Simon Elvin – Apart From Me

Simon Elvin
Apart From Me
1985 Broken Records
Plymouth, Devonshire, England

Simon Elvin – Lead vocals, piano, synthesizers, clarinet, acoustic guitar, drums, rhythm programmes

Dave Wellington – Backing vocals
Linda Nicols – Backing vocals, duet on “The Need in Me”
Steve Wheeler – Lead guitar, backing vocals on “Warriors”

Side 1:

  1. Feeling the Love
  2. Party
  3. Years Go By
  4. The Need in Me
  5. Little Star

Side 2:

  1. Can’t Waste Another Day
  2. Every Day
  3. One in a Million
  4. Suddenly
  5. Warriors
  6. His Love

Another tape that seems to have been lost to the sands of time. The sound on this one is early/mid 80s rock, kind of somewhere between Billy Joel and Elton John. If you have ever thought the song “My Life” could rock out a bit more, then this is the tape for you. Songs like “Party” and others rip out some killer guitar leads – so this is more than your average pop rock wanna-be. I can’t find much more information about Elvin online, other than he had at least one follow up to this tape called Somewhere in Time on Myrrh Records in 1987. Also, this tape notes that it was engineered by *the* Famous Gnome I have wondered about in the past – Julian Payne. But no Famous Gnome logo on this one, unfortunately.

Jo Carter – More Than Meets the Eye

Jo Carter
More Than Meets the Eye
1990 (no label)
Pennant Hills, New South Wales, Australia

Jo Carter – All vocals, keyboards
Rob Smith – Guitars
Darren Hills – Bass
John Waller – Drums

Bruce Allan – Saxophone
Phillip Hartl – Violin
Steve Gilfillan – Drum programming
Jeff Todd – Drum programming

Side 1:

  1. Always
  2. Someone Like You
  3. Without You
  4. In My Heart
  5. Leave Our Children Alone

Side 2:

  1. Poor Johnny
  2. Written on His Face
  3. There is Hope
  4. Time is Running Out
  5. From the Soul

The first track kind of comes across like a Shelley Rodgers track – adult pop or the various names for mellow music played by musicians that put a bit more jazz proficiency into the songs rather than the typical pop simplicity. Then the second track kicks into a prog/hard rock-ish level. It’s still pop, but there is a darkness to it that rockers will like. The thing is, each song starts off like a piano ballad, before changing after the intro. Someone quickly previewing each song might totally miss all of this. Maybe that explains the album title? There are several songs that are slower ballads, so overall this is still a pop album. There is just more in there to some of the songs that, well, first meets the eye. “Poor Johnny” and “Time is Running Out” are other rockers that you don’t see coming.

King James and the Concordances – The Authorized Version

King James and the Concordances
The Authorized Version
1987 Son Sessions
Miami, Florida, USA

Al Valdes – Vocals, keyboards, guitar, drums, composer of most of the songs
Julio Rey – Vocals, guitar, bass, composer of a few less of the songs

  1. Don’t Wanna Be No Gumby
  2. Mission to Mexico
  3. Johnny’s in a Cult
  4. Peabody Went to High School
  5. Movies About Jesus
  6. Last of the Nubs
  7. The Monastery

This appears to be the original version of the tape that was re-released in 1990 with a remix of every song on side 2. Stylistically all over the place, but still fun to listen to. This was one of many bands led by Julio Rey back in the day. The j-card between the two seem to be the same except for the color, and the 1990 version added a different record label and a blurb about the side 2 remixes. The songs on this one are the same recordings as the re-release, but they sound a bit thinner here. It seems the bass was boosted a bit on the re-issue. After this tape, they also released I Do in 1990.

