TOP NOTCH – Mean & Smooth [80s recordings remastered] (2022) *0dayrox Exclusive*
TOP NOTCH was one of those 80s and 90s melodic rock / AOR bands who reached the interest of a major label, to watch it all go away with the arrival of Seattle bands. Top Notch’s quality songwriting led them to being managed by Alan Oken & David Liebert, who handled Guns N’ Roses, Alice Cooper and Bryan Adams, and the band eventually signed a development deal with Polygram Records. But the music business is a bitter pill, and nothing happened.
Formed in the mid-Eighties, Top Notch developed a hard rock sound focused on melody with blazing guitar solos. At the time, guitarist Eric Kellogg was connected with many prolific songwriters such as Peter Frampton, Martin Briley, Mark Tanner (Nelson, Eddie Money) and Steve Plunkett of Autograph. Steve Plunkett and Eric Kellogg developed a close relationship and went on to write many songs together that are featured on this release as well as Steve Plunkett’s solo album.
On “Mean & Smooth” we have all TOP NOTCH recordings, material with a very good sound quality and a US 80s melodic hard rock sound akin Hurricane, Autograph, Black ‘N Blue, etc.
Top Notch recorded their first demo on an 8-track machine, and their songs were played on KLOS and KMET Southern California radio stations. This launched them into the LA rock scene playing every major club including The Roxy, The Whisky, Gazzari’s, and the Troubadour, opening for who would become some of the largest rock bands such as Warrant, Rough Cutt, Poison, and many others.
Top Notch was then picked up by Available Management run by Alan Oken and David Libert, and they connected the band with many large record labels. More new tracks were recorded, including songs co-written by Steve Plunkett of Autograph.
Plunkett and Kellogg developed a close relationship and went on to write many songs together that are featured on this album as well as Steve Plunkett’s solo debut.
By 1990 the band had a large and loyal following and sold out virtually every club that they played. In the midst of them preparing to sign a major record deal, the grunge scene came into play and tilted the rock n’ roll world upside down.
At this time the band broke up and Eric Kellogg went on to write and play with many well known artists in the industry. The band was no longer together but Top Notch’s music will live on forever.
Really good lost American ’80s melodic hard rock stuff. (contributors get this today)
Only at 0dayrox
01 – Doing Something Right
02 – What’s Your Daddy Gonna Say
03 – You’re The Only One For Me
04 – She’s Hot
05 – Make Me Believe
06 – Mean and Smooth
07 – Through The Night
08 – I’m Not Dreamin’
09 – She’s All Talk
10 – Long Way From Home (Bonus Track)
11 – Razor’s Edge (Live 11-10-89) (Bonus Track)
12 – Heavy Pettin’ (by Next Of Kin) (Bonus Track)
Eric Kellogg – guitars
Ken Robertson – vocals
Todd Jeffries – bass
Mark Alderette – drums