What is AOR Basement? Good question – originally a well kept secret.... For those of you who aren't familiar with the Basement (and it certainly doesn't purport to be a household name) here's a brief introduction: AOR Basement is/was a magazine that circulated in the late 1980s to promote quality AOR, pomp and melodic rock bands that just didn't seem to be receiving the coverage they truly deserved (at least in Europe), whether they had a major record deal, were releasing material on independent labels, or just circulating demo tapes. In essence the magazine was aimed at the "real" fans of music (doesn’t that sound pretentious?), who didn't mind going to a little effort to bring quality music to his or her ears. It was the first such magazine dedicated to AOR, and even though it had ground to a halt by the end of decade, it provided the inspiration for several other magazines to try and follow in its footsteps.

Also in its time, AOR Basement also compiled the "Hot Night in the City" compilation album for RCA/BMG distributed U.K.-based independent label FM-Revolver which showcased some of the best American unsigned bands that had been featured in the magazine. Bands on the compilation included Everest (with a track produced by Geddy Lee from Rush), Freelance (who have now issued an album under the name "Restless") and the Mike Reeves Bands (which at that point featured Night Ranger guitarist Brad Gillis), among others.

Since then, the music industry has changed dramatically and the need for AOR Basement has changed. Major labels are not interested in quality melodic rock. It's more and more difficult for serious fans to find their favourite music and the emphasis has changed to small labels in the USA and Europe/Scandinavia to release such CDs. As a result many of the dedicated fans of this form of music in the USA and other world regions feel deserted and let down by the major labels.

AOR Basement, therefore, now presents itself as a free information service via the World Wide Web/Internet to help such fans find out more about current releases, and know which older items to hunt down or scour bargain bins for. It also aims to write in a very different style from that of other current music magazines, and take a more overtly hi-brow stance and consider the important aspects of the overall music market – if you’re serious about your music and you consider it to be a very important part of your life, then this is the place for you!

Although many supposed market gurus might say that the major labels are gearing up for melodic rock to make a comeback, there really isn’t much evidence of it so far. In essence, what we currently have is a clearly limited market which is in danger of being swamped (or even exploited) by too many releases from similar labels.

The reviewing side of melodic rock is in danger of being afflicted with the same problem – too many magazines, reviewing exactly the same releases with exactly the same comments! AOR Basement, however, tries to present interesting releases you might not have heard of, and also to present a different point of view and deeper insight into some of the more widely available releases. But what you won’t get here is a publication that says every single release is perfect and in a "buy or die" category. And, if our opinion is different from all the other publications or upsets labels, then so be it….

If you like this site please let me know, and feel free to get in touch regarding anything you'd like to see featured or reviewed. With your continued help and participation I am sure that the links between melodic rock fans, and for that matter bands, can be strengthened on a worldwide basis.

Click here to see the AOR Basement contents page

Ian McIntosh

Copyright © 2004 Ian McIntosh, AOR Basement, All Rights Reserved
Most recent revision
Monday February 22, 2010 - originally created November 1995.