Dakota – Runaway [1984]

PhotobucketDakota in 1984 released their second album called “Runaway” that was meant to be their best work, an AOR masterpiece and a legend of what we call West Coast genre.Although it was released on the mighty MCA Records, who scored big time with Night Ranger that period but also has some classic releases of the period 1983-1984 such as Preview, White Sister, The Automatix, Fortune, etc., the album suffered from the poor MCA promotion, it didn’t become huge.

It took 20 years for this underrated AOR classic to be re-released and took the glory that should have been lost all this years and become a must have album for the AOR fans all over the world.The new digitally remasterd version has a high quality sound, two bonus tracks and a radio spot. This classic record is filled with excellent harmony vocals, catchy choruses and hooks from the start to the end with as space needed for the keys and guitars.It was mixed by Humberto Gatica and produced by Danny Seraphine best known for being the original drummer and founding member of the rock group Chicago.

Of course it has to be mentioned that some of the players that were involved in this album such as Paul Jackson JR. (on guitars and known for supporting musicians such as Michael Jackson, Whitney Huston, Chicago, Elton John), Steve Porcaro (on keyboards and an original member of Toto), Richie Zito (producer of Heart, Bad English, Cheap Trick), Neil Steubeuhaus (on bass and well know for his work with Aerosmith, Michael Bolton, Dan Fogelberg, Cher, Joe Cocker, Don Henley), David J. “Hawk” Wolinski (on keyboards and production and well known for his work with Bee Gees, Glen Frey, Michael Jackson), the saxophone expert Ernie Watts and Bill Champlin (known for his work on band Chicago), to name few.

The album opens up with the classic AOR tune “Runaway”, a perfect sample of pure AOR song writing that has everything from big hooklines to harmony vocals, covered with pomp keyboards and catchy chorus. “Tonight Could Last Forever” is an excellent work of pure 80’s AOR style with catchy chorus followed by “Heroes” a strong ballad with great piano/keyboards in the background through the whole song. “The Rebel Comes Home” continues in the same melodic style with a great beat and awesome background vocals in chorus and the splendor continues with the magnificent AOR “Into The Night” in same style as “Runaway” with strong vocals,catchy chorus and keys that once you hear it you’ll never forget it. “Angry Men” has a huge AOR tone that starts off slow and turns out to a rocker and catchy song with suburb chorus and an amazing guitar solo. “Over and Over” is a lovely smoothy song with a nice mid-tempo tune but lucks the saxophone which should not have been there. “Love Won’t Last” has some truly memorable moments on it with great lyrics and harmony vocals. “If Only I’d Known It” is a splendid example of how a good ballad must be, with powerful vocals,catchy chorus, hooks and fluffy keys.

The bonus tracks “Believin” and “More Love” are nice addition to the whole album with nice background vocals, harmony keyboards and strong choruses.
A really masterpiece that every AOR fan should have in his collection.

Band Members
Jerry Hludzik – Vocals, guitars
Bill Kelly – Vocals, guitars
Rick Manwiller – Piano, keyboards

Additional Musicians
Neil Stubenhaus – Bass
Bill McHale – Bass
Danny Seraphine – Drums
Steve Porcaro – Additional guitars
Chris Pinnick – Additional guitars
Richie Zito – Additional guitars
Paul Jackson Jr. – Additional guitars
David Hawk Wolinski – Additional guitars
Jeff Mitchell – Electric piano on track 11
Tony Romano – Drums on track 11
Bill Champlin – Backing vocals on track 7

Tracks
1. Runaway
2. Tonight Could Last Forever
3. Heroes
4. When the Rebel Comes Home
5. Love Won’t Last
6. Into the Night
7. Angry Men
8. If Only I’d Know It
9. Over and Over

 

 

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Rating: 8.9/10 (14 votes cast)
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Dakota - Runaway [1984], 8.9 out of 10 based on 14 ratings