Grand Illusion (SWEDEN)

Hard Rock, Melodic Rock , AOR , Blues Rock , Glam & Sleaze Rock , West Coast , Christian Rock
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Grand Illusion (SWEDEN)

Príspevokod užívateľa Horex » 17 Apr 2024, 15:26

Grand Illusion - Prince Of Paupers (2011) (Pride & Joy Music Edition 2023)

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Year : 2011 (Pride & Joy Music Edition 2023)
Style : Melodic Hard Rock , AOR
Country : Sweden
Audio : 320 kbps + all scans
Size : 108 mb


Bio:

Anders Rydholm started to play music together with Per Svensson in the band Spartacus in 1980. Per was the lead singer and Anders played the bass. When Anders cousin, Mikael Carlsson in 1982 wanted help to record a demo for his band Vulcan, Anders learned to know the bands singer and guitarist Peter Sundell and Peters younger brother, the drummer Christian Sundell. Peter joined Anders in the band Mark V, a rock funk band with horn section in 1983. A couple of years later in 1986 Anders, Peter, Per and Christian founded the band Promotion. Promotion were active a couple of years in the end of the 80's playing heavy rock, AOR and some WestCoast inspired music. But when all their normal carriers took of in the beginning of the 90's the band were laid on ice.When Anders built his house in 1995 he also built a music studio. That was the start of a more active phase for Promotion that since the beginning of the 90's had been very little active. All the boys put there effort in first recording old songs from the early 80's era. Own good songs that they wanted to capture on tape but that also led to the writing of a lot of new songs.In 1997 the first Promotion album "Not for sale" came out on there own label (and with some help from Georg Siegl at Aor-Heaven). A mixture of WestCoast, Aor and also some pop oriented songs.They immediately started on the next album. Yeah Yeah are more pop and groove oriented than the first album. Horns are used on nearly all songs and Anders thinks that some of his most well written songs appear on this album. Special songs for him are: Heaven, Trampoline and My daughters eyes. Yeah Yeah also introduces a new song writing partner for Anders in the lyricist Ola Karlsson. With Ola's help the speed of the song writing is shifting into high gear. The album were released in the end of 1998 at our own label.Many reviewers wanted the band to go the Aor oriented path and to give it a try the band recorded a 5 song demo without horns and sent it out to a couple of labels. Khalil Turk of Escape Music Ltd, England replied direct and wanted to sign them on the spot. A week later the band decided to give it a try and signed a one record contract with options for two more albums. Khalil also wanted the boys to consider changing the band name. They thought out nearly 100 names and nailed it down to 4. Khalil Turk was then given the chance to chose the name out of these four alternatives and he choosed; Grand Illusion.Nearly exact a year after they signed to Escape there first album under the new name came out in May 2001, The book of how to make it. Much heavier and more melodic than the previous albums under the Promotion name. It beacame the start of an new era and with a whopping 94 out of a 100 in the rock bible magazine Burrn in Japan, the highest score in the May issue the ball was rolling.Due to the success of Grand Illusions first album, Escape Music quickly wanted to release there first Promotion albums under