Between the release of First Signal’s 2016 album ‘One Step Over The Line’ and 2019’s ‘Line of Fire’, the band’s core members kept themselves very busy. Vocalist Harry Hess recorded another album with his “day job” band, Harem Scarem (2017’s ‘United’); guitarist Michael Palace released his second band album with Palace – the appropriately named ‘Binary’ – and Daniel Flores returned to The Murder of My Sweet, releasing ‘Echoes of the Aftermath’ on Frontiers Records in 2017. In addition during those intervening three years, Flores and Palace scored themselves jobs as invaluable members of the Frontiers “house band”, lending their talents to releases by Toby Hitchcock, Find Me and Code Red. There’s almost been no time for them to sleep.
Always a much loved band in melodic rock circles, Harem Scarem have released some great albums over the years, with their first two albums very much at the forefront of the scene at the point where the AOR glory days of the 80s reached their end.
Over the following years, Harry Hess, Pete Lesperance and band continued to make great music, with their 2002 release ‘Weight of The World’ ranking among their best.
Outside of Japan, most of their albums have been increasingly hard to find, but March 2019 will set that right when most of the band’s catalogue is set for release as a lavish fourteen CD set, pairing the first twelve albums with an “Early Years” disc and an exclusive disc of rarities. The good news for fans looking to fill those collection gaps is that each of the individual releases also includes the relevant bonus tracks from the Japanese releases and more besides.
The full details can be found in the press release below.
In 2010, Harem Scarem vocalist Harry Hess teamed up with Frontiers Records hired hand Daniel Flores to form First Signal, a band clearly more devoted to traditional AOR sounds than Harem Scarem had often been since their debut release in 1991. The results, while never outright classic, were very strong. With Hess returning to Harem Scarem duties almost instantly, First Signal seemed as if it would be a one-shot deal. But then, in the late spring of 2016, they returned.
Already home to the Phenomena project (a collective whose 2010 release may be a career high point for that particular collective) and the much lesser-known and lesser-talented Sebastien, British melodic rock label Escape Music is no stranger to big “all-star” gatherings. The beginning of 2013 saw the label release ‘Dreamworld’ by Rage of Angels, another all-chums-together offering, this time masterminded by ex-Ten keyboard player Ged Rylands.
Almost any melodic rock fan will tell you that the first two Harem Scarem albums are classics. The band’s 1992 debut and ‘Mood Swings’ – their harder sounding follow up from 1993 – set out the Canadian outfit’s stall as a band to be reckoned with. Twenty years on from ‘Mood Swings’, someone in the Harem Scarem camp decided the best move to celebrate the milestone anniversary would be to re-record the songs…