JEFF PARIS – Race To Paradise [Bad Reputation remaster +4] (2023) *HQ*

JEFF PARIS - Race To Paradise [Bad Reputation remaster +4] (2023) *HQ* - full
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The name JEFF PARIS is undoubtedly familiar to many American Hard Rock / AOR fans, thanks to his contributions as songwriter to a number of 80s greats (Lita FORD, Y&T, Mr. BIG, VIXEN, XYZ, Stevie SALAS). He also took part in the recording of CINDERELLA’s 1st album (Night Songs) in 1986 as an additional musician, playing keyboards.
Less well known to the general public, this American musician has also had a solo career since the mid-80s. Having started out at the end of the 70s with PIECES, a band that mixed Jazz, Soul and Disco, and then with L.A.X, a Disco band, Jeff Paris finally found his feet in FM / Radio Rock in the Eighties. By the middle of the decade, he had signed to Mercury and was firmly on the road to a hopefully successful solo career.
His first studio album, “Race To Paradise”, appeared in 1986. For the occasion, Jeff Paris was supported by the future drummer of Mr. BIG’s future drummer, Pat Torpey. Jeff Paris’ first solo album navigates the Melodic Rock / AOR waters of the time and will not confuse fans of the genre.
Now reissue label Bad Reputation is releasing “Race To Paradise” for the first time on CD, including four bonus tracks.

You can’t go wrong if you’re a sucker for mid-Eighties stuff. Tracks such as “I’m Better” and “Race To Paradise”, which veer openly towards melodic hard rock, and the mid-tempos “Mystery Girl” and “Hot Love”, are fairly classic in both form and content as they have all the ingredients to please aficionados (good choruses, biting guitars just right, a few layers of keyboards).
Some tracks even stand out from the crowd, notably the midtempo “Don’t Make Promises”, which anticipates what WHITESNAKE will do shortly afterwards in 1987, then MR. BIG with its bluesy overtones,

“Give It Away” is a lively, punchy Big-Rock / Hard US track with a strong melodic framework, Jeff Paris at his best vocally, backing vocals to match, not forgetting a very nice scratch solo, or to a lesser extent “Back On My Knees”, in the air of the times, but sufficiently well-written and well-arranged to be convincing.
All in all, “Race To Paradise” is a well-crafted debut album for Jeff Paris, with its share of good songs, sticky choruses and huge melodies. You can tell why Jeff was one of the most requested songwriter back in the day.
Highly Recommended (contributors get lossless today)

 

01 – I’m Better
02 – Mystery Girl
03 – My Girl
04 – Give It Away
05 – Don’t Make Promises
06 – Back On My Knees
07 – Hot Love
08 – Rock Tonight
09 – Race To Paradise
10 – Saturday Nite (Bonus Track)
11 – One Night Alone (Bonus Track)
12 – Wired Up (Bonus Track)
13 – I Can’t Let Go (Bonus Track)

Lead Vocals, Guitar, Piano, Organ, Synthesizer – Jeff Paris
Keyboards – Bob Marlette
Bass – Roger Fiets
Drums, Backing Vocals – Pat Torpey

Bonus Tracks:
Lead and Rhythm Guitar – Michael Thompson
Bass, Backing Vocals – Gary Moon
Drums, Backing Vocals – Matt Sorum

 

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