Title - 'Pop 85/95'
Artist - Neal Smith
For those not in the know, legendary Alice Cooper Group, HOF drummer Neal Smith has just-released a brand new album, Pop 85/95 via Kachina Records.
Smith's new "retro pop" album signifies the music style and time period in which he wrote these songs between 1985 and 1995 with the songs, along with the actual album concept, all being both overtly sexy and politically incorrect!
Furthermore, Smith's 11 new songs represent all aspects of relationships, falling in and out of love in a simpler bygone era before Coronavirus, politically correctness and the new world disorder.
With the onslaught of glam hair bands and heavily homogenized rock of the 1980’s, Smith was looking for a new direction for his songwriting.
Inspired by another drummer, songwriter, singer Phil Collins, he turned from writing hard rock to a slicker, more pop rock songwriting style.
In the late 1980’s he took four of his new songs into the studio and recorded them. One of the songs, 'Secret Eyes' helped land a recording deal with newly formed record company called Grudge Records.
Along with Dennis Dunaway (Alice Cooper fame), Joe Bouchard (Blue Oyster Cult fame), Charlie Hune (Ted Nugent fame) and lead guitarist Jay Jesse Johnson (also known as “Triple J”), a new band called Deadringer was formed and signed by Grudge Records.
Deadringer recorded an album in 1989 called Electrocution Of The Heart featuring the aforementioned single 'Secret Eyes, but the album and band were all short lived after Grudge Records' quick demise!
However, after Deadringer, and well into the 1990’s, Neal continued writing songs with Johnson in this pop rock style and decades later, well into the New Millennium, Smith was searching through his archives of music and found those songs that he composed and recorded between the years of 1985 and 1995.
Inspired by Johnson's amazing lead guitar work, Neal polished the songs and brought them back to life with the help of two of his best friends, Peter Catucci (bass guitar of Killsmith) and Rick Tedesco (guitarist/engineer).
Now, much to the excitement of his fans worldwide, Neal Smith’s Pop 85/95 is available digitally and on CD.
1) 'If I Only Had You'
2) 'Dying To Love You'
3) 'Secret Eyes'
4) 'Love Sets The Night On Fire'
5) 'Distant Drum'
6) 'I Wanna Be Good, But I Don't Know How'
7) 'Love Can Run, Love Can Hide'
8) 'In A Heartbeat'
9) 'Fly Home Sweet Angel'
10) 'I Love You To Death'
11) 'All My Eyes Can See'
Opening with the mid-tempo AOR of 'If I Only Had You,' that's followed by the lush ballad 'Dying To Love You,' which in turn is followed by the Smith-sung single, the foot-tappin' 'Secret Eyes,' and then the synth-led ballad 'Love Sets The Night On Fire.'
Next up is the mid-tempo, percussion-enhanced 'Distant Drum' which is backed by the free flowing melodic guitar work of 'I Wanna Be Good, But I Don't Know How,' with the rock guitars fully engaged for the mid'80s AOR of 'Love Can Run, Love Can Hide.'
The album then rounds out with the drum-led 'In A Heartbeat,' the soaring guitar work found on the yearning for a departed loved one within 'Fly Home Sweet Angel,' with dynamic drums and guitars working in harmony for the euphoric 'I Love You To Death,' before coming to a close on the passionate outreach of 'All My Eyes Can See.'
"In the 80’s and 90’s Rap, Hip Hop, Pop and even Rock music was being recorded with synthesized programmed drums," Neal Smith explains. "I understood that this was a new wave of recording percussion."
"But what I did not like was many of the synthesized drum tracks were being programmed by engineers and musicians who were not even drummers."
"Disappointed and inspired by that fact, I began a new phase of songwriting by programming synthesized drums on my recordings. The last eight songs on my new CD POP 85/95 is a collection of songs I wrote from that era featuring synth drums I programmed myself."
Official CD Purchase Link
Neal Smith @ Facebook