Treat’s ‘The Pleasure Principle’ was an excellent album in its own right, it was however overshadowed by the massive Swedish success that was Europe’s ‘The Final Countdown’, which would dominate world charts from late 1986 into 1987, ‘The Pleasure Principle’ never stood a chance really.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: The Pleasure Principle
SERIAL: 826 918-1
CD REISSUE: 2001, Mercury, 826 918-2
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Sweden
LINEUP: Robert Ernlund – vocals * Anders Wikstrom – guitar, keyboards * Lillen Liljegren – guitar * Ken Siewertson – bass * Leif Sundin – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Rev It Up * 02 Waiting Game * 03 Lovestroke * 04 Eyes On Fire * 05 Take My Hand * 06 Fallen Angel * 07 Caught In The Line Of Fire * 08 Strike Without A Warning * 09 Ride Me High * 10 Steal Your Heart Away
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It was due to the recent release of Treat’s fantastic ‘Coup De Grace’ CD that I thought it was about time to revisit this Swedish outfit’s back catalog. The only review we had in the Glory Daze database up until the ‘Coup De Grace’ review was 1987’s ‘Dreamhunter’. Of course, Treat’s discography is more than just that album, if we think back to ‘1992’ self titled album, 1989’s ‘Organised Crime’ and this little beauty from 1986 ‘The Pleasure Principle’.
As many of you are aware, 1986 was the year that Bon Jovi and more importantly Europe took center stage. Being Swedish, Treat and Europe had – up to a point, competed in the local Swedish market, jousting with each between 1984 and 1985.
Treat’s ‘Scratch And Bite’ was a reasonable album and made its way into many foreign markets as an import, it was also clear the band were heavily influenced by Def Leppard. However 1986 would prove to be a hurdle, with the band’s ‘then’ drummer Mats ‘Dalton’ Dahlberg packing up his drumkit and leaving under mysterious and secretive circumstances.
He would go on to form Dalton, and we all know how good that band were! Treat meanwhile bought in Leif Sundin on drums – who wasn’t an immediate fit, plus producer Jean Beauvoir to work up material for their next phase. The single ‘Ride Me High’ was the result, but the band did not kick on with Beauvoir, opting instead for Gary Winter as the next producer for what would be the second album: ‘The Pleasure Principle’.
An excellent album in its own right, it was however overshadowed by the massive Swedish success that was ‘The Final Countdown’, which would dominate world charts from late 1986 into 1987. ‘The Pleasure Principle’ never stood a chance really, both albums released during the early summer of 1986.
Treat should hold their heads up high, as the songs on this album are a vast improvement on ‘Scratch And Bite’. It’s much more keyboard oriented than before, with party anthems all the rage through at least eight of the album’s ten tracks. The two tracks that least rock out are the second track ‘Waiting Game’ which is midpaced part ballad/rocker and the pure ballad ‘Take My Hand’, with synths and piano taking the lead on a sentimental journey.
But elsewhere, tracks such as ‘Rev It Up’, ‘Caught In The Line Of Fire’, the melodious ‘Love Stroke’, the aforementioned ‘Ride Me High’, the keyboard laced ‘Fallen Angel’ and probably the album’s best moment. ‘Strike Without A Warning’ all hit home with maximum impact. There’s still a little bit of The Lepps in those vocal choruses, but it’s not as apparent as before.
As mentioned, the album didn’t do very well in the market, though locally in Sweden the band were still popular, but hadn’t really toured outside of their own backyard. To make matters worse, drummer Leif Sundin departed only a couple of months in, to be replaced by Jamie Borger, who along with Ernlund and Wikstrom, are now the mainstays of the band.
Treat took this a lesson to be learned, so headed down to Holland in preparation for the ‘Dreamhunter’ sessions, and to get touring and gigging experience outside of Sweden. With new management, things looked promising, but ultimately it all ended up in a cul-de-sac. Despite the band’s numerous problems, they still left an excellent selection of albums, and now with their resurrection in 2010, perhaps it’s not too late for Treat to salvage some respect and reward nearly 25 years after their initial heyday!
Entire Album (Select Tracks)