SPYS – Spys [Rock Candy remaster]
If we talk about classy AOR era, specially coming from America, the 1982-1987 period is the holy grail for the genre. Rock Candy Records specialists are stalwarts to rescue these gems and remaster them in all its glory. And this is the case with both SPYS albums, must have pieces in your collection.
Operating stealth like in a world occupied by huge platinum selling AOR / melodic rock bands, SPYS were one of many who failed to achieve a level of commercial recognition befitting their stupendous creativity.
There was no real explanation for this lack of success except perhaps that the market was both crowded and that lady luck had set her sights on other more convenient suitors.
Based in New York, SPYS were formed by two former members of platinum rockers Foreigner, that’s bassist Ed Gagliardi and keyboardist Al Greenwood, two men looking to make a splash with a similar sound.
Teaming up with the remnants of well-respected local Beatles tribute band Harpy, they assembled an inventive melodic AOR style that took its cue from not only Foreigner but also the progressive art rock sounds of the ’70s.
Identified as potential hit makers several labels made overtures to sign them, with EMI America winning the battle.
Issued in 1982, SPYS self-titled debut was recorded at New York’s seminal Electric Ladyland Studios with top British studio wizzard Neil Kernon (Queensryche, Kansas, Dokken) at the production helm, helping to fashion one of the most arresting AOR albums of the early 80s.
Opening track, ‘Don’t Run My Life’ and the superb ballad ‘Hold On (When You Feel You’re Falling)’ are genre classics, pushing at the same boundaries as Journey, whilst the operatic ‘Don’t Say Goodbye’ fully exposes their art rock roots.
Don’t forget the kickin’ rocker ‘Over Her’ and the awesome keyboard driven ‘Ice Age’ and ‘Into The Night’,both terrific examples of Spy’s quality and early ’80s US AOR genius.
“Spys” self-titled was one of the albums that made me embrace this genre forever.
All songs are awesome, performances top notch and production, simply brilliant. This Rock Candy treatment is warm and sweet, bringing to the front a stronger bass presence plus clearer vocals.
Are you an AOR / Melodic freak? You must have this one in your collection.
01 – Don’t Run My Life
02 – She Can’t Wait
03 – Ice Age
04 – Danger
05 – Over Here
06 – Desiree
07 – Don’t Say Goodbye
08 – Into The Night
09 – Hold On (When You Feel You’re Falling)
10 – No Harm Done
John Blanco – lead vocals
John DiGaudio – guitar, vocals
Ed Gagliardi – bass, vocals
Al Greenwood – keyboards, vocals
Billy Milne – drums, vocals
BUY IT !