sugar.

Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe - 1989 Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe
At the time I was still left with a bad taste in my mouth after the messy hi-tech overkill of 'Big Generator' so other than another typical but gorgeous Roger Dean sleeve, I didn't expect much from the line-up. Surprise! This album is huge in both sound and scope and stands shoulder to shoulder with any classic early Yes album.

ASAP - 1989 Silver And Gold
What happens when you combine three of London's prime movers in the hard rock scene? namely Iron Maiden, Bad Company and FM? You get A.S.A.P. that's what!

Ava - 1989 Ava
The mysterious German singer Ava releases very hi-tech poppy AOR with well-written songs that go far deeper than most Europop I've encountered.

Babylon A.D. - 1989 Babylon A.D.
Babylon A.D. delivered a handy set of songs on their debut which combined a glam metal meets melodic hard rock meets blues hybrid. Many bands were also doing this three-trick card back in 1989. Some were better at it than others, including these guys.


Bad English - 1989 Bad English
This album holds a very special place in my CD collection. It was, in fact, the very first CD I ever bought, back in the year 1989 when I made the transition from vinyl to CD.

Bad Habit - 1989 After Hours
A discussion on Scandinavian AOR would be incomplete without mention of Malmo based outfit Bad Habit. Timing their run through the 80's and dodging hair-metal bullets along the way, this classy five-piece straddled the fence between hair-metal and AOR, ending up like a cross between Danish boys Fate, Norwegians Da Vinci and fellow Swedes Glory.

Badlands - 1989 Badlands
Here was a band that was literally put together in the badlands of rock n roll. A solid lineup of players who were befuddled by management, record labels and themselves it would seem.

Barnes, Don - 1989 Ride The Storm
Here's an album that never saw the light of day, with a big budget and top-notch studio musicians on supply. Wonders never cease to amaze. Don Barnes of course is/was a member of 38 Special, and back in 1989 had this album 'Ride The Storm' ready for a big-label release. This never occurred, and the project remained a mystery ever since..

Beau Heart - 1989 Invitation
More hi-tech AOR in the mould of Go West, Modesty and Valet Parking, comes in the shape of German artist Beau Heart. Only just mind you - the whole album is a bit poppy and bouncy by comparison.

Beau Nasty - 1989 Dirty But Well Dressed
Beau Nasty was a typical late 80's sleaze band, releasing a brand of good time hard rock similar to that of Britny Fox.

Beck, Robin - 1989 Trouble Or Nothin'
A Brooklyn NY girl does good, it would seem. An undoubted talent, Robin Beck sits high in the pecking order of female melodic rockers! This is her second album, and rides on th back of her singles success with the Coca-Cola jingle 'First Time'..

Big Big Sun - 1989 Stop The World
Call me crazy, 'Stop The World' is startlingly derivative of The Police and Yes circa 'Big Generator' and yet I find the record for the most part, very enjoyable.

Bigstorm - 1989 Living In Exile
Another Australian outfit from Sydney with a very classy melodic rock album. As the name implies, they do have a big sound, which combines elements of bands such as The Believers, Mike And The Mechanics, and perhaps fellow Aussies INXS and Noiseworks.

Bishop, Stephen - 1989 Bowling In Paris
Singer songwriter Stephen Bishop really hit the nail on the head with this overlooked set of hi-tech West Coast/AOR. Bishop has hovered around the softer edges of rock for many years. A host of albums as well, but this beauty 'Bowling In Paris' takes the cake.

Black Sabbath - 1989 Headless Cross
The band, well known for their obsession with things to do with the occult, went for the jugular on this album. The satanic and occultish themes were well covered on just about every song. Despite such leanings, ' Headless Cross' is an incredible slab of melodic metal from The Sabbs, the production huge, the playing from all involved goes beyond the call.

Blue Murder - 1989 Blue Murder
Without doubt one of the most under-appreciated albums in all of 1989, perhaps overshadowed by many great albums from that year..

