The Lost UK Jewels Vol.5 ; UNITED NATIONS – ‘2014’
Many of you fellow AOR collectors will remember the Stoke-on-Trent, UK, based band UNITED NATIONS and their one and only album released through the little label Magnet in 1985. Soon after, the group went their separate ways.
Now 30 years later, original band members Pete Hankey on bass, Chris Stonier on keyboards and drummer Chris Mooney are back, with new vocalist Lee Small (Shy, Snowfall) and Neil ‘Fred’ Thomas on guitar, a fresh contract with SteelHeart Records and brand new music; a CD simply entitled “2014”.
There’s one reason for the title of the new album: half of the songs are re-recorded key tracks from their ’85 vinyl, updated to this new era. But don’t be fooled, even the new songs (recently written) are absolutely moulded in the classic AOR / Melodic Rock sound in Britain during the Eighties.
You can’t go wrong with titles like “The Night That Lasts Forever”, “Black Heart”, “First Move” or “You Cheated”, all filled with melodic guitars, bouncy rhythm section and tons of keyboards in the best Tobruk, Shy, Monro, Peroux tradition, all bands contemporary with United Nations back in the day.
New penned tunes such as “Shock to the System”, “Too Much Information” and “Looks That Kill” have the same UK AOR blueprint from the good all times with harmony choruses all over. They offer solid ballads as well on “I’ll Be Your Man” and the old but current mid-tempo “We Will Live Forever”.
Although self-managed, “2014” was really well produced by veteran Paul Hulme with a warm output enhancing the melodies, which rule here. The guys are seasoned musicians and know what this genre is all about.
The bull’s-eye by the original members of United Nations for this recording was the hiring of Lee Small to handle the lead vocals. With his smooth tone which perfectly fits these velvet melodies he raises the bar of the final product.
Only available on physical CD as part of the “Lost UK Jewels” series distributed by AOR Heaven Records – strictly limited to 500 copies – “2014” by United Nations is a no-brainer purchase for fans of Classic British AOR.
Hurry up, it will be a collectors item soon.
01. The Night That Lasts Forever
02. Looks That Kill
03. You Cheated
04. I’ll Be Your Man
05. First Move
06. Black Heart
07. Shock to the System
08. We Will Live Forever
09. Too Much Information
10. Violation of a Nation
11. Welcome to the Real Time World
Lee Small – Vocals
Chris Stonier – keyboards
Neil ‘Fred’ Thomas – guitars
Pete Hankey – bass
Chris Mooney – drums
BUY IT !