HOUSE OF LORDS – Anthology [Unreleased Songs, New Versions & Live] (2015)
Many melodic hard rock fans didn’t take notice that HOUSE OF LORDS‘ album “Anthology” isn’t just the usual ‘Best Of’ studio hits, instead, this is a stellar compilation of unreleased tracks, rare pre-production demos and live recordings.
Produced, engineered and mixed by the band’s original drummer Ken Mary, the sound quality of the material included into “Anthology” is top notch.
House Of Lords’ foundations lay in Giuffria, led by titular keyboardist Gregg Giuffria. After being dropped by MCA after their second album Silk And Steel, the band started demoing songs for a tentative third album.
While shopping for a new deal, the band caught the attention of Kiss’ Gene Simmons, who happened to be starting his own label at the time, Simmons Records. The famous bassist enjoyed what he heard, but would only sign them on the condition of starting a new band from the scratch.
So the remaining Giuffria members, namely Gregg Giuffria, guitarist Lanny Cordola and bass player Chuck Wright, would enlist the talents of Alice Cooper drummer Ken Mary.
Connecticut-born James Christian was then brought in at the suggestion of – and previous companion in L.A. Rocks – Chuck Wright.
But before the release of House Of Lords self-titled debut, there was a lot of rehearsal, songwriting sessions and pre-production recordings. Many of these songs are here in “Anthology”.
We have here two newly recorded versions of ‘I Wanna Be Loved’ (the single that started it all) and the hit ‘Can’t Find My Way Home’.
Then we have the pre-production demos from 1988-1990. There are some real belters on here, especially the unreleased tracks.
‘Dangerous Woman’ is a killer bluesy hard rocker plenty of harmony vocals and swirling keyboards, performed by talented keyboardist John Purdell (Heart, Ted Nugent), who also co-wrote the song.
‘Hold Back The Night’ is monster power ballad that I can’t believe the band never included into any of their albums, while ‘Hero’s Song’ is a slow tune with great atmospheres.
Another superb unreleased track is ‘The Legend Lives On’, composed by Wright and Bruce Gowdy (Unruly Child), a fantastic keyboard-driven AOR tune with a classic Giuffria feel on it. This song alone worth this CD. AWESOME tune.
‘Bad Bones’ is a classic bluesy hard rock track which brings to mind Mr. Big, then ‘Beyond The Pale’ is a driving rocker with some Whitesnake on it, with a busy guitar work.
There’s different, pre-production demo versions of ‘Chains Of Love’, ‘Kiss Of Fire’ and ‘Sahara’, a rare experimental take on ‘American Babylon’ done with Greek instruments, a very good live recordings done in The Netherlands in 1989.
“Anthology” is a must have melodic hard rock album, showcasing how talented House Of Lords where at the time, even in a pre-production stage.
01 – I Wanna Be Loved [New Version]
02 – Can’t Find My Way Home [New Version]
03 – Dangerous Woman [Unreleased]
04 – Hold Back The Night [Unreleased]
05 – Chains Of Love [pre-Production Demo]
06 – The Legend Lives On [Unreleased]
07 – Sahara [pre-Production Demo]
08 – Hero’s Song [Unreleased]
09 – Kiss Of Fire [pre-Production Demo]
10 – Bad Bones [Unreleased]
11 – Beyond The Pale [Unreleased]
12 – Looking For Strange [Live 1989]
13 – Edge Of Your Life [Live 1989]
14 – Lanny’s Solo [Live 1989]
15 – Under Blue Skies [Live 1989]
16 – American Babylon [Experimental Version]
James Christian – lead vocals
Gregg Giuffria – keyboards
Lanny Cordola – guitars
Chuck Wright – bass
Ken Mary – drums, percussion
Doug Aldrich – guitar
John Purdell – keyboards
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