After Hours - 'Take Off' Reissue (AOR Heaven) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by David Prince   
Tuesday, 21 September 2010 05:00

afterhoursAOR Heaven continues their Classix series with the reissue of the much sought after After Hours album 'Take Off' which has been digitally remastered by Chris Lyne (Soul Doctor) and contains unreleased photo material plus liner notes by Dave Reynolds. The album will be a strictly limited edition of 1000 copies which will be only available through and connected dealers/shops. Having never seen the band live and only having the old cassettes of their now classic two albums, this is a welcome reissue of the stonking AOR masterpiece that is the debut album from After Hours.

The Southampton based AORsters had a brief foray into the world of Adult Orientated Rock that was short-lived and only consisted of a couple of albums ('Take Off' and 'After Hours') in the late Eighties/early Nineties before splitting up and going their separate ways. Lead singer John Francis had a brief tenure with Shy (check out the demo of 'What Love Can Make You Do' on the Shy Anthology) before disappearing completely with nothing being heard of any of them since. Now, with the history lesson over I'll let the music do the talking...


'Love Attack' is an AOR masterpiece that deserves its place in the hearts of every AOR fan. How this band never broke the big time is a case for the criminal justice system or merely a case of bad timing. John Francis has the voice of crushed velvet with the soul of a man who has loved and lost a thousand lovers. 'Better Late Than Never' is up next and is a statement that can be attached to this reissue... a belter of a song is this. The guitars of Tim Payne gel together the THAT voice... and I'm 16 again. A point I must bring up is the remastering. Not only has Chris Lyne done a fantastic job here, but he has made the album even better with the crisp and clear sound that belies its 22 years!


'Another Lonely Night' is the AOR masterpiece hit that never was. I mean if Journey released this song it would have been classed as a mega hit, but as it came from a UK band it was destined to be an undiscovered gem. This is the basic rule for this album and the one that followed. After Hours and especially John Francis were and are destined to be so much more. And given that three original members (namely John Francis, Tim Payne and bassist Martin Walls) have reformed and are currently recording their comeback album for the AOR Heaven label, maybe this time they will be given a fair crack of the whip! I mean check out their cover of the Stones' 'Paint It Black' which in my mind is the best version of the song EVER! And I HATE that song! So for a band to register it listenable to these ears is a feat done by no other!


With only nine songs this reissue could have been expanded but that's my only niggle with the album. Now where's my Lonsdale vest and Hi-Tec basketball boots - I WANNA ROCK!