JOHN NORUM – Total Control +6 [Rock Candy Remastered] (2020) *EXCLUSIVE*
Guitarist JOHN NORUM left Europe in 1986 at the very height of their popularity, and soon after released his first solo album, “Total Control“, now wonderfully remastered by Rock Candy Records with the addition of 6 bonus tracks.
Recruiting a new backing band of long-time musical friends (including Marcel Jacob, a former Europe member on bass) and Göran Edman for lead vocals, “Total Control” mix Europe’s melodic side with an edgy, guitar driven hard rock sound.
This remaster is terrific, and the bonus track real pearls; the live version of Thin Lizzy’s ‘Bad Reputation’ worth this CD alone.
Parting ways was a shocking decision for Norum considering that he had been a founding member of Europe (and its predecessor Force) for seven years and seemed so musically at ease with their exciting and successful brand of melodic rock.
There was a lot of head scratching and amazement that someone with his fortitude and talent could turn his back on mass adoration and financial security by leaving Europe to follow his own muse.
But all was not lost as John’s game plan was simple and deftly executed, setting course for a well received solo career.
Norum continued writing songs with Marcel Jacob – a former Europe member and later founder of Talisman with Jeff Scott Soto, Last Autumn’s Dream, et all – in fact, according to Jacob, most songs on this album were written by him for his earlier band Power.
Anyway, Norum continued his relationship with Swedish executives at the Sony label he redefined his ambitions away from the lighter melodic rock / pop-rock AOR path of Europe.
This time around the music was harder, heavier and full of serious conviction, allowing John to unleash full on guitar work, woven within leaner and meaner songs. Whilst his soloing had always been impressive, on this first solo record he shows all his potential.
Centre stage on three tracks was vocalist Goran Edman whose forceful and melodic voice is delightfully mature, lending the material a worldclass sheen. Indeed, Norum’s own voice was just as splendid.
Songs such as ‘Let Me Love You’ or the Whitesnake-influenced ‘Blind’ and ‘Someone Else Here’ set an impressive standard. Oh, and look out for the choice cover of the Vinnie Vincent penned ‘Back On The Streets’.
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01 – Let Me Love You
02 – Love Is Meant To Last Forever
03 – Too Many Hearts
04 – Someone Else Here
05 – Eternal Flame
06 – Back On The Streets
07 – Blind
08 – Law Of Life
09 – We’ll Do What It Takes Together
10 – In Chase Of The Wind
11 – Wild One
12 – Free Birds in Flight
13 – Eternal Flame (Live)
14 – Don’t Believe a Word (Live)
15 – Blind (Live)
16 – Bad Reputation (Live)
John Norum – All guitars, lead and backing vocals
Marcel Jacob – Bass guitar
Göran Edman – Lead and backing vocals
Per Blom – Keyboards
Peter Hermansson – Drums
Micke Larsson – Fretless bass on “Too Many Hearts”
Mats Lindfors – Backing vocals on “Law of Life”
Max Lorentz – Hammond organ on “Law of Life”
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