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Articles: 1986 Articles
Little River Band (LRB) - 1986 No Reins
No Reins' is the third and last installment of the Farnham era of LRB. For this album, the singing is shared between Farnham and Nelson, an extremely good singer in his own right!

London - 1986 Don't Cry Wolf
There are a bunch of cool songs here, that despite the passing of time, sound kinda groovy in 2014. I'll admit that I was raised on Motley Crue's 'Too Fast For Love' and 'Shout At The Devil', but honestly, I reckon London come off more convincingly than Neill, Mars, Sixx and Lee ever did.

Loose, The - 1986 Watcher
Housed in a typical 80's low budget sleeve with fluorescent hot pink lettering and on the back cover a grainy photo of The Loose dressed in the decade's traditional AOR finery including shoulder padded jackets, vests and obligatory mustachios; you pretty much know what you're going to get before the needle lands on the plastic.

M.A.R.S - 1986 Project Driver
Big sound, big hair, big everything. If you were following metal in 1986, then these guys were at the top of the heap.

Madison - 1986 Best In Show
Here's another Swedish outfit to strike out during the mid-eighties - Madison. Steeped in the tradition of bands ploughing the same road as Thin Lizzy, UFO and Deep Purple, Madison were doing nothing more than digging a deeper hole on the well-etched trails laid before.

Magnum - 1986 Vigilante
Next to 'On A Storytellers Night', 'Vigilante' is my favorite Magnum album. In its simplicity is carried a message that good songs borne of solid songwriting and carried by a superb singer in Bob Catley will always stand the test of time.

Matinee - 1986 Matinee [ep]
A Californian based outfit from the mid 80's that released one EP and then disappeared off the map.

Meissner, Stan - 1986 Windows To Light
I suppose this site wouldn't be complete without mention of Stan Meissner's efforts and contribution to the melodic rock scene. Be like having the ice-cream without the cone.

Metal Church - 1986 The Dark
Metal Church were undoubtedly one of the leaders of the second tier, but in retrospect how did they not make it? With a sound as polished as Metallica and most importantly as heavy, their eventual failure was one of metal's most baffling and unwarranted.

Metros, The - 1986 The Metros
The Metros were a power-pop crossover AOR outfit which originated from Fargo North Dakota during the 80's. This would be their only LP, and a good one it is too. As expected, it's steeped in that 80's sound, and would probably be out of place in todays 21st century environment.

Miles Long - 1986 Fasten Your Seatbelts (EP)
I would compare this 4-track EP to some of the best indie based AOR ever to be heard during this timeframe.

Money, Eddie - 1986 Can't Hold Back
1986's 'Can't Hold Back' was a (sort of) comeback album for the 'Money-Man' - Eddie Money. Columbia Records continued to back Money, and they were justified with the success of this album, which went gold pretty quickly, and easily made the top 10 charts, and two top 20 singles.

Nash, Graham - 1986 Innocent Eyes
With this album released six years after his last effort 1980's 'Earth & Sky'; Nash attempted to update his sound going the hi-tech pop route which was pretty much panned at the time by both critics and fans alike. Out of character yes, but certainly a record with wide appeal for GD readers.

Nazareth - 1986 Cinema
I have always read that this album had the most AOR tendencies, even citing similarities to Journey. While I can not totally agree with this statement, many of the tracks are what I would call traditional Nazareth tunes.

Nevil, Robbie - 1986 Robbie Nevil
Whatever happened to Robbie Nevil? Former songwriter for The Pointer Sisters and Earth, Wind & Fire among others; Nevil and his fashionably unkempt hair cut was all over MTV back in the late 80's as his debut disc rocketed to 37 on the American charts with no less than three top 40 singles.

New Man - 1986 New Man
The city of Boston produced many outstanding bands during the 80's. Though populated by numerous melodic rock acts, the city was better known for its foray into new wave, punk, alt and garage rock as well. One band that came and went with little fanfare - despite being signed to a major label was the quartet named New Man.

