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Articles: 1988 Articles
220 Volt - 1988 Eye To Eye
'Eye To Eye' was arguably their best album, combining a sound which integrated the best bits of Return, Def Leppard and Europe. Added to the mix was the production work of Max Norman. You can tell these boys have benefitted from Mr Normans handywork. Listen to those awesomely mixed drums for example! Now thats what I call a drum mix!

38 Special - 1988 Rock & Roll Strategy
Despite including their biggest single, 'Rock & Roll Strategy' did not set the album charts alight. In certain quarters a school of thought emerged that it was a step down in quality, more accurate would have been a step sideways.

4 Reasons Unknown - 1988 4 Reasons Unknown
A talented Dallas Texas based band who had more in common with the hi-tech/AOR sub-genre going on during the mid 80's rather than pure driven Texas boogie!

Abel Ganz - 1988 The Dangers Of Strangers
Scotland's Abel Ganz spent the better part of their career in the shadow of IQ, Marillion and Pallas. 'The Dangers Of Strangers' is a stylish neo-progressive rock album and a classic of its time.

AC/DC - 1988 Blow Up Your Video
While some would argue that Brian Johnson's croak is part of AC/DC's charm and appeal I'm not buying it. 'Blow Up Your Video' is a batch of mostly strong hard rock tunes, well played but poorly sung.

After All - 1988 How High The Moon
This is a one-off Canadian outfit with an interesting sound that should appeal to many readers here. They combine a melodic rock/AOR style with an alt rock style that blends beautifully. Think Boulevard, New Regime, Silent Running, Tuesday Blue with Tomorrows Child and Lions And Ghosts.

After Hours - 1988 Take Off
Moving in the same vintage direction as fellow countrymen Baby Tuckoo, Tobruk, FM and late 80's Whitesnake guaranteed success on a musical level, but not sales wise.

Aidean - 1988 Promises
Coming at you from the Bonfire and Pretty Maids school of riffarama, they are the archetypal European melodic rock band, with a big sound and a heavy handed approach.

Aina - 1988 Living In A Boys World
Scandi lovers should acquire this rare effort as it really is quite good. Wild Force deliver us superb Scandi based melodic rock in the mould of Treat, Skagarack, Bad Habit and Bon Jovi.

Alien - 1988 Alien
Consummate melodic rock from this Swedish outfit which really did cause a stir in 1988, as did just about every other notable Swedish outfit from that era.

Anabis - 1988 Theatre
Weighing the CD's AOR moves against its fusiony classicism; 'Theatre' is as fine example as any of the softer end of the German prog rock spectrum circa 1988.

Anthrax - 1988 State Of Euphoria
'State Of Euphoria' arguably, was not one of Anthrax's better albums. It was a painful slide into reality considering how good their previous set 'Among The Living' was..

Arthur's Museum - 1988 Gallery Closed
Bit of a rarity this one, and if it wasn't for the fame that followed guitar prodigy Richie Kotzen, this one could've sat on a dusty shelf somewhere in middle America.

Ashton - 1988 Modern Pilgrims
Mark Ashton (real name Mark Ashton Vey) is an English singer who released two albums in the 80's, this one being his second (and last). 'Modern Pilgrims' appeals readily to fans of 80's AOR and melodic rock, but unfortunately it didn't move many units.

Baby Blue - 1988 American Boys
Very much from the indie scene of the mid-late 80's. Self released - cassette only it would appear, Buffalo's Baby Blue had the cliches down pat, and were more than a little copy-cat in style, though with the occasional high-point.

Bad Company - 1988 Dangerous Age
By 1988, Bad Company had become a fully fledged AOR outfit, the Mark II era of the band changing significantly from their 70's stomping ground..

Balin, Trace - 1988 Champions
An excellent, dare I say, bombastic sounding AOR album, with references to Amy Grant and Robin Beck.

Bell, Maggie - 1988 Crimes Of The Heart
Admittedly, this album is nowhere near Maggie Bell's preferred blues rock genre, instead this is as hi-tech AOR as you can get.. A fish out of water? Perhaps..

Black N Blue - 1988 In Heat
This band were much better than this album. Give this a wide berth and go back and listen to the first two albums at least.

Blind Owl - 1988 Debut At Dusk
Blind Owl were a Boston based band with a fair dose of progressive tendencies. Many comparisons have been thrown at them; ELP, Yes, Genesis etc, but the closest would be debut album era Asia and 'Opening Act' era Stencil Forest.

