Column from September 28th, 1998

First off, a big apology to people who’ve been stopping by the AOR Basement site (http://www.ifb.co.uk/~aorb/) expectantly looking for new reviews. Pressures of work have held me back from getting new stuff up there. Hopefully that’ll be rectified soon…

Old pompsters should be looking forward to a double dose of new stuff from Starcastle! Mixing of an album tentatively titled "Chronos" is nearing completion – it’ll feature rare and unreleased tracks recorded over the last 20 years…. The "new" Starcastle with original vocalist Terry Luttrell and bassist Gary Stater has been recording all new material too, though they haven’t shopped for a record deal as yet….

Not content with releasing two albums in Japan in the last two months ("Live in Japan" and a new version of "Love is an Illusion" with bonus tracks) Lana Lane has yet another album coming at the end of October called "Ballads Collection". Three tracks are remixed from "Curious Goods" (Clouds, Heart of Dawn, and Take Breath) but the rest are all new recordings. Among the new ones are covers of the Rocket Scientists’ "Avalon" and "Stardust for Lana", an acoustic version of "Through the Fire" a cover of The Beatles’ "Across the Universe" and four other tracks.

Over in New Jersey Colie Brice has left Phantom’s Opera to concentrate on his solo career. He’s intending to set up his own label and distribute his material directly over the internet. More details from his home page at http://www.colie.net

Couple of things that have caught my attention this week are the "new" album from Eric Johnson and Al Di Meola’s newie. The Eric Johnson – "Seven Worlds" – is actually is first, previously unreleased album from 1978 that’s really good. A couple of tracks were reworked on his Reprise-backed debut "Tones", and the direction on "Seven Worlds" is pretty much identical, showing him to be well ahead of his time. If you know what a good jazz rock guitar album is you’ll dig Al Di Meola’s new one, "The Infinite Desire". He explores some world music themes on a couple of tracks, and Steve Vai even guests…, more details from the label at http://www.telarc.com/.