First, a little bit of background information. PRIDE are not a new band; rather, they enjoyed a brief flirtation with success from 1988 to 1991 on account of their single “You’re The Only One.” The band never managed to release a full album, but thankfully, new Melodic Rock label AOR-FM has managed to unearth a wealth of old PRIDE material. This album contains “You’re The Only One,” its B-side, “Dreamer In The Night,” another unreleased single, and seven demo tracks. Hats off to AOR-FM for reviving this stuff, because it’s definitely quality material, and it’s a nice glance into “what could have been.”
PRIDE don’t really do anything to mix up the tried-and-true AOR formula, which is probably why they were extinct by 1991, but it bodes well for fans of classic Melodic Rock. They sound very similar to other Scandinavian AOR bands such as FATE, EUROPE, and DA VINCI. The overall sound is extremely smooth; keyboards are used anywhere and everywhere to make each song sound as melodic and ear-pleasing as possible.
The album kicks off with the one-two punch of “You’re The Only One” and “Dreamer In The Night.” Both are extremely catchy, filled with great hooks and memorable choruses. The same can be said of “Playing With Fire” and “Someone’s Calling Your Name,” although they don’t quite match the quality of the first two songs. Things first to get ballsy with “Turn It Up,” which is a good deal heavier than the majority of PRIDE’s songs. It delivers the right amount of crunch at just the right time. The rest of the album, even though they may all be demos, is still top-notch material.
Listening to this album makes me wonder what would have happened if PRIDE had chanced along just a tad earlier in the 80s. Strong songwriting, catchy melodies, excellent musicianship…the band had it all. Though this might be repackaged material, it’s definitely worth a buy for fans of AOR. Find yourself a copy quickly; there are only five hundred copies of this classic!
(Online May 21, 2008)