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Articles: 1989 Articles
FM (UK) - 1989 Tough It Out
Neil Kernon, fresh his exploits with Queensryche, would join the production team for 'Tough It Out', and thereby the instant appeal of 'Indiscreet' would be replaced for a harder edged version of AOR. Still loads of gorgeous songs, offset by some (err hmm) 'tougher' songs as well.

Frampton, Peter - 1989 When All The Pieces Fit
I have to admit, 1989 was an excellent year for melodic rock. Frampton with his work on 'When All The Pieces Fit' proves that reasoning beyond doubt. The album is encased in great songs. There's not a dud here to be honest.

Frehley, Ace - 1989 Trouble Walkin'
Here's the third album from Ace Frehley during his Megaforce/Atlantic tenure. Now under his solo name, rather than the band name Frehley's Comet, 'Trouble Walkin' may have flown low over the hard rock landscape during 1989, and it's a pity the radar was off-kilter for this effort during that year.

Giant - 1989 Last Of The Runaways
Without doubt, 'Last Of The Runaways' was a further claim to the great year in melodic rock that was 1989.

Glamour Camp - 1989 Glamour Camp
A one-off and very easy to find album featuring the son of The Cars Ric Ocasek, going by surname Christopher Otcasek - and it surely had to be tough..

Glory - 1989 Danger In This Game
As far back as 1988, the band had material demoed with the Bozz label, which would eventually make up the fantastic 'Danger In This Game' opus. By this stage singer Peter Eriksson had come in for Ray Alex, and the first hint of magic would unfold on some rather special tracks.

GNP (Gilmour Negus Project) - 1989 Safety Zone
GNP is the acronym for the Gilmour Negus Project, two of the members of Canadian pomp gods Saga. At this stage of their career, the two had left Saga to branch out on their own, and co-opted singer Robert Bevan to join them.

Graces, The - 1989 Perfect View
The story of Charlotte Caffey (formerly of The Bangles) is one which has been overshadowed by the success of her former bandmates. She formed the all-female trio The Graces, whose album 'Perfect View', although not perfect, has moments of greatness which are easily equal to her peers.

Gramm, Lou - 1989 Long Hard Look
All in all, going back to listen to this album proved a worthwhile exercise. Even though melodic rock and AOR were quietly exiting the door in 1989, Gramm did enough for Atlantic to generate two decent singles on the Billboard Charts.

Harnen, Jimmy - 1989 Can't Fight The Midnight
Harnen moved towards a solo career, firstly as the leader of Synch, then ultmately on his own. His debut album 'Can't Fight The Midnight' is a pretty good effort, definitely AOR, and with all the hottest players money can buy.

Heist - 1989 High Heel Heaven
Coming to the hard rock scene a couple of years too late were San Francisco based rockers Heist. Along with a few other Bay Area wannabes such as Jetboy and Babylon A.D, these guys were pretty much admired in their hometown, and straddled the hair metal/glam scene with sound somewhere between Helix and Dokken.

Hiroshima - 1989 Hiroshima
Spain delivered a couple of decent melodic rock bands during the late 80's, Madrid's Hiroshima being oe of those. If you combine the Spanish way of playing melodic hard rock with the Swedish way, then Hiroshima are for you. They are keyboard capable, with ivory-laden melodic rock in the vein of early Treat and Dalton mixed in with Spanish rivals Niagara.

Hot Boy - 1989 Barely Legal
Seems this band is as mystical and mysterious as the recent White Diamond fiasco. And though the alter-ego's and pseudonyms were apparent with that band, the same can be said for this Portland Oregon based outfit, who were making waves nearly a decade before.

Hotel Hunger - 1989 This Is Where The Fun Starts
Danish band Hotel Hunger are hard to pin down musically. They come across with a distinctive Simple Minds feel, mixed in with some other influences as wide ranging as Australia's Noiseworks and Canada's New Regime.

Icon - 1989 Right Between The Eyes
The resulting album differed greatly from the rampaging metal of the debut and the AOR tinged follow up, the band leaning towards a predictable formularised late 80's hard rock sound that almost left them without an identity. That's not to say this album is a flop, only the real Icon went 'Missing'.