Blue Oyster Cult - 1988 Imaginos
When is a BOC album not a BOC album? That is the question. The answer? Easy.. try 1988's 'Imaginos' for starters.

BLVD - 1988 BLVD
The well loved AOR band BLVD are perhaps the most unluckiest Canadian band never to strike it big. They had the talent, skills and the material to go all the way.

Bon Jovi - 1988 New Jersey
Listening to this again years later, I am compelled to grudgingly admit that this was a damn fine piece of work for 1988. Possibly because of their superstar status during this timeframe may have seen me apply the tall poppy syndrome unfairly to Bon Jovi, and also the fact that the band were highly overexposed and saturated in radio and TV. For what it's worth, a great album that deserves a lot more respect.

Bond, The - 1988 Prints Of Peace
Forever tied to the hip of British prog merchants Twelfth Night, the late Geoff Mann also had a brief spin with his band The Bond.

Bonoff, Karla - 1988 New World
Listening to 'New World', this is an ambient affair, beautifully arranged songs with plenty of subtle keyboard layers that blend in well with Ms Bonoff's incredible voice. For readers of this site, Ms Bonoff comes highly recommended.

Brannen, John - 1988 Mystery Street
The album is a glossy affair strangely enough, taking a leaf out of the pages written by Jimmy Davis and other country-rock crossover acts of time. Vocally, there's a bit of Jeff Paris, Paul Laine and Jon Bon Jovi, but really John can sing to suit the occasion.

Briar - 1988 Crown Of Thorns
Love the cover on this one but man, plop it on the turntable and prepare to be disappointed.

Brighton Rock - 1988 Take A Deep Breath
Another fine Canadian act are Brighton Rock, bordering on that fine edge of heavy metal, but exceptionally good melodic rock nonetheless.

Bullet Boys - 1988 Bullet Boys
The band's entrance into 1988 was good one, the album going gold soon after. Strangely, the band took ages to release a follow up; 1991's 'Freakshow', but by then all momentum had been lost, even though the band continued on with a turnstile of personnel from the mid 70's onward.

Cannata - 1988 Images Of Forever
This album is not as bombastic as 'Arcangel', but still has masses of appeal to the typical AOR fan. Jeff Cannata has taken a few pages of the Yes songbook a la '70125' and 'Big Generator' and rewritten them for himself. 'Images Of Forever' a hybrid of hi-tech AOR, pomp and modern prog tendencies which Cannata would further explore on later albums.

Cellarful Of Noise - 1988 Magnificent Obsession
Cellarful Of Noise is essentially Avsec's solo work, played in a hi-tech synth fashion. Jonah Koslen was quoted as saying Avsec was a 'bit of a synth slut..', and so it shows on this album. Sometimes the results don't quite come off, in comparison to the work he's known for elsewhere.

Champion - 1988 Halfway To Heaven
Here's another purist AOR LP that should've been reviewed ages ago. Ohio's Champion - not to be confused with the Canadian outfit of the same name, only hung around long enough to issue the one LP for Quicksilver Records..

Cheap Trick - 1988 Lap Of Luxury
After the disappointment of 1986's 'The Doctor', Cheap Trick are high on the rebound with 1988's 'Lap Of Luxury', going double platinum and yielding four hits.

Cheeters, The - 1988 Sign Of Life
I don't think you could call The Cheeters a bonafide AOR band. They do crossover into other genres, but their brand of pop rock should appeal to most here at GDM.

Chicago - 1988 Chicago 19
If you only know the hits and never bought the '129' album, I recommend an investment in this little beauty, some very rewarding AOR discoveries await you.

China Sky - 1988 China Sky
Formed by ex Danny Joe Brown Band guitarist Bobby Ingram, China Sky have a very smooth and commercial flavor to their sound, no doubt helped by the melodic helping hand of producer Bob Marlette. In fact in most places it sounds nothing like a southern band, with lovely melodic guitars and lush keyboards coming through the mix rather strongly.

Chosin Few - 1988 Chosin Few
This is pretty much typical melodic hair metal at the hard rock end of the spectrum. Chosin Few originate from Huntingdon Beach California, the same beach-babe hangout of fellow melodic metallers Leatherwolf.

Colortone - 1988 Colortone
Colortone offered nicely highly synthesized pop music, and despite its Midwest roots, the band owes much to Duran Duran and INXS.

Comedy Of Errors - 1988 Comedy Of Errors
Scottish band Comedy Of Errors were a product of the day sounding close in style to other neo-pgor outfits of the era: namely Abel Ganz and Pallas.

