Atlantic are in a similar vein to FM, A.S.A.P, and Brian Howe era Bad Company, though the songs are more AOR than those outfits (FM excluded).
Written by: gdmonline
LABEL: Music For Nations
SERIAL: CDMFN 168
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England
LINEUP: Simon Harrison – guitars, keyboards * Phil Bates – lead and backing vocals, guitars, keyboards * Andy Van Evans – guitars * Chris Taylor, Glen Williams – keyboards * Paul Hoare – bass * Andy Duncan, Phil Ridden – drums
Additional Musicians: Tony Mills, David Saylor, Jo Bates, Pete Green – backing vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 It’s Only Love * 02 Power Over Me * 03 When The War Is Over * 04 Bad Blood * 05 Can’t Hold On * 06 Hands Of Fate * 07 Every Beat Of My Heart * 08 Dangerous Games * 09 Nothing To Lose * 10 Hard To Believe
An English band that released a fantastic one-off AOR album during the grunge era. Atlantic were formed by Simon Harrison and Phil Bates during 1991 or thereabouts. Bates is the better known of the duo, having been a member of 70’s melodic rockers Trickster.
Bates also had significant time with the Mk2 version of Electric Light Orchestra, along with his solo career, so how he managed to find time to play with Atlantic during what was a busy time frame is a mystery to us all. Harrison and Bates put the music together, Bates wrote most of the lyrics, while the album was produced by Harrison and bassist Paul Hoare, with Bates co-producing.
Atlantic are in a similar vein to FM, A.S.A.P, and Brian Howe era Bad Company, though the songs are more AOR than those outfits (FM excluded of course), with Bates’ vocals being an album standout, sounding like a cross between Johnny Edwards (King Kobra, Foreigner) and the aforementioned Brian Howe.
If you read opinion elsewhere on the Internet, it would seem that this album is an absolute AOR masterpiece. Yes, it’s good, and very well produced as well, but not quite in the stellar league as a Strangeways ‘Native Sons’, Dare‘s ‘Out Of The Silence’, FM‘s ‘Indiscreet’ or the Heartland debut. Those four hold a special place in British AOR, but I will admit that Atlantic is not too far behind.
‘Power’ as an album is full of lush keyboards, providing a rich backdrop for songs such as ‘It’s Only Love’, the amazing ‘Power Over Me’ and the tearjerker ballad ‘Hard To Believe’. Mostly, the album rocks out but when then divert to the ballad ‘When The War Is Over’ for instance, the result is outstanding.
‘Bad Blood’ is a so much like FM during their early 90’s era, mixing up a blues like strain of AOR with parping brass lines. Meanwhile ‘Hands Of Fate’ sounds as if it could’ve been sourced from the underrated Foreigner album ‘Unusual Heat’. All in all, some great moments onboard.
Released in the UK on Music For Nations, the album also saw a release through Europe on the Bellaphon label. During 2008, ‘Power’ saw a re-release on Escape Music’s roster – a nice confirmation and recognition of a very good album that still holds its head up fifteen years later.
Atlantic on Video
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