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On stage: Russ Ballard

- Stan Bush & Russ Ballard - June 1994 - Hamburg (D) -

- Stan Bush & Russ Ballard -
- June, 10th 1994 - Hamburg (D), Große Freiheit -

On a rainy Friday evening about 450 AOR fans found their way to the legen;dary St. Pauli club Große Freiheit. For just 15,- DM the ones could see the masterminds of melodic rock. In a time when ticket prices rise up to 45,- DM for a single show these masters go back to the time when a concerts was a kind of promotion just to sell the record.
Stan Bush started with I Got It Bad For You from his current album Dial 818 888-8638. The 30 minutes long show didn't life from stage acting, light effects, Bush went back to the important - to the music. His soft rock, his ballads are one of the best. Stan found a band which had the musical abilities, but just use it to make the songs alive. The mastermind is much more known for his work as a songwriter for other acts than for his own. With Stan Bush And Barrage he made himself known as a musician. This evening he showed the audience songs like: e.g. Total Surrender, Hold Your Head Up High and Take My Love. His music is made for dreaming, to forget the reality. Unfortunately the most European fans didn't appreciate this kind of music.
At first I will travel back in time to the beginning of Russ Ballard's musical career. He been a founding member of The Zombies and Argent, he is one of the very best songwriters on planet Earth, a fantastic guitarist and singer. Everybody knows his songs, but almost the bring success to other musicians, e.g. I Don't Believe In Miracles of Colin Blunstone or So You Win Again of Hot Chocolate. These songs don't fit for his own band, but even been good ones. The old Argent hit God Gave Rock'n'Roll To You been a hit for Kiss last year. On the other hand he produced bands like America, Roger Daltrey or Elkie Brooks. Most didn't know that the British been an active musician in the 60's. At age of 13 he wrote his first song - The Lost City. The song been recorded by The Shadows, Harry Webb of The Shadows renamed into Cliff Richard a little later. At that time Russ been the guitarist of Adam Faith's formation The Rouletts. Later he formed The Zombies with keyboarder Rod Argent. Their biggest hit ever been She's Not There. Rod Argent left The Zombies to found his own band and asked Russ Ballard to join him. The right decision, Russ wrote their hit Hold Your Head Up. Three years later other musicians and bands recognize his songwriting abilities. With the beginning of the 70's he left Argent and start his own career. The debut been released in 1973. Until 1993 he wrote about 300 world-wide hits! One of his hits been Rainbow's Since You Been Gone. In 1979 his 4th solo album Bamet Dog been out, until that days he was a kind of master in the background. On this album he had his first own performed hit On The Rebound. Later covered by Uriah Heep. Long time know news from Ballard. In 1984 the album Russ Ballard brought the breakthrough. The single Voices made it happen. A year later The Fire Still Burns been released including the next world-wide hit single Your Time Is Gonna Come. At the climax of his career he step out of the public eye. Russ wanted to care more about his family. To quote Russ: "In the important years of the growing my children need me." Within this break he wrote songs for Magnum, Bad English and the Little Angels and many more. Last year he wrote, play guitar and keyboard on Robert Harts debut. After 7 years he is back. The Seer is finest rock music, 13 tracks are on the album. The album is his very best, you can hear that he choose the best out of more than 30 songs. Songs like These Are The Times, Stay With Me or Vibrate don't keep you calm. The ballad The Healer is more than just a song, it let your flesh began to creep. Blue For You is a bluesy number which also is part of a TV soundtrack of a German production. The Seer includes a variety of slow ones and mid-tempo tracks. The tracks Russ didn't use will other artists use. That is his past until these days. Tonight Russ showed a mixture of his hits, focused on the current album. 90 minutes of rock'n'roll, pure music, no gimmicks!
Fantastic for an evening to enjoy with a partner.

Claudia Ehrhardt

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