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Articles: 1988 Articles
Kuni - 1988 Looking For Action
This is the project of Japanese guitarist Kuni, following hot on the heels of Japanese trailblazers Loudness, and their attempts to promote Japanese melodic rock into the USA during the eighties. What we get here is typical L.A melodic heavy rock, somewhere between the commercialism of bands such as King Kobra or Dokken and the heavy handedness of Rough Cutt or Keel.

L A Guns - 1988 L A Guns
This is by far the best work the band ever did, with nothing coming close some 29 years later.

Landers, Audrey - 1988 Secrets
For musical comparisons, this would sit nicely as ABBA doing AOR. Audrey's voice is delicious, and carries itself well in this genre. Her phrasing is similar to Robin Beck and Japanese heroine Mari Hamada, who were both pursuing AOR interests during this same timeframe.

Lillian Axe - 1988 Lillian Axe
It was a reasonable start for the Lillian crew, but the best was yet to come.

Little River Band (LRB) - 1988 Monsoon
At the end of the John Farnham era, Glenn Shorrock returns for the Mk III era of LRB..

Lost And Found - 1988 Welcome To The Real World
Lost And Found deliver their musical payload in the same vein as other Christian entities Idle Cure, Allies and Illustrator, though with a added spoonful of pomp thrown into the mix, not unlike the band Bystander.

Magnum - 1988 Wings Of Heaven
The late 80's was a period when Birmingham's favourite sons Magnum were flying high. This was the period where I personally enjoyed the band's creativity, kicking off with the fantastic 'On A Storytellers Night' and segueing into 1986's 'Vigilante'. The third part of the Polydor Triple Crown was this 1988 affair 'Wings Of Heaven'.

Magnum (USA) - 1988 No Secrets
Very definitely this ain't the Magnum from the other side of the Atlantic that we all know and love. Instead, these boys hailed from Pennsylvania, and were in operation way back in 1978. Soundwise, they are an AOR dream-team.

Malmsteen, Yngwie J (And Rising Force) - 1988 Odyssey
I think many would agree that this is Yngwie Malmsteen's crowning achievement. Apart from his (short-lived) marriage to Swedish rock vixen Erika that is.. lol!

Mantas - 1988 Winds Of Change
Venom fans hoping for another thrash onslaught must have been bewildered by this about face, an accomplished melodic rock excursion with the emphasis on keyboards and AOR structures. This album is a hidden gem for any lovers of AOR and pomp in general, giving Magnum more than a run for their money.

Metallica - 1988 ...And Justice For All
It must have been staggering for the bands longtime fans to see Metallica achieving platinum status just five years after 'Kill 'Em All'. But in many ways this was the end of Metallica as those fans knew them. The thrash ideals were dispensed with by 1991 and although have returned in an altered state since, this was the death knell for the Bay Area Metallica beloved by so many.

Mydra - 1988 Mydra
In hindsight, I can see how the excellent production and some of the songs have led to this album's cult status - fans of Scandinavian style AOR and melodic hard rock with big arrangements will find much to like here.

New Frontier - 1988 New Frontier
For mainman Monty Byrom, New Frontier represents life after his stint with Billy Satellite.

Niagara - 1988 Now Or Never
Niagara were a Spanish band from the heartland of Madrid. English speaking, with a ton of talent. Musically, similar to bands of the era, including Europe (circa 'Wings Of Tomorrow'), Treat ('Pleasure Principle') and Shy.

Night Ranger - 1988 Man In Motion
This marked the end of an era (at least until their late 70's comeback). Very limited airplay on radio and MTV (I never heard anything from this album on either) meant that the writing was clearly on the wall for Night Ranger.

Nilsson, Tommy - 1988 It!
'It!', melds different but comprable styles, such as Dan Reed, Gino Vanelli, and Robert Tepper. When he lightens up and takes the sugar pop road, a band like Michael Learns To Rock springs to mind.

Norum, Tone - 1988 This Time
Though her musical tendencies have deviated between melodic rock and folkier styles, her first and second albums are superb collections of AOR. Tone's debut album from 1986 'One Of A Kind' was assisted in the main by Europe's Joey Tempest. However, her sophomore effort 'This Time' released two years later, is a significant achievement, and progresses in leaps and bounds over 'OOAK'.

Nugent, Ted - 1988 If You Can't Lick Em...Lick Em
Just the very cover and album title alone is something to behold of this practically forgotten Ted Nugent album.

Omega - 1988 Platina (1977-1987)
After 1987's towering AOR outing 'Babylon', Omega went on a sabbatical but not before unleashing this beauty, spanning their essential AOR years.

Only Child - 1988 Only Child
Only Child was the late eighties musical vehicle for L.A session king and AOR hero Paul Sabu. At the time, Sabu was the darling of several melodic rock mags, but somehow that enthusiasm didn't translate into universal support among the global fan-base. However, those with a hankering for Sabu's certain musical and visual appeal, plus long time fans ignored the derision from certain quarters, and lapped up Only Child like thirsty children.

Palace - 1988 Palace
Not really sure if I like this album or not. Perhaps it's the sound which puts me off, as it is a tad unusual. Palace's closest comparison without doubt is Canadian band Glass Tiger.

Pantera - 1988 Power Metal
Power Metal' was a pivotal moment for Pantera. Like 'Projects In The Jungle' and 'I Am The Night' this is true heavy metal with gallop.

Petra - 1988 On Fire!
'On Fire!' in Christian terms is supposed to be about stoking the fire of Gods love in your heart, and the message obviously got out to young Christians all around the world.

PM - 1988 PM
PM's style is very much West Coast styled light rock, and shows little of Mayer's jazz influenced background.. the whole album being a melodic rockers cruisy wonderland.

