ROCK AMERICA - SMASH HITS LIVE
Frontiers/Now & Then FRCD 124
Produced by: Jim Peterik & Larry Millas
Released: June 17 / Website
GENRE: Melodic Rock
Seriously...take one look at the track listing to this album and tell me that this isn't an instant classic.|
Most know I am a huge fan of Jim Peterik the man and the songwriter. He is a genuine nice guy in the business and most that deal with him express similar sentiments.
As a fan of his songs I am not alone. And testament to that, when Jim holds one of his World Stage shows and invites his musical buddies along, they all come.
The live tracks of this CD are all from Jim's World Stage shows. In fact, 3 in total, with these songs picked for their energy and representation of what a World Stage show is. In fact, listening to this I can imagine only 1 better release - the Gods 2000 Two Fires show!
In what amounts to a count down of hits, the album features some of the best Peterik compositions written for himself and with other artists for their own bands and a couple of other melodic rock classics thrown in for good measure.
What's more, this compilation also adds 5 tracks from Jim's September 11 tribute release The Day America Cried.
Track By Track:
The disc opens with Eye Of The Tiger, a faithful rendition featuring a duet between Jim and Chicago musician Jeff Boyle. A good raw, rocking and stripped back version.
Hold on Loosely is the track written by Jim with Don Barnes from .38 Special, who is featured on vocals here. Another faithful rendition with Barnes in fine vocal form.|
Sister Christian is one of the few tracks here not written by Jim. But Kelly Keagy just happens to be one of those good buddies I spoke of and part of his contribution to the show is this great performance. A nice long version with big backing vocals that are bound to impress.
I Can't Hold Back sees the great Kevin Chalfant come to the mike. Singing in place of Jimi Jamison, Kevin sounds a little rawer around the edges, but there is no doubt this track has a great spirit and turns into a pretty rocking version of the classic AOR anthem.
The Search is Over features the teenage talent of Jim's niece Kelly Moulik together with newcomer Brian Anders. A very smooth and more contemporary pop version of the hit ballad.
I've Got A Lot To Learn About Love features Kevin Chalfant, back at the mike again and sounding a million bucks as he swings through his classic Storm track in duet with Jim and backed by everyone for the harmonies.
Between Two Fires features Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon, performing another song off the World Stage CD. Cronin of course is a flawless performer and the track is a great piece of smooth pop rock.
Things get cranked up a little for the track Heavy Metal, a song Jim wrote for Sammy Hagar. Standing in for Hagar and singing his heart out is Kelly Keagy again.
Rockin' Into the Night brings back Don Barnes for another famous .38 Special track.
And that brings the live portion of this release to an end. Featured now are 5 tracks that were a part of the Day America Cried CD, released in the USA early this year. A few of the tracks were also featured on the debut World Stage album, so if you don't own either of these or have had trouble purchasing them, get it all in one with this release.
The Day America Cried is Jim and Johnny Van Zant's tribute to the Sept. 11 tragedy. Haunting lyrically and powerful emotionally, this track deserves to be heard by everyone. A fitting tribute.
Can't Say it Loud Enough is one of the better ballad tracks from the world Stage album also featuring Johnny Van Zant.
The Sum of Our Hearts features Jim coupled again with Kevin Chalfant. This song was recorded and released for charity - to help raise money for a young boy suffering cancer. He lost his battle, but he lives on in this sentimental ballad.
Changed by Love and Long Road Home are both great tunes from the World Stage album. If you like these 3, check out the rest of that album.
Changed features Don Barnes again, while Long Road Home features Kelly Keagy. All tracks are duets with Jim.
The crowd levels are played with a little through the duration of the CD, but that is merely a reflection of the various shows used.
|PRODUCTION: 85%||SONGS: 96%||VIBE: 90%||ATTITUDE: 94%||ESSENTIAL FOR: All Peterik fans, fans of the artists involved and those partial to some classic live music.|
DISCOGRAPHY:Ides Of March; Survivor; Solo - Don't Fight The Feeling . World Stage . The Day America Cried . Rock America