Bolton, Michael - 1989 Soul Provider
By 1989, Michael Bolton was well on his way toward commercial success. It was like the corporate machine was readying itself to assimilate Mr Bolton deep into the bowels of the money chamber. He manages on this album at least - to fire off a few good salvoes of AOR, and to demonstrate what it was he was leaving behind before disappearing over the horizon into mom and pop territory. 'Soul Provider' would be his proverbial meal ticket..

Bongiovi, Jodi - 1989 Jodi Bongiovi
Musically this undoubtedly has a few good moments, but I would probably take more interest if it was Tone Norum, Sandi Saraya or Alexa singing!

Bridge 2 Far - 1989 Bridge 2 Far
Where Pop Rock meets West Coast, is where you'll be standing with on Bridge 2 Far. The majority of Bridge 2 Far is mainstream, light, and features lots of sax and horns etc. However in saying that, guitar gods Steve Lukather and Michael Landau turn up for the party so you know there's gonna be an edge somewhere along the way.

Burns Sisters - 1989 Endangered Species
More sisters in here than you can shake a Convent Choir at. One similarity though, they all sing like angels. The other redeeming feature of this outfit is that AOR demi god Bob Marlette is the kingpin behind all the precedings, and he turns this project into an AOR delight.

Cats In Boots - 1989 Kicked & Klawed
From the hair metal era of the late 80's comes this half American half Japanese outfit. Formed around former Merri Hoax lead singer Joel Ellis, Cats In Boots typify the glam metal sound coming out of California at the time, lining up alongside the likes of Faster Pussycat, Bang Tango and Motley Crue.

Czakan - 1989 State Of Confusion
'State Of Confusion' is a much admired slice of melodic hard rock from German melodic rockers Czakan, with a ton of keys and blistering guitarwork.

Dalton - 1989 Injection
Music wise they could be compared to fellow Swedes Norden Light, (at the heavier end of the spectrum) mixed with the lighter style of Treat and 220 Volt.

Danger Danger - 1989 Danger Danger
Musically Danger Danger were heads above the standard bland band of the day, their clever mixture of party rock and AOR almost too advanced. At the right place at the right time, the debut scored heavily with the singles 'Naughty Naughty' and 'Bang Bang'. The album would eventually go gold, no small feat.

Dareforce - 1989 Firepower
Dareforce's history goes way back into the late seventies, and at one stage the band had among their personnel - drummer Johnny Bolin, brother of the late Tommy Bolin (Deep Purple), as well as vocalist David Reece who later found fame with Accept and the shortlived Bangalore Choir.

Darling Cruel - 1989 Passion Crimes
Musically they are an eclectic mix of The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Meatloaf, crossed with more modern day contemporaries such as Dalbello, Dan Reed, National Velvet, Prince, and another cult favourite in Cock Robin.

DeMont - 1989 Body Language
Melodic rock band originating from Sydney Australia. A bit raw around the edges but for this effort 'Body Language' De Mont have definitely got the big dollars onboard to help them smooth over those rough edges and come up with a brilliant slab of music.

Denson, Al - 1989 Al Denson
A few familiar similarities are on show when you listen to the album. Think along the lines of Paul Janz, Michael Gleason, Michael W Smith, Liasion and Brett Williams )of In Reach fame. All of these guys in a big melodic melting pot, stirred up big time is what Al Denson churns out on this magnificent debut.

Distance - 1989 Under The One Sky
So with this rather eclectic mix of talent, what do we get? We get well produced AOR with hi-tech and funk overtones and a brash drum sound. Similar to Power Station and the Dan Reed Network but very melodic and dynamic.

Diving For Pearls - 1989 Diving For Pearls
Diving For Pearls had done the unthinkable and gone into Kerrang's Top 5 albums for 1989. Remember people this was an era dominated by Metallica, Poison, Guns 'n' Roses et al, and was voted as one of the best AOR genre albums of the year. 1989 was perhaps the last great year of AOR with many bands all releasing wonderful albums. Elite company indeed.