Illustrator - 1989 Somewhere In This World
In the Christian rock music scene, Illustrator released two albums during the 80's, with this second effort being the pick of the duo.

Insight - 1989 Reaching Out
You can obviously tell these boys have sat around the family stereo playing Kansas and Shooting Star albums ad nauseum, such is the influence on the band. To tell you the truth, there are those two influences plus more than a passing interest in the material of Rush.

JC (John Clouse) - 1989 Desire
A milder version of the Bryan Hughes Group, Arcangel and Sabu all spring to mind when winding my way through these ten tracks of AOR. The brainchild of John Clouse, he does virtually everything..

Jet Red - 1989 Jet Red
Pretty good line-up this one. Shame the record label shat all over this band! Jet Red's sound is sort of in the same groove as Def Leppard, Babylon A.D and 29.0, though a bit lighter than all of them put together.

Joal - 1989 Joal
Joal is a German female rocker from Hannover, who sings with a ton of grit, and a backing ensemble to make the best German hard rock band cringe in fear.

Jones, Howard - 1989 Cross That Line
Remember Howard Jones and his magnificently spiked hairdo? Always in heavy rotation on MTV and impossible to miss but like the equally bizarre coiffure worn by A Flock of Seagulls Michael Score, there was a formidable talent lurking behind the ridiculous image while charting some of the era's biggest hits..

Jones, Mick - 1989 Mick Jones
Despite being given the short sharp boot back in 1989, I have a soft-spot for this album. Not as strong as the Lou Gramm pairing by a longshot, there are a couple of songs that should be given a chance. Mick Jones won't ever come across as a Steve Perry in the vocal department, but he stands on hallowed ground when it comes to his songwriting ability; that there is no doubt.

Jones, Ricki Lee - 1989 Flying Cowboys
Rickie Jones re-emerged in 1989 with 'Flying Cowboys'. Produced by Steely Dan's Walter Becker, this is noticeably laid-back and less experimental than previous works.

Kiss - 1989 Hot In The Shade
'Hot In The Shade' was an attempt at the hard rock market that was saturating the charts and airwaves during the late 80's but somehow lacked the melody of 'Unmasked' or 'Crazy Nights'; while the heaviness of 'Creatures Of The Night', 'Lick It Up' and 'Animalize' was absent.

Leatherwolf - 1989 Street Ready
Here's another killer LP from the late great 1989. Yes, it is with some embarrassment that we get to Leatherwolf some 6000+ albums reviews and 16 years later! Really, this should have been covered earlier than it is..

Leonard The Dog - 1989 Day By Day
A very unusual offering from this Pacific Northwest outfit with the dopey name. Yes Leonard The Dog maybe a humourous title, but this lot are AOR applied 100%.

Liaison - 1989 Liaison
This 1989 debut is one of the best of its kind from that era. The songs are all immaculately produced, but it's the songwriting effort from Larry and Tim Melby which allows this album to glide from start to finish.

Lillian Axe - 1989 Love + War
For me, an enjoyable album from the 1989 timeline was New Orleans band Lillian Axe and this underrated album 'Love + War'.

Logan, Johnny - 1989 Mention My Name
Logan has released a handful of albums, mostly during the 80's on the Epic Records label. His earlier works are geared toward MOR pop, but by the end of the decade, in yet another attempt to rebrand himself, he took to the West Coast/AOR sub-genre with astounding results.

Lukather, Steve - 1989 Lukather
Having queued up a whole swag of material that never made it on Toto's earlier albums, this was an ideal opportunity to release them under his own name. In doing so, his self titled debut from 1989 features a who's who of the L.A session scene.

Manzanera & Mackay - 1989 Up In Smoke
As a top notch overview of one of art rock's all too numerous commercial failures, Manzanera & Mackay's 1989 album 'Up In Smoke' can't be beat.

Marillion - 1989 Seasons End
When Fish left Marillion in the late 80s, the future seemed uncertain and a lot of people suspected they were finished. Determined not to be written off, the remaining band members recruited new vocalist Steve Hogarth, previously with The Europeans and little known Portrait Records signings How We Live. The result, in my opinion, is mind-blowing.

Marshall Law - 1989 Marshall Law
This is a powerful exercise in heavy metal and is one of the best albums to come out of the tepid English scene of the late 80's.

