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Roq Royale - s/t


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Anyone got this back in 2012? Good stuff.

Review from grande-rock.com (by thanos 09/11/2012):

Here we have a release that’s been through fire and ice so as to see the light of day… after almost 20 years! Why’s that? Well, label’s policy, interests and various weird backgrounds are enough to leave an album on the shelf for decades.

So, who are Roq Royale? The band started taking shape in the early 80s when the vocalist/guitarist Nathan Shaffer (ex-Gambler) left his previous band and started taking his chances. It was in the late 80s when Roq Royale took their final shape and were ready to go big. Along with Nathan… we have: Billy Cannon on guitar, John-Paul Tantet on bass, John Merritt on drums and, of course, Michael Prince (Diamond Legs) on keyboards. Actually, the drummer John Merritt asked Michael Prince if he wanted in and he joined, bringing on board the bassist John-Paul Tantet as well. The guys firstly cut a $2000 demo (where the band is playing live with the merest of overdubs added – according to Nathan) which led them to closing a deal with Atlantic records. The band got a $125,000 budget, which was the standard at the time, but the coming of the producer Roy Thomas Baker (Queen, Journey, Foreigner, etc.) nearly doubled the original budget! Well, can you imagine the amount for a record of that time? Do you think that even today a band (even some of the biggest ones) is spending so much money on recordings, production and so forth? Well for the record, the president of Atlantic, Doug Morris, wasn’t satisfied with the production and especially with the drum sound at all so he got into fight with the band’s manager and the album never saw the light of day. Nevertheless, Nathan has gone for a remix to correct the drum sound on this album now that it’s finally released. The album couldn’t have been released under the “classix” tag as it’s “new” material… even it was recorded all but 20 years ago… cuz’ it never went public till now.

Thx to AOR Heaven we have the chance to listen to this album. The band’s style is a blend of AOR, classic rock, pop-rock, melodic rock and pomp rock music of the 80s… it has a great 80s sound (how couldn’t it huh?!) and exhales a sweet “retro” feeling as long as you’re listening to it. Surely, influences from bands like: Legs Diamond, Survivor, Alias, Autograph, Icon and so on will cross your mind as soon as you listen to it. The album includes 4 covers… two songs from Legs Diamond entitled “Walk Away” and “Find It Out The Hard Way” (both originally found on “Out On Bail”), one from Squeeze called “Tempted” (originally on Squeeze’s “East Side Story”) & finally a re-appraisal of Gambler’s “Never Felt Like This”

So, was it worth the wait? Well, it’s one of those albums that maybe, if it had come out on the late 80s, it would have been one of the many good – qualitative melodic rock/AOR works… but, honestly, nowadays we get to see albums such as this once in a blue moon. It has all those elements to make the 80s rock freaks feel delighted and show the others how music was meant to be back in the day… very good indeed…









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I thought it was okay. Got a 68% for me in my archives. Probably just a bit forgettable for me in the end.

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