CRAAFT – Craaft [YesterRock remastered +8]

CRAAFT - Craaft [YesterRock remastered +8] full

Many asked for a refresh of this excellent YesterRock Records remastered reissue of CRAAFT self-titled album “Craaft“, including no less than 8 bonus tracks.
Founded by ex- Tokio Klaus Luley and keyboard player Franz Keil around 1983, their aim was recreate the American Melodic Rock / AOR style but with their own German spin; commercial melodic tunes plenty of hooky choruses, chugging guitars and lots of keyboards / synths.
To capture the American sound and and sonic design better, “Craaft” was recorded at Bob Dylan’s studio in New York, produced by Peter Hauke (White Lion), with session drummer Sandy Gennaro (Blackjack, Y&T) behind the skins.
The album sound is typically Mid-Eighties, with most of the songs composed & recorded between 1984-85, but the record was finally released in 1986.

Opener “I Wanna Look In Your Eyes” is the definition of ’80s rockin’ AOR: bombastic drums, synths galore and soaring vocals. Follower “Breakin’ Walls Ain’t Easy” is more Melodic Hard oriented but extremely melodic, same with “Hold Me” although more AOR infused, specially on the killer chorus.

CRAAFT - Craaft [YesterRock remastered +8] booklet

As you suspect with the title, “You’re The Best Thing In My Life” is a heavily orchestrated ballad, and a very good one. “I Guess You Are the Number One” rocks in a commercial Hard Rock fashion, “Stranger” adds some parping keyboards to the mix, while “Now That You’re Gone” slower things with an emotional Euro-AOR feeling.
One of my favorites is “Wasted Years” which has a melodic line similar to Foreigner, and on last track “Cool Town Lovers” Craaft goes a bit more stomping hard rock with strong riffs reminding Swedes’ Glory.

The 8 bonus tracks are the pre-production demos tracked-down when Craaft formed. Although most of them were recorded on an 8 track Fostex tape machine, the sound is quite good. When the band get signed by CBS, they transferred the recordings to a 24 track tape, added some more stuff and re-recorded the vocals.
Some of these songs ended in the debut album, but here are in their original form with different arrangements and lyrics, later polished by Tony Carey. Because of this, some demos still feature some ‘working texts’ by Klaus Luley.

CRAAFT - Craaft [YesterRock remastered +8] back

For a novel band, “Craaft” was a successful album in Europe, presented live all over the continent as a support act with Queen.
Their second album ‘Second Honeymoon’ is superior in production and songwriting, but Craaft’s debut has all the magic of the glorious Mid-Eighties AOR / Melodic Rock sounds blending both the American & European styling.
All is plesent here; sharp guitars, sugary harmonies, lashings of keyboards and a general sense of the bombastic overblown.
A must have for classic ’80s rockin’ AOR aficionados.


01 – I Wanna Look In Your Eyes
02 – Breakin’ Walls Ain’t Easy
03 – Hold Me
04 – You’re the Best Thing In My Life
05 – I Guess You Are The Number One
06 – Stranger
07 – Don’t Wanna Wait No More
08 – Now That You’re Gone
09 – Wasted Years
10 – Cool Town Lovers
11 – I’m A Mover
12 – High, High, High
13 – Takin’ My Time
14 – Don’t Wanna Wait [original version]
15 – Babe, You’re the No.1 [original version]
16 – You’re the Best Thing In My Life [original version]
17 – Cool Town Lovers [original version]
18 – Hold Me [original version]

Klaus Luley – vocals, guitar, bass
Franz Keil – keyboards, backing vocals
Reinhard Besser – guitars, bass, backing vocals
Sandy Gennaro – drums, percussion
Jurgen Zoller – drums



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