Thirty-three years since they recorded their third album ‘Walking Wild’, Boston AOR legends New England are back with their first new recording, the single ‘I Know There’s Something Here’ and what a breath of fresh air it is.
New England’s career started back in 1979 when they were approached by Kiss manager Bill Aucoin. Paul Stanley, along with famed producer Mike Stone, helped New England to record their eponymous debut album which was full of hard melodic rock with the added ingredients of Sweet and ELO. The album featured the Top 30 billboard smash in the classic ‘Don’t Ever Wanna Lose Ya’. Tours followed supporting Kiss, Journey and AC/DC.
However a shift in record labels from Infinity/MCA to Elektra didn’t do the band any favours with the albums ‘Explorer Suite’ and ‘Walking Wild’ both failing to make serious chart damage and by 1982 it was all over for New England and whilst other AOR giants like Journey and Foreigner went on to become household names, New England had to make do with cult status.
After the split all the members remained in the music business with main songwriter, guitarist and vocalist John Fannon and drummer Hirsh Gardner both going down the solo route whilst both keyboardist Jimmy Waldo and bassist Gary Shea found notable success in Alcatrazz, the band formed by former Rainbow singer Graham Bonnet and which also featured, at separate times, Steve Vai and Yngwie Malmsteen.
The four original members got back together last year to play some charity shows in the Boston area and the feeling was so good that it has resulted in this new recording with more to follow.
Hearing ‘I Know There’s Something Here’ is like dying and going to Heaven and finding one of your favourite bands from the past performing sublimely together like they’ve never been apart, as if time has stood still. A couple of listen of this single and I was on Cloud 9.
The trademark sound of New England is still highly evident. Starting with an angelic intro featuring Fannon’s dulcet comforting voice before the swirling keyboards ride in with Gardner’s unique solid drumming add a bit of power to this blissful uplifting positive tune that is textbook AOR at it’s best.
Available as a limited edition 7″ vinyl or as a download from the band’s own website, the B-Side is a new acoustic version of the fan favourite ‘Conversation’ which originally appeared on ‘Explorer Suite’.
This is a most welcome return and I await a full blown album with avid anticipation. A first visit to UK shores would be the cherry on the cake. On this evidence dreams do indeed come true.