Classic Rock Bottom

For the ninth album in that ongoing series, it's the 1982 release from Schon & Hammer, Here To Stay

This comes as a bit of a surprise since I've been keeping my eye on this album for a very long time since it is the last album I had on vinyl when it came out, lost it a long time ago and have been wanting it on CD for also a very long time. However, it was OOP and the asking price was way too high. 

So, every now and then I would check to see of a price had come down and a few weeks ago, while checking out offers at some online music store, this album as well as the 1982 debut popped up for less than $10. I did my due diligent research and found that the two S&H albums were going to be re-released this month by Wounded Bird so again I did my due diligence and ordered 'em. Now I have everything I ever wanted on CD so my life is complete. Well, until something else pops into my head.  

That's all I have to say so I'll let do the rest.

Back for round two, guitarist Neal Schon and keyboardist Jan Hammer united for a collaboration once again -- 1982's Here to Stay -- barely a year after their debut appeared. Like the debut (1981's Untold Passion), the album is a combination of both player's prog, fusion, and rock backgrounds -- although a short songwriting leash prevents most of the tracks from stretching past the four-minute mark. The duo were obviously aiming for the top of the charts with the album-opener (whose accompanying video was quite popular during the early days of MTV), "No More Lies," which sounds like a song tailor-made for Pat Benatar. Elsewhere, Hammer gets to spread his wings on "Time Again," while Schon shows off his hard rocking side with the Zeppelin-esque "Turnaround." Like Untold Passion, Here to Stay was a moderate chart success. But despite its bold title, the album would prove to be the last Schon/Hammer collaboration.

Here To Stay

1. No More Lies
2. Don't Stay Away
3. (You Think You're) So Hot
4. Turnaround
5. Self Defense
6. Long Time
7. Time Again
8. Sticks and Stones
9. Peace of Mind
10. Covered By Midnight

Availability: Around $13 new or used plus it comes with a bonus track (not included here).

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Schon is a brilliant geetarist and so I expect some serious work will be heard on this one, and the opener doesn't disappoint.  Its a cool riff and some good shredding.  I remember it from the Mtv days when they actually played music, I always wanted to like it but the chorus kills it for me, its has a flat affect that takes away from the rockin' edge it strives for, oh well...  Don't think I've ever heard anything else from this album so....

Don't Stay Away is a bit of a curve ball, was expecting more fusion/prog/rock but here are at a ballad, its not terrible though.  But So Hot does lose me a bit and then the bridge of the song reels me back in, kind of like this one too.  Turnaround does exactly that, turns the album back around to that flat affect on the opener, if this is the RED track then the rest of this is not gonna be good.  We'll call the Cherry pick of the album right here!  And so far that's SO HOT....  But I'm a patient man, lets see what really happens from here on out...

And so it goes...  Warning! Flat Affect ahead...  I really liked SO HOT, so its the Cherry pick of this post.  I have to say though, I really enjoyed the interplay between Hammer and Schon in almost every song had they went in a more jam/fusion/prog direction this could have been a homerun, but they opted to go with 3-5 minute Mtv ready tunes with some jams squeezed in, problem is they can write good music but can't right a catchy chorus which is why I am using the "flat affect" motif for my comments, its what came to mind and stuck with me throughout...

Still, its worthwhile to listen closely to the musicianship, its top notch...

I have both of their albums on vinyl. Little bit more partial to Untold Passion, thou. They are quite similar, but the first one has a killer Instrumental, that this one is lacking. Turnaround is the only song I ripped from the vinyl for an easy access to a digital listening pleasure. So that's the song I'd paint red as well.

Nice to hear you completed your vinyl to CD upgrades. I went to count how far I'm from the same task, but for me the number is more like 25, with little to no chance they will ever get a CD release. After I learned, Orchard purchased the rights to distribute the entire Shrapnel Records catalog, I was hoping some of their older albums will get CD releases for the first time, but it's been a while and nothing is mentioned, so I'm not holding my breath. The rest of my LP's are mostly International releases, and with sluggish CD sales they won't be released for sure in this format. Oh well, vinyls sound better, don't they? At least, that's what everyone says.

I don't remember hearing that first song or seeing the video.  It's a decent enough song, but a little bit predictable.  It definitely has that "we want a hit really, really bad" feel.  I'm much more familiar with Schon's playing than with MC Hammer's playing.  You know Schon is very melodic and, to me, a very underrated ax slinger.

I immediately like the second tune.  It has a great 80's vibe and a laid back pace that I wouldn't exactly call a ballad. Which is good, because the second song shouldn't be a ballad. The keyboards are what give this the 80's feel.  

I had to do some Wikipedia research in order to find out who did the vocals.  For some reason,Jon didn't mention it.  I see that Schon himself sang the opener.  He's got a fair voice, but not notable.  He's certainly no Steve Perry, but who is.  I see the majority of vocals were performed by Glen Burtnik, a one-time member of Styx.  I also seek quite a few Journey members made appearances on the album.  That can't be a bad thing.  

The red song does nothing for me.  You can definitely hear Perry on backing vocals on Self Defense.  He should have performed the lead vocals.  That would have been cool.

The album kind of meanders on, but Time Again grabs me.  Sounds like a Cheap Trick/Beatles mash-up.  It want's to be moody.  Wow, I like this track. If I were independently wealthy, I'd purchase the copyright for Jon's red track and I'd make this a red track.  Badass!

The closer is really good too.  That song and Time Again are well worth the price of admission here.  Good post!

MC Hammer?????

You've been barred.

You can't touch this!


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