there new name Grand Illusion. The result became a double album with four new bonus songs giving it a total of 25 songs. Sadly enough the mastering engineer missed one song, After all, from the first album, Not for sale. It's credited on the album but not there in the audio. "After all" you could download in full length from this site in the download section. The album is named "In the beginning" and it went on the market in the autumn of 2001.The success of "The book.." gave a lot of inspiration and all ready a year later in June 2002 the follow up "View from the top" was finished and on the market. This album was a new high score in the June issue of Burrn with the boys getting the same 94 out of a 100 as the previous album.View from the top, is one step heavier than what Grand Illusion had done before but it was wery well recieved by both fans and the critics and established the band as a solid AOR act with som pomp influences. This albums also features lyrics from Chris Ousey and guitar work from Steve Morris, both from the brittish band Heartland. Nearly all guitar solos on this album are done by Roger Ljunggren from T'Bell.The rest of the year 2002 Anders worked hard on staging his musical; Compagniet. During the summer he also made a record of the musical and Grand Illusion were temporareley put on hold.In May 2003 Grand Illusion played live for the first time in 10 long years at the Gods festival in Bradford England. To be able to pull of that show they had to find a lead guitarist to help out during the show. That search led to the find of Ola af Trampe. Then a 23 year young guitar player from there own home town of Växjö. Ola quickly became a natural member of the band with his fluent melodic guitar playing. The Gods show were a big success and gave the boys new inspiration. Therefore the spring of 2003 was also the start of the recordings for the next album.With the addition of Ola af Trampe as Grand Illusions's new guitarist new inspiration quickly came and soon there were 13 new songs written. The only problem was that lyricist Ola Karlsson divorced his wife and lacked inspiration. for writing lyrics. Chris Ousey of Heartland, Steve Overland of FM and Steve Newman of Newman helped out by writing two lyrics each.This album is the heaviest of all Grand Illusion albums. Some songs are close to Heavy Metal but there also some reall classic AOR tunes as well. Many great reviews of this album especially in Europe when it was released in August 2004. The release was also celebrated with a big release party and the band once again played live.With a new record label in Europe (AOR-HEAVEN) the comeback album released in May 2010 and the band is now reduced to a trio; Anders Rydholm, Peter Sundell and Per Svensson.Christian SUndell and Ola af Trampe still joins the band on live gigs but are not part of the recordings anymore. This album features guest performances by Gregg Bissonette, Tim Pierce, Mike Slamer, Danny Jacobs and Roger Ljunggren. On the Japanese release Demon "Kakka" Kogure joins the band on a big epic song. Lyrics for the album are writen by Arlene Matza-Jackson and Anders Rydholm. All music writte by Anders Rydholm.In November 2011 Prince of Paupers is released. This time the band is being joined by Steve Lukather, Paul Buckmaster, Gregg Bissonette, Tim Pierce, Muris Varajic, Staffan Stavert and Robert Säll. Lyrics for the album are writen by Arlene Matza-Jackson and Anders Rydholm. All music writte by Anders Rydholm.

