Album Reviews

Tycoon -Turn Out The Lights (Retro Review)

Released by: Itsaboutmusic

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: AOR

Link: http://www.itsaboutmusic.com/tycoon.html

Line Up:

Norman Mershon – vocals

Mark Kreider – bass, vocals

Bobby Messano – guitars, vocals

Jon Gordon – guitars, vocals

Keith Taylor, Michael Fonfara – keyboards

Mark Rivera – sax, vocals

Mike Braun – drums

Tracklist:

1. This Island Earth

2. One More try

3. Turn Out the Lights

4. Walkin’ the Line

5. Let It Down

6. Hang On In

7. Can’t take that Away

8. Love You Till It Hurts

9. C’mon Over

10. Call the Police

I have been wanting to add a special category to our webzine, and yes I realized this is a huge undertaking with the already overwhelming amount of promo material we get weekly, but I will proceed with adding a “Retro Review” issue to the site and welcoming thoughts and suggestions as to what we should review next.  All suggestions and genres are open for review, but let’s keep one thing in mind here; these albums have to be absolutely masterpieces of their genres, so no garbage please?

It could be easy for me to write about so many albums I consider influential and essential and that have shaped the way I listen to music today, but since the overtaking is so critical I decided to go with one of the best hidden AOR gems of the 80’s and Tycoon – Turn Out The Lights.  This release has been out of print for a while, but thanks to our friends over at itsaboutmusic.com, I have not only the second sophomore album from the New York based group but all three releases from the band including the lost 3rd release titled “Opportunity Knocks”.

What makes this release so special, is the quality of sound and the fact that these are very hard to find releases. The band’s sophomore release here takes a completely different approach to their sound as AOR was hitting the airwaves in a big way and the band took a new flight plan to the airways. What is sad is the fact that the record didn’t sell well at all, my suspicion is the lack of promotion by the label which is a crime indeed.

The treasures sounds of “This Island Earth” is a must listen as the opening momentum screams classic AOR all over the place. We continue the melodic love fest with the cool guitar sounds of “Turn Out The Lights”, where lead singer Norman Mershon sounds a little like Huey Lewis.  The Toto influenced “Walking The Line” is a top notch cut on this classic record. The more west coast aor influenced “Hang On In” features another addictive melody leading the way. What a bravado, what a sound and inducing chronic bridge in “Can’t Take That Away” turns the album inside out as it stands as one of the best tracks on this amazing record. My golly the guys keep on swinging right and left hooks on another cruncher in “Come On Over”, a high pace beat takes full flight here with cool guitars leading the way.

This album has been long considered an obscure gem of AOR by purists of the genre, and the fact that this particular style influenced so many bands around that time it was an easy pick why we chose this release. Now we are able to retouch back with a band that could of been so much more only if the cards had been played right by labels and promotions. But as it turns out it did not, but the legacy they leave behind is a strong one because the music speaks for itself and thanks to re-releases like this one we get to experience the sound once more years later to a whole new audience. Essential? I think YES!!!!!!!!!!!!

Written by Denys

Ratings Denys    10/10

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