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Articles: 1986 Articles
38 Special - 1986 Strength In Numbers
'Strength In Numbers' is quite possibly their purest AOR moment, and featured some heavyweight guest musicians.

911 - 1986 Time Will Tell
911 were a Las Vegas Christian rock/AOR band that came out of the 80's. This is one of the better quality Christian releases from the mid 80's. Track it down.

A=440 - 1986 A=440
Here's an American pop/rock outfit with a musical signature of their own. They are called A=440, and they play a hi-tech pop style somewhere west of Mr Mister and east of Rick Springfield.

Adams, Dave - 1986 Dancing In My Sleep
Dave Adams was the driving force behind North Carolina prog poppers Glass Moon. His 1986 solo album 'Dancing In My Sleep is interchangeable with a gazillion other albums released the same year and decade.

Adrenalin - 1986 Road Of The Gypsy
In a strange set of circumstances, MCA decided to re-use most of their 'American Heart' songs from the Rocshire days (minus three), and bolt on three new songs for 1986's 'Road Of The Gypsy'.

Agent - 1986 Agent
Agent bring to mind many of its Canadian contemporaries, such as Glass Tiger, Loverboy, Streetheart and Honeymoon Suite. But the real big comparison to these ears is the one-off AOR classic Preview.

Alcatrazz - 1986 Dangerous Games
So, what's the verdict with 'Dangerous Games'? Well, it's more AOR that veers on the side of safety rather than anything daring.

Allies - 1986 Virtues
Christian band Allies were one of the better acquisitions for the Light Music label back in the mid 80's. With Allies, the label released just the two albums: 'Allies' (1985) and this one 'Virtues' the following year.

American Girls - 1986 American Girls
American Girls were a Californian outfit playing in the style of The Gogos and other mid 80's female fronted pop/rock acts from the same era.

Ange - 1986 Egna
Ange's 'Egna' only has eight tracks but so much class, unending hooks and AOR choruses that get into your bloodstream. It's not easy to find on hard copy, but worth the search for the more adventurous AOR fan. Hell, make that any AOR fan.

Ansell, Martin - 1986 The Englishman Abroad
Martin Ansell spent time in both the Tom Robinson Band and The Damned related post-punk group Captain Sensible, none of which promoted AOR attitudes but his talent, or should I say melodic alter ego would not come to fruition until this album 'The Englishman Abroad'.

Aviator - 1986 Aviator
An album held in high esteem by the melodic rock community for years, and cherished in the rock press during those heydays of the 1980's.

Avion - 1986 White Noise
One of the truly great Australian melodic rock bands, and one that was truly underrated at the time too!

Bad Company - 1986 Fame And Fortune
Quite strange this hasn't received any accolades or recognition from AOR pundits in the last 22 years. There's not a bad track included and it must have been the culture shock of Bad Co evolving into an AOR act that saw this gain such a lukewarm reaction.

Barth, Bobby - 1986 Two Hearts One Beat
The sound here is similar to mid 80's Starship mainly. As a result, 'Two Hearts One Beat' is very commercial lightweight AOR, quite a bit different from Barth's years with Axe.

Beau Geste - 1986 Another Night In The City
From the French Canadian side of the tracks come these mapleleaf mayhem merchants called Beau Geste. Essentially, this is Bryan Hughes plus hangers-on, and it's garnered a bit of a classic AOR reputation since those heady days of the eighties.

Benson, George - 1986 While The City Sleeps
George Benson's music typiclly lives in the jazz and R&B genres. His 1986 album hoever sees a shift to West Coast styled songs, one that should be investigated by GD regulars.

Black N Blue - 1986 Nasty Nasty
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a total fan of Black N Blue, and will admit to listening to this lot only scarcely over the years. But since the first two albums are written up already, it would make sense to finish the job, so we start with the completists project by looking at their third effort 'Nasty Nasty'.

Black Sabbath - 1986 Seventh Star
This is of course the album never intended to be a Black Sabbath release. Due to record company pressure, Tony Iommi caved in and it came out under the nonsensical title 'Black Sabbath Featuring Tony Iommi'.

Blinding Tears - 1986 Blinding Tears
Blinding Tears is the duo of former Faith Band members Carl Storie and Mark Cawley.

Bon Jovi - 1986 Slippery When Wet
'Slippery When Wet' set all sorts of records upon it's release. It was the first rock album to include three singles into the top 10. The first album and single off it to be at number one at the same time. The end-result? Well, nearly 30 million records later, the hard work put in at the front end paid dividends.. and then some..

