HESS – Living In Yesterday [reissue 2017]
Some years ago, for those melodic rockers waiting for a Harem Scarem reunion, the band’s front man Harry HESS solo album “Living In Yesterday” was some kind of a balm. Recently reissued by Frontiers Music, the album is a collection of wonderful melodious tunes in the vein of the classic Harem Scarem sound.
Maybe it’s the inclusion in this recording of some of his old band mates or maybe it’s due to the keyboards giving way in favor of more guitar, but basically, Hess wanted to do an AOR album again. In any case what we have here are ten super strong songs sung in masterful fashion by Harry Hess.
“Living In Yesterday”, the title track, is a bombastic, fist-in-the-air backlit by blistering banks of 10 kilowatt lights: pure of anthemic rock.
“Reach For You” is an uptempo yet wistful rocker where you can hear the great Marcie Free (Unruly child, King Kobra) doing delicious harmony vocals, while the Richard Marx-like “It’s Over” is prevented from becoming a soppy ballad through the aggressive vocal burn that Hess is able to deliver.
The commercial melodic rock of ‘Don’t Leave Me’ is another example of Hess’ imploring and impassioned vocal delivery.
“I Live For You” is the best ballad Def Leppard never wrote and is vocally very close to the Mutt Lange sound that made both Leppard and Bryan Adams the dominant forces they were in the ’80s and early ’90s!
“I Don’t Wanna Want You” even ventures modern rock&pop with its punchy up-tempo beat and catchy chorus, a track arranged by Tommy Denander and where he play various instruments.
“Living In Yesterday” is a gem of a Melodic Rock / AOR album and deserves to be a huge hit. There isn’t a duff track on this CD and I find myself wondering how this man is not better known outside Melodic Rock circles. This album has the potential to reach all type of audiences.
It has all the elements required for success: great songs, catchy as hell choruses, memorable hooks, great musicianship and slick production (handled by Hess himself, a skilled knob-twiddler).
Everything here has that USA Summer radio hit sound going on and whilst the sound is quite modern there are enough classic elements to make you think back to the late ’80s and that golden era of quality AOR music and hit singles.
If you love Harem Scarem (who does not?) and find yourself yearning for those far off days then this is an album you will love.
01 – Living In Yesterday
02 – Reach For You
03 – It’s Over
04 – Don’t Leave Me
05 – What If
06 – Nothing Lasts Forever
07 – Falling Down
08 – I Live For You
09 – I Don’t Wanna Want You
10 – Where To Run
Harry Hess: Vocals, keyboards, additional guitars
Peter Lesperance (Harem Scarem): Guitars, Bass
Creighton Doane (Harem Scarem): Drums
Howie Simon (Jeff Scott Soto): Guitar solos on ‘What If’ & ‘It’s Over’
Magnus Karlsson (Primal Fear): Guitar solo on ‘Living In Yesterday’
Chris Green: Guitar solo on ‘Where To Run’
Tommy Denander: Guitar & Keyboards on ‘I Don’t Wanna Want You’
Darren Smith: Backing vocals on songs 4, 10
Marcie Free: Backing vocals on songs 1, 2 & 3
BUY IT !