Almost a decade earlier, Serafino Perugino of Frontiers Records, thought a supergroup with Jeff Scott Soto doing Journey type AOR music would be a smart idea. He is notorious for putting all these great musicians together for so-called supergroups and some would say he does it WAY TOO MUCH! And I would agree, except for W.E.T. W.E.T. is a culmination of some great artist including Robert Sall of the band Work of Art (The “W”); Erik Martensson of the band Eclipses (The “E”) and Jeff Scott Soto of the band Talisman (The “T”). All three bands are Swedish bands and all on Frontiers so it made it easy to bring these three guys together. Rounding out the band are Magnus Henriksson and Robban Back both from the band Eclipse as well. What most thought would be a one-off project has now turned in to 3 studio albums and one live album and we couldn’t be happier.
But, will the third time be the charm? Will this be as good or better than the first two or have they outlived their usefulness? The answer to those questions is that this band keeps getting better and better with age. They are like a fine wine and although there is a little cheese in this sound, the album gives us a group of songs that has so many hooks that the US Fish and Wildlife Service has issued a warning about that fact. So, sit back and get ready to get caught up in the music hook, line and sinker. And I am sure all that sounded as bad as it felt writing it. Since I’m only writing bad jokes at this point, lets get to the music.
The album opens with the stellar first single “Watch the Fire” and mine it is something to behold. It opens with an atmospheric keyboard sound, then the guitars and drums come roaring in and then we get Erik’s vocals to kick off the song and Jeff joins in as well. Another fantastic duet between the two and it is shame this is the only song they do it on, but what a song. The melodies, the harmonies, the hook-ridden chorus, the wicked guitar solo, it is melodic rock at its absolute best!! This is one of the best songs they have done on the three albums.
By 2001, Jeff Scott Soto and Marcel Jacob and had been playing together for a decade. The longest project Jeff had ever been with and probably the most fulfilling as he and Marcel were able to craft Talisman out of all the types of music they both liked. To celebrate that 10 years, a tour was needed and they wound up playing at the Sweden Rock Festival in 2001 on one of the smaller stages.
The place was packed up to an hour before the show. The crowd was chanting their name and was ready to hear some Talisman. Jeff Scott Soto, Marcel Jacob, Pontus Norgren and Jamie Borger were ready to take the stage and give the fans what they wanted…Talisman!! They played on the Rockklassiker stage with a 2000 crowd capacity. But it started off a little rough…two days prior to the show, Marcel’s gear was left in Stockholm where he, Jeff and Pontus were working on the new Humanimal album. So, Marcel had no bass. He wasn’t going to play, but when he heard the crowd chanting, he ran and found a bass from another band.
There was another band at the festival that had some recording gear and so they decided to record the show. Marcel and Pontus were a little unhappy with the recording as the bass sound wasn’t what Marcel really sounded like (remember, not his guitar), Jeff’s microphone had issues and the guitar sounded a little out of tune at times…they re-recorded a lot of the record in the studio and played as if it was the show to capture that essence…and honestly, you can’t tell. It all sounds fantastic.
This was 2001, so this was prior to Humanimal project and prior to the giant riff between Marcel and Pontus which forced the end of Humanimal and the end of Pontus in Talisman. So, if this is the last recording with Pontus on lead guitar, then we get a wonderful time capsule. The album was supposed to come out in April 2002, but the release was delayed (probably due to the Humanimal issues going on). It finally saw the light of day in December 2002 and thankfully it did as it is a fantastic show.
As we already know, 1993 was a very busy year for Jeff Scott Soto. He jumped from the Talisman ‘Genesis’ recordings straight in to the Axel Rudi Pell’s ‘The Ballads’ recordings and then had to fly to Japan to do a set of shows for Talisman. Not to mention the Takara album and even the Biker Mice from Mars soundtrack. It was a whirlwind. And then around February of 1994, an album of the Japanese gigs was released called ‘Five Out of Five (Live in Japan)’.
