SALEM – City Lights [recorded 1990] (2020)

SALEM - City Lights [recorded 1990] (2020) full

City Lights” is the 1990’s limited self-released album by North Carolina’s melodic hard rockers SALEM, now being remastered / reissued by Heaven and Hell Records. The reissue was announced more than two years ago and now finally will be put on CD for the first time.
Salem’s style will appeal fans of Van Halen, Tesla, Mr. BIG, and such melodic hard rock and AOR bands from the ’80s.
For this reissue the album has been re-titled ‘City Lights’, includes new artwork, and audio has been fully remixed and remastered by Jamie King at The Basement Studio NC.
Limited to 500 copies worldwide.

Salem first began to come together at the end of the Seventies when guitarist Trey Childress began seeking around North Carolina other local musicians to form a hard rock band.
He would be introduced to bassist Tony Lawson and through mutual friends they had a meeting with drummer Mitch Hull and thus Salem was now a trio.

The three continued playing with various singers up until the late ’80s when Trey decided to move to LA. He returned to the East Coast in late 1990 and the three picked up where they left off.
They would then find singer Duane George, and now as a four-piece they began hashing out Van Halen, Living Colour, Bullet Boys, and other 80s cover songs before writing the original songs which later became the band’s self-released debut ‘Peace Of Mind’.

Now reissued under the title “City Lights”, these collection of songs are melodic hard rock influenced by the aforementioned major acts, however Salem adds their distinctive pepper.
Duane George has the right throat for this type of American melodious hard rock, while the band’s overall tweaks in the arrangements brings to mind the style of the genre circa 1986-1988.

It’s strange, but the reissue track list seems to have been arranged in alphabetical order. I guess the original 1990 indie release had a different song sequence which worked better. Additionally, some tracks here are unreleased and featured on this CD for the first time.
Anyway, all songs are good an interesting, catchy, with strong choruses and very well performed / recorded / produced.
A really cool find from an unknown band deserving to be heard, and a collectible (limited to 500 copies) if you love classic US late 80s melodic hard.
Highly Recommended


01 – 3 Day Weekend
02 – Bonz
03 – City Lights
04 – Formaldehyde Dream
05 – Get Off Your Ass
06 – King of the Mountain
07 – Lay Me
08 – Need to Believe
09 – No Good
10 – Nothing Comes Easy
11 – Peace of Mind
12 – Ride Me Like the Wind
13 – What, Me Worry

Duane George – Vocals
Trey Childress – Guitars & Background Vocals
Tony Lawson – Bass & Background Vocals
Mitch Hull – Drums & Background Vocals



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