RETURN – V (AOR Heaven Digitally Remastered 2020) *EXCLUSIVE*
AOR Heaven Records has just remastered “V“ (Five), probably the best album of Norwegian melodic rockers RETURN, featured here in exclusive at 0dayrox.
The record sounds way ‘more international’ than Return’s first four efforts, as it successfully combines the typical American stadium rock sound with a little bit of British hard in the vein of Whitesnake, and the band’s signature Scandinavian AOR style.
Produced by expert Ole Evenrude and including backing vocals by Jorn Lande, this is a must listen for all Melodic Rock / AOR fans.
Although never offered the same opportunities compatriots TNT and Stage Dolls enjoyed in venturing into the US and British markets, Norwegian melodic hard rock band Return nevertheless have carved their own place in the annals of rock history, with a quite illustrious career to boast of in their own right.
The band’s fifth album, ‘V’, remastered / reissued courtesy of AOR Heaven, perfectly captures what Return were all about.
Comprised of Knut Erik Østgård (v), Steinar Hagen (g), Tore Larsen (b) and Øyvind Håkonsen (d), Return were founded in the early ’80s combining various influences from punk, ska, disco, pop and hard rock drawing major inspiration from British bands such as Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden, Praying Mantis and The Police.
By the mid ’80s there was certainly a very interesting music scene happening in Norway, too, with the likes of the aforementioned TNT, Stage Dolls and other emerging acts, including Da Vinci.
Winning a band competition got Return a deal with ARCO records, eventually resulting in the debut ‘To The Top’ (1987) arousing interest with majors like CBS who signed them for the next three records,
‘Attitudes’ (1988),’Straight Down The Line’ (1989) and ‘Fourplay’ (1991) leading the band to basically constantly tour from 1987 to 1994 and develop musically and form some kind of Return brotherhood.
For ‘V’, with its slightly more international approach, the band followed their label managers to EMI Norway. Recordings took place during the summer of 1992 in Glen Studio in Stockholm and the mix in Studio Nova in Norway.
Unfortunately, soon after grunge struck Norway, too, and after yet again some extensive touring, in 1994 Return decided to take a break which actually lead to a six year hiatus.
Return’s, uh, return to action occurred in the year 2000 when a best of compilation sold a total of 120.000 copies!
Being the strongest effort so far, Return still play a considerable amount of the songs from ‘V’ in their sets of their occasional live appearances.
Outstanding tracks like “Take This Heart“ or “Ridin’ On A Rainbow“ would have been major hits back then in a world – without grunge in 1992, of course.
Frontman Knut Erik Østgård has that classy Scandi touch, the songs are catchy and melodic, and the production is really big time.
2020 is a year to celebrate. It is 40 years since four young guys met in a small rehearsal room and started to make great music together.
This AOR Heaven re-issue – remastered by melodic rock specialist Chris Lyne – sounds amazing. Strictly limited to 1000 copies.
Only at 0dayrox
01 – Life Must Go On
02 – Take This Heart
03 – Tonight
04 – Goin’ Back
05 – Friends Will Be Friends
06 – Room In Your Life
07 – Ridin’ On A Rainbow
08 – Straight Across My Heart
09 – Lion’s Eye
10 – All Or Nothing
Knut Erik Oestgaard – vocals
Steinar Hagen – guitars
Tore Larsen – bass, keys
Oyvind Haakonsen – drums
Baard Torstensen – slide guitar on tracks 4 and 10
Daffy Larsen – harmonica
Jorn Lande, Ole Evenrude, Hans Olav Solli, Haakon Iversen – backing vocals