NEW ENGLAND – The New England Archives Box [Hear No Evil 5-CD Set] (2019)

NEW ENGLAND - The New England Archives Box [Hear No Evil 5-CD Set] (2019) full

One of the most influential bands from the late Seventies, NEW ENGLAND were way ahead of their time. Despite their lack of commercial success, their slim volume of work with 3 albums – New England (1978), Explorer Suite (1980) and Walking Wild (1981) – staked out a sizeable chunk of popular music territory that unfortunately did not ultimately translate into sales.
Thankfully New England did leave behind plenty of recordings, outtakes, demos, and unreleased songs, now collected by HNE / Cherry Red Records here for the very first time on “The New England Archives Box Volume 1”.
We have no less than 5 CD’s here, and the sound quality is very, very good.

New England formed around the Boston area in the late 70s, featuring John Fannon on guitar and lead vocals, Jimmy Waldo on keyboards, Hirsh Gardner on drums and Gary Shea on bass guitar. After being discovered by famed KISS manager Bill Aucoin, their self-titled debut was issued by Infinity Records in 1979, and produced by KISS’s Paul Stanley along with famed Queen, Asia and Journey producer Mike Stone.
The tracks ‘Hello, Hello, Hello’ (UK No. 69) and ‘Don’t Ever Wanna Lose Ya’ (US No. 40) began to pick up plenty of airplay on AOR radio in the States as the band headed out on a major arena tour opening for KISS.

Switching to Elektra Records, New England followed their debut in 1980 with “Explorer Suite”, this time co-produced by Mike Stone with singer and principle songwriter, John Fannon.
The title track, plus ‘Livin’ In The Eighties’ were released as singles, but didn’t quite manage to capitalise on the airplay from the first LP. “Walking Wild”, their third and final album, also for Elektra, was released in 1981 and produced by Todd Rundgren. With ‘Don’t Ever Let Me Go’, ‘DDT’ and ‘Get It Up’ released as singles, the album had a more harder rocking approach, but unfortunately the band split up shortly after its release, in 1982.

Hirsh Gardner, Jimmy Waldo and Gary Shea would initially put together the short lived Warrior with Vincent Cusano (better known as KISS’s Vinnie Vincent), before Waldo and Shea joined Graham Bonnet in Alcatrazz in 1983, initially with guitar virtuoso Yngwie J. Malmsteen, and then Steve Vai, whilst Gardner went into production work, and eventually a solo career.

All the 5 discs of previously unreleased material reveal so much. For fans, the first 3 are an enthralling magic carpet ride through the tracks written and worked on for the debut, in various US Studios, with the third disc containing the oven ready rough mixes.
A fascinating evolution of ‘Hello Hello, Hello’, ‘Don’t Ever Wanna Lose Ya’, ‘Alone Tonight’ and ‘Nothing To Fear’, takes place through these 3 discs, as four great songs develop from raw and vaguely derivative material into something memorably original. Eventually blossoming into the career defining final versions.
As said, sound quality is really good.

Disc 4 is something of an historical recording, containing the rough mixes for second album ‘Explorer Suite’, plus 7 tracks from John Fannon’s pre New England band, Target.
Even in these rough mixes you can hear their voice. They sound more confident now. Legendary producer Mike Stone seems to be pushing them hard into a “more is more” mindset.

Then Disc 5 contains the rough mixes for the planned, but never finished fourth album. Failure at the box office does that to you. There’s clearly a more mature approach to songwriting and arranging here.
They’d learned from Todd Rundgren’s not entirely successful stint at the production helm on ‘Walking Wild’, the band’s third release. The music veers from Lite Progressive Rock to Top Forty New Wave to Pomp.
It was a talented band moving forward with ambition and style.

“The New England Archives Box Vol 1” has been drawn and compiled from the band’s own collections of tapes and personal recordings, all cleaned and remastered obtaining a superb sound quality. Some of these takes are equally and even better than the final versions.
A must for Pomp fans, and quality rock music of all time.
HIGHLY Recommended


Earmark Studios, Philadelphia, 1978:
01 – Alone Tonight
02 – Nothing To Fear
03 – Candy
04 – I Will Be There
05 – Shoot
06 – Don’t Ever Wanna Lose Ya
07 – Hello, Hello, Hello
08 – Even When I’m Away
09 – Searchin’
10 – Turn Out The Light

Blizzard Tape, New England, 1978:
01 – P.U.N.K. (Puny Undernourihed Kid)
02 – Hey You’re On The Run
03 – Shall I Run Away
04 – I Let You Love Me
05 – Bite The Bullet
06 – You’ll Be Born Again
Earmark Studios, Philadelphia, 1978:
07 – Turn Out The Light
08 – Searchin’
09 – I Will Be There
10 – Candy
11 – Even When I’m Away
12 – Nothing To Fear
13 – It’s So Easy
Intermedia Studios, Boston, 1975:
14 – Familiar Faces

‘New England LP’ 1978 Rough Mix Before Electric Lady:
01 – Hello, Hello, Hello
02 – Shoot
03 – Nothing To Fear
04 – Alone Tonight
05 – Don’t Ever Wanna Lose Ya
06 – Shall I Run Away
07 – P.U.N.K. (Puny Undernourihed Kid)
08 – The Last Show
09 – Encore
10 – Turn Out The Light
11 – The Last Show (Trident Studio Rough Mixes, London, 1978)
12 – Don’t Ever Wanna Lose Ya (Trident Studio Rough Mixes, London, 1978)

‘Explorer Suite’ Intermedia Rough Mixes
01 – Seal It With A Kiss
02 – It’s Never Too Late
03 – Livin’ In The Eighties
04 – Hope
05 – Conversation
06 – No Place To Go
07 – Hey You’re On The Run
08 – Honey Money
09 – Searchin’
10 – You’ll Be Born Again
11 – Seal It With A Kiss (alternate version)
12 – It’s Never Too Late (Jim Boyer Mix, 1980)
Target Demos:
13 – Rock Is Here To Stay (John Fannon & Kenny Melle Vocals)
14 – Little Girl (John Fannon Vocals)
15 – Is This What You Want (John Fannon & Kenny Melle Vocals)
16 – Nothing To Fear (John Fannon & Kenny Melle Vocals)
17 – Mixed Feeling (John Fannon & Kenny Melle Vocals)
18 – Love Of My Own (John Fannon Vocals)
19 – Goodbye Goodbye (John Fannon Vocals)

Unreleased 4th Album recordings:
01 – Angel (Demo)
02 – Back On The Streets Again (Demo)
03 – Headchopper (Demo)
04 – Heat Of The Ocean (Mono Demo)
05 – How Can I Let You Know (Mono Demo)
06 – I’m In The Middle (Demo)
07 – I’m Not Down (Mono Demo)
08 – Love Never Stops (Mono Demo)
09 – Marlena (Demo)
10 – Marlena (Mono Demo)
11 – Take Another Ride (Demo)



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