Back in 1984 this Airrace album was considered a breakthrough AOR album in British music circles, as finally good ‘ol Blighty’ had something to compete against the likes of Foreigner, Journey etc.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: Shaft Of Light
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England
LINEUP: Keith Murrell – vocals * Laurie Mansworth – guitars * Toby Sadler – keyboards, bass * Jim Reid – bass, guitars * Jason Bonham – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 I Don’t Care * 02 Promise To Call * 03 First One Over The Line * 04 Open Your Eyes * 05 Not Really Me * 06 Brief Encounter * 07 Caught In The Game * 08 Do You Want My Love Again * 09 Didn’t Wanna Lose Ya * 10 All I’m Asking
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Back in 1984 this Airrace album was considered a breakthrough AOR album in British music circles, as finally good ‘ol Blighty’ had something to compete against the likes of Foreigner, Journey etc. However, in retrospect the band probably ended up sounding more like an imitation of their heroes rather than something earth shatteringly new or original.
One thing in their favour, despite the fact that they were a British band, is that they secured a US record label and the services of Beau Hill (Mr Fiona Flanagan to you) as their producer. A great lineup though: the fantastic vocals of Keith Murrell has seen him make a living as a singer up to the present day, while Mansworth came from the UK band More, and Jason Bonham of course is the son of..
There are some excellent moments onboard, including the album opener ‘I Don’t Care’ with it’s punchy keyboards, and ‘Promise To Call’ which moves in a direction like early 80’s Whitesnake. ‘First One Over The Line’ has Foreigner tendencies, while the pomp attack comes to the fore on ‘Caught In The Game’.
We get a straight ahead rocker in ‘Do You Want My Love Again’ though the keyboard melodies through the chorus are quite nice. The last two ‘Didn’t Wanna Lose Ya’ and ‘All I’m Asking’ are also worthwhile.
Overall, the album is a thoroughly pleasant workout, though perhaps not reaching the dizzy heights that a lot of AOR aficionados had put on this album from yesteryear. Still very much a collectors item, ‘Shaft Of Light’ was touted for a CD re-release at the end of 1999 though this did not come about unfortunately.
However, it has since seen the light of day via reissue label Wounded Bird Records during 2003, and Rock Candy Records during 2009, while the band itself returned to the scene after 2009’s Firefest Festival, along with a brand new CD in 2011 called ‘Back To The Start’.
Entire Album (Select Tracks)
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