Nightwork - 1986 Nightwork
Texan band formed from the ashes from Winterkat.

Omega - 1986 A Föld Árnyékos Oldalán
Hungarian AOR kings Omega had eluded me until recently (thanks Eric), so having finally taken possession of this disc by way of beginning the process of collecting their AOR material, why not shed some GD light onto the band?

Orr, Benjamin - 1986 The Lace
It's a shame we are only graced by the one album, as it is a pretty cruisy set.. just forget the fact that there is no drummer, 'The Lace' is populated by a heap of programming, which does detract slightly.

Outlaws, The - 1986 Soldiers Of Fortune
Much like Doc Holliday's maligned 1983 effort 'Modern Madness', southern rock compadres The Outlaws also opted for an overblown commercial keyboard laced affair for their 1986 album 'Soldier Of Fortune'. Did it work?

Outside Edge - 1986 Running Hot
For a complete AOR experience firmly rooted in everything 80's then this is a hard album to look past.

Panther - 1986 Panther
Despite Jeff Scott Soto's protestations, Panther is actually an excellent piece of heavy metal with heavy shades of 80's Pantera and an extremely heavy duty attack which could have seen them rise to higher levels had Soto not quit so soon following this short six track EP.

Paris, Jeff - 1986 Race To Paradise
Jeff Paris' 1986 debut 'Race To Paradise' still remains an undiscovered classic. A reissue would be kinda nice..

Parr, John - 1986 Running The Endless Mile
With this album (his second following on from his self titled debut), we get a well produced package of songs which are geared for radio, FM stations in particular.

Perennial - 1986 In My Dreams
Perennial were from Seattle, Washington, and were a 'hair metal' outfit that never made it beyond local recognition. Influences include Ratt and Dokken.

Poison - 1986 Look What The Cat Dragged In
Poison's early image showed them at their trashiest, having gone completely haywire with their sisters' make-up kits and sporting hairstyles big enough to scare Angel guitarist Punky Meadows into overt masculinity. Their image was right, the timing was right. It was obvious that Poison were going to be stars.

Q5 - 1986 When The Mirror Cracks
'When The Mirror Cracks' was produced by guitarist and co-leader Floyd Rose, and for those in the know, the album was dabbled with from pillar to post. Whatever the intentions were at the start, they were completely different at the end.

Queen - 1986 A Kind Of Magic
'A Kind Of Magic' was a significant success despite the goofy animated cover art. Paired with the movie 'The Highlander' during 1986, this definitely has AOR appeal.

QueensrĂżche - 1986 Rage For Order
There is some classic melodic metal onboard this album, much of it atmospheric, emotion soaked stuff - that still sounds great today as it did then.

Quiet Riot - 1986 QR III
Call it the sinking ship syndrome, or perhaps the last chance saloon, but by 1986, the members of Quiet Riot must've felt like they were having one last drink before hitting the road for the last time.

Racer X - 1986 Street Lethal
Details are sketchy as to Racer X's exact origin but suffice to say the band was built around the then teenage guitar prodigy Gilbert (only 18 at the time) and his lightning fast fret work, who many saw as the next Eddie Van Halen.

RAF - 1986 Restless Spirit
Scottish AOR band RAF are well overdue an appearance on this site.

Ratt - 1986 Dancing Undercover
'Dancing Undercover' was their fourth album in successive years (counting 1983's 'Ratt E.P.) and continued in the same vein as its predecessors, with an even balance of hard rock with hints of metal.

Raymond, Brett - 1986 Only Love
So what's the musical verdict? Well Brett's voice is quite soft and tailored, cauight somewhere between British legends Chris Eaton and Sir Cliff Richard. With co-producer Jay Gruska standing beside Brett at the helm, there is an air of softened and lush West Coast; when it gets excitable, then guys like Richard Marx and Tim Feehan are reference points.