Boom Boom Mancini - 1986 Boom Boom Mancini
'Boom Boom Mancini' is definitely entrenched with the mid 80's production techniques, which are all over this album. It's definitely worth an investigation if you're into this kind of stuff, especially the similarity to all the Canadian references made in the article.

Boston - 1986 Third Stage
It took a few years but finally Tom Scholz managed to release a third and very long overdue album. This album was the result of some hard work (some would say painstaking), with a few casualties along the way.

Bourgeois Tagg - 1986 Bourgeois Tagg
Very talented outfit this one, moving in the same territory as that other band of the same era Mr Mister.

Bricklin - 1986 Bricklin
The Bricklin team manage to come up with an appealing album of songs that skirt round the fringes of bands like Agent, Life By Night, The City, and Mr Mister. Lots of hi-tech arrangements, keyboards and percussive elements too.

Browne, Jackson - 1986 Lives In The Balance
While far from an AOR magnate, Browne has stamped his name to many classic rock tracks over the past 4 decades, many of which are still heard to this day on radio. On 1986's 'Lives In The Balance', this is a politically inspired album which contains some excellent AOR flavoured moments.

Burns Sisters - 1986 The Burns Sisters Band
The Burns Sisters debut is all about mid 80's melodic pop, with an image and sound that was so centric of that era. All the imagery you can imagine from that time is here.

C.C.C.P - 1986 Let's Spend The Night Together
From an AORsters viewpoint, this album only holds sway because of the backing band presence of the Stage Dolls members. The album is well produced and the musicianship by the Stage Dolls team is great, but the material is pretty questionable.

Camp, Steve - 1986 One On One
Steve Camp's fourth album for Sparrow features a strong backing cast, including members of Toto, Chicago, plus six string wizards Dann Huff and Mike Landau..

Cats Can Fly - 1986 Cats Can Fly
With an image that looks slightly glam and slightly new romantic, you could forgive Cats Can Fly as being another Duran Duran clone. But that's where the comparisons end. They have more in common with bands like Go West, Wang Chung, Life By Night and fellow Canadian contemporaries Platinum Blonde.

Chalk Circle - 1986 The Great Lake
From the town of Newcastle, east of Toronto on highway 401 heading out of the big smoke, they've been classed as U2 wannabees, but if you dig deeper into their music, you'll find snippets of Glass Tiger, Boulevard - especially the sax work) and a dribble of Eight Seconds.

Charlie - 1986 In Pursuit Of Romance
This album 'In Pursuit Of Romance', released in 1986 was Charlie's last album, and is quite hard to find now. By this time, they were reduced to a duo, and trying to back up on the critically acclaimed self titled album three years prior. Terry Thomas the mainstay throughout, recruited good friend Felix Krish to assist.

Cheap Trick - 1986 The Doctor
Suffice to say that the resulting album is dismissed to this day as Cheap Trick's worst effort ever. My point of view may prove controversial but I think summation is rubbish. Yes the hi-tech overload did hurt the production but plenty of fine mid 80's AOR remains.

Cinderella - 1986 Night Songs
This Philadelphia band are highly under-represented here at GDM. They were one of the stars of the mid to late 80's run, and were featured prominently in all the rags of the day (Hit Parader, Circus), plus MTV of course.

City, The - 1986 Foundation
Two of the leading lights behind Aussie pop sensations Men At Work, namely McIan and Speiser, hook up with a few L.A musicians to form this band.

Cooper, Alice - 1986 Constrictor
'Constrictor' marked the beginning of Alice Cooper's resurgence after a slump in sales and interest which had lasted from the late seventies to the early 80's, despite some decent albums.

Craaft - 1986 Craaft
Though German, the band is very American sounding, not unlike fellow Teutonic wonders Roko. They come complete with clean lines, silky keyboards and crunching melodic guitar.

Crimson Glory - 1986 Crimson Glory
A classy band who took four years to come to fruition, with their debut album seeing a release in 1986. During that period however, they took time to refine their sound, incorporating the likes of Queensryche, Fifth Angel, Virgin Steele and fellow Floridians Savatageinto their musical make-up.

Cutting Crew - 1986 Broadcast
I saw a good description of this band on the Net somewhere.. 'three Englishman, a Canadian, and one of the notorious pop anthems of all time!' Couldn't have said it better myself.

