Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Leyden Zar

Origin: Quebec (Canada)

Leyden Zar: Paul Strauss - Pascal Mailloux - Eddie Stevens - Jimmy Lenz - Jo jo Boaz
Paul Strauss - Pascal Mailloux - Eddie Stevens - Jimmy Lenz - Jo jo Boaz

Leyden Zar [st - 1985] aor melodic rock music blogspot full albums bands lyricsst - 1985


- Leyden Zar was first assembled throughout 1976 as the backing band for Robert Leroux, then one of Montreal's biggest club signers. Consisting of bassist Paul Grondin and keyboardist Pascal Mailloux both handling lead vocals, guitarists Jacques Noel and Brian Wilson, and drummer Serge Gratton, they broke out on their own in '78 and toured the circuit while working on their own material.
After submitting demos to just about every management company in La Belle Province, they were signed by Michel Regimbauld and Michel Perrotte to Sens Unique Enterprises in 1980. They went to Le Studio at Morin Heights later that year with producers Nick Blagona and Andre Perry, and released their self-titled debut the next spring. Filled with all original compositions, their sound was a mix of new wave and rock sensibility of the day, creating a unique blend of keyboard-driven commercial pop. But despite the singles "Money Talks Loud" and "Backstreet Girl," the album was received with little fanfare.

Less than a year later, A & M dropped the band, and Grondin and Wilson both parted ways with the band. By the summer of '82 they were back to a quartet, with new guitarist Eddie Stevens replacing Wilson. Mailloux had assumed the frontman duties and the band released LEYDEN ZAR II through Epic Records in 1985, produced by Walter Rossi. "That's Alright" was the first single from the record and also featured the band's entry into video, the 'b' side to the single being the previously unreleased "I Wanna Be Lovin' You."

The band fell apart the next year, but Unidisc re-released both albums on CD in 1996. -

- Leyden Zar were a Quebec based band and were formed as early as 1976. Apparently the band members were originally part of the backing band for French Canadian singer Robert Leroux. The members (listed above) hooked up together to do their own thing. Interestingly enough, three of the members could all sing lead vocals, and it shows on their first self titled album released on A&M/Unidisc. The main feature of the band are the quirky keyboard arrangements of Pascal Mailloux, on what is predominantly an album of radio oriented rock. On the back cover they look like a cross between new-wavers and remnants of seventies styled rockers a la Starz, Gambler etc. -

- I kinda like this Canadian band. As mentioned in an earlier review of their 1981 debut album (see Related Articles below), I thought they were very underrated, but extremely good nonetheless. That debut was quite 'new wavy' for want of a better phrase, though still displaying some nifty and quirky AOR perhaps similar to The Tubes and Harlequin. Despite the passing of four years, the majority of the band stayed intact, except for the lead guitar role: Eddie Stevens coming in for the departed Brian Wilson. On this album, the band forge a slightly new direction, this time taking on a sound similar to fellow Canadians Body Electric and Straight Lines. