DRIVE, SHE SAID – Drivin’ Wheel +3 (AOR Heaven Classix digitally remastered) 
Specialized German label AOR Heaven, through their ‘AOR Heaven Classix‘ series, has reissued Digitally Remastered with bonus tracks the first two -and best- DRIVE, SHE SAID albums.
This New York based AOR project was initially put together as a solo venture by former American Tears and pomp giants Touch leader, the talented singer, keyboardist and composer Mark Mangold. But soon lead vocalist / multi-instrumentalist Al Fritsch joined the project, and Drive She Said born.
Although both play most of the instruments, several first class session cats and artists provided their skills on both records.
“Drivin’ Wheel” was the second effort from Drive She Said, and my favorite. But to be honest, both first records from Mangold / Fritsch are pure Melodic Rock / AOR gems.
Follow-up to the majestic self-titled debut, “Drivin’ Wheel” is much harder at times which perfectly fits the two main protagonists and their fellow musicians like guitarist Tony Bruno of Danger Danger fame, Canadian melodic rock icon Aldo Nova, From The Fire’s bassist Paul St. James, or Fiona & Benny Mardones on backing vocals among others.
With a vocal style like a cross between Lou Gramm & Joe Lynn Turner, Al Fritsch’s leads soar on all tracks, perfectly complemented by Mangold backing vocal harmonies & keyboard flurries, plus a sharp guitar work of all involved.
On songs like “Veil Of Tears”, title track “Drivin’ Wheel”, the diamond “Hard To Hold” (with great guitars by Aldo Nova) or “It Just Keeps Comin” (just check Tony Bruno’s awesome guitar solo), Drive She Said sounds quite Melodic Hard, akin Foreigner.
But Mangold can’t fight with his AOR heart, and the awesome opener “Think Of Love” and the terrific, pure ’80s mid-tempo atmosphere of “It’s Gonna Take A Miracle” are the highlights. Both alone worth this album, but there’s more!
Just check the superb ballad “When You Love Someone” (with Benny Mardones contributing greatly), the melodic rock version of Bad Company’s “Can’t Get Enough”, or the anthemic “Just For The Moment”.
DRIVE, SHE SAID’s “Drivin’ Wheel” is not usually mentioned on Melodic Rock / AOR ‘top of all time lists’, but it’s a genre milestone. All tracks a simply awesome, the arrangements are unique, and the melodies top notch.
Digitally Remastered by Chris Lyne, this AOR Heaven remaster sounds fantastic, and we have 3 excellent previously unreleased tracks (really good pre-production sound). Don’t miss the ‘action movie AOR’ of “Never Say Never”… its title says all.
“Drivin’ Wheel +3 AOR Heaven Classix” is strictly limited to 500 copies, so do not waste more time and grab you copy NOW, this is a MUST HAVE in any Melodic Hard Rock / AOR collection.
01 – Think Of Love
02 – Drivin’ Wheel
03 – Hard To Hold
04 – When You Love Someone
05 – Can’t Get Enough
06 – Veil Of Tears
07 – It’s Gonna Take A Miracle
08 – It Just Keeps Comin’
09 – Just For The Moment
10 – Do You Believe
11 – Never Say Never [bonus track]
12 – You Never Know With Magic [bonus track]
13 – Hold My Heart [bonus track]
Al Fritsch; vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards
Mark Mangold: keyboards, backing vocals, drums
Tony Bruno: guitar on tracks 2, 4, 8
Aldo Nova: guitar on track 3
Paul St. James: bass on tracks 1,2 6
Rick Kolster: 12-string guitar on track 3
Ray DeTone: additional guitars on track 8
Benny Mardones: backing vocals track 4
Fiona: backing vocals tracks 8, 10
George Morton, Perrita Kitson, Mike Charzuk: backing vocals
BUY IT !