Marx, Richard - 1989 Repeat Offender
'Repeat Offender' was even more successful than the debut going triple platinum within a few months and eventually selling over 5 million copies in the US alone. For its sheer musicality and quality of song-writing (it yielded 5 hit singles) this album easily merits its status as one of the greatest AOR albums of all time.

McNeill, Dugan - 1989 In The Velvet Night
The music here is a cross between bands like Simple Minds or U2 on one edge of the spectrum, while Glass Tiger sits at the other end.

Melidian - 1989 Lost In The Wild
Melidian have a very heavy handed sound, complimented by great keyboards and a terrific rhythm section. In fact there are more than a few passing shots at Stephen Pearcy's Ratt.

Messano - 1989 Messano
'Messano' has just seen a reissue on Retrospect Records, so it is now readily available after being a hard-to-find original CD on the small Strategic Records label.

Miller, Donnie - 1989 One Of The Boys
Donnie has bought a few of his buddies along to play, including former Shooting Star 4-stringer Norm Dahlor. Some other big names credited for appearing on the album include Cyndi Lauper and Tommy Shaw who both provide backing vocals on a pair of tracks. The Tommy Shaw comparison is a good one, because 'One Of The Boys' has an 'Ambition' feel about it, along with a bunch of other 80's guitar rockers.

Misslead - 1989 Gentle Persuasion
Misslead are a female-fronted heavy rock outfit from Norway. Following on in a similar fashion to countrymen/ countrywomen Blonde On Blonde and Laos, this lot are a tad heavier all-round.

Modesty - 1989 Pieces Of Modesty
Hi-tech lovers a la Kevin McCourt, Time Gallery etc will find much to like with Modesty. Despite being Swedish, this is a west-coast delicacy!

Molly Hatchet - 1989 Lightning Strikes Twice
Molly Hatchet certainly inject more than enough 'hook & melody' into their brand of tough barroom Southern Rock to be considered one of the flagships of Southern AOR.

Morales, Michael - 1989 Michael Morales
We should all re-familiarise ourselves with all three Michael Morales albums, as they really are an AOR treat for the ears!

Moss, Ian - 1989 Matchbook
If you were alive and kicking on the red continent during 1989 then it would've been hard to miss Ian Moss on the tube or on the air. 'Matchbook' spent three weeks atop the Australian Album charts, and was the platform for Mossie to pick up an Aria Award the following year.

Mothers Finest - 1989 Looks Could Kill
Not one of their best albums, but an interesting sidetrack nonetheless. 1989's 'Looks Could Kill' which fuses R&B, funk, soul, rock, pop and urban hip-hop/rap. It's true that this seemed to be a logical follow-on from Joyce's solo albums during the mid 80's, and that the whole affair isn't really Mothers Finest at all..

Mr Big - 1989 Mr Big
Back in 1989, this album had the honour of being the very first CD I acquired for my ever inceasing music collection. Mr Big was a superstar band in the making, and would go onto greater things, starting with this 1989 debut.

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Myles, Alannah - 1989 Alannah Myles
It was without doubt, one of the surprise breakout albums of 1989, with a hit single that spanned the globe.

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Mylon And Broken Heart - 1989 Big World
It's a big sounding CCM album, no two ways about it! This is the sort of band that needs a bit of rediscovery. Go out and find a few of their CD's. Anything during the mid to late 80's, plus 1990's 'Crank It Up' are well worth the investigation.

Nitro - 1989 O.F.R
To this day Nitro are the only band I recall who attempted a mixture of thrash, AOR, hard rock, even grindcore, and successfully translated it to disc.

Osmond, Donny - 1989 Donny Osmond (1989) and Eyes Don't Lie (1990)
Here's another 'two-fer' review from former teen idol Donny Osmond, who has decades later, discovered hi-tech R&B, pop-rock.

P.M Heat - 1989 P.M Heat [EP]
Interesting little 4 track EP from this obscure Texan outfit. This band, with three family members involved, aspired to a hi-tech AOR sound not unlike fellow Texans The Cauze or talented Atlanta outfit Babe Blu. However, they come off sounding like a hybrid of bands.
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