Album:

GRAND ILLUSION around Anders Rydholm (guitar) and Peter Sundell (vocals) have been one of the best Swedish AOR and Melodic Rock outfits untill they called it a day some years ago. The sixth and final studio slbum “Prince Of Paupers” from 2011 is highly valued within the melodic community as one of best AOR / MR albums ever made.“Prince Of Paupers +1” has been reissued on CD at the very end of 2023 in the new Pride & Joy Music Classixx series (limited to 500 copies) including a bonus track. Very mature and sophisticated songwriting meets exciting and versatile arrangements as well as the impressive range of Sundell’s voice which highlights the strong hooklines.Add to that all guitar solos have been recorded by the likes of Steve Lukather, Jay Graydon, Tim Pierce, Robert Säll – and you have a winner here.Mastermind guitarist / bassist / keyboard player Anders Rydholm dropped here some of his finest AOR / Melodic Rock songwriting, but also top musicians for the recording, including Gregg Bisonette (David Lee Roth, Joe Satriani) to handle all drums and brilliant guitar maestro Tim Pierce to record most of the guitar parts. But also the stellar presence of Steve Lukather, Jay Graydon, and more as guests.“Prince Of Paupers” is a 2YK little masterpiece in this genre. Both original vocalists Peter Sundell and Per Svensson are also fully involved in the band again, and some terrific Scandinavian musicians as well.The AOR bliss that Grand Illusion were renowned for is still strongly in evidence, blended with and updated melodic rock sound.The opening pair of “Gates Of Fire” and “Better Believe It” have choruses that must rate as the catchiest I’ve heard in a decade, with Rydholm’s smooth guitar and keyboard work making both of these songs essential AOR treats. The guitar solo by Jay Graydon on the latter is oustanding.Next, title track “Prince Of Paupers” is a harder affair, a melodic rocker that would have fitted perfectly on The Sign’s debut album, with a great riff sparring with some glorious keyboard work. The tougher approach allows the vocal duo to really stretch out and they rise to the occasion with a huge amount of style and power.The beautifully poised ballad “So Faraway” brings the pace right back down, however it does so without losing any momentum. This is one, if not the best, most engaging mid-tempo AOR tunes from the band, crowned with a magnificent guitar solo by the unique Steve Lukather.“St. Teresa’s Love” is a very classy AOR with a on-the-air sound and wonderful vocal harmonies, before we are back in fist pumping territory through the joyous “Through This War”.At this stage, there’s no doubt this album is a winner, and “Eyes Of Ice” keeps up the stupendously high strike rate, with a slightly bluesier feel that tempers the high octane AOR and straight ahead rockers perfectly.“Gone” is a modern new century AOR with a bright riff and solo by Tim Pierce, while on “Believe In Miracles” the band gives some variation adding acoustic guitars and percussion to this beautiful classy ballad.“On And On” gets the album back into top gear with Bissonette stamping his authority on the song, as he works his way round the kit for a ranging beat that leads into another tremendous chorus.Sundell and Svensson lock together again during the rockin’ “Under The Wire” where some of the notes reached are impressively high, especially when you consider how in control the voices are. Great guitar work by Muris Varajic here.“Winds Of Change” rounds out the regualar album release in fine style, a melodic tune mostly filled with acoustic guitars, pianos and vocals (layers of great vocals), before the whole band come together for a fantastic, emotional crescendo.Bonus “Not For Sale” is a terrific pumping melodic rock song driven by a killer riff, an anthemic chorus, and top guitar solo. Scandi MHR at its best.You can take my word that “Prince Of Paupers” is one of the highlights from the last 25 years in AOR / Melodic Rock.Alternating between guitar driven melodic rock and pure AOR, Grand Illusion have a knack of creating memorable tunes with their own distinct sound and rarely fall into the cliché trap, managing to come across as instantly appealing and familiar without really sounding like anyone in this genre these days.There are some choruses here that you won’t be able to shake off, each accompanied with inventive guitar riffs, soaring vocal harmonies and short staccato bursts of melody. Sundell and Svensson still possess stunning voices that when combined become simply irresistible, with the layered backing vocals and harmonies being amongst the best you will hear anywhere. Production is sharp and crisp, all awesomely recorded & mixed.Grand Illusion is one of the best AOR / MR bands out there, and “Prince Of Paupers” confirms this status with a golden medal.

Line Up:

Peter Sundell – lead and background vocals - See also: ex-Wulcan, ex-Code, ex-Heartland, ex-In & Out, ex-Mark V, ex-Northern Lights, ex-Overland, ex-Peter Sundell, ex-Promotion, Decoy
Per Svensson – lead and background vocals - See also: ex-Valkyrja (live), ex-Relentless
Anders Rydholm – keyboards, bass, guitars, songwriting - See also: Art of Illusion

+ guests:

Gregg Bissonette – drums
Steve Lukather – guitar solo on 4
Jay Graydon – guitar solo on 2
Tim Pierce – rhythm guitars & solos on 5, 6, 8, 9,10, 12
Muris Varajic – guitar solo on 1, 3, 7, 9, 11
Robert Säll – guitar solo on 13
Paul Buckmaster – orchestral arrangements and synths on 1
Kjell Klaesson – acoustic guitar on 9
Staffan Stavert – keyboards on 10, 13

Tracklist:

01. Gates Of Fire
02. Better Believe It
03. Prince Of Paupers
04. So Far Away
05. St. Teresa’s Love
06. Through This War
07. Eyes Of Ice
08. Gone
09. Believe In Miracles
10. On And On
11. Under The Wire
12. Winds Of Change
13. Not For Sale (Bonus Track)


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Návrat na "HARD Rock, MELODIC Rock, AOR, BLUES Rock, GLAM & SLEAZE Rock"

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