the REAL one
Specialists at Rock Candy Records have 'Remastered & Reloaded" all-three first albums from American melodic rockers 707, one of the most distinctive sounds of any band emerging from the late 70s.
While most this genre acts of the era were powered almost exclusively by loud guitars, in their self-titled, debut album "707", the quartet twist in style was the prominent use of grand piano as a lead instrument alongside the guitar.
Amazingly, however, this didn’t in anyway compromise their power.
Indeed, the piano became a method of musical propulsion that lent them a unique and instantly identifiable character - something that already Toto was doing.
Formed in Los Angeles during the late '70s, and led by guitarist / vocalist Kevin Russell and keyboard player Duke McFadden, this talented four-piece scored a coveted record deal with the Casablanca label, one of the hottest companies operating at the time.
"707" made an instant impact, encouraging comparisons to Toto, REO Speedwagon and Chicago. The songs were well written, superbly performed and imbued with a sense of maturity far outstripping their relatively tender years of existence.
It was also a record that took everyone by surprise, including their label, when the opening track, ‘I Could Be Good For You’, emerged as an unlikely hit single when radio stations in America’s heartland started to play the song of their own accord.
But that’s not to say they were a one trick pony as the record contained a number of tremendous tracks that veered from power pop to hard rockin’ gems and everything in between.
But, according to time (early '80s) first album "707" also has a strong Pomp AOR essence.
Those fans of this genre will find here all the trademark ingredients required like busy musicianship, tempo shifts, grandiose orchestral arrangements, bombastic choruses and a lot of guitar / keyboard interplay. The 'big' rhythm section reinforces this feeling with reverb drums.
The aforementioned 'I Could Be Good For You' is one of the greatest singles appeared in the early ‘80s armed with a glorious chorus. 'Let Me Live My Life' is an uptempo rocker where McFadden's piano made 707's so unique and Kevin Russell's guitar riffs are strong.
We have a polished orchestrated ballad on 'One Way Highway', then on 'Save Me' and 'You Who Needs To Know' are where that lovely keyboard / guitar duel appear.
'Slow Down', despite its title is pretty bombastic, while 'Feel This Way' is another energetic track plenty of biting guitar work and a killer AOR chorus.
'Waste Of Time' has very original time changes, while closer 'Whole Lot Better' showcases 707 Pompy credentials again with keyboard runs, guitar solos and orchestrated passages.
"707" is one of the most underrated and criminally unknown Pomp rock albums of all time.
It's plenty of sweet, commercial mainstream poppy melodies too, so why this band didn't break into the major leagues is beyond me. Well, there were many troubles with the recording label, but that's something to revisit into the band's second album review.
A very welcomed remaster by Rock Candy on this HIGHLY Recommended album.
01 - I Could Be Good for You
02 - Let Me Live My Life
03 - One Way Highway
04 - Save Me
05 - You Who Needs to Know
06 - Slow Down
07 - Feel This Way
08 - Waste of Time
09 - Whole Lot Better
Kevin Russell - vocals, guitars
Duke McFadden - vocals, keyboards, acoustic guitars
Phil Bryant - bass, vocals
Jim McClarty - drums, percussion
BUY IT !