Paul Foster & Gary Samuel – Demos

Paul Foster & Gary Samuel
Demos
198? (no label)

Paul Foster – Vocals
Gary Samuel – Vocals, keyboards, drum programming

  1. Solid Ground
  2. Talking Faces
  3. Listen
  4. Love Comes Free

Not really sure about what the stylistic goal of this demo was – its definitely rock, played on keyboards with synthesized drums. Not techno or new wave – mostly straight up rock in sound. But that could be due to the limitations of playing keyboards. Not sure who the two people on the demo are – members of some other band that went solo, or two friends that decided to make music despite having limited access to other musicians? If they had veered a bit more towards cheese this would come across as lounge music. Some of the effects they used almost gives it a Caribbean cruise cover band feel.

Stevie & The Saints – Power in the Blood / No Blooz Blooz

Stevie & The Saints
Power in the Blood / No Blooz Blooz
1990 (no label)
Los Angeles, California, USA

Steve Olsen – Vocals, guitar, slide guitar, harmonica
Ken Roberts – Guitar, percussion
Tim Pope – Drums
Bob “Oil Can” Beeman – Piano

Suzie Cappetta – Lead vocals, backing vocals
Ralph Clayton – Bass guitar, organ, horn arrangements
Kathy Jameson – Backing vocals

Side 1:

  1. Power in the Blood

Side 2:

  1. No Blooz Blooz

This is basically a single from Eye on the Prize that contains two songs from that tape. There is no label mentioned, but my guess is this either a pre-release sampler or promotional single by their label (Victoria LTD). Nothing seems to be different between these versions and the tape version. These two songs just seem to be a bit less mixed or polished than the final versions.

Stevie & The Saints – Eye on the Prize

Stevie & The Saints
Eye on the Prize
1990 Victoria, LTD

Steve Olsen – Vocals, guitar, slide guitar, harmonica
Ken Roberts- Guitar, percussion
Tim Pope – Drums
Bob “Oil Can” Beeman – Piano

Suzie Cappetta – Lead vocals, backing vocals
Ralph Clayton – Bass guitar, organ, horn arrangements
Kathy Jameson – Backing vocals

Side 1:

  1. Power in the Blood
  2. Psalm 3
  3. Pass Me Not
  4. Rock and a Hard Place
  5. No Blooz Blooz

Side 2:

  1. Eye on the Prize
  2. Moment of Pleasure
  3. Ball & Chain
  4. Soldier of Fortune
  5. Wayfaring Stranger

This is the rarer follow-up to their 1987 Metalblue album. It used to be impossible to find anything on this release, but there appears to be more information out there now. This is pretty much blues rock, often falling into the Texas style of blues rock. The album is dedicated to Stevie Ray Vaughn after all. The first three tracks, as well as the last one, are covers of traditional church songs. The rest are all originals, but every song is a fun romp through some electrified blues. Interesting mistake on the manufacturing: side two of the tape actually has the printing from another Victoria LTD band Face of Five.

John Allan Garies – It’s Your Choice

John Allan Garies
It’s Your Choice
1987 (no label)
Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA

John Allan Garies – Vocals, guitars, other instruments?

Side 1:

  1. Road to Babylon
  2. This Could Be the Day
  3. When the Dawn Breaks Thru
  4. Free Indeed
  5. I’m So Happy

Side 2:

  1. He’s Touching Somebody
  2. I Hope You Know Him
  3. Psalm of the Heart
  4. It’s Your Choice
  5. Selah

If you remember JAG – an AOR/Hard Rock band that put out three later style White Heart-ish albums in the 90s – then you will recognize this guy’s voice. Garies is where JAG got its name – his initials. He even confirmed this in an older interview online. He also mentions recording this album in 1986, but said it is best left forgotten. I’m not sure about that – it’s just that this is less heavy than anything JAG did. Its starts off almost lounge music sounding, but the guitars do kick in. It’s just really caught in the early 80s sound, even though it was recorded in the late 80s. No band members are listed, so it is either Garies doing all the instruments himself, or uncredited musicians adding other instruments. It also seems that he spelled his middle name as “Allen” on later releases. Sadly, Garies passed away several years ago.