Published on October 27th, 2016 | by Justin G.
RTZ: Return to Zero
In the very early part of the 1990s, when AOR was enjoying its last really commercially successful time, we saw several veteran melodic rockers getting a second chance. Damn Yankees, featuring Styx’s Tommy Shaw and Night Ranger’s Jack Blades, The Storm, featuring Journey alumni Kevin Chalfant, Steve Smith and Ross Valory are two notable examples. As is RTZ, the AOR group featuring former Boston guitarist Barry Goudreau and singer Brad Delp. RTZ released their debut – and only – album, titled Return to Zero, in 1991.
To absolutely no one’s surprise, Return to Zero sounded an awful lot like a Boston album, which isn’t a bad thing at all, especially given how few and far between Boston albums were. Goudreau and Delp put together a terrific mix of mid-tempo, commercially accessible rock songs like “Face the Music” and “All You’ve Got,” and one “written for radio” ballad in “Until Your Love Comes Back Around” (which was actually a pretty decent hit). “Every Door is Open” didn’t feel as much like a hit single, but it’s such a beautiful song, and is a definite highlight. Goudreau deft guitar work and Delp’s smooth vocals really made this album stand out, and hearing them together rekindled that old Boston magic.
If you’re a Boston fan, you definitely need to pick up a copy of this album. Return to Zero should also appeal to just about anyone who loves the classic `80s AOR/arena rock/melodic rock sound, especially bands like Foreigner/Lou Gramm, Bad Company, The Storm, Journey, Alias and Giant. Goudreau’s Orion the Hunter is another very worthwhile Boston spinoff project.
Reissue Notes: Just in time for the album’s 25th anniversary, we get a proper reissue of Return to Zero thanks to the reissue specialists at the Rock Candy label. The new version features brilliant digital remastering, which mainly just polishes an already pristine recording. There are no bonus tracks (I’m guessing most of the available extras already appeared on the Lost collection), but the booklet features a lengthy essay/interview with Goudreau and Classic Rock scribe Malcolm Dome, as well as plenty of vintage photos. It’s a great looking and great sounding reissue of a late AOR classic.
Summary: Great reissue of a great AOR album.