Concrete Jungle - 1988 Wear And Tear
New York band Concrete Jungle are well overdue a mention on this site, probably for the wrong reasons rather than the right.

Dare - 1988 Out Of The Silence
Formed as an outtake by Darren Wharton after the demise/retirement of Thin Lizzy. A wonderful moment in UK AOR and a band that could have gone places had they stuck to the same gameplan and not got carried away by the hype.

De Young, Dennis - 1988 Boomchild
At his best DeYoung is the consummate showman, although at his worst his sense of theatrics can border on the kitsch (e.g. 'Kilroy Was Here' being a step too far for me). 'Boomchild' is compelling evidence of the man at the top of his game and an album I play as regularly as anything he produced in his heyday with Styx.

Descars - 1988 Descars
Descars are the Montreal duo of Stephane Caron and Serge Lacasse. Hi-tech percussive pop rock with a little bit of everything thrown in..

Diamond In The Rough - 1988 Diamond In The Rough
Diamond In The Rough is pure 80's pop/AOR, and is a reminder of how things sounded back then - and was an outfit bought together by Lewis Nitikman and David Buckthorp.

Dirty Looks - 1988 Cool From The Wire
The late Henrik Ostergaard was the instigator for longtime rockers Dirty Looks. We take a look at their major label debut for Atlantic, 1988's 'Cool From The Wire'..

Drew, David - 1988 Safety Love
Californian based David Drew is a one-man-does-all in the vein of Aldo Nova, by the looks of things. Not only does he sound like his idol Billy Idol, he even plays guitar like Steve Stevens.

Eleven Bloody Men - 1988 Eleven Bloody Men
Technically this band are a bit of a misnomer, as they were in fact the San Francisco based HYTS, who released two albums on the Gold Mountain label during 1983-1985. This album is not really a studio album as such, but a nine track compilation of those two aforementioned albums.

Eloy - 1988 Ra
Having started life as a pure prog band, the dawn of the 80's had seen Eloy venture further and further into AOR. Hardcore prog supporters felt betrayed but the AOR legions were only too happy to welcome Eloy into the fold. With a pre release album teaser released in late 1987, the new album 'Ra' hit shelves in early 1988.

Emergency (Holland) - 1988 Martial Law
To these ears at least, Emergency sound like a cross between Swedish melodic rockers Dalton and Dutch pomp favorites 1st Avenue.

Europe - 1988 Out Of This World
Ron Nevison is the man behind the dials here. Bringing his experience To Europe's fourth album after working on such great albums by Survivor, Heart, Chicago and Jefferson Starship - it resulted in an album that is glossy - ballads with backbone, and rockers with oomph!

Farner, Mark - 1988 Just Another Injustice
During the late 80's, Mark Farner changed direction, and released two CCM oriented albums, the first of which was this one: 1988's 'Just Another Injustice'.

Fastway - 1988 On Target
The album itself is very very melodic. Hard rockin' at best, but with class, and lots of keyboards. Eek I hear you say, wishing Fast Eddie would break out some of his traditional Motorhead riffs. Nothing of the sort to be found on this platter, it's melodic rock all the way.

Fate - 1988 Cruisin' For A Bruisin'
Cruisin' For A Bruisin' kept some of the previous lineup, though listening to the material, it wasn't quite as classic as its predecessor 'A Matter Of Attitude'.

Femme Fatale - 1988 Femme Fatale
Along with Vixen, Californian band Femme Fatale were the face of female fronted hair metal during the late 80's.

Fifth Angel - 1988 Fifth Angel
Just whose band was this? Ask Ted Pilot and he'd say 'his', but ultimately ask James Byrd, and there you will find the truth.. Whatever the case, this is quite a slab of melodic metal!

Forcefield II - 1988 The Talisman
'The Talisman' is the second release by the Forcefield project comprising guitarist Ray Fenwick and drummer Cozy Powell.

Ford, Lita - 1988 Lita
'Lita' was the breakout album for ex Runaways string slinger Lita Ford during 1988, and it was her first for new label RCA after a falling out with Polygram/Mercury.

Forsale - 1988 Stranger In Town
Forsale is a Swiss project, much like cheese, it was left to ripen in the shade before being re-released nine years after it was recorded. Steve Lee and Leo Leoni from Gotthard make appearances here..

Frehley, Ace - 1988 Second Sighting
The self titled debut was one of 1987's best albums, with precision like hard rock. However this one, 'Second Sighting' was invariably a lacklustre follow up, with an uneasy mixture of Frehley's hard rock and Tod Howarth's AOR.