David + David - 1986 Boomtown
The appeal of 'Boomtown' is two-fold; a peanut butter and chocolate mix of dark, seedy, less than optimistic lyrics and pure high gloss 80's pop rock.

DeLuca, Tom - 1986 Down To The Wire
Nashville songwriter Tom DeLuca graced us with his own solo LP back in 1986, after writing tunes for others.

Device - 1986 22B3
Holly Knight bought in singer Paul Engemann and session guitarist Gene Black, the trio were formed, and quite a stunning looking trio they were too, with their futuristic clothing being a feature. The music is hi-tech, an array of electronic devices (excuse the pun) used throughout, whereby Holly does all the programming.

Doc Holliday - 1986 Danger Zone
'Danger Zone' has been available for a few years on CD now, and believe me you could do a lot worse. When Doc Holliday returned in 1986 elements of their AOR style remained, gloriously so, while the Southern sound returned in unanimous fashion.

Dragon - 1986 Dreams Of Ordinary Men
After the sweeping success of 1984's 'Body And The Beat', Dragon were once again a household name in the Antipodes with a Lazarus-like comeback under their collective belt.

E Wade - 1986 Foreign Shores
Anyone who has the backing of Paul Sabu on his production team deserves a mention on this website, and so it is that we have 'Foreign Shores' finally gracing our pages. But who the heck is E Wade?

Easy Action - 1986 That Makes One
Ooh yeah! This is one cool album, and you look at the guys on the cover and you know this is gonna be a classy affair.

Eaton, Chris - 1986 Vision
If you want an immediate comparison, I can think of three reference points: David Pack, Tim Feehan, and Kenny Rogers Jnr. It's AOR. It's West Coast, and it's high tech. A wonderful combination and this album would go close to perhaps being the definitive AOR/West Coast crossover album.

Eight Seconds - 1986 Almacantar
For years I had been trying to find written material about this band with no success. In the end, I decided to write something about them via this website. From Canada (Ottawa is my guess), Eight Seconds can best be described as one of the ultimate hi-tech AOR bands there was.

Electric Light Orchestra - 1986 Balance Of Power
With the string section and Kelly Groucutt long gone, ELO were now down to three piece. Experimenting with new technologies, Lynne drowns the album in waves of synthpop and over the top '80s excess..

Emerson Lake And Powell - 1986 Emerson Lake And Powell
When Emerson and Lake pursued the idea of a reunion in 1985, the final piece of the jigsaw (Palmer) was already committed, so the drum spot went to hard rock vet Cozy Powell, who had previous stints with Rainbow and Whitesnake up to this point. His recruitment added bulk to the ELP sound, which ironically excluded guitars; Emerson's keyboard taking center stage!

Europe - 1986 The Final Countdown
For Swedish band Europe, this was without doubt their breakthrough effort. After two prior efforts, 'The Final Countdown' was their launching pad into the big time.

Export - 1986 Living In Fear Of The Private Eye
Export didn't really hit their straps until they signed a deal with CBS/Epic. This resulted in the excellent 'Contraband' album during 1984. For a comparison of their sound, think along the lines of outfits such as debut album era Strangeways or Fastway.

Farnham, John - 1986 Whispering Jack
Musically, 'Whispering Jack' is perfect 80's radio fodder, helped by the OTT keyboard and programming work of LRB band-mate David Hirschfelder. Also joining the fold was (future) guitar god Brett Garsed. It was easy to see how and why this album became so huge.

Fate - 1986 A Matter Of Attitude
Probably one of the best Danish albums to be released. Only problem is.. it sure don't sound Danish!

Fates Warning - 1986 Awaken The Guardian
'Awaken The Guardian' has been labelled as one of the best progressive metal albums of all time. In fact, the FW team were way head of their time with this effort..

Fixx, The - 1986 Walkabout
The Fixx along with a handful of others were part of the color splashed brigade of 80's pop back in the day, which many punters will remember from the golden era of MTV..

FM (UK) - 1986 Indiscreet
Light and breezy AOR, and surprising poppy for this South London band. However, the FM band direction came about due to the obvious success of the harder melodic rock acts such as Europe, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi.

Foster, Jim - 1986 Power Lines
Canadian musician Jim Foster is perhaps better known through his association with the Alberta based outfit Fosterchild (hence the band name). This outfit had been in existence since the mid 70's. By 1986, Jim had landed a solo deal with RCA, with 'Power Lines' being the resulting output, with Rick Springfield and Stan Meissner used as reference points.

