Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dakota - Runaway (1984)

In 1984 Dakota released the album that many holds as their best one and I can only agree with them. "Runaway" is an AOR album that should have got more attention when it was released back in the 80s. It was released in the same time as their label mates in Night Ranger, The Fixx and Glen Frey and not to mention 2 other acts that released a single called "Runaway". I think this album deserves a better destiny.

So now 20 years later I have the digitally remastered version of the album in my hand with 2 bonus tracks and what more can I say than that you don?t get much better AOR albums than this that is filled with pure 80s AOR in such high quality. If you?re into acts like Survivor, Franke & The Knockouts, Le Roux, Preview, Aviator, Allies and Toto you just gotta have this in your collection.

This classic record is filled with pure winners from the start to the end and many of the songs are classic AOR tracks with a fantastic sound. It was mixed by Humberto Gatica and you will recognize some of the players that were involved in this album such as Paul Jackson JR, Steve Porcaro, Richie Zito, Neil Steubenhaus and Bill Champlin to name few.

The album opens up with the classic AOR tune "Runaway". This is a perfect AOR-song that has everything from big hooklines, fluffy keyboards and harmony vocals. Pure ecstasy in my opinion.
"Heroes" is a nice mid-tempo song with great piano/keyboards in the background through the whole song. In some moments it sounds very much like Meat Loaf going AOR.

"Into The Night" goes in the same style as "Runaway". The sound is huge and filled with awesome hooklines a?la Survivor. Bill Kelly sings like a GOD on this one and the background vocals are as good as on "Runaway".
"Angry Men" starts off slow with Bill sounding like Dave Brickle but turns out to a rocker in the chorus. The whole song smells Survivor for a long way and I?m sure that Peterik and Sullivan would have loved to have this song on the "Vital Signs" album.

The only track that don?t reach the same heights as the rest is the pretty boring "Over And Over".
The bonustracks are really good also. "Believin`" is a straigh ahead AOR-rocker with lovely keyboards and a strong chorus with great background vocals. "More Love" sounds kinda like a Franke & The Knockouts tune.
If you don?t have any albums with Dakota and are into AOR then this is the album you should start with. I have to say that it?s a treat to hear Bill Kelly sing like he does and it?s a shame that he is quiet in the band now and only helps out with the background vocals on the latest Dakota album.

1. Runaway 5:03
2. Tonight Could Last Forever 4:41
3. Heroes 4:13
4. When the Rebel Comes Home 4:17
5. Love Won't Last 4:11
6. Into the Night 4:52
7. Angry Men 4:37
8. If Only I'd Know It 4:27
9. Over and Over 4:29
10. Believin' bonus track 4:19
11. More Love bonus track 3:22
12. National Runaway Hotline Radio Spot 0:35

Total Running Time: 49:06

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