THE VINYL CORNER
In this edition of THE VINYL CORNER we have new records by artists who are in the business for many years. And by many, I really mean MANY. Herman Frank is probably best known for his work with Accept [‘Restless & Wild’ 1982 and ‘Balls To The Wall’ 1983] and Victory. The band Trance is around from the end of the 70s. Bonfire’s debut album ‘Don’t Touch The Light’ was released in 1986, but before the band did get the name Bonfire they were already active under the name Cacumen [from 1972 to 1986]. And last but not least we have Canadian singer Lee Aaron, who’s debut album ‘The Lee Aaron Project’ was released in 1982, but she is probably best known for the 1984 cult hit ,,Metal Queen’’. She has done so much more than that like making jazz albums. She has certainly established a name as a gifted singer, who also seems to have eternal youth. Because, come on, doesn’t every woman want to look like this on her 59th?
So far a bit of history of these ‘oldies’, but what about their latest releases on vinyl?
Well, let’s start with the Herman Frank album. ‘Two For A Lie’ is a well written and produced hard and heavy album.
The cover / artwork of the album was done by Gestaltungskommando Buntmetall and the Layout by Hiko, who is involved in a lot of the AFM releases. The cover shows us Mr. Frank looking at his mummified mirror image. The back cover has a band image and reveals the song titles and the limited vinyl version of the release.
In my case the classic black vinyl. The inside of the gatefold cover shows us the lyrics of the songs as well as the credits and a thanks list with another image of the mummy that also made an appearance on the cover.
Let’s move on to Trance‘s latest album. ‘Metal Forces’. This is an old school heavy metal album in the truest sense of the words. The cover illustration is done by Stefan Keller, the graphic design by lead and rhythm guitar player Markus Berger. On the back cover there are live images of the band members, some credits and the song titles. The full color printed inner sleeve shows us a band image, taken in a restroom [by Michaele Widmayer]. There is also a text by Markus Berger about the creation of the album, more credits and thank you’s.
The flip side of the inner sleeve has all the lyrics and again images of the band members and a small band photo.
My version of the album is on red vinyl. The whole design and looks have a very much back to the 80s vibe and that also symbolizes the music on this album.
And then I’d like to focus on Lee Aaron‘s latest release. ‘Radio On!’ has become a great blues/pop rock influenced album. To me Lee has one of the most recognizable voices in rock.
Eric Bourdon is responsible for the mostly black/white artwork. It has an image on it of Lee holding an old school radio player, the band logo and the album title. To me a real example of less is more, as I absolutely love this cover. Theresa Mitchell, Kellan Higgens, Des and Jack Kelly took the photos.
On the back cover images of the band members, somewhat faded in the background of the song titles. The printed inner sleeve contain the song titles on one side and another great black and white image of Lee on the back. The inside of the gatefold cover reveals the song lyrics, credits and an image of Lee holding her old school radio.
The record is in, how appropriate, white vinyl with black labels, that have the band logo and song titles on it. I just love the whole artwork concept for this record. Great job!
And last but not least I would like to shed some light on Bonfire’s ‘Roots’. On this album the band takes a trip down memory lane. Mainly re-recording old material after doing some re-arranging, rebuilding and adding some new songs. All in an acoustic vibe.
Stan-W. Decker took care of the artwork and layout and the pictures were provided by Kai Swillus. The cover artwork includes the band logo and a picture of an acoustic guitar in a night scene. The back cover reveals all the song titles and a slightly different acoustic guitar theme as the front cover.
The inside of the gatefold cover has images of the current band members on one side and credits, plus extensive thank you’s on the other side. My version of the record is in purple vinyl and the records are full color with yet again the acoustic guitar theme, band logo and song titles.
A nice ‘in between’ album for fans and band, but not a release that impresses me. I prefer to listen to the band’s 1987 release for some real ‘Fireworks’.
So far this new edition of The Vinyl Corner.