HEARTLAND – Travelling Through Time (2CD Best Of + Unreleased)

HEARTLAND - Travelling Through Time (2CD Best Of + Unreleased) - full

Formed by ex Export, Ian Gillan Band, Shadowman et all guitarist Steve Morris, HEARTLAND started operations in the early Nineties enlisting the man with the golden tonsils, Chris Ousey. It’s been a fruitful relationship that still remains as one of the UK’s premier AOR bands.
Some years ago it was time for a ‘best of’ album comprising selected tracks from their discography plus new songs and unreleased recordings in the form of this “Travelling Through Time” 2CD release.
There are a generous twenty six tracks, in non-chronological order over two discs; some classic songs, one newbie and six previously unreleased tracks (in fact ‘I Believe’ popped up on a Japanese version of ‘Communication Down’ and the top notch version of Foreigner’s ‘Long Long Way From Home’ appeared on Escape Music ‘Millennium Collection 2’).
Most albums get a couple of tracks each but the debut is conspicuous by its absence. Something I’d imagine that’s down to rights reasons rather than a quality control issue. ‘Heartland III’ and ‘As It Comes’ fair best as they get four tracks each, although the former has a couple of those as alternate versions.

Ousey & Morris know exactly the sound they want and have the musicianship to hit that spot with a consistency that means choosing the best tracks is a difficult choice. If you can trace a development in their sound it would be that they’ve gone for more of a band feel as the records have progressed and this has led to a slightly rockier sound.
Ousey, like FM’s Steve Overland, has one of those rich easily recognizable rock voices that oozes class and has the ability to imbue every line with soul. He follows in a long line of great British vocalists who owe a debt to the great Paul Rodgers. From the terrific new upbeat track ‘The Search Goes On’ to ‘Leap Of Faith’ and ‘Best Is Yet To Come’ his phrasing is a joy.

Steve Morris knows how to support a great vocalist, having also written and played with Ian Gillian and the aforementioned Overland in Shadowman. His playing is melodic with riffs and solos that should have meant radio play, tunes built for American FM but it never worked out like that.
Instead they remain the secret pleasure of those of us with our radars tuned to all things AOR.

Everyone will find their own favorites here, or may be surprised by some of the exclusions, but personally the polished ‘Heartland III” songs and the thumping ‘Move On’ tracks included here shake my tree hardest, but there’s not a duff song on the CDs.
While the previously unreleased tracks vary in sound / gain (volume) they still stand shoulder to shoulder songwise with the rest of the material, and for the fan the lure of unheard tracks and the novelty of hearing the tracks in a non sequential order makes this worth a look.
If you’re unacquainted with Heartland this is the perfect place to start.
Highly Recommended


CD 1
01 – Search Goes On (New Track)
02 – Too Sad To Cry
03 – What Ever Gets You Through The Night
04 – A Leap In The Dark
05 – City Of Lights
06 – Voodoo Eyes
07 – Wide Open
08 – Castles In The Sand
09 – The Fall (Previously Unreleased)
10 – These Are The Days (Previously Unreleased)
11 – When Angels Call
12 – Magazine
13 – A Man I’ll Never Be (Previously Unreleased)

CD 2
01 – Best Is Yet To come
02 – Where Ever You Want Me
03 – Elena
04 – Stranger In This City (Previously Unreleased)
05 – Eyes Wide Open
06 – Where The Pieces Fall
07 – I Believe (Previously Unreleased)
08 – Way Of The Buffalo
09 – One Love
10 – The Man In The Iron Mask
11 – Staring Down The Gun
12 – I Count The Days
13 – Long Long Way From Home (Foreigner cover, Prev. Unreleased)

Chris Ousey – Vocals
Steve Morris – Guitars, Bass, Keyboards
Steve Gibson – Drums
Steve Millington – Keyboards


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