Richie, Lionel - 1986 Dancing On The Ceiling
'Dancing On The Ceiling' followed on the heels of 1982's 'Lionel Richie' and 1983's 'Can't Slow Down'. A number of satisfying synth dominated tracks abounded, and Richie assembled a first rate roster of seasoned session men.

Rio - 1986 Sex Crimes
'Sex Crimes' was Rio's second album released not long after their acclaimed debut 'Borderland'. Some great heavy handed songs on this platter, and I must say, I enjoyed it more than their debut, which is saying something as I liked that one too.

Rogers, Kenny - 1986 They Don't Make Them Like They Used To
It doesn't matter that Kenny never went down this AOR trail again, the album merely serves as another AOR milestone in terms of the incredible talents of Jay Graydon.

Rolling Stones, The - 1986 Dirty Work
It's debatable if this album falls into any category related to AOR or melodic rock, but by Stones standards it definitely falls into the 80's trend of keyboard and melodic fascination in general. Without a tour behind it the album disappeared quickly, despite going platinum.

Roma - 1986 The Stalker [4 track ep]
A curiosity at best, and if you look hard enough, you'll find this EP on a fileshare board without too much difficulty.

Rose Tattoo - 1986 Beats From A Single Drum
One of the great rock bands to emerge from Australia. And a tribute and testimony that Angry Anderson still has the band firing on all sixes in 2007. However back in 1986, 'Beats From A Single Drum' was a very commercial and melodic rock sounding album. I love it, but in saying that, it is not the traditional fare of Rose Tattoo, and many would've been left aghast at the change of sound!

Roth, David Lee - 1986 Eat 'Em And Smile
The musicianship on this album is pretty amazing in places, as you'd expect with the class of the guys involved. The album was a big success..

Rough Cutt - 1986 Wants You!
This is sophomore release from L.A hair metallers Rough Cutt.

Samurai - 1986 Weapon Master
The glut of British heavy metal bands riding the end of the NWOBHM in the mid 80's led to some fairly dire albums during that period, but South Wales' finest metal export Samurai seemed to have the talent to rise above the fluff.

Savatage - 1986 Fight For The Rock
The album was received poorly by just about everyone and although the band stormed back with some impressive releases in 'Hall Of The Mountain King' and 'Gutter Ballet,' it seemed like the damage was done.

Sinner - 1986 Comin' Out Fighting
Sinner were very aware of the rock/metal scene of the middle 80's and delivered what I consider the most appealing of their outputs for melodic rock/hard AOR fans..

Skagarack - 1986 Skagarack
Skagarack were capable of the kind of sound and attention that was tailor made for 1986... While their native tundra and Far East embraced Skagarack with the likes of Madison and Treat, the US was far more smitten with the likes of Bon Jovi and another band from Europe to take any interest.. 'Skagarack' should been the kind of album that put Scandinavia on the mainstream map and catapulted these delightful Danes to the top! Unfortunately it didn't... But their lack of fortune was made up in superior melodic rock.

Sneaux - 1986 Rock Me All Night
This band were very much a 'best kept secret' out of the Louisana area. And while bands like Zebra and Le Roux took all the pundits, other bands like Sneaux and Shreveport based Twenty Twenty became record collectors priorities.

Soundtracks - 1986 The Wraith
It's long been considered a cult classic movie from the 80's. However, it's the music which gives it a cult-classic feel, thanks to Scotti Bros and their array of rostered artists, plus a smattering of big name stars added to the list.

Spandau Ballet - 1986 Through The Barricades
The excesses of the lifestyle was taking its toll with their fifth studio album and first for CBS 'Through The Barricades', but the album itself wasn't exactly the success they had hoped for.

Spence, Brian - 1986 Brothers
Brian has a sound that's earmarked for North American radio, a la Rick Springfield and The Outfield, and with that in mind, you'd be thinking he originates from that part of the world. Wrong. Mr Spence is UK based, Scottish by birth, but now resident in London.
 
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