Freiheit - 1988 Fantasy
German band Freiheit were heavily influenced by ELO on this their third album from 1988 'Fantasy'..

Friss, Bobby - 1988 Cut Loose
One of the hardest working bands from the southeastern parts of the US are the Bobby Friss Band. This debut album 'Cut Loose' is in fact a compilation of Bobby's best work during a ten year period between 1975-1985.

Gentlemen Without Weapons - 1988 Tranmissions
Totally original in concept and approach, Gentlemen Without Weapons was a musical extension of the environmentalist project Earth Love Fund (ELF). Not quite new-agey, this is a crossover hi-tech prog pop album and a pretty good one at that.

Glass Tiger - 1988 Diamond Sun
1986 and 1987 were very good years for Canadian band Glass Tiger. Regrouping in 1988, the band reconnected with producer Jim Vallance for their second album 'Diamond Sun'.

Goffin, Louise - 1988 This Is The Place
Louise had released a couple of LP's: 'Kid Blue' her debut from 19729 and a self titled effort from 1981. Both of those efforts were pop/rock, in the vein of Pat Benatar and Rachel Sweet. Not bad, but nothing like this superb AOR effort 'This Is The Place'. There are some simply beautiful songs on this album, it's a wonder and a pity that it's not better known among the AOR community.

Goodwyn, Myles - 1988 Myles Goodwyn
This is the first and only solo album from April Wine's Myles Goodwyn.

Greenway - 1988 Serious Business
I've seen this album go for top prices on Ebay. It's had some very good raps from reviewers/writers out there over the years, so upon investigation I set out to see if 'Serious Business' was all that it was cracked up to be. Sadly, no. Not the class act I was expecting to hear, but admittedly, it had some very good moments.

Harvest - 1988 Holy Fire
'Holy Fire' includes a majority of the players that would feature on the MTB - Michael Thompson Band album 'How Long'. Despite the title, there's not much fire bubbling under the hood of this album - so your ears won't get scorched, but I will say it does have quite a nice AOR sound with a few decent tracks to be had.

Head East - 1988 Choice Of Weapons
Head East are right in the heart of the rock here, coming on like a cross between Le Roux (circa 'So Fired Up') and the Bobby Ingram fronted China Sky from the same year.

Healey, Jeff (Band) - 1988 See The Light
Jeff Healey is certainly an interesting story in the annals of rock. Born in Canada and adopted as an infant, he lost sight at the age of one due to a cancer of the eyes. Healey was an avid blues and jazz fan, and this album is heavy on the blues.

Heinz Sight - 1988 A Face In The Crowd
A rare find from 1988, the Illinois based band Heinz Sight, named after lead singer, the late Vince Heinz offer a multitude of styles ranging from AOR to pop. However, don't believe all the terms and descriptions offered by Ebay sellers in regards to this record!

Helloween - 1988 Keeper Of The Seven Keys - Part II
All Helloween's albums up to this are classics. 'Keeper II' is Helloween's creme de la creme.

Hitchcock, 1988 Russell - Russell Hitchcock
No kidding! You'll be surprised to see who's playing on this album. A veritable who's who of AOR, with some fantastic names to boot. This solo effort from the Air Supply vocal king-pin is definitely one to track down.

Hittman - 1988 Hittman
Hittman have styled their particular brand of HM on bands such as Fifth Angel, Crimson Glory, Vicious Rumors and Helstar, and let us not forget Queensryche either!

Honeymoon Suite - 1988 Racing After Midnight
'Racing After Midnight' compares lukewarm with the two albums prior to this, and the one following - 'Monsters Under The Bed'. Many were looking to Honeymoon Suite to deliver the knock-out punch for their third album following 'The Big Prize', but unfortunately they didn't.

House Of Lords - 1988 House Of Lords
I've read often that this rates as an AOR classic at the top of many peoples lists. I don't see it. I was letdown the first time I heard it many years ago and nothing has changed to alter my opinion.

Howe, Greg - 1988 Greg Howe
One of the more interesting of the shred metal kings is Greg Howe.

Hugh, Grayson - 1988 Blind To Reason
Grayson Hugh, an American singer is steeped in the tradition of soul and R&B. On some of his material, you would be hard-pressed to find a difference between him and Steve Perry (particularly his solo stuff).

