Album Reviews

Heartland – Heartland Review

Released by: Yesterrock

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: British Melodic Rock/AOR


Line Up:

Chris Ousey (Vocals)

Gary Sharpe (Guitars)

Phil Brown (Bass)

Steve Gibson (Drums)

Rik Carter (Keyboards)


1. Teach You To Dream

2. Carrie Ann

3. Don’t Cast Your Shadow

4. Real World

5. Fight Fire With Fire

6. That Thing

7. Walking On Ice

8. Paper Heart

9. Paradise

10. Promises

Chris Ousey (ex VIRGINIA WOLF) and company crashed on the scene with this amazing perfection of combustion Melodic Rock and AOR energy in the self titled debut from Heartland.Released in 1991 on A&M Records, HEARTLAND’s self-titled debut album is regarded as one of the finest releases in British Melodic Rock history.

I love re-issues and certain labels that do it the right way and the German label Yesterrock brings forward a very hard to find collectors album from Heartland. For many long time fans of melodic rock you will no doubt hold this album as one of the best that has ever come out of the Melodic Rock circles and it has really stood the test of time. For newer fans of the band the original line up consisted of the very soulful and charismatic vocals of Chris Ousey, guitarist Gary Sharpe (ex MONROE).

Is hard to believe the band now with a new line up still around and still lead by Ousey they have released 10 albums . Chris’s voice has always reminded of a young Eric Martin from Mr Big, that perfect blend of soul edge that meshes each song so well together. And to this day his vocals still sound amazing, but on this album you hear that early 90’s melodic rock bravado that you correlate with such bands as Bad English, FM, Strangeways, etc.

The record is a true staple of the genre and here you’ll be please to find a ton of heavy hitters, if melody is your thing you will find a bunch of great tunes like the infectious bridge chorus of “Carrie Anne”, alongside another awesome track with the powerhouse vocals of Ousey on the high riser “Don’t Cast Your Shadow”. Another great slower ballad tune comes crawling towards you with the amazing chorus in “Fight Fire with Fire”, which displays in exemplary fashion the capabilities of these bands in their prime.

What a terrific record from top to bottom, from every bass line to each inducing melody that gripes the core of the musical structure into heavenly groove. Chris Ousey is a great vocalist I don’t have enough great things to say about the man, from past to future he still demand respect in every sense of the word. The crisp guitars of Gary Sharpe are quintessential in every breath of life sparked into each of these classic melodic rock staples. The remastered production is crystal clear, I can hear those keys man and who they bring a tingle of AOR to my senses, old school too. What a great period that was for the British Melodic Rock scene in general, so many bands are now reappearing and resurrecting their career. Luckily for Heartland they are still around and still plan on trucking and Ousey has a new solo album coming out in November as well, so even more exciting news. This debut is a  great collectors item that any fan of the genre should not live without. Highly Recommended.!!!!

Written by Denys

Ratings Denys   9/10

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