MacALPINE – Eyes Of The World [Japan HR-HM 1000 reissue series] (2018) *Exclusive*
Universal Music Japan started this year a curious but more than welcomed campaign: the reissue of long time out of print albums from their catalog titled ‘HR/HM 1000’, that meaning Hard Rock / Heavy Metal at the price of 1000 Yen = about 9 USD. And it’s curious as well because these series focus on the ‘commercially less successful’ albums from each band, which, anyway, were long time out of print.
We have featured many here at 0dayrox, but I think this is the most welcomed of all: MacALPINE‘s “Eyes Of The World”, a terrific, awesome album from the very early ’90s that needs a prominent place in your Melodic Hard Rock collection.
Tony MacAlpine might be familiar to many of you as a guitar virtuoso, but I doubt that all of you had listened to his ‘band-project Macalpine’ and their album “Eyes Of The World”.
After a couple celebrated guitar instrumental albums so popular at the late ’80s, Tony decided to release a band oriented album in the Melodic Hard Rock vein seeing the success of groups from this ilk including a virtuoso guitarist: Whitesnake ; Steve Vai, Dokken ; Lynch, etc.
The band consisted of Tony MacAlpine on guitars and keyboards, Alan Sehorn on vocals, renowned Billy Carmassi on drums, Mike Jacques on bass and Mark Robertson on keyboards.
They adopted Tony’s last name as the monicker for the band, and enlisted some noteworthy guests to appear on the album: Kevin Chalfant (The Storm, Two Fires, The Vu) and Dave Pattison sung some backing vocals, Randy Jackson and John Alderete played some of the bass tracks, and BJ Zampa (House Of Lords) contributed drums.
Tony MacAlpine’s solo albums feature some of the finest ‘instrumental guitar’ songs ever recorded, that many (me included) consider as classics in this sub-genre.
Well, add to that songwriting / play skills a song format, a good singer and a polished production, and you have a Melodic Hard Rock winner.
Unknown at the moment but a real find, Alan Sehorn is a damn good singer. He has kind of a baritone type of voice but he can hit the high notes quite easily, clean and powerful.
Production wise this album is a step forward from the former Tony albums; the focus here was to create a massive, late ’80s huge sound plenty of layers.
I still remember listening to “Eyes Of The World” for the first time… WOW, this is Def Leppard Hysteria with a shredding guitarist!
However, Tony keeps his guitar at the service of the song, and at the service of the ‘occasional listener’; this is a very easy to ears melodious stuff.
At places, “Eyes Of The World” reminds me of MSG / McAuley Schenker Group albums from that era, both in sound and style.
Opener “The World We Live In” is a killer midtempo melodic hard rocker that sounds like a cross between TNT and Def Leppard. Later Tony add heavy-funky rhythm guitars to “The Hard Way”, and more muscle to the rocking “Escape The Hell” where there’s a fantastic interplay between synths / guitar.
“Heartache Calling” is the poppy ballad in the vein of Giuffria’s Silk & Steel album, then the complex but memorable “Tear It Down” is one of the highlights on this CD plenty of great songs.
The midpaced AOR of semi-ballad “Take Me Back” is to die for, there’s more killer melodic hard rockers in “Urban Days” and “Wild Ride” (a proof that commercial tunes can be married to virtuosity) not to mention the AOR heavenly trio of “Cry A Tear”, “Wrong To Love” and “Summer’s Gone”, all hooky, catchy and massive.
Yeah, I love MacALPINE’s “Eyes Of The World”, for me, the perfect marriage between sumptuous Melodic Hard Rock 1989-90 and guitar instrumental genius.
There’s not a weak track here, all killer stuff with that ‘clinical production’ from the era: for some people a bit ‘cold’, for me; perfection on every note.
I can only hope that Mr. MacAlpine sees it as his business one day to return to this short-lived song-oriented approach.
MacALPINE’s “Eyes Of The World” was long time out of print. I have the LP and original CD, but purchased this Japanese reissue anyway (at US$ 8.86 it’s a steal), and while not remastered, it has much better signal sound.
All readers of this blog will enjoy this album (for me a Must Have) plenty of hooky Melodic Hard Rock / AOR songs to die for.
You’ve seen it first here, at 0dayrox
Universal Music Japan ～ 【UICY-78659】
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01 – The World We Live In
02 – The Hard Way
03 – Escape The Hell
04 – Heartache Calling
05 – Tear It Down
06 – Take Me Back
07 – Wild Ride
08 – Cry A Tear
09 – Wrong To Love
10 – Summer’s Gone
11 – Urban Days
Tony MacAlpine – guitar, keyboards, programming
Alan Sehorn – lead vocals
Mark Robertson (George Lynch) – keyboards, vocals
Mike Mani (Eric Martin) – keyboards, drum programming
Billy Carmassi (Aldo Nova, Streetheart) – drums
BJ Zampa (House Of Lords) – drums (tracks 3, 8, 11)
Mike Jacques – bass (track 1), vocals
Randy Jackson (Zebra) – bass (tracks 2, 4, 9, 10)
Juan Alderete (Racer X) – bass (tracks 3, 5–8, 11)
Alan Lornie – violin, strings
Maria Khodorkosky, Maxine Prolman – violin
Steve Fontano – background vocals, programming
Kevin Chalfant (The Storm) – background vocals
Bret Douglas – background vocals
Melisa Kary – background vocals
Christina Saxton – background vocals
Davey Pattison – background vocals
BUY IT !