The original release of this album was called ‘Five out of Five’. The reissue I have from 2004 is a double CD that includes their album ‘Life’ (which we will review soon) and this one now titled ‘5 Out of 5’. It is strange the album is called ‘5 out of 5’ because there are only 4 members in the band at this time. So, what is with the ‘5’? Easy, Marcel Jacobs thought it would be funny. At first you think, how is that funny, but if you read Kerrang magazine, that is how they do their ratings ‘5 out of 5’ or ‘4 out of 5’, you get the idea. Marcel thought if it ended up being mentioned or reviewed in Kerrang, it would already read Talisman ‘5 out of 5’. Pretty clever!! Thanks to Frnak Tunny and Ronny Hahn’s Jeff Scott Soto Biography for that little nugget.
Welcome back. For this Bonus post in the Jeff Scott Soto Series, we are going to talk about a 7″ Single from the album ‘Talisman’ for the song “I’ll Be Waiting”. The single was released in Sweden and didn’t take off at first. There was a radio station in Sweden that normally played Kylie Minogue and that type of music, played the single and the response was tremendous. They played it again and the same thing happened. The song went all the way to #2 on the their charts and the album ended up selling over 50,000 albums. Not bad at all. Amazingly enough this was supposed to be a one-off project, but the response was so big Talisman went on for another 19 years and released 7 albums plus numerous live recordings.
The single I have is the 7″ vinyl single from Sweden. It is on the Airplay Recordings label and was released in 1990. The B-Side was the song “Dangerous” off the same album and was written solely by Marcel Jacob. “I’ll Be Waiting” was written by both Marcel and Jeff Scott Soto. The two songs are actually right next to each other on the album and a great 1-2 punch.
In 1989, Marcel Jacob had label interest but no band. You remember Marcel, he was in Yngwie Malmsteem’s Rising Force with Jeff Scott Soto. Although the two didn’t hit it off at first as their musical upbringing were so different. Marcel was a European music snob and Jeff was simple uncultured American. Over time, they became friends and Marcel needed help from his friend for a project he was working on that had no singer. He asked Jeff to sing the songs for the album.
Marcel’s project was originally called Guitars on Fire, but after the songs were completed and mixed, the name changed to Talisman. But the album almost didn’t happen. At the time of recording the album, Jeff Scott Soto was in a band called Eyes and his contract had him exclusively which means, Jeff can’t do anything outside of Eyes. At the time, Jeff was broke, and I mean flat broke. He needed money fast. So Jeff talked to his label, begged and pleaded and made them understand that this album is a one-off and wouldn’t compete with Eyes. It would have limited release only in Sweden so they had nothing to fear. And you know, they bought it.
Jeff went to Sweden and recorded the album with Jacob in 1989. For the album, you had Marcel Jacob on bass, drums (except for two tracks), keyboards and guitar. Jeff Scott Soto handled the vocals, Christopher Stahl on guitar, Mats Lindfors on guitar, Mats Olassaon on keyboard, and Peter Hermansson on drums for the two tracks Marcel didn’t play on.
I realized I have been making a lot of purchases and yet not everything makes its way on to the site. I figured I would do a wrap up each month of all my purchasing I have made even if they made it on the site during the month or even might make it on to the site down the road.
This month I ended up at a pop up sale by Noble Records at Cafe Moka over in the Waverly shopping complex in Charlotte, NC. He does these every couple months and when I get to go, I always score some great releases. However, there probably won’t be any more pop ups for a while as Noble Records is finally opening a brick & mortar store in October and I couldn’t be happier. Another place to go hangout and search for records whenever I want. This trip was no different. Major scores.
First up is The Goo Goo Dolls classic album, ‘Dizzy Up the Girl’. It is hard to find albums from around this time and I found this one and more…
And if that wasn’t cool enough, I found a 2LP Yellow Vinyl limited edition of Third Eye Blind’s album ‘Third Eye Blind’. It would have fit in nicely with my Turntables & Vinyl Post on Colored Vinyl a few weeks back.
Part 3 of the Def Leppard Live Series is ‘And There Will Be A Next Time…Live From Detroit’. This the latest released from Def Leppard and sparked my reason behind reviewing all three of the Live albums they have released. The other two are as follows:
‘And There Will Be A Next Time…’ was recorded back over the Summer of 2016 in Detroit, MI (obviously) in support of their album that was simply titled ‘Def Leppard’. The release was in both CD form and in Blue Ray / DVD and consisted of 17 tracks. The track listing is below: