Published on October 28th, 2018 | by Justin G.
Jimmy Waldo & Steven Rosen: Voices From The Past (MelodicRock Records)
As much fun as it is to see older albums reissued, it’s an even bigger thrill when a label dedicated to unearthing as many lost gems as possible delivers a hefty helping of vintage material that has never been released in the first place. Think Bugzy (on the Divebomb label), or the recent Arti Tisi releases from MelodicRock Records. Now MelodicRock has done it again with Voices From The Past, a 2-disc collection of previously unreleased melodic rock from songwriters Jimmy Waldo and Steven Rosen.
Waldo and Rosen may not be household names, but the duo were in high demand back in the glory days of melodic rock, and Waldo played keyboards for New England, Alcatrazz and Graham Bonnett, among others. As they wrote new material, they had musicians and singers record the songs. These recordings have never seen the light of day, and when you read who they feature you’ll understand why Voices From the Past is such a big deal. Let’s start with the “voices” part. On this set you’ll find vintage recordings of Billy Trudell (The City, Warpipes), Jeff Scott Soto (who needs no introduction), Guy Perry (The Motels), Paul Bardot (Swingin’ Thing), Mona Moore (who really should have been a star), Steve Plunkett (Autograph), Jamie St. James (Black n’ Blue), Paul Shortino (Rough Cutt) and Desi Rexx (D’Molls), among others. Musicians here include Harry Cody (Shotgun Messiah), Bob Kulick (Balance), Keith Howland (Chicago), Tommy Thayer (KISS) and Marc Ferrari (Keel, Cold Sweat).
The songs on this set spanned several years and several styles, but all come back to a melodic rock baseline. There are more pure AOR songs, more glam metal-sounding tracks, and more than a few songs that could have anchored major movie soundtracks. The songs with Steve Plunkett capture the classic Autograph vibe perfectly, and make you wish for a full album’s worth of his material alone. Soto’s entry is another highlight, sounding like a lost Eyes track, and “I Wish You Heaven” is essentially the perfect Loverboy song. And Mona Moore’s songs (she has a few) showcase a talent that could have rivaled Pat Benatar and Patty Smyth. It’s not all “A” material, but a solid majority of the 33 songs on this set are really impressive.
The material on Voices From The Past has been painstakingly collected and remastered, and sounds fantastic. The set also features an essay by Rosen, who is an accomplished writer in addition to being a songwriter. The end result really does feel like opening a lost melodic rock treasure chest. If you’re a fan of the classic ’80s and early ’90s AOR and melodic rock scenes (and particularly if you loved the recent Arti Tisi and Bugzy releases), you owe it to yourself to check this Waldo & Rosen set out. The MelodicRock label has done us a real service putting these songs in fans’ hands for the first time.
Summary: Another great collection of lost gems from the MelodicRock label