Pooh - 1988 Oasi
If you can handle AOR sung in Italian, my advice is to check these guys out urgently.

Private Life - 1988 Shadows
Overall it's a pretty complete AOR album, and has few weaknesses on it. The stellar vocals of Ms Kelly Breznik makes it a compelling listen.

Prophet - 1988 Cycle Of The Moon
And what of Prophet's sound? Was it still as pompous as before? The answer, strictly speaking is no. They moved into a harder AOR sound, but still encased with a ton of keyboards and glorious melodies!

Pseudo Echo - 1988 Race
On 'Race' Pseudo Echo move into prime time melodic rock. Gone are the new wave 'flash and frizz' hairstyles and new romantic dress code. The direction change annoyed all the new romantics and pop/punk brigade no end. If 'Race' was an experiment, it certainly worked well for me!

Quiet Riot - 1988 Quiet Riot
QR went all out on this, going for an epic feel, with a mixture of ballads and rockers, trying to cash in on the success of Whitesnake and Bon Jovi, only to be left with a flop of colossal proportions.

Ratt - 1988 Reach For The Sky
A band well covered in the MTV and VH1 universes, but truly, unless you were a supreme die-hard Ratt fan, this is an album to avoid.

Raven - 1988 Nothing Exceeds Like Excess
Typically this is one of Raven's most forgotten albums, but one of the few that stands alongside 'Rock Until You Drop' or 'Wiped Out'. It's one of those typical 'back to basics' deals, but one that works so well that it shows the band more aggressive than their earliest recordings, which says something especially if you've heard them.

Redstone - 1988 Redstone [ep]
This little 4-track CD/EP from AOR undergrounders Redstone will strike an immediate chord with those of you into the purest form of the genre. Fans of Beau Coup, Preview, Fortune etc.. listen up..

Reed, Dan (and Network) - 1988 Dan Reed Network
The band had a diverse ethnical background, resulting in a melting pot of musical influences - hard rock, soul, funk and jazz. Production duties for the debut album were handled by Bruce Fairbairn (Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Loverboy) who gave it a highly polished sheen, ensuring the material had a commercial flavour and was primed for radio airplay.

Riot - 1988 Thundersteel
Often times compared to Judas Priest's 'Painkiller', 'Thundersteel' sounds less forced, fresher to me. And it was released two years before! Go get this timeless classic in any format!

Romeo's Daughter - 1988 Romeo's Daughter
Here's a British outfit based around the sultry vision and voice of Leigh Matty. It is one of many good releases from that glory daze era, and stands tall above many of the established acts doing the rounds at the time.

Rossington Band - 1988 Love Your Man
Comparison wise, we see a mix of April Wine commericality, .38 Special and that classic 1985 album by Van Zant.

Roth, David Lee - 1988 Skyscraper
If I was I was held at gunpoint to choose between this or Van Halen's 'OU812' I'd choose 'Skyscraper' every time. It's more melodic, has an eclectic element and is far more outgoing and light-hearted than what VH were creating at the time.

S.A.D.O - 1988 Dirty Fantasy
Whatever the case, 'Dirty Fantasy' is an excellent album that is worth the effort to hear. A rare occasion where European melodic hard rock came out the victor.

Saxon - 1988 Destiny
By 1988, UK metallers Saxon were dabbling in melodic hard rock, with mixed results..

Scorpions, The - 1988 Savage Amusement
It was a long extended break for German mainstays The Scorpions during the mid 80's. One could forgive the band for taking time out as it wasn't until 1988 that the band reappeared with 'Savage Amusement'..

Scott And Steel - 1988 Scott And Steel
When I first listened to the record, I thought it was terrible. I've since gone back and given it a better and more lengthier listen, and it's not as bad as I first thought..

Shem - Demos (1988)
The name Shem Von Shroeck might not mean a lot to most. But for hardened trainspotters in the genre of West Coast, his shortened handle of Shem is well known to fans of Christopher Cross, Kenny Loggins and more particularly Ambrosia.

Contains audio tracks.

Simon Chase - 1988 Thrill Of The Chase
Another AOR act from Canada, featuring the duo of Anthony Michaels and guitar virtuoso Sil Simone. In retrospect, I think this album needs to stay in the eighties, and one needs to put a reality check on it..

Skagarack - 1988 Hungry For A Game
Like Treat, Fate, Da Vinci, and Alien; Skagarack should be listed amongst the finest Danish melodic rock/AOR delights of the late 80's.

Smashed Gladys - 1988 Social Intercourse
A band that set the NY rock scene alight in the late 80's, their reward nearly 25 years later is a flash CD reissue by Rock Candy Records.

SO - 1988 Horseshoe In The Glove
Here's an odd one-off comprised of members of London based post punk outfit The Opposition; who moved to America changed their name to SO, and created an unabashedly commercial album slotting neatly into the dazzling MTV hi-tech pop sounds of the day.

Southern Pacific - 1988 Zuma
Despite the country crossover territory this band traversed, the personnel all have connections to previous GDM articles by the likes of the Doobie Brothers, Credence Clearwater Revival, Pablo Cruise and in the case of Hurt Howell, a solo career.

Springfield, Rick - 1988 Rock Of Life
Style wise, there's not too much difference between 'Rock Of Life' versus 'Tao' from three years earlier. All hi-tech with an emphasis on busy vocals and top-end musicianship.

State, The - 1988 Elementary
These guys are the pre-cursor to the Aussie wonders that became Southern Sons, the only difference being is that Jack Jones had not joined the fold at this early stage.

Stealin' Horses - 1988 Stealin' Horses
Primarily the duo of Kiya Heartwood and Kopana Terry, originating out of the Kentucky/Tennessee divide, playing a mixture of folk driven rock, or is it rock driven folk? One of the two, but for the record, it is very good.
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