Frazier, Rob - 1986 This Town
Round two for CCM/AOR artist Rob Frazier.

Frontiers - 1986 Front Page
From the mid 80's era of Europe and Treat, comes another melodic rock pretender: Frontiers.

Gabriel, Peter - 1986 So
In 1986 and after 4 exceptional solo albums as well as the soundtrack to the film 'Birdy', Gabriel found himself to be an honest goodness superstar with 'So', buoyed by the massive single 'Sledgehammer' and its groundbreaking video.

Giuffria - 1986 Silk And Steel
Then there are some albums which many people rate, while others wonder what all the fuss is about. For me, Giuffria's 'Silk And Steel' is one such album.

Glass Tiger - 1986 The Thin Red Line
Mention Canadian hard rock during the 80's and a few names crop up. One that hasn't been mentioned here is the Ontario based Glass Tiger. You remember them right?

Golden Earring - 1986 The Hole
Underrated and under loved, Golden Earring's 1986 'The Hole' proved that this long running Dutch outfit knew how to roll with the times, with a typical 80's sound complete with synths and digital drums.

Grace, Graham - 1986 Shining Knight
With no less than five keyboard players, this is a synth-happy platter and with all the state of the art gadgetry and ear-numbing production values that were so common place in 1986.

GTR - 1986 GTR
This is what we get when we mix two of prog rock's supreme guitarists together. The colloboration of Messrs Howe and Hackett certainly got the rock fraternity a buzz back in 1985/86 and life after Yes/Asia and Genesis for both guitarists became a lot more interesting.

Haywire - 1986 Bad Boys
A perfect example of mid-eighties Canadian AOR. Haywire are playing a smooth style, mixing elements of The Arrows, Honeymoon Suite and Loverboy.

Helstar - 1986 Remnants Of War
An American outfit from Houston Texas, who typified the influence put upon them by bands such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.

Huey Lewis (And The News) - 1986 Fore!
I'd forgotten over the years just how great this album is. Sure, I'd frequently hear the big hits still on radio, but there is very little dropoff between the number one hits and the rest of the songs. This album didn't have quite the sales success of 'Sports', even though it had more hit singles that went even higher on the charts. And I consider it to be even stronger overall than 'Sports', which is pretty high praise. But it still sold around four million copies. One of the best albums to emerge from the 80s.

Idle Cure - 1986 Idle Cure
Idle Cure remain one of the top-tier Christian acts to have appeared during the eighties/nineties. Originating from Long Beach California, these guys have perfected the quintessential sound of melodic rock and AOR, combining many influences from their secular cousins on bigger labels.

Idle Tears - 1986 Idle Tears
Idle Tears are occupying the same sort of territory as Face To Face, Scandal, Wild Blue and Delta. They are stuck in that mid 80's mind-set of AOR where things tended to be over-produced and overblown, and in Idle Tears case, they bought four producers to the mixing desk. Overkill perhaps?

Idol, Billy - 1986 Whiplash Smile
It was one of my most played albums of 1986. In an era where Bon Jovi and Europe ruled the airwaves, it was the mighty 'Blonde One' that did it for me. 'Whiplash Smile' was an incredible album really.

Illusion - 1986 I Like It Loud
Illusion's sound is radio friendly, but heavy handed as well, perhaps a precursor to a band like Tesla, melodic but with some rough edges around the fringes.

Iron Maiden - 1986 Somewhere In Time
That aside, 'Somewhere In Time' is the perfect example of heaviness and melody being merged, without losing musical identity. Maiden were still a metal band, even if there were murmurs of discontent from some fans.

Jameson, Nick - 1986 A Crowd Of One
It's a case of 'one man does it all', and so it seems the album title 'A Crowd Of One' is an appropriate label for one time Foghat bassist and producer Nick Jameson. He serves a tasty brew of hi-tech AOR and pop/rock, caught somewhere between Tim Feehan and other artists of the same ilk.

Jett Black - 1986 Night Flight
This is actually an above average set of AOR which is a lot more listenable than much of the poor high tech AOR that seemed to be infiltrating the scene in 1986.

Johnson, Don - 1986 Heartbeat
At the height of his fame as Miami Vice's 'Sonny Crockett' in 1986, Don Johnson landed himself a record deal with CBS/Epic. While 'Heartbeat' is not AOR the whole way through, there are several tracks which fall under the banner, more than making it worthy of inclusion at GDAZE.

