Alannah Myles – Rocking Horse (1992)

FrontCover1Alannah Myles (born December 25, 1958) is a Canadian Juno and Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter who had the chart-topping hit “Black Velvet” in 1990.

Alannah Myles was born on 25 December 1958 in Toronto, Ontario. She is the daughter of William Douglas Byles, who was a pioneer in the Canadian broadcasting industry and was inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame in 1997. Raised by her parents in Ontario, Myles spent her childhood composing and learning music. Myles began writing songs around age nine, performing in a songwriting group for the Kiwanis Music Festival in Toronto at age 12. At 18 she began performing solo gigs in southern Ontario, eventually meeting Christopher Ward, a WMG recording artist and songwriter. With Ward’s help, she formed her own band and performed cover versions of rock and blues songs, while polishing her own material. In her mid-20s, she and Ward would later collaborate with David Tyson to produce the eponymously titled debut album, Alannah Myles. She appeared in a 1984 episode of the television series The Kids of Degrassi Street, in which she played the role of an aspiring singer and single mother and was featured in several TV and film productions as a guest host and actor prior to becoming a recording artist.

Booklet02B.jpgMyles changed her surname from Byles at the age of 19 after deciding to pursue a career in entertainment. Appearances in TV commercials paid for music demos that led to countless rejections in Canada, until she recorded masters for three songs; “Who Loves You” and a video demo for “Just One Kiss” directed by photographer Deborah Samuel. With matched financing from her songwriting collaborator, Much Music (City TV) VJ and program director Christopher Ward and FACTOR, she signed her first record contract with Atlantic Records in 1987.

In fall of 1987, Warner Music Canada’s director of artists and repertoire (A&R), Bob Roper, sent Myles’s three-song video package to all of Warner Music Group’s U.S. affiliates, which garnered a contract for seven or eight years from Atlantic Records (WMG), given by head of A&R Tunc Erim and Atlantic label founder Ahmet Ertegun. Myles left her acting career, co-wrote and recorded the remainder of her first album with Christopher Ward and producer David Tyson. In 1989, Atlantic Records released her eponymous debut album and Myles toured internationally for 18 months. Her first album was awarded the Diamond Award for sales of over one million units; she is the only Canadian debut artist to attain that award. Her first album was reported to have sold upwards of 6 million copies internationally and remains a classic-selling album.

In May 1989, Warner Music in Canada released Alannah Myles which produced four Top AlannahMyles01.jpg40 hits, including “Love Is”, “Lover Of Mine”, “Still Got This Thing” and her number-one classic rock hit, “Black Velvet”. Atlantic Records’ 1989 debut album release was ineligible for Grammy nominations until the early 1990 U.S. single release “Black Velvet” became a number-one hit, claiming ASCAP’s most played song on radio for 1989 and 1990. By 2000, it had received ASCAP Millionaire Award for over five million radio airplays.[citation needed] “Black Velvet” won Myles the Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Performance in 1991 and three Juno Awards.

In 1992, Myles was nominated for a second Grammy award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for the track “Rockinghorse”, the B-side of “Song Instead of a Kiss”, the lead-off single from her second CD Rockinghorse. “Song Instead Of a Kiss”, written and composed by Myles, Nancy Simmonds, and Canadian poet Robert Priest,[7] was a 60-piece orchestrated ballad that reached number one on several radio stations around the globe but was met with little response in America, whose audiences were accustomed to “that slow southern style” of “Black Velvet”.[citation needed] The album, released that year, included the other hit singles “Our World, Our Times”, and “Sonny, Say You Will”. Myles received a Grammy nomination for Rockinghorse and several global awards, including a Juno and Much Music’s People’s Choice Award for “Our World, Our Times” (by wikipedia)

Single

Her first album was a very rocking debut – a fine album to start with. The second didn’t abandon those rock roots but showed much refined way to make music. “Lover of Mine” was already showing her sophisticated way – a dangerous word to use but I am talking the same way The Beatles updated their sound with “Rubber Soul” in the mid-60’s. “Rocking Horse” is even a better album than her first one.

“Song Instead of a Kiss” is one of my favorite songs of the 1990’s. It is emotional atmosphere can make you cry easily if you actually listen to the words and her voice. The slow tempo with classical music elements and the final scream complete this as a perfect song. The opener “Our World Our Times” sounds nothing like I’ve heard before – a fascinating song which has interesting vocals, melody, drumming, great guitar sounds. “Sonny Say You Will” sounds amazing – it is a great power ballad.

AlannahMyles02.jpg

The rest of the songs are really good too. “Tumbleweed”, “Make Me Happy”, “Love in the Big Town”, “Life And Rumours”, “Living on a Memory” are good rock songs. “The Last Time I Saw William” is a beautiful song too. The title song was something I didn’t like at first but now it has started to sound very interesting, actually a fun song.

These are very good 50 minutes to spend and I have went through it many times, so I know. (Reijo Piippula)

BackCover

Personnel:
Denny Fongheiser (drums, percussion)
Will Lee (bass)
Alanah Myles (vocals)
Kurt Schefter (guitar)
David Tyson (keyboards, bass, background vocals)
David Wipper (guitar, mandolin)
+
background vocals:
Christopher Ward – John Elefante – Mark Free – Rose Stone – Tommy Funderburk
+
Buzzy Feiten (guitar on 05.)
Gary Grant (trumpet)
Greg Smith (saxophone)
Larry Williams (saxophone)

BookletBackCover1.jpg

Tracklist:
01, Our World Our Times (Tyson/Ward) 6.24
02. Make Me Happy (Tyson/Ward) 5.49
03. Sonny Say You Will (Ward) 5.08
04. Tumbleweed (Ward) 4.38
05. Livin’ On A Memory (Tyson/Ward) 5.53
06. Song Instead Of A Kiss (Myles/Simmonds/Priest) 5.04
07. Love In The Big Town (Tyson/Ward) 4.48
08. The Last Time I Saw William (Tyson/Ward) 4.15
09. Lies And Rumours (Tyson/Ward) 5.06
10. Rockinghorse (Myles/Simmonds) 3.00

LabelB1.jpg

*
**

AlannahMyles03.jpg

Alannah Myles – Live Diamond Club, Toronto (1989)

frontcover1Alannah Myles was born to a father in radio, producer of “The Happy Gang”. Her mother was a pianist and singer. When she was a child, she knew she wanted to be a singer despite discouragement from her parents to pursue it as a profession. At age 11, she took up the guitar. By the age of 15, she was writing her own songs emulating her favourite folk artists Leonard Cohen, Linda Ronstadt, and Joni Mitchell. She got herself an agent in 1977 and played her songs around Toronto. To earn extra money, she did some television work, doing ads. She also worked as a backup singer and model. In the mid-80s, she hooked up with songwriter Christopher Ward and began performing some of his songs. The music industry rejected her outright; no record company was interested. Eventually, Bob Roper at WEA (Warner-Elektra-Atlantic) approached her after listening to her demo and signed her. David Tyson was chosen to produce her first (self-titled) album. She entered the recording studio with Christopher Ward who was to be a video jockey for MuchMusic.

alannahmyles01The album was released and MuchMusic immediately played the music video for the first single “Love Is”. To the Canadian public, this sultry female rocker seemed to come out of nowhere. The entire nation was captivated. The single was aired on radio stations and peaked at #16 across the country. The second single, a tribute to American singer Elvis Presley called “Black Velvet” did even better, scraping the Top 10. It also became an international hit, topping the Billboard charts in the United States and the Top 3 in Britain and Australia. The song won the Juno for Song of the Year and a Grammy award in the U.S. Two more singles were released from the album, one of which was her biggest hit at home; “Lover of Mine” peaked at #2 and became the 16th biggest song of 1990. As for the album, it became the third from a Canadian artist, first for a female, and first as a debut to attain Diamond sales in Canada. It won Album of the Year at the Junos. (by musiccanada.wordpress.com)

This concert was filmed for Much Music’s Big Ticket featuring a duet with special guest, Mavis Staples singing “Respect yourself”.

And this is the bootleg version of this concert … soundboard quality and … believe me … Alannah Myles is pure dynamite !

backcover1a

Personnel:
Jørn Andersen (drums)
Alannah Myles (vocals)
Kurt Schefter (guitar)
Eric Webster (keyboards)
Steve Webster (bass)
+
Mavis Staples (vocals on 09. + 10.)

backcover1

Tracklist:
01. Still Got This Thing (Ward) 6.10
02. Rock This Joint (Ward) 4.51
03. Black Velvet (Ward/Tyson) 6.55
04. Just One Kiss (Ward/Tyson) 4.06
05. Lover Of Mine (Myles/Ward/Tyson/Johnson) 7.52
06. Hurry Make Love (Simmonds) 4.15
07. If You Want To (Ward/Tyson) 5.58
08. Kick Start My Heart (Waters/Stone/ElkhardWard) 7.18
09. Respect Yourself (Ingram/Rice) 5.55
10. Jaguar (only Mavis Staples) (Prince) 5.56
11. Love Is (Ward) 4.26
12. Who Loves You (Ward/Tyson) 4.45
13. Still Got This Thing (Ward) 7.00

cd1

*
**

alannahmyles02

Alannah Myles – Same (1989)

frontcover1Alannah Myles (born December 25, 1958) is a Canadian singer-songwriter and the daughter of Canadian broadcast pioneer William Douglas Byles (1914–1988), who was inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame in 1997.

She changed her surname to Myles at age 19 after deciding to pursue a career in entertainment. Appearances in TV commercials paid for music demos which weathered countless rejections from her homeland, Canada, until she recorded masters for three songs; “Who Loves You” and a video demo for “Just One Kiss” directed by photographer Deborah Samuel. With matched financing from songwriting collaborator, Much Music (City TV) DJ and program director Christopher Ward and FACTOR, she signed her first record contract with Atlantic Records in 1987.

In fall of 1987, Warner Music Canada’s director of artists and repertoire (A&R) Bob Roper sent the three-song video package to all of Warner Music Group’s U.S. affiliates which garnered a seven-eight year contract from Atlantic Records (WMG) sight unseen by head of A&R Tunc Erim and Atlantic label founder Ahmet Ertegun. Myles left her acting career, co-wrote and recorded the remainder of her first album with collaborator Christopher Ward and producer David Tyson. In 1989, Atlantic Records released her self titled debut

firstpressarticle1981

First press article about Alannah Myles (1981)

album and Myles toured internationally for 18 months. Her first album was awarded the Diamond Award for sales of over one million units; she is the only Canadian debut artist to attain that award. Her first album was reported to have sold upwards of six million copies internationally and remains a classic-selling album to date.

Myles’ eponymous debut album achieved top 10 hits in several countries around the world beginning with “Love Is”, “Still Got This Thing For You”, The only single to hit number one in 1990 in Canada was “Lover of Mine”. Alannah’s fourth American 1990 single, “Black Velvet.” hit number one for two weeks with a bullet on the U.S. Billboard Top 40 Chart to become a worldwide classic radio hit. It also won the 1990 Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.

In 1992, Myles was nominated for a second Grammy award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for the title track “Rockinghorse”, the flip side of lead off single, “Song Instead of a Kiss” from her second CD Rockinghorse. “Song Instead Of A Kiss” was a 60-piece orchestrated ballad that reached number one on several radio stations around the globe but was met with little response in America, whose audiences were accustomed to “that slow southern style” of Black Velvet.

Myles began writing songs around the age of nine, performing in a songwriting group for the Kiwanis Music Festival in Toronto at age 12. At 18 she began performing solo gigs in Southern Ontario, eventually meeting Christopher Ward, a WMG recording artist and songwriter. With Ward’s help, she formed her own band and performed cover versions of rock and blues songs, while polishing her own material. By her mid-twenties, she and Ward collaborated with David Tyson to produce the eponymously titled debut album, “Alannah Myles.” She appeared in a 1984 episode of the television series “The Kids of Degrassi Street,” in which she played the role of an aspiring singer and single mother and was featured in several TV and film productions as a guest host and actor prior to becoming a recording artist.

alannahmyles01
In May 1989, Warner Music in Canada released Alannah Myles which produced four Top 40 hits, including “Love Is”, “Lover Of Mine”, “Still Got This Thing” and her number-one classic rock hit, “Black Velvet”. Atlantic Records’ 1989 debut album release was ineligible for Grammy nominations until the early 1990 U.S. single release, “Black Velvet” became a number-one hit claiming ASCAP’s most played song on radio for 1989 and 1990. By 2000, it had received ASCAP Millionaire Award for over five million radio airplays.[citation needed] “Black Velvet” won Myles the Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Performance in 1991 and three Juno Awards.

Alannah Myles is the self-titled debut album by Canadian singer Alannah Myles, released on March 28, 1989. It includes the worldwide hit single “Black Velvet”. The album was a big seller worldwide, and reached number one for two weeks in her native Canada, number 5 on the Billboard 200 in the U.S. and number 3 in the UK Albums Chart, and overall sold in excess of six million records. The album cover comes from a photoshoot by Canadian photographer Deborah Samuel. (by wikipedia)

And believe me … this album is a killer … one of the best debut albums ever … The woman is pure dynamite … Listen to the opener “Still Got This Thing ” …

This album is full of brilliant rock songs … songs everyone should know !

single

Single “black Velvet” bw “If You Want To”

Personnel:
Jørn Andersen (drums)
John Johnson (saxophone)
Alannah Myles (vocals)
Kurt Schefter (guitar)
Michael Sloski (percussion)
David Tyson (keyboards, bass on 03., background vocals on 01.)
Rick Waychesko (trumpet)
David Wipper (guitar, mandolin)
Steve Webster (bass)
+
Roberto Bartolucci (guitar 05. + 08.)
Gary Craig (drums on 09.)
Lisa Dalbello (background vocals on 06. + 08.)
Peter Fredette (background vocals on 04., 06. + 07.)
Scott Humphrey (keyboard programming)
Dean McTaggart (backgound vocals on 04. + 06.)
Jackie Richardson (background vocals on 01.)
Christopher Ward (background vocals on 01. + 02.)
backcover1

Tracklist:
01. Still Got This Thing (Ward) 4.37
02. Love Is (Ward/Tyson) 3.40
03. Black Velvet (Ward/Tyson) 4.47
04. Rock This Joint (Ward) 4.02
05. Lover Of Mine (Myles/Ward/Tyson/Johnson) 4.42
06. Kick Start My Heart (Eikhard/Waters/Stone/Ward) 3.42
07. If You Want To (Ward/Tyson) 4.13
08. Just One Kiss (Ward/Tyson) 3.35
09. Who Loves You (Ward/Tyson) 3.37
10. Hurry Make Love (Simmonds) 2.16

labelb1
*
**

What a live performance !