CHINA – Sign In The Sky +10 [Bad Reputation 2xCD Remastered] (2020) *EXCLUSIVE*
Here’s in exclusive the just released Bad Reputation Records 2xCD remastered version of CHINA‘s “Sign In The Sky“, a wonderful slice of late 80s European Melodic Rock / AOR.
To put it short, this is a cracker in the same style of Treat’s “Organized Crime”, Hurricane’s “Slave To The Thrill”, or Black ‘N Blue’s “Nasty Nasty”: a glossy, polished, hugely produced gem for the genre.
Founded in 1987, CHINA made a significant impact with their self-titled debut album and their brand of heavy keyboard laced AOR. Formed by drummer John Dommen and guitarist Freddy Laurence, the duo quickly teamed up with vocalist Math Shiverow, ex-Bloody Six guitarist Claudio Matteo and former Stormbringer bassist Mac Lynn.
Having gained a deal with Polygram, China were assisted in the recording of that first LP by Krokus vocalist Marc Storace, who also contributed backing vocals, while also Krokus guitarist Fernando Von Arb helped with songwriting.
With a major label behind, the Swiss rockers flew to NY to record their 2nd album with Stephan Galfas (Cher, Meat Loaf, Stryper) producing & mixing it at the legendary Electric Lady Studios. More significantly, the record heralded a new era for the band bringing in former Crown vocalist Patrick Mason and new bassist, ex-Killer man Briam Kofmehl, but also a more radio friendly approach.
“Sign In The Sky” is all about Melodic Hard Rock and AOR was for the genre in that magic year (1989): sharp clean guitar riffs, tons of harmony vocals, a bombastic rhythm section, slashes of synths, and powerhouse clean lead vocals by Mason.
The record surprisingly also featured guest backing vocals courtesy of former Grim Reaper vocalist Steve Grimmett.
All songs are very good, melodic, groovy at places, catchy, but the star here is midtempo “In The Middle Of The Night”, one of these bass-pumped AOR tunes essential in your collection if you love this genre.
Interestingly, Mason’s stay in CHINA was extremely short-lived and thus 1991’s ‘Live’ mini-album (included into the bonus CD) introduced CHINA’s third vocalist, Eric St Michaels.
A MUST into your collection, remastered for the first time ever.
Only at 0dayrox
CD 1 :
01 The Great Wall
02 – Dead Lights
03 – Animal Victim
04 – In The Middle Of The Night
05 – Won’t Give It Up
06 – Sign In The Sky
07 – Don’t Ever Say Goodbye
08 – Broken Dream
09 – Second Change
10 – Bitter Cold
11 – Take Your Time
12 – Harder Than Hell
13 – So Long
14 – Wild Jealousy (Bonus Track)
15 – Don’t Look Back (Bonus Track)
CD 2 :
01 – Rock City (Live)
02 – Sign in the Sky (Live)
03 – So Long (Live)
04 – In the Middle of the Night (Live)
05 – Shout It Out (Live)
06 – Proud Mary (Live)
07 – Shout It Out (Bonus Track)
08 – One Shot To The Heart (Bonus Track)
Patrick Mason – vocals
Freddy Laurence – guitars
Claudio Matteo – guitars
Brian Kofmehl – bass
John Dommen – drums
Eric St. Michaels – vocals (Live)