Saturday, July 7, 2007

Hotel - Half Moon Silver (1980)

Hotel were a smooth AOR act from Birmingham, AL, who formed in late 1972. After several years of gigging in the clubs in the region, they were signed by Mercury Records. A single was recorded and released by the label, but a long-term contract did not materialize. It wasn't until 1979, that MCA came calling and issued the band's self-titled debut. Sporting a slick west coast sound akin to Firefall or Pablo Cruise, the album's first single did manage to see moderate chart action which led to successful road jaunts with Atlanta Rhythm Section and Little River Band. Seeking to capitalize on the band's momentum, the label quickly issued their sophomore effort, "Half Moon Silver".

This album features a noticably more guitar oriented and aggressive sound which really illustrates the band's writing savvy to greater effect. The hooks are also more evident here and it comes as a surprise that this didn't push Hotel closer to the success they were seeking. "Half Moon Silver" is an exceptional slice of energetic AOR, quite a progression from the laid back debut effort the previous year. It's a mystery how this release did not yield greater progress for the band, especially with MCA backing them. In any case, by 1981 the band had parted ways with their agency and label, forcing them to return home for another year of gigging. No subsequent deals were struck and by 1982 the band had effectively ceased to exist. Various members went on to perform with other artists like Pam Tillis and Wang Chung, while others formed numerous bands in the area to varying degrees of success.

I recommend fans of AOR who don't mind a little extra pop thrown in for good measure to try out this gem, as it's bursting with quality songwriting and impeccable musicianship. A special mega huge thanks to Rob for this excellent vinyl rip. Download & enjoy!

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Could there be a problem with this rar file? I've downloaded a 79.3Mb file twice, but my archiver can't open it; says it isn't a rar file. No problem with others...

gary_lankford said...

What a great album! The first song. "A Place in Time (Refugee)" would make the album worth having by itself, but the rest of the album is as good!

Higginz said...

I agree with Gary, first track is very good. I hear a bit of Phil Collins meets Survivor in it!. A very nice album all in all. (4/5)

Anonymous said...

I'm from Alabama and remember the group well. Do you have their debut available as well? I've also been after another similar band Couchois's album which included "Walking the Fence". Love your site.

BB24 said...

Megaupload link says "temporarily unavailable". Any chance you might consider reloading this gem. I had a tape of this and lost it a few years later. I haven't heard this since then. Please consider my request. Great blog, by the way!
B

Anonymous said...

hey great blog but could u upload it somewhere again please? this link doesnt work any longer, and i'm looking forward listening to this album
thanks!!

ldog1owner said...

The link does not work....could you please reload it. THANKS

Anonymous said...

Please repost 'HAlf Moon Silver'! Great album!

Anonymous said...

any chance of a reup of this and maybe the Hotel album of 1979 as well?