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Loud & Clear CD, Edition limitée, Enregistrement original remasterisé
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Featuring the formidable vocal talents of one Mark (now Marcie) Free,SIGNAL's eponymous and sole album 'LOUD & CLEAR' is rightly regarded as a melodic rock/ AOR classic that no self respecting fan of the genre should be without. There will, of course, be some who have never picked up this album, and so now would be the perfect opportunity for them to do so... Digitally remastered, this wonderful album - so often sitting at or close to the top of many 'all time best of...'lists - has neber sounded better.
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Que se soit le mid-tempo "Arms of the stranger", le tubesque "You won't see me cry"; le popisant "Does it feels..." ou le plus heavy "liar" tout est bien calibré, remarquablement chanté et trés mélodique même si une production aseptisée, édulcore trop la guitare.
Mais l'album me parait indispensable à tout amateur de ce style musical.
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Signal's 1989 debut Loud & Clear is an album that, given the musical climate in the late 80's, really should have sold about a billion copies. Think of the really huge AOR acts at that time - Bon Jovi, Bad English, Damn Yankees, and Bad Company - and the albums they were releasing. Loud & Clear is as good if not better than all of them, but sadly failed to gain the attention it deserved. This is just a classy arena rock album with melodies to die for, just enough keyboards, an amazing vocal performance, and the kind of memorable songs that would have fit on just about any 80's movie soundtrack. "Does It Feel Like Love" should have been played every hour of every day on Top 40 radio in 1989, and "Could This Be Love" and "Run Into the Night" would have made great singles as well.
If you're a fan of 80's AOR/melodic rock, Loud & Clear is a must-have album. Fans of Free's work in King Kobra and Unruly Child will probably get the most out of this album, but it really should appeal to any child of the 80's.
Edition Notes: French reissue label Axe Killer reissued Loud & Clear in 2000. The reissue featured digitally remastered sound and expanded liner notes.
Loud & Clear was reissued yet again in 2009, this time by Krescendo. I have no idea how legit this label is, but while the album sounds quite good (it's been remastered), the booklet is essentially a bad color copy of the Axe Killer booklet, complete with dual French/English liner notes. I'm glad the album is back in circulation, but if it walks like a bootleg and quacks like a bootleg...
1. Arms of a Stranger
2. Does it Feel Like Love
3. My Mistake
4. This Love, This Time
5. Wake Up You Little Fool
7. Could This Be Love
8. You Won't See Me Cry
10. Run Into the Night
I'm thank my local radio station in Singapore for playing "Does it feel like love" late one night. The build-up and the power of the vocals and melody grabbed me by the throat. Bought the cassette as soon as I could (was a student then, anc CDs were expensive). Can't believe its been 14 long years. And this album still ranked right up there in my favourite list.
Mark Free, this guys can sing!
When I first listened to it so many years ago, the 2 tracks that jump out at me was "Does it feel like love?" and "Could this be love?". Mark's vocals was powerful and emotionally charged. It is no wonder that he was at one time rumoured to be considered as a replacement for Foreigner's Lou Gramm.
My favourite track these days is "Wake up you little fool". A haunting and gut wrenching melody which starts out nice and slow and then pick up the pace as the song moves on. I don't see Mark's name in this song's credit but I believe that this song best described the epic struggle he had with his sexuality. I literally cried when, while listening to this song and surfing the net, I chance upon his website and found out that he has followed his heart and 'changed'. This song has the singer looking into a mirror and talking to himself, asking questions, and chiding himself for the situation that he is in. Excellent song structure and how the bridge and chorus are incorporated towards the end. One of the most gut wrenching songs I've ever heard, if you know the story behind it.
The rest of the album is no filler as well. The opening track, "Arms of a stranger", right up to "Run into the night", the last track, can easily eat up most pop music these days for breakfast.
The vocal range and nuances this guy puts into his songs are reason enough to get this CD.