Journey - 1986 Raised On Radio
'Raised On Radio' is a fine record in retrospect, but it was severely hurt by the long delay before it's release.

Judas Priest - 1986 Turbo
Of all the Judas Priest discography, this is perhaps the least played album I have. 'Turbo' is not totally removed from the aural bombast from their previous two albums, but if fans were looking for an extension to the HM staples of 'Screaming For Vengeance' and 'Defenders Of The Faith', then they would be hugely disappointed.

Jungklas, Rob - 1986 Closer To The Flame
'Close To The Flame' is designed for the big radio and MTV market, though the music on the LP is not totally representative of Jungklas' true style. I would describe it as 'hard AOR', but it also has an earthy element to it too.

Kansas - 1986 Power
A great return, despite the different direction. However, with three classic tracks under the one roof ('Power', 'Three Pretenders' and 'Tomb 129') you can't go wrong.

Karat - 1986 Funfte Jahreszeit
'Funfte Jahreszeit' was another AOR success for Karat, and well deserved. Together with Omega and FSB, they form an essential trifecta of AOR from the iron curtain.

Keene, Tommy - 1986 Songs From The Film
Overall there is some lovely melodic pop/rock here, probably less in the power-pop stakes, but there is enough here for PP fans to sink their teeth into. Certainly, 'Music From The Film' is well worth the exploration for both power pop and AOR fans!

Kick Axe - 1986 Rock The World
So what of the songs on 'Rock The World'? I reckon they sound great. Put it this way, I enjoyed them far more than the previous two albums.

Killer Dwarfs - 1986 Stand Tall
'Stand Tall' - to me, has a lot in common with L.A band Great White, maybe a little bit of Ratt and also Lion (musically, not vocally).

King Kobra - 1986 Thrill Of A Lifetime
1986 saw L.A commercial metal hopefuls King Kobra turn their hand to AOR. I reckon it was a pretty good attempt despite industry indifference and public apathy.

Koo De Tah - 1986 Koo De Tah
Back in the mid 80's, the UK had The Eurythmics and Thompson Twins. America had Cock Robin, Denmark had Laban. In Australia's case, they had a band called Koo De Tah? Koo De who? I hear you ask..

Kooga - 1986 Across The Water
I think these guys were previously called Preacher, and not Cougar as some would assume. They first came onto the scene in 1981, originating out of the misty valleys of Wales.. better known for producing world class rugby players rather than melodic rock musicians.

Krokus - 1986 Change Of Address
Although Krokus constantly still find chart success in their native Switzerland, this album was their final fling in terms of worldwide success, but to my mind they bailed out with their best..

Laban (Denmark) - 1986 Caught By Surprise
Thanks to Daz, one of the GLORY-DAZE regulars, I had the pleasure of listening to a Danish duo Laban, a group who espouse everything that is 80's synth pop!

Ladder, The - 1986 The Ladder
Along with Aviator, another great rocking band from New York which surfaced in 1986 were The Ladder. Classy, and laced with a heavier than usual dose of melodic rock among the predominant AOR grooves this band generates.

Lake - 1986 So What
'So What' would prove to be the final Lake album, not counting the compilation 'In the Midnight' and various later collections. In contrast to its predecessor 'Voices', 'So What', however, saw the band returning to a more conventional rock sound.

Lamb, Brent - 1986 One Man
For pure hi-tech AOR that is well enjoyed by the brethren here at GLORYDAZE, 'One Man' comes highly recommended.

Le Mans - 1986 Le Mans
Le Mans did release one album on the Shrapnel label in 1983, 'Out On The Streets', which was very heavy metal. It wasn't a bad effort, but somewhere in between the boys have done serious listening time to Journey and Def Leppard and lightened up big time with this effort three years later.

Lebow, Martee - 1986 Crimes Of The Heart
If you like melodic rock in the mould of Fiona and Celine Dion circa her 'Unison' album, then American singer Martee Lebow might be the sort of artist to follow up on.

Legs Diamond - 1986 Land Of The Gun
A good album, closer to pure melodic rock/AOR than most with an emphasis on synths, keyboards, organ etc, but not enough to put off purist LD fans from the glory days..

Lion - 1986 Power Love
Here's the first official recording from Los Angeles based Lion.

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.
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