Wednesday, 15 December 2010 22:25 | Written by Raymond Coonen |
ALBUM: BEST OF BALLADS – PART II
LABEL: NUCLEAR BLAST
RELEASE DATE: 26-NOV-10 RATING N/A
GENRE: MELODIC ROCK
PRODUCERS: LEO LEONI, RONALD PRENT, RICHARD CHYCKIU, CHRIS VON ROHR AND GOTTHARD
REVIEWER: RAYMOND "EVERYBODY LOVES RAY" COONEN
if someone asked me if there still are any great new melodic rock bands after grunge kicked in I would say Gotthard. The band started just when the rock climate was changing in 1992. They had everything against them but the Swiss five piece kept on producing the one great album after the other. In their home country all albums went (directly) to number one in the album charts. Thanks to the charismatic singer Steve Lee and guitar god Leo Leoni, Gotthard prooved every single time that they sound live even better than on the little silver discs... what is a hard thing to do… but they did it.
Gotthard fan base grew with every album and by the time Homerun (2001) and Human Zoo (2003) were released Gotthard became a house hold name in the (hard) rock world. When long-time member Mandy Meyer was replaced by Freddy Scherer (Meyer quited the band just after the Human Zoo tour) Gotthard sounded on 2005’s Lipservice harder and slickier than ever. A style change they continue till the Need To Believe album in 2009.
Than on 5 October 2010 round 4:00 p.m disaster strikes… The voice of one of the finest hard rock bands in the world is no more. Steve Lee died in a road accident.
Few months after the lost of their front man Gotthard releases Best Of Ballads – Part 2… part 2? Yes, in 2002 Gotthard released part one called One Life, One Soul. I know that it’s Christmas time and that is the time when compilation albums are hitting the store. Of course we will never know if Gotthard would have released this ballad album if Steve Lee didn't pass away? Is this something that the record company thought was right to do… artists that sadly passed away were commercial goldmines… I don’t have to name any artist here to make my point do I? But this is just a question from my side…
Now the album... just like all Gotthard albums releases on Nuclear Blast Records the package, the layout looks great. In this case also very tasteful…
Well about the music I can be short… that’s great too. Almost 70 minutes filled with Gotthard’s catchy softer side. Starting off with their number one in Swiss and painfully suitable 'Heaven' followed by the new unreleased country/poppy sounding 'What Am I'.
A good thing is that this ballad compilation starts where they left in 2002 with expectations of the just mention 'Heaven', the classic 'One Life One Soul', 'Have A Little Faith In Me' (special and beautiful piano version) and the hard to find 'Merry X-mas' (great track by the way). These songs are the “older” songs (2003/2001/1999/1996). The remaining of this collection is filled with songs you can find back on the Lipservice, Domino Effect and Need To Believe albums.
Truthfully I have to say that when I hear all these Gotthard diamonds and especially Steve's voice on 'And Than Goodbye' it touches me… it painfully prooves once more that we lost a great singer…
01.Heaven (Album Version)*
02. What Am I
03. Where Is Love When It's Gone
04. Need To Believe
05. One Life, One Soul*
06. The Call*
07. Don't Let Me Down*
08. Nothing Left At All
09. Unconditional Faith
10. Have A Little Faith* ( piano version)
11. Tears To Cry
12. Everything I Want*
13. I've Seen An Angel Cry Tonight
14. Tomorrow's Just Begun
15. Falling (acoustic Version)
16. And Then Goodbye*
17. Merry X-mas*
* Everybody Loves Ray’s favourite tracks
Steve Lee: vocals
Leo Leoni: guitars
Marc Lynn: bass
Freddy Scherer: guitars
Hena Habegger: drums
Mandy Meyer guitar on #1, 5 and 17