STAGE DOLLS – Stage Dolls [Japan HR-HM 1000 Vol.5 series] (2022) HQ *0dayrox Exclusive*
Universal Music Japan did it again, a new campaign of their ‘HR/HM 1000‘ series – the Limited Release reissue of long time out of print albums from their Hard Rock / Heavy Metal catalog at the price of 1000 Yen = about 9 USD.
Now it’s time for the second 2022 batch, ”HR-HM 1000 Vol.5”. And as part of these there’s STAGE DOLLS self-titled album ”Stage Dolls” regarded by fans as their finest moment, combining AOR and Scandi Melodic Rock of the first order plenty of great songs and a lovely warm production.
Only for the terrific song ‘Love Cries’ – one of the AOR pearls from the ’80s – you need to own this record, but the rest of the track list is to die for as well.
For the most part Stage Dolls spent 1987 on the road, taking time off in the fall to go into the studio to record their third album. Frontman Torstein Flakne had met songwriter/musician Bobby Icon on a trip to the US in 1986 and they quickly got together writing-wise, setting up the songs for the album “Stage Dolls”, titled as the band as the focus was to release the group internationally.
This was to be Stage Dolls most successful record, taking them to the top of the charts in Norway as well as sending them to the U.S. and the rest of Europe. Hits in Norway with both “Still in Love” and “Wings of Steel” made it into a platinum album there.
But it was “Love Cries” what changed everything.
In 1989, the band signed a deal with Chrysalis Records for the American market. They went over to the States that summer and promoted their single “Love Cries” which went top 3 in the “Album Rock” Chart and no.46 in the Billboard Singles Charts. Touring comprised headlining their own gigs, and also together with other bands, as Faster Pussycat, Warrant, and Blue Murder.
Simply put, ”Stage Dolls” comprises all the best of Eighties AOR / Melodic Rock. It has that ‘American feeling’ – and that’s more ‘Canadian’ than USA – with the unique Scandinavian elegance.
This is quality songwriting, smooth arrangements, atmospheres, melodies galore… A complete album for the genre, and a must have in your collection.
Great reissue with the usual Japanese pressing / mastering quality.
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01 – Still In Love
02 – Wings Of Steel
03 – Lorraine
04 – Waitin’ For You
05 – Love Cries
06 – Mystery
07 – Don’t Stop Believin’
08 – Hanoi Waters
09 – Ammunition
Torstein Flakne – vocals, guitars
Terje Storti – bass, vocals
Steinar Krokstad – drums, vocals
Ronni Le Tekrø – Guitar on “Mystery”
Kjetil Bjerkestrand – keyboards, Fairlight synths
Vaneese Thomas, Angela Clemmons, Benny Diggs, Fonzie Thornton, Phil Ballou, Darryl Tookes – background vocals