WORRALL – Worrall [YesterRock remastered CD]
This one was requested and really worth your attention: the one and only, self titled album by Canadians WORRALL, remastered some time ago by YesterRock.
This AOR outfit was the brainchild of brothers Rick and Steve Worrall started in the ’80s, and the recording of their debut album was some kind of an amazing experience to them.
Working with Jim Gaines, who also has produced Steve Miller Band, Santana, Huey Lewis and Stevie Ray Vaughan, would have been great in itself, but recording in Memphis brought a whole different magical dimension to the project. The studio was owned by Gary Belz and Joe Walsh of the Eagles.
Also personnel is top notch: backing vocals are supplied by none other than the late Jimi Jamison, and additional guitars were tracked by the as well disappeared Shawn Lane (spelled “Sean” in the booklet).
The self-titled album ‘Worrall’ hit the stores via A&M label in 1991, with the single “Heat Of The Night” becoming an top 30 Hit. The CD received extensive airplay and international attention, with great reviews in industry magazines such as Kerrang and Metal Hammer.
Worrall successfully toured Europe and North America until 1993, at which time, Rick Worrall returned to his solo career, producing and writing for others, on which he still is working on today.
It’s a pity they didn’t go on after this marvelous debut album.
The record has a mix of pure Canadian AOR and American melodic rock with a bright and clean sound.
From the opening track “Best Is Still to Come” filled with neat keyboard parts, a smooth pulsating bass line and killer guitar licks contribute to an incredible AOR tune. We can get a glimpse for the quality of the songs and the exceptional musical abilities of all musicians involved.
Second track is another anthem and album highlight, titled “Shadow of a Life”, a song to be heard in full blast, beginning with sparkling catchy keyboards ending to a great guitar solo and an ultra infectious chorus that will blown you away. A track that needs to be played loud.
The melodic surge continues on the racy “I Can’t Stop”, with its powerful chorus supported by exceptional melodic guitar riffs and very nice keys on the background, punctuated by follower “Hard Times” build over a strong synth-pop style that I found sounding very close to fellow Canadians The Works.
“Catch Me” is a heartfelt power ballad, featuring Lane on guitars with a bit of a kick in it and a touching refrain, while “Take a Look Around” has a very American feel.
The band oozes from quality as we can hear on “Heat of the Night” where the harmony guitar riff cooperate incredibly with atmospheric sparkling keys while the astonishing voice of Steve give to us a memorable and catchy chorus to die for.
Worrall surprise us once again with a cover of the late Van Stephenson “Suspicious Heart”, and they do a very commendable version too. Nice keyboard arrangement here.
There’s more to enjoy: the midtempo “You Know” driven by great rhythm guitars and harmony vocals, the light-weighted and feel-good “Summertime Radio”, and the breezy, bluesy workout “Ordinary Man” which close the record.
“Worrall” delivers immaculately produced smooth AOR in the typical Canadian style of the era, and contains enough melodies and catchiness to deserve a place in your collection.
This a very bright remaster by YesterRock, as far I know, it’s out of print now.
01 – Best Is Still To Come
02 – Shadow Of A Lie
03 – You Know
04 – Summertime Radio
05 – Catch Me
06 – Take A Look Around
07 – Heat Of The Night
08 – I Can’t Stop
09 – Hard Times
10 – Suspicious Heart
11 – Ordinary Man
Steve Worrall – lead vocals, guitars
Rick Worrall – lead vocals, keyboards
Chris Brockway – bass
Big Mac – drums
Shawn Lane – guitars
Angelo Earle – guitars
Jim Spake – sax
Don Garbutt – keyboards
Felton Pilate – keyboards, backing vocals
Jimi Jamison – backing vocals
Try it here: