The Lost UK Jewels Vol.6 ; VOYAGER UK – Run Away Heart (Out Of Print)
“Lost UK Jewels” series presented material from awesome bands like Peroux, Graffiti, Geneva, Zero Zero or Strutz (all featured on this blog), now it’s time for Vol.6 and another fairly obscure British act, the sadly underrated VOYAGER UK with “Run Away Heart“.
Formed in Yorkshire around 1986 by Verity keyboard player Andy Wells and Rhabstallion guitarist Dave Thompson, the earliest recordings here feature Wells on lead vocals, but it was the arrival of singer Ivan Markovic later that year that was the catalyst for some pretty classy Brit AOR from Voyager UK.
The band took the rather unusual step of releasing a single before they were even a proper band, with both the A-side ‘Run Away Heart’ and flipside ‘Don’t Hold Back’ being prime examples of punchy Melodic Rock with bags of enthusiasm, even today they still knock you out with their sheer tunefulness and exuberance.
Markovic was a great find and could turn a good song into something ever so special, so it’s actually a crime that he didn’t go on to join a successful band at a time when great U.K. singers were at a premium.
The upbeat ‘Rocktasia’ and sugar coated ‘This Time’ are excellent demos from 1987, but for me it’s 1989’s ‘Razor’s Edge’ that takes top honours here with its cutting guitars, urgent rhythm section and perfect keys, with Markovic soaring over it all.
Andy Wells sings a trio of tracks in the middle, from the impressive ‘(Can’t Live) Without Your Love’, whilst ‘Believe In Me’ and ‘Cruel World’ display a little more restraint and a West Coast groove.
Chronologically the last tracks from 1989 feature one Robin Patchett on bass, with whom guitarist Thompson would go on to form Lost Weekend and release several well-respected Melodic Rock albums thus far.
The disc ends with four tracks recorded by Tony Wilson for Tommy Vance’s BBC Friday Rock Show in 1987, the pompy ‘Line Of Fire’ and the lively ‘Rock This Town’ joining ‘Razor’s Edge’ and ‘Don’t Hold Back’ in a nationwide showcase that makes you wonder how some bands got record deals and the likes of Voyager U.K. didn’t.
The sound quality of this disc is variable through the different budgets and source materials, but overall sounds pretty good and the material is pure gold.
Most the 500 copies are sold, so be hurry and try some of the stores below.
An essential item for those with an interest in bands like Grand Prix, Shy, Bronz, Push UK, etc, and true fans & collectors of classy ’80s British AOR.
01 – Run Away Heart
02 – Don’t Hold Back
03 – Rocktasia
04 – This Time
05 – Razor’s Edge
06 – Don’t Walk Away From Love
07 – Believe Me Now
08 – Cruel World
09 – Can’t Live Without Your Love
10 – Dreams
11 – Line Of Fire
12 – Razor’s Edge
13 – Rock This Town
14 – Don’t Hold Back
Ivan Markovic (vocals)
David Thompson (guitar, backing vocals)
Andy Wells (keyboards, backing vocals)
Paul Harkin (guitar)
Richard Smith (drums)
Martin Barber (bass)
Robin Patchett (bass)
Paul Smith (bass, backing vocals)