Saturday, April 8, 2017

707 - The Bridge [reissue] (2016)

BLACK ACES - Shot In The Dark [European CD version +3] (2016) full

After the 707's Rock Candy Records remastered releases featured here, one of you asked for the band's 'lost album', "The Bridge", recently reissued at the end of past year with refreshed artwork. While still signed by Casablanca Records and after The Second Album, 707 recorded a third, tentatively named "The Bridge", but had to be shelved when Casablanca finally bankrupt.
The studio sessions featured new keyboardist / guitarist Tod Howarth who clearly influenced the band to a more straight AOR sound, but the recordings languished unreleased for almost 20 years due to contract disputes.

With renowned producer John Stronach (Roadmaster, Fortress), 707 forged here a strong collection of songs still retaining some of the Pomp Rock from their origins but combined with a straight-ahead, punchy AOR / Melodic Rock sound which the likes of Journey or Survivor were developing at the same time, a style plenty crystallized on 707's following record 'Mega Force'.

Opener 'Leader' blend powerful riffs with some Styx / Boston melodies resulting in a killer AOR / Pomp little gem. 'Hungry For Your Love' add that classic honky tonk piano which made early 707 so unique, then 'You're All I Need' is a classic anthemic early '80s AOR tune filled with soaring vocals akin the aforementioned Survivor.
'Want Your Love' has a bit of Foreigner on it and I like it! More Pomp sounds arrive with the delicious 'Sirens Of The Sea', followed by the radio-friendly 'Message From A Friend', another highlight for me.

More bluesy melodic rock is found on 'Love You 'Til I Die', for a effective hard rocker check 'Head Over Heels', if you need an atmospheric midtempo 'Walking Out' will satisfy your needs.
'Couldn't Be Better' makes justice to its title, love the main hook, the chord progressions and the vocal arrangements.
Title track 'The Bridge' is a pompy, short instrumental, where new kid Tod Howarth delivers a terrific keyboard work ala Gregg Giuffria.

This reissue include 3 bonus tracks, songs taped during the same sessions; the catchy midtempo 'The Waiting Game' sporting a contagious chorus (prime AOR), the sweet 'The Girl With The Broken Heart' with a REO Speedwagon-esque balladry on it, and 'Perfect Lies', a radio ready AOR tune with hooks galore.

It's a crime that 707's "The Bridge' wasn't released back in a day because it perfecly fits the AOR / Melodic Rock requirements to make it big in the early '80s.
Somehow a lost piece of classic stuff that, fortunately, now is available for all fan's from the genre rejoice.
HIGHLY Recommended

01 - Leader
02 - Hungry for You
03 - You're ALL I Need
04 - Want Your Love
05 - Sirens of the Sea
06 - Message from a Friend
07 - Love You Till I Die
08 - Head Over Heels
09 - Walking Out on Love
10 - Couldn't Be Better
11 - The Bridge
12 - The Waiting Game
13 - The Girl with the Broken Heart
14 - Perfect Lies

Phil Bryant - vocals, bass
Kevin Russel - guitar
Tod Howarth - keyboards, guitar
Jim McClarty - drums



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