Both official Mayday albums should be part of your AOR Konnesieur’s kollektion.
Written by: gdmonline
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Steve Johnstad – vocals * Randy Fredrix – guitar, vocals * Charles Mas – bass, vocals * Danny Shmitt – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Revenge * 02 First Impressions * 03 Middle Of The Night * 04 Cherry * 05 Ready Or Not * 06 Mystery * 07 Identify * 08 Cruisin’ * 09 This Girls On Fire
Call me sympathetic, but when I hear stories of bands getting screwed over, either through internal fractions or record company hi-jinx, I shake my head in amazement. Some twenty plus years later, the amazement has turned into amusement.
You can add the New York band Mayday to the wreckage of yesteryear shenanigans. A tale of woe indeed. As always, these collaborations start out with a hiss and a roar, but by the end of it all, the band members usually end up being strangers to one another.
Mayday, as mentioned in an earlier review of the 1981 debut album on this site, has had their earlier history covered, so we won’t rehash it here.Described as a pop-metal band that sounded like a rough version of Journey is an apt description I guess. Chuck in some power-pop leanings from the likes of Starz and you’re about there.
The most notable change for the sophomore effort ‘Revenge’ was the replacement of keyboardist David Beck with a fulltime drummer Danny Shmitt.The ‘Revenge’ sessions was an exercise in separatism by the sounds of it. That is, Randy Fredrix and his management team versus the rest of the band.
The recordings were conducted in isolation, with Fredrix holding all the aces in terms of production and the final mix. Much of the recordings were doctored to suit Fredrix, and in fairness, he did write much of the material, but a band situation it was not.
As a result, the album died a death at the box office, not that the songs weren’t any good, because they were. It is a thoroughly enjoyable album to listen to, but admittedly it was difficult to buy into the album knowing it was recorded and produced under duress.
If I was none the wiser, I may have written this review differently. Johnstad then took his rhythm section and hooked up with a new guitarist and keyboardist for the Mark III version of the band during 1985. A new writing deal was struck, but unfortunately no new record deal, despite a wealth of good songs being made available.
In passing though, both official Mayday albums should be part of your AOR Konnesieur’s kollektion! Surf on over to Sleaze Roxx.com to read an extensive (correction.. exhaustive) interview with Steve Johnstad. Great reading nonetheless.