Hurry Scuary - 1988 Break It Up
Japanese metallers Hurry Scuary only released the one album, but there are some absolutely monster songs here. Unlike other Japanese bands, HS sing mostly in English, and their sound is quite bombastic, mixing equal parts of Impelliteri, Yngwie Malmsteen, Treat and other European bands of the era.

Illsley, John - 1988 Glass
'Glass' is a nice set of songs with plenty of variety. Here Illsley's music fits into the category of Chris Rea, Gerry Rafferty and Chris DeBurgh and in fact his voice is very similar to DeBurgh's although not quite as powerful.

Iron Maiden - 1988 Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
This is an album which still divides many. Some were in favour of the melodic direction while others shunned it. I've never considered this a classic Maiden album despite its strengths. This is a collection of songs, even with the concept connotations, and in all honesty Maiden were already past their best.

Johnson, Eric - 1988 Tones
'Tones ' is a top notch pop/AOR album peppered with quality instrumentals ranging from a Windham Hill style acoustic number to all out rockers..

Jojo - 1988 Jojo
This album was produced by Eddy Offord and it's a pretty smart affair, taking the best bits of Craaft and Balanx and commercialised even more.

Joleen - 1988 Joleen
The album is very rare, but upon hearing it, I came away pretty disappointed unfortunately. There's very little of interest to hardened melodic rockers I'm afraid, and despite the stellar line-up, it looks like they were just paid to play.

Jordan, Sass - 1988 Tell Somebody
Paired with multi-instrumentalist Bill Beaudoin and producer Pierre Bazinet (Boulevard) and along with a cheap budget, 'Tell Somebody' is the result, the album eventually going platinum in Canada, and putting Jordan on the path to a Juno Award the following year.

Joshua - 1988 Intense Defence
This is a fairly monstrous slab of melodic rock. No two ways about it. Dynamic, great production, and all the musicians are playing out of their skins.

Judas Priest - 1988 Ram It Down
In 1986 Priest found themselves caught up in synth mania as that years 'Turbo' appalled fans with its slick use of the instrument accompanied by music that teetered on hard rock. It wasn't what Priest were really about though, and 1988's 'Ram It Down' was an obvious return to a heavier sound.

Kansas - 1988 In The Spirit Of Things
'In The Spirit Of Things' is (for 1988) a modern sounding recording, wih big production and interesting lyrical themes. The album is based loosely on the 12951 flood of the small eastern Kansas town of Neosho Falls.

Karo - 1988 Heavy Birthday
Dan Lucas is an AOR artist this site should be featuring a lot more of. Many of you will be aware of his two albums during the 90's called 'Canada' and 2000'. Despite his love affair with Canada, Dan is actually the pseudonym for German vocalist Lutz Salzwedel, and he first came to prominence with this band Karo, who released a one-off album called 'Heavy Birthday' back in 1988.

Killer Dwarfs - 1988 Big Deal
A good record for its time, but probably well overlooked by those outside of the US and Canada. Well overdue a re-investigation I would suggest.

Kilzer, John - 1988 Memory In The Making
John's music, when given the southern treatment comes off similarly to fellow Memphis resident Jimmy Davis. You could throw a few other names in the hat, such as Tom Cochrane, Bryan Adams and Billy Chinnock, just to make things interesting.

King Kobra - 1988 III
King Kobra would go on to record the best of the three real KK albums, a blistering set encompassing metal, hard rock and AOR.

Kingdom Come - 1988 Kingdom Come
Do we all remember the slagging this band got when they released this debut back in 1988? Talk about overkill. Even Robert Plant was known to jump into the debate, giving his opinion on Lenny Wolf's near doppleganger vocal delivery. Do you think Lenny cared? Heck no, he was laughing all the way to the bank!

Kings X - 1988 Out Of The Silent Planet
Back in the day, Kings X were a band I couldn't quite connect to. The Texan power-trio were an unusual band, with a sound all of their own. It wasn't until years later that I had an epiphany with Pinnick, Tabor and Gaskill; and understood what all the fuss was about.

Kix - 1988 Blow My Fuse
It goes without saying that 80's rockers Kix peaked in 1988 with this LP.

Knight, Holly - 1988 Holly Knight
Holly released her first solo effort via Columbia Records, whereby she was able to narrow in on that melodic/pop crossover even more, and pitch her songs onto vinyl/CD the way she wanted them done.

Koo, The - 1988 The Koo
Dopey name for a band right? Just as bad as Coney Hatch or Cirith Ungol! This trio came from the late eighties, It's AOR, it's pop rock, it's a merger of the two.

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.
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