Airrace – Shaft Of Light [1984]

PhotobucketAirrace is undoubtedly one of the best bands in AOR history came out from England.

The band was founded by guitarist Laurie Mansworth (ex-More) in 1982 and the line up was completed after some changes with the bassist Jim Reid (ex-Bordello), the 17 years old then Jason Bonham on drums (son of John Bonham from Led Zeppelin), Toby Sadler (ex- White Spirit) on keys and the mighty Keith Murrel (ex-Moontier) on vocals. The production was from Beau Hill know for his great work with Ratt that period and later with Fiona, Kix, Warrant, Europe, etc.

“Shaft of Light” originally released in 1984 from Atlantic Records, a masterpiece of catchy hook, cool tunes, tough guitar riffs, excellent quality keyboards and outstanding vocals by frontman Keith Murrell.

First out is the classic “I Don’t Care” with it’s grandiosity keyboards, catchy chorus and good backing vocals followed by the great “Promise to Call”, a song with more heavy riffs and an amazing guitar solo in style of early eighties Whitesnake.

“First One Over The Line” has it all…..from punchy keyboards, catchy chorus, great hooks and the remarkable vocal performance from Murrell, show us why he has one of the greatest rock voices of all time. In the same powerful style are “Didn’t Wanna Lose Ya” and “Open Your Eyes” with incredible keys, awesome solo guitar and choruses you’ll sing them again and again. And then we have a must listener track called “Brief Encounter”, started with an incredible keyboard introduction and Murrell sang in slow motion promise us for a powerful chorus as it happens. Strong guitars with keybords fills and a catchy chorus reward us.

“DoYou Want My Love Again” is a straight ahead rocker with nice keyboard melodies and quite nice chorus and of cource for once more an amazing solo guitar.

“Caught In The Game” it’s a song close to the pomp style with a perfect combination of keyboards and guitars. The last two “Not Really Me” and “All I’m Asking” are also worthwhile having very good melodic tunes, terrific vocals and plenty of heart in it.

The album re-release in 2003 from Wounded Bird Records but without any improvement in sound quality and in 2009 we have a new 24-bit remastering re-issue from the original source tapes by Rock Candy Records with two bonus tracks “Not Really Me” and “She Can’t Come Out”, both being demos that were record in 1982.

Overall, the album is an example of clean-cut British AOR, that worth a place to everyones collection.

Band Members
Jason Bonham – Drums
Jim Reid – Bass, Guitars
Keith Murrell – Lead & Backing Vocals
Laurie Mansworth – Lead Guitars, Guitars, Backing Vocals
Toby Sadler – Keyboards, Bass, Backing Vocals

Tracks
01. I Don’t Care (3:37)
02. Promise To Call (4:13)
03. First One Over The Line (3:20)
04. Open Your Eyes (2:56)
05. Not Really Me (3:02)
06. Brief Encounter (4:31)
07. Caught In The Game (3:28)
08. Do You Want My Love Again (3:25)
09. Didn’t Wanna Lose Ya (3:25)
10. All I’m Asking (3:16)

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Airrace - Shaft Of Light [1984], 8.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings