Back in December 2021 when I announced I was doing a Jeff Scott Soto Series, I got a lot of response on the picture of my collection. One such person contacted me on Facebook and offered to send me a hard back edition of a biography on Jeff Scott Soto, so I quickly thanked him and agreed. He quickly mailed out this glorious copy of the book. His name was Sundeep Pooni and that book has been a massive reference guide for my review series up to this point. So, a big thank you to Sundeep and his very generous gift!! From here on out in the review series, we are past the date of the book so none of the albums I’ll be reviewing from ere on out are in the book, so I am on my own.
Before we get to the next review, let’s go through this book. It was originally written by Ronny Hahn and it was written in German and only an electronic book. For the 30th Anniversary of Jeff’s career, it was released thanks to Frank Tunney who took the original book and added more chapters and re-organized the structure. It is now a hard back book and chock full of the details of his career that all hardcore fans love to know. The book is called “Authorized” so it has the blessing of the man himself and that is good enough for me.
The book starts off with the original foreward written by Ronny Zahn and then there is a great dedication to the late Marcel Jacobs who played with Jeff in several bands and was a very close personal friend. It was a terrible loss, but thankfully he left behind a great legacy of music. Afterwards you get a brief biography of Jeff’s very early life, but the rest of the book is all Jeff’s music career.
I was scouring eBay for a few of the remaining Soto albums I don’t have, and sadly, none were for sale at the time. However, I cam across something I had never seen before. It was a bootleg of Jeff Scott Soto demos. And to top it off, it was actually signed by Jeff Scott Soto. The person I bought it from lives in Germany and his name was Stefan. It turns out, Stefan is the lead singer of the band Speed Limit (check them out, they are pretty cool) and he had opened for Soto on a tour and actually met Jeff and got him to sign the CD. I thought all that was pretty cool and I love having a story behind my purchase.
LA ROCKS DEMOS:
So, what is this CD? It is a bootleg, mostly of demos from Jeff’s early years with LA Rocks and with Vinnie Vincent. We never got any albums out of those two projects, but at least we have some demos. The first set of songs say they are from his band LA Rocks. Back in 1986, Aldy Damian approached Jeff about joining the band. Jeff was busy with his own band called L’amour at the time and so he wasn’t really interested in joining LA Rocks. However, he did agree to do a couple demos for them and they paid him, so how could he say no. After Jeff, turned it down, they went after James Christian and he agreed. James became known for his other band House of Lords later.
The project didn’t end up going anywhere and the band later on became known as something you are more familiar with as we have discussed them in this series and that is the band Eyes of which Jeff sang on a couple of their albums. It all comes around full circle in the end. These set of songs here under the LA Rock Demos section, are a mixture of LA Rocks and Eyes demos and some aren’t even either band. The tracks “Hands of Time” and “Heart of the Fire” were demos for songs used on the movie ‘Rich Girl’. The songs “For You”, “Till the End of Time” and “Nobody Said it was Easy” are all demos for the band Eyes. And the song “Hold On”, not really sure where that is from but maybe it is from LA Rocks.
The debut Eyes album didn’t do very well. The band was stalling and Jeff Scott Soto started writing with George Bernhardt for a new band he was in called Slam as Jeff wasn’t happy with the direction the band was going. He eventually had enough and left the band. Then suddenly just two years after the Eyes debut, ‘Windows of the Soul’ was released and Jeff was never told nor did he ever agree to its release. To say he was pissed would be an understatement. The reason for its release was due to Jeff’s popularity in Europe had been on the rise and the record company wanted to take advantage of it.
Is it really a new album? No, not really. All it is are the demos and original tracks Eyes had done and submitted to their label for the first Eyes album. The label wasn’t happy with them so they went back and re-recorded the album and cut some new songs. The record company might not have thought them good to begin with, but still decided to package up the demos into an album that came out in 1993 only in Scandinavia which is the version I have as you can see the 1993 on the back cover. The album was released elsewhere in Europe in 1994. The band on this record included Aldy Damian, Steve Dougherty and Jeff Scott Soto. The band didn’t have a bass player so on the demos were Chuck Wright (Guiffria) and Mike Porcaro. On keyboards you get either Jeff Naideau or Todd Jasmin. Out of the 10 songs, only three of these were on the debut and the demos are pretty great in their own right. Let’s get to the music.
For this edition of the Jeff Scott Soto Series, we are going to look at a 7″ Single I found from the band Eyes. This single I found is really cool in my book. It is a Scandinavian release of the band’s single “Nobody Said It Was Easy” off their 1990 debut album ‘Eyes’. The album was off the Curb Records label, but that was in the U.S. For this release we get Sonet Grammofon AB and I love how the label on the record looks with the Sonet logo on it. I can’t imagine there are a ton of these out there as they were an obscure band, but thanks to Discogs, I now have a copy. I doubt I’ll ever see one out it in the wild here in the U.S.
The song was obviously released as a single, but I don’t think it ever charted anywhere which is a shame. The B-Side of the vinyl is also from the debut album and is called “Start Livin'”. I don’t have any back stories to the songs as information on the band Eyes is really hard to come by. Maybe if I ever get to sit down with Jeff, I can ask him about them.
By 1990, Jeff Scott Soto was basically a journeyman as a singer. He would take any job as long as he could sing. He went from Panther, to Yngwie, to Kuni, to Kryst the Conqueror and now we have the band Eyes. Jeff wasn’t the original lead singer, that belonged to James Christian who left the band to go join this little band named House of Lords…probably a smart move on his part as House of Lords did way better than Eyes. Which is a shame because this album is a lost classic of the late 80’s Hard Rock sound. Think Bon Jovi, Danger Danger, Firehouse and any other band from that time period.
The biggest problem this album had was only timing and the fact there were 100’s of bands out there that were all the same. These guys had the sound as they had the rock anthems, they had the ballads and oh my god…they had the hair!! They weren’t on a major label which probably got them lost in the shuffle. They were on Curb Records which back in those days was not a rock label. Without the major label push, they fell to the wayside and were overlooked by most…heck, I didn’t discover them until sometime after the 2000’s began.
The band consisted of Jeff Scott Soto on vocals, Steven Dougherty on guitar, Aldy Damian on drums and Jimmy O’Shea on bass. From what I can find, it looks like Jimmy only played bass on two of the songs as the rest were played by a name I told you to remember from an earlier review…Marcel Jacobs. Marcel didn’t join the band as he was busy with another band at the time which we will discuss very soon. The album came out some time in 1990 as a specific date can’t be found on the web anywhere for its actually release. And as I said, it didn’t go anywhere but as you are about to find out, it still kick some major ass!!
Starting January 3rd, 2022, we will kick off the EPIC series covering one of my favorite singers, Jeff Scott Soto!! We will go through his entire career from where it all began in 1984 with Panther all the way to his latest solo album that came out this past October called ‘Duets’. Wait, I know it started with a band called Threshold in 1983 (not to be confused with the prog metal band years later), but I can’t find anything on that band or album so it is starting with Panther for this series as I have that album.
No stone will be left unturned! Okay, that isn’t true as we are not going in to any compilations or tribute albums where he wasn’t the featured singer as this will only be albums that Jeff is the Lead Singer and not just appearing on one song as we would be here forever if that was the case. We will also have some great little bonus pieces with Singles and E.P.’s I happen to have in my collection and interesting one-off projects he has done. Heck, I even have a digital bootleg of when Jeff Scott Soto toured as the lead singer with Journey. And as you can see below, it is quite a collection…if I do say so myself…
There will be over 65 Posts in the Series, you read that right, 65!! And that is at least 65 because I am sure he will release 1 to 2 to maybe even 4 albums by the time I’m done. I expect this to take over a year to complete because this isn’t all I’m going to do. No, not at all. We will still finish up the series of Cheap Trick and Aerosmith that we are currently doing in 2022 and when those end I am sure new series will be added in as well. Quite possibly Bon Jovi, Scorpions, Van Halen, Ace Frehley, Poison or even Def Leppard. It won’t be all, just a couple of them, but I can’t decide which ones yet. But heck, I do already have an idea of which epic artist I want to tackle after Jeff, but that will be 2023 and it could be huge. We will announce it next year.
Wow, how time has flown. Summer is winding down, school is back in session and we had a big month here at the 2 Loud 2 Old Music home life. Our oldest daughter turned 18 and moved off to college the very next day. A very happy and sad time in our life. And my youngest became a freshman herself in High School. Man, they grow up so fast. And usually when I have these big moments that make me happy and yet sad, I drown that sad part in purchases and I have to say, there were a few this month and so we might as well get to it…
To start it off, the first album on the list this month is one that came out on July 30th, but I didn’t get the album in time for the July post so it kicks off this month’s post. The brand new album by Needtobreathe called “Into the Mystery” and my copy is CD. I also have the Vinyl on order but due to delays we won’t see that until November which is why I have the CD now.
Then my daughter and I were out and I picked up a few random items. First was bought at Manifest Disc in the used CD section and was something I have already, but didn’t. It was a limited deluxe edition CD with a 64 page mini-magazine of Kiss’ Monster. I have this one on vinyl, but this was too cheap and cool to pass up.
We are about to the end of July so time for another wrap-up of my purchases for the month. We had a little quieter month and some things I am so happy to have in my collection. The vinyl was limited this month, CDs ruled the month and I even have a nice new book to read. I would say it was a really great month of finds.
We will start off with some simple finds from when my kids and I hit up Manifest Discs and a little shop called 2nd & Charles. At Manifests, I found a couple of Velvet Revolver CDs that were in my collection at one time, but we won’t go in to that right now, I am just happy to have them again. The one on the left, ‘Contraband’, is the one my brother-in-law was the engineer on so yes, he worked with Slash and Scott Weiland!! Pretty cool.
Then we went down the street to 2nd & Charles and my daughter picked up 7 Volume set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer graphic novels and I grabbed a couple CDs. These were two more that were in my collection years ago and now they are back as well. A nice Richard Marx one and Chickenfoot. And Richard Marx will come up again soon…
Below is one of the first post I ever did for this site and I haven’t updated since. That was 4 years ago. Jeff Scott Soto has released a ton of albums since then so I figured I needed to do an update on this post from 4/17/2016. If I was to complete do this from scratch today, it wouldn’t look this pedestrian, but I will leave it is an just update some albums and song information. I have been on a big JSS kick lately so I want to spread the love….I hope you enjoy.
The artist spotlight is on one of my favorite rock vocalists, Jeff Scott Soto. I came across his music thanks to a great website by Andrew McNiece – Melodicrock.com (go check it out). If you haven’t heard of Jeff, let me tell you a little about him.
Jeff has only been in a few bands – Yngwie Malemsteen’s Rising Force, Talisman, W.E.T., Sons of Apollo, SOTO, Soul Sirkus, Redlist, Eyes, Journey (yes, that Journey), Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Takara, Eyes, Axel Rudi Pell and I believe there are several others so yeah…only a few.
He also has made appearances on so many other albums (too numerous to list). Most recently he was on Joel Hoekstra’s 13 album “Dying to Live” which I thought was a great album. He was even in the fictional band Steel Dragon from the movie “Rock Star” with Mark Wahlberg. And lastly, he has had a great solo career.
I mentioned he was in Journey above. In 2006, Journey let their lead singer go, Steve Augeri, and picked up Jeff to finish the tour. Jeff had worked withNeal Schon in the group Soul Sirkus which I will talk more about later. I was so excited with that announcement as after hearing his version of “Send Her My Love”, I knew he had the chops for it. Sadly, it didn’t last. After the tour they let him go and went with a different singer.