Mr. MISTER – Pull [Sony Japan AOR CITY 1000 Series Vol.2 2017]
Last year we featured some titles from the great Sony Music Japan campaign titled AOR CITY 1000, a low-priced remastered reissue on 100 classic AOR / AC albums from their back catalog, many of them out of print or hard to find. Now the label has presented AOR CITY Series Vol.2 2017, new 100 classic albums available for a limited period of time until the end of 2018.
Among the items purchased, MR. MISTER long time shelved album “Pull” just arrived.
The ’90s seemed pretty brutal for rock bands, especially in the US. In those days before the internet really became a legitimate marketplace for artists to take their music directly to the fans, the industry had their way with bands — treating them like disposable ragdolls.
If they didn’t churn out just what they wanted, they tossed them aside and moved on.
Such is the case for Mr. Mister, who, after two absolutely massive hits in the mid-1980s (“Kyrie,” “Broken Wings”) found they couldn’t (and really didn’t want to) repeat what they’d already done — to the chagrin of their label. After that, they began shifting away toward more “adult” sounds.
The ensuing album, Go On, was dealt pretty a pretty cool reception, but did have one minor hit thanks to a song serving as the title track to the film Stand And Deliver.
The label expected a follow-up with more marketable hits. They didn’t get it. The band broke up. That’s the story we’d known for a long time, but it turned out Mr. Mister went back in the studio, recorded, mixed and fully readied a whole new album.
In the words of a great Tom Petty songs: “their A&R man said ‘I don’t hear a single”
The resulting album was “too artsy,” as future King Crimson drummer Pat Mastelotto puts it in the liner notes. It got shelved, and the band, discouraged, split up.
That album sat out there as a rumor and eventually a bootleg, with only one song officially slipping out to a compilation (“Waiting In My Dreams”).
Twenty years later, it received a proper release as “Pull”, with a fitting update in the form of a remix to bring it in line with modern standards.
The good news is that it’s the best album Mr. Mister ever created. Not the most catchy, but the more mature, elaborated, and I’d say; ‘elegant / intelligent’.
For those who want to scoff at anything ’80s, this may sound like faint praise, but it is not. Where the band had previously created albums that worked mainly as vehicles to deliver some hits, “Pull” picks up where Go On left off, where it seemed that album was too hesitant to go.
The band of ‘Kyrie’ fame is not the band heard on “Pull”, that much is true, but the music is much stronger as a whole.
There was simply no profitable place on radio for a song like the fussion-tinged “Crazy Boy” or the ethereal “We Belong To No One,” fantastic though they may be. This is music too “adult” for simple rock stations and too smart for adult contemporary.
Was the label right, though? Sadly, yes, if the only angle is purely marketing. “Pull” isn’t the album they were looking for, with no ‘Kyrie II’ or ‘More Broken Wings’.
You want to shake your fists at the evil record labels, but had this been released in 1990, it would have disappeared immediately. In short; Mr. Mister’s brilliant “Pull” simply arrived at the wrong time.
As frustrating and unfortunate as it sounds, perhaps fermenting on a shelf is the best thing that could happen to Mr. Mister’s “Pull”.
Divorced two decades from its original recording, it was finally freed from the trends of the time and allowed to exist as-is. Listeners today seem much more forgiving of both throwback music and the mish-mash of genres that Mr. Mister dabble in here.
“Pull” is an album that was worth waiting for, and the more you listen to it, the more you like it. I would urge anyone that has an ounce of musicality and an interest in what GOOD Lite AOR can sound like to purchase this album.
I think all the songs are fantastic. As usual with everything Page and Farris wrote together, there’s that depth of songwriting, where each song grows after each listening. Albums with this type of ‘construction’ are the ones you get stuck on.
The sound quality and manufacturing of this Japanese reissue is excellent.
The original release of “Pull” was done via Richard Page’s own record label, not so easy to find / get world-wide now. So seeing featured in this Japanese AOR CITY Series Vol.2 results more than welcomed. Hurry up, it’s available for a limited period of time until the end of 2018, sold at a really affordable price.
You’ve seen it first here, at 0dayrox
Sony Music Japan ～ 【SICP-5491－ＣＤ】
Ａ Ｏ Ｒ Ｃ Ｉ Ｔ Ｙ １０００ ＶＯＬ ２
01 – Learning To Crawl
02 – Waiting In My Dreams
03 – Crazy Boy
04 – Close Your Eyes
05 – Lifetime
06 – I Don’t Know Why
07 – We Belong To No One
08 – Burning Bridge
09 – No Words To Say
10 – Surrender
11 – Awaya
Richard Page – vocals, bass, guitar
Steve George – keyboards, background vocals, sax
Pat Mastelotto – drums, percussion
Buzz Feiten – guitar (5+6)
Trevor Rabin – guitar (1+5+6+11), bass (1+6+11)
Doug Makaskell – guitar (3+11)
Peter McRea – guitar (9+10)
James Harrah – guitar (12)
Luis Conte – percussion (1+4+8+11)
BUY IT !