Domain - 1989 Before The Storm
Though Domain later moved into power metal territory, the first few albums between the 1988 and 1991 era are worthy of your attention, and we'll eventually cover as many albums as we can. In the meantime, pick up 'Our Kingdom' and 'Before The Storm' and discover a hidden jewel from the German melodic rock era.

Dragon - 1989 Bondi Road
'Bondi Road' was another substantial success for Dragon in the Antipodes, and you can tell from the title and much of the subject matter that they focused on their home market here. Taken as a trilogy of albums starting with 'Body And The Beat', some of the finest AOR I've heard is on offer.

Dream Theater - 1989 When Dream And Day Unite
Looking back, the 1989 year was a catalyst for change, and a doorway opening to greatness for some.. New York based Dream Theater being one such example, though at the time, they would be the first ones to disagree.

Drive She Said - 1989 Drive She Said
The driving force behind this pure AOR duo is the ex American Tears and Touch keyboardist Mark Mangold. Hooking up with the golden voiced Al Fritsch, DSS became an AOR outfit much talked about before their Columbia debut landed in 1989.

Elektradrive - 1989 Due
First joining ranks in 1981, the band went through various musical incarnations before settling into a style that saw a combination of 1st Avenue pomp meets Shy (circa 'Brave The Storm').

Engle, Priscilla - 1989 Ageless Love
Let's not beat around the bush here. 'Ageless Love' is totally and utterly devoted to the Lord. One look at the song-titles is enough to scare any non-believer away. However, it's not all that.. Engle has a great voice, the musicianship is easy on the ear, and if you can get past the message and lyrics, then there is hope for you after all.

Enuff Znuff - 1989 Enuff Znuff
Enuff 'Z Nuff's over the top glam image in their MTV videos often clashed with their power pop sound, causing some to unfortunately lump them in with the pretty boys of the hair-metal genre that was huge at the time. Thankfully, EZN transcended that genre with their vocal harmonies and power pop sensibilities.

Extreme - 1989 Extreme
Over the years, I have to say I have't been a great admirer of this band. They've been extremely (excuse the pun) popular, and they've had some huge hits, but for me, the consistency has't been there. Except for the debut album.. haha! A very good impression was left after this album. It remains my favourite Extreme album out of their discography, primarily due to the hair metal flavor of Bettencourt's guitar playing.

Fahrenheit - 1989 Talkin' About Love
Austria is hardly the AOR metropolis of the planet. Better known for world class skiers, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Apple Strudel, who would think that tucked away in the back corner of the Austrian Alps is a classy AOR band that deserves a heap of praise. These guys are Fahrenheit.

Fifth Angel - 1989 Time Will Tell
'Time Will Tell' is a half-decent record I'll give them that, commercial melodic metal with a lot going for it, surprising to say.

Fire Town - 1989 The Good Life
They were originally described as an alt rock band, but really Fire Town were a country rock band with a hint of melody and strong songwriting and production skills.
Articles Cloud
Leatherwolf - 1989 Street Ready, Killer Dwarfs - 1986 Stand Tall, Metallica - 1984 Ride The Lightning, Kilzer, John - 1988 Memory In The Making, Unified Past - 2015 Shifting The Equilibrium, Fair Warning (USA) - 1981 Fair Warning, DC Drive - 1992 DC Drive, Sparklands - 2013 Tomocyclus, Hobbit - 2001 Rockin' The Shire, Angela And The Rude - 1990 Young Souls, Praying Mantis - 2000 Nowhere To Hide, Dolphin Brothers - 1987 Catch The Fall, Toto - 1986 Fahrenheit, Kiss - 2016 The Definitive Examination of Music from The Elder Kiss' cult-classic concept album (Book), Planet X - 2002 Live From Oz
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