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Album Reviews: 6860
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Articles: 1981 Articles
Shoes - 1981 Tongue Twister
Much of Shoes appeal is they sound like everyone, yet sound like no one you have heard before. This is a straight guitar album and for 1981 a bit unique considering keyboards were so in vogue at the time, and just to make sure everyone knew, the band included a 'No Keyboards' statement on the inside sleeve.

Shooting Star - 1981 Hang On For Your Life
In over a decade of reviewing AOR albums, it would seem strange that we missed out this LP from one of the genre's most endearing bands: Shooting Star.

Silver Condor - 1981 Silver Condor
Not too many people would hesitate in declaring this album as a must-have for a re-release on CD. A near perfect example of hard-edged radio rock/AOR from 1981 that has gone largely unnoticed throughout the genre.

Silverado - 1981 Ready For Love
There is plenty of jangly guitar recalling The Byrds, under appreciated UK popsters Starry Eyed And Laughing and Dwight Twilley as well as a tinge of country rock can be heard in the Silverado sound.

Silverlode - 1981 Silverlode [ep]
Soft rock with a capital 'S' is Silverlode's forte with nods to America, Brownsmith and LeBlanc & Carr.

Sinceros, The - 1981 Pet Rock
British band The Sinceros released a minor one hit wonder with their debut 'Sound Of Sunbathing', and were all but forgotten until two years later when they returned with 'Pet Rock' and what I think is one of the best power pop albums of the 1980's.

Skrzek, Jozef - 1981 Jozefina
Polish musician Jozef Skrzek is a national treasure. He continues to put out music at a remarkable rate and while not all of it is up to the quality of 'Jozefina' or the other albums I mentioned, he's definitely unique and rarely disappoints.

Slick, Grace - 1981 Welcome To The Wrecking Ball
Having just reviewed Grace's 'Software' album, and having read Eric's article on her 1980 LP 'Dreams', I thought it might be good to complete the picture by reviewing her 1981 set 'Welcome To The Wrecking Ball'. Well, aren't I glad that I did, because this is a storming set of hard rock, with Grace delivering a near flawless rockin' performance up front.

Small Talk - 1981 Small Talk
Like the Rock Rose album, all the ingredients are present to make a great album. Good vocals, top notch playing and some decent songs, but for some reason Small Talk never blasts off into the AOR stratosphere.

Sneaker - 1981 Sneaker
Enough boys on this album to start a basketball team! Well .. if you like your AOR a tad wimpish, then step right on up, as Sneaker have some surprises in store for you.

Sorrows - 1981 Love Too Late
Great cover, even better album. How much more of a recommendation do you need?

Spider (USA) - 1981 Between The Lines
As documented in the Shanghai review elsewhere on the site, this is the US Spider, not to be confused with the British rockers of the same name.

Springfield, Rick - 1981 Working Class Dog
Where were you in February 1981 when ex-pat Australian Rick Springfield released this album upon middle America? The album and three cuts from it went high into the Billboard charts, including 'Jessie's Girl' which was a No. 1 smash.

Squier, Billy - 1981 Don't Say No
At the time, this album was all the rage on radio throughout the US. Billy's style going down a treat, topped off by a couple of classic tracks. The trademark heavy backbeat provided by drummer Bobby Chouinard was to be a catalyst for Squier's music through this busy phase of his career.

Stanley, Michael (Band) - 1981 North Coast
How this album is not recognised as a melodic rock classic is a source of bewilderment to myself. The hard luck story of the MSB is well told, the band disbanding due to lack of real success in the mid 80's, but it should never have been.

Stanton, Holly - 1981 Temptation
Holly Stanton was from the San Francisco area and when this album came out she was touted as the next Pat Benatar by Billboard magazine. I am sure a plug like that would have helped if she were signed to a larger label that could have backed her up with proper promotion, but as it stands this record went nowhere.

Starforce 1 - 1981 Starforce 1
Perhaps one of the worst LP's I've ever heard in the electronic and space rock genres.

States, The - 1981 Picture Me With You
The whole album has a warm vibe about it. Just pleasantly played pop with a swig of bubblegum to accompany the cigarettes and black coffee!

Steeplechase - 1981 Steeplechase
Another in a long line of New York based bands coming out of the early eighties. Steeplechase decide to dish up a solid fiesta of melodic rock last seen since .. well Speedway Boulevard's debut.

Straight Lines - 1981 Run For Cover
Straight Lines were a Canadian AOR act from Canada formed by Bob Buckley and David Sinclair. They were known as Dogstar but CBS were not too fond of the name so it was changed to something more, er straight forward.

Streek - 1981 Streek
I'm sure Streek sought to imitate, or were inspired by Toto and the other usual West Coast suspects. To these ears their music slots comfortably alongside fellow budding AOR aspirants such as Alliance and The Strand.

Sugarcreek - 1981 Live At The Roxy
This is probably the first proper recorded effort of AOR/pomp legends Sugarcreek. It goes back to 1981 and is a live album in fact!

Survivor - 1981 Premonition
The first two Survivor albums often fall under the radar when compared to their later material, but both are able to stand up with the best of their catalogue.

Sweet Comfort Band - 1981 Hearts Of Fire
Like White Heart's debut, 'Hearts Of Fire' is an 'A' list Christian AOR album that deserves a spot in every collection.

Taipan - 1981 Taipan (ep)
The early metal scene in Melbourne Australia included a few young bands trying to make their mark. One of these was the excellent Taipan. For those of you into raw-power NWOBHM styled metal, then Taipan are worth your time.

Tangerine Dream - 1981 Thief
The 'Thief' soundtrack is a must hear for those with a fondness for both Tangerine Dream and 80's synthesizer scores of the highest quality.

Taxxi - 1980 Day For Night
They were an English outfit, that seemed to find a home in the USA rather than their home country. Much like The Outfield, Taxxi had a sound that was well suited to the radio oriented FM market across America during the early 80's.

Taylor, Lydia (Band) - 1981 Lydia Taylor Band
Canadian singer Lydia Taylor won a Juno as best new female singer in 1980. She also released a batch of albums between 1979 and 1983 played in the hard rock style.

Taylor, Roger - 1981 Fun In Space
Much of this record sounds like Roger's previous work and that's not a bad thing as 'Fun In Space' is often ranked by Queen fanatics as the best of the bands solos.

Terraplane - 1981 Arrives
Although miles away from the best record I've ever heard, Terraplane 'Arrives' should be on the want lists of those into obscure American hard rock..

Theatre - 1981 Diamonds
There is nothing original in the Theatre sound, just period power pop reminiscent of fellow Michigan popsters The Romantics as well as Pezband, Shoes and Phil Seymour.

Thin Lizzy - 1981 Renegade
Over the years many have complained Lizzy had lost their early heaviness by 'Renegade', and while there are the usual softer touches there were still enough heavy metal dynamics in place to ridicule that conception.

Thomas, Ian - 1981 The Runner
This was Ian's first album for the Anthem label, after his association with the GRT label ended in 1980. 'Still Here' and 'Glyder', were released the prior two years and were reasonably successful albums in their own right.

Thomas, Mickey - 1981 Alive Alone
Micky Thomas' second solo album from 1981 can best be described as a contender for the Good, the Bad and the Ugly..

Thorpe, Billy - 1981 Stimulation
Co-produced by Thorpe and Pasha head-honcho Spencer Proffer; gone are the Alan Parsons-ish prog leanings that made his first two records so damn special. Instead we get trendy stripped-down pop rock which proliferated beyond imagination back in the day and who knew we needed more of that? Not me..

Thunder (USA) - 1981 Headphones For Cows
I sort of had a feeling this album was good, judging by the spartan review given it in the Encyclopedia of Hard Rock And Heavy Metal. We're not talking about the popular UK band from the early 70's. This is an obscure and little known outfit from the US with the same name.

Tokyo (Germany) - 1981 Tokyo
Recently reissued by Yesterock, German AOR/pompsters Tokyo have their debut as the first cab off the rank, Tokyo's next two albums will follow shortly..

Toronto - 1981 Head On
Toronto were a band that could have been easily regarded as serious challengers to Heart's supremacy as title holders in the best female fronted AOR band category.

Toto - 1981 Turn Back
We wind the clock back to 1981's criminally neglected 'Turn Back'. Steve Lukather has previously gone on record stating that the band was unhappy with their record company promoting their ballads and lighter material. 'Turn Back' would therefore appear to have been a backlash against these inside moves and it contains some great songs. I defy any serious pomp rock fan not to love this album.

Townley, John - 1981 More Than A Dream
'More Than A Dream' is a really nice pop effort with a lot of similarities to the softer side of the Alan Parsons Project and Chris Rainbow's solo albums.

Tozzi, Umberto - 1981 Notte Rosa
Finding this album and Tozzi's body of work has been a nice discovery, with this album the most representative of what most of us here like. Surely it's time Tozzi became a household name here at Glory Daze too.

Trampolin - 1981 Gonna Make It Alright
'Gonna Make It Alright' is actually quite good sort of a heady mixture of several Euro hard rock bands including Golden Earring and Epitaph with a dash of 'No Place To Run' period UFO. Sound interesting? It is..

Travers, Pat (Band) - 1981 Radio Active
After the success of 'Crash And Burn', the results for 'Radio Active' were very disappointing. So what of the 'Radio Active' material? Over the years, this set didn't quite do it for me, unlike the previous albums.

Triumph - 1981 Allied Forces
If anything though, comparisons with Led Zeppelin were more appropriate, and for a couple of tracks on 'Aliied Forces', this view is reinforced.

Tubes, The - 1981 The Completion Backward Principle
A change of scenery and a change of corporate wardrobe for Frisco's wackiest rockers The Tubes.

Twelfth Night - 1981 Live At The Target
1981 can be seen as a high point in the band's early years. It yielded the release of this live album recorded at The Target pub, in Reading, England.

Tycoon - 1981 Turn Out The Lights
'Turn Out The Lights' is held by many scribes as being an absolute AOR gem! Yes, a very special album of great songs, and features a superb vocal performance by Norman Gershon, the guitar slinger antics of Bobby Messano and a top notch production by Vini Poncia.

Tygers Of Pan Tang - 1981 Spellbound
At the forefront of the NWOBHM scene were Newcastle natives TOPT, formed by original vocalist Jess Cox in 1978.

UFO - 1981 The Wild, The Willing And The Innocent
Only 8 tracks, possibly a little short for 1981 but UFO certainly make each one count. Nothing is wasted here, the combination of fierce hard rock and AOR making a strong impact.

UHF - 1981 Timeless Voyager
This power trio of Latinos from Miami based their musical works on the same model as Canadians Rush. UHF (Ultra High Frequency to you and I) is very technical, bombastic, and on occasion they dip into prog territory similar to early Yes.
 
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