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Spiro, Mark - 1996 Now Is Then, Then Is Now
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on August 21 2003, In 1996 Articles , 6 Comments , 2978 Reads , Print

ARTIST: Spiro, Mark
ALBUM: Now Is Then, This Is Now
LABEL: West Coast
YEAR: 1996


LINEUP: Mark Spiro - vocals, keyboards, programming * Michael Thompson - guitars * Tim Pierce - guitars

TRACK LISTING: 01 All The Love We Kill * 02 English Channel * 03 Stay Young * 04 In The Dark * 05 Around You * 06 Wind On The Water * 07 Son With The Walking Shoes * 08 London Is Burning * 09 Dancing With Einstein * 10 Through My Eyes * 11 Light In The Darkness * 12 Mid Western Skies

Mark Spiro, perhaps one of the most gifted songwriters and performers on the AOR/melodic rock circuit today. He has appeared on many other artists albums, but who's major claim to fame is writing songs for others, helping them onto commercial success. Anyone who's heard some of Mark's earlier efforts such as 'Care Of My Soul' will have found them indifferent and perhaps 'off the wall'. No such comparison then when compared with this fantastic piece of AOR on the Swedish label West Coast 'Now Is Then Then Is Now'. This is how people should associate Spiro with this genre of music. Classic hooks and melting moments, topped off by some intelligence melded into the lyrics. The lineup assembled for the album is light, only hired guns Tim Pierce and Michael Thompson have been used, Spiro does the rest. A couple of the tracks are co-writes, such as 'English Channel' with John Waite, 'Through My Eyes' with Dann Huff, and 'London Is Burning' with Steve Kipner.

The Songs
The production is lush, ambient, and allows for the right instruments to come forward at the right moment during precedings. 'All The Love We Kill' is a great scene setter, and immediately dispels any thoughts to his 'Care Of My Soul' material. 'Stay Young' has some Toy Matinee flavours while modern percussion drives through on the jazzy 'Around You'. 'Wind On The Water' could have easily slotted in the debut Giant album with ease, I'm sure the Huff boys could've worked wonders with this one. I fell in love with the likes of 'In The Dark' and 'Light In The Darkness' such were their lushness, as too the effortless 'Midwestern Skies', the inspiration for our friends Par and Ola over at the website of the same name. Brilliant stuff.

In Summary
Since this album, Mark has moved to the MTM label and released the equally fabulous albums 'Devotion' and 'Thats What Dreams Are Made Of'. A contender for 'AOR Hall Of Fame' me thinks.

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#1 | Jez on June 14 2008 16:34:55
One of the top AOR releases of the nineties. Everything about this cd is top class, from Spiro's vocals and Keys , to Michael Thompsons superb guitar work. 'Stay Young' is my choice for top track ,along with 'Midwestern Skies' which is totally awesome.
#2 | rostoned on July 30 2008 18:58:07
'English Channel' is a must. If I remember well it is the original/primitive version of John Waite's excellent single 'How Did I Get By Without You' from JW overlooked 1995 album 'Temple Bar', penned as well by Spiro-Waite.
#3 | Eric on February 11 2009 20:24:06
One of my favorite song writers- why isn't this guy more well known?
#4 | LALOROCK on March 13 2012 19:13:58
A wet dream for AOR lovers,if melody was life,we will live forever...
#5 | gerard on November 06 2013 10:10:34
Great album and great songwriter! Occasionally I come across albums from the early years of his career on which he is featured as a songwriter, from artists such as Engelbert Humperdinck and Audrey Landers!! LOL!! Interesting start for an AOR hero!
#6 | gdazegod on November 06 2013 11:34:54
I'll be reviewing his MTM Music output very soon. Need to start filling in the 1997 to 1999 years with reviews!
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