1994 – ST [Rock Candy Remastered +4]
1994 were one of the greatest North American hard rock bands that time and tide has indeed forgotten. Fortunately Rock Randy Records ‘Remastered & Reloaded‘ the band’s debut “1994“, with four bonus tracks, an album you need to check if you love Heart / Ann Wilson.
Signed in a blaze of publicity to the mighty A&M label, produced by studio wizard Jack ‘Aerosmith’ Douglas and hailed as the next big thing, 1994 never quite made the commercial impact all had hoped for.
When released, Geoff Barton, writing for Sounds magazine (now Editor of Classic Rock Magazine), made no secret of his love for 1994’s self-titled debut album, acclaiming it as “one of the year’s best releases – a deadly yet cool combination of Heart and Aerosmith”.
Born and raised in Anaheim, California, Karen Lawrence grew up in a musical family. Aged 19, she fronted L.A. Jets, recording a self-titled album in 1976. But soon their label dropped the band.
Then Karen and drummer John Desautels decided to go on under the name of 1994, adding guitarist Steve Schiff and bass player Bill Rhodes into the line-up.
Legendary producer Bob Ezrin was interested in the band, but at the time he was very busy, then recommended his friend engineer Jack Douglas (Blue Oyster Cult, Cheap Trick, Aerosmith) get in touch with 1994.
Impressed by Lawrence vocals, Douglas started to write songs with her, and soon landed a recording contract with A&M.
Recorded y produced by Douglas at The Record Plant Studios in New York, 1994’s debut still sounds fresh today. The album is a first rate collection of songs in the American melodic hard rock tradition, similar to Heart but more rockin’ and smokin’.
All songs are good, being my favorites the haunting “Heleana” and the hot “Radio Zone”. On many tracks the band sounds blusier ala Aerosmith-with-female-vocals, as on the great “Anastasia” (Brad Whitford of Aerosmith guest on guitars), another favorite.
1994’s self titled debut is one of the first, and best, American female-fronted rock albums ever, which has stood the test of time thanks to its timeless songwriting and the excellent classy production.
This is one of the very first Rock Candy releases, as usual, with a great remastering job plus an interesting essay about 1994 in the booklet.
01 – Once Again
02 – Shoot To Kill
03 – Sing To Me
04 – Heleana
05 – Bring It Home
06 – Radio Zone
07 – Hit The Hard Way
08 – Read Up
09 – Anastasia
10 – Shoot To Kill (Live
11 – Find It In The City (Live)
12 – Hit The Hard Way (Live)
13 – Bring It Home (Live)
Karen Lawrence – Vocals
Steve Schiff – Lead Guitar
Bill Rhodes – Bass, Guitar, Backing Vocals
John Desautels – Drums
Brad Whitford – Guitar (Heleana)
Eric Troyer – Backing Vocals (Sing To Me)