Saturday, August 8, 2009

Gary O'

Canadian singer/guitarist Gary O'Connor had been in the bands Cat, Liverpool (a Beatles tribute band), and Aerial before going solo as Gary O', releasing his first solo album on Capitol Records in 1981. Anyone who listened to AOR radio in the early 80s will be familiar with "All the Young Heroes", as perfect an example of that genre as was ever made. About the Gary O' album, Wikipedia says:
The first single "I Believe in You" became a smash hit in Canada, and the follow-up, a remake of The Hollies' song "Pay You Back With Interest" even reached the Billboard Hot 100 Charts, where it peaked at #70.
I never heard either of those songs on US radio; it was "All the Young Heroes" that was a hit with fans of what is now known as "melodic hard rock." The full track list is:

01 All The Young Heroes
02 Pay You Back With Interest
03 California Goodbye
04 I Believe In You
05 Suzanne
06 The Way You Look Tonight
07 Just A Little Love
08 Nightrider
09 Been A Long Time

And the musicians are:
  • Gary O': vocals, guitars
  • David Landau: guitars
  • George Doering: guitars
  • Peter Wolf: keyboards, synthesizers
  • Jai Winding: keyboards
  • Richard Landis: keyboards
  • Bryan Garofolo: bass
  • Craig Krampf: drums
  • Jim Haas, Stan Farber, Jon Joyce: backing vocals
  • Charlie Calello: string arrangements, conducting

"The Way You Look Tonight" could have been a single as well, though it's awfully close to the Raspberries' "Go All the Way." Gary O' released his second and last album, Strange Behaviour, in 1984; since then he has worked as a songwriter. Get the vinyl rip of Gary O' here or here.

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