GEORGE GAKIS & VERY SPECIAL FRIENDS – Too Much Ain’t Ever Enough (retail CD)
Here we have another request, the not easy to find “Too Much Ain’t Ever Enough” by GEORGE GAKIS & VERY SPECIAL FRIENDS released by Perris Records some time ago.
George Gakis is a well known singer / musician in Greece, fronting the hard rock band The Troublemakers since the early 90s with three albums under their belt. Lately he has become the most important Rock festival promoter in his homeland meeting big names such as Kip Winger, members of Whitesnake, Scorpions, Bon Jovi, etc.
So it’s not strange that for his solo debut CD “Too Much Ain’t Ever Enough” we find collaborating names such as Joe Lynn Turner, Scorpions members, etc.
The pre-production of the songs started with Gakis working together with his musical right-hand and friend guitarist Nikos Zouros, from The Troublemakers.
Thanks to his connections as promoter, Gakis recruited an impressive list of guest star appearances including Joe Lynn Turner doing a lead vocals, drummers Bobby Rondinelli (ex Rainbow), James Kottak (Scorpions), Mark Cross (Outloud), and many more musicians.
But the most important contribution comes from no-other than Kip Winger co-producing, mixing & mastering, who has given to “Too Much Ain’t Ever Enough” a polished and crisp sound.
The style of the album is traditional Hard Rock strongly influenced by the Americanized Whitesnake with a melodic approach and some catchiness on the choruses.
This is clear on opener “I Married Trouble”, the contagious “License For Love” and the driving “Rebellious Son”. Also on one of the best tracks on offer here, “When Opposites Attract”, this time with a Rainbow-esque feel as well, complete with a cleverly arranged string section.
“Fame” reminds you Nineties Kingdom Come, and the enchanting “It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over” is a power ballad in the British style with all that classy atmospherics.
We find American influences too, heard on the melodic rocker “Street Of Broken Dreams” (featuring Joe Lynn Turner), the climatic midtempo “Under My Skin” (in the vein of Slaughter), or the Ken Tamplin sounding title track “Too Much Ain’t Never Enough”.
“Days Of Rock ‘N’ Roll” is a rockin’ tritute to the ’80s glory day of the genre, featuring a classic riff & chorus and a melodic, anthemic solo.
“Too Much Ain’t Ever Enough” is a surprisingly good traditional Hard Rock album with a Melodic Rock approach in terms of sound. Don’t expect raw guitars or screams here, all is really melodic, polished and crispy. The songwriting is more than solid, influenced by the masters of the genre but with a personal touch.
The unknown to me Nick Zouros is a complete guitar player which riffs, melodic solos and occasional keyboards orchestrates the music where the deep and well defined vocals of Gakis – a mix between ’80s Coverdale and Ken Tamplin – flows easily.
I am really delighted by the excellent production, which enhances the tight performances of all the musicians involved. Remarkable is the drum work (and the sound obtained) by Mark Cross and guest legends Bobby Rondinelli / James Kottak.
You will be truly pleased by the classic sounds of “Too Much Ain’t Ever Enough”, believe me.
01 – I Married Trouble (feat. Mark Cross)
02 – Fame (feat. Mark Cross)
03 – Street of Broken Dreams (feat. Joe Lynn Turner)
04 – Days Of Rock ‘N’ Roll (feat. Mark Cross)
05 – When Opposites Attract (feat. Bobby Rondinelli & Greg Smith)
06 – Too Much Ain’t Never Enough (feat. James Kottak)
07 – License For Love (feat. Mark Cross)
08 – Under My Skin (feat. Mark Cross)
09 – Rebellious Son (feat. Mark Cross)
10 – It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over (feat. Mark Cross)
11 – Mi Me Koitas (feat. Yiannis Spathas) [bonus track]
George Gakis – vocals, guitar
Nick Zouros – guitars, keyboards
Kostas “J” Tzounis – bass
Diamandis Karagiannakidis – keyboards
Mark Cross (Helloween, Firewind, Outloud) – drums
Joe Lynn Turner – vocals
Bobby Rondinelli (Rainbow, Black Sabbath) – drums
James Kottak (Scorpions, Kingdom Come) – drums
Greg Smith (Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent) – bass
Yiannis Spathas (Socrates) – guitar
Babis Saganas – guitar
Byron Tsourapis – mandolin
Panayiotis Voulgaris – string quartet arrangements
Produced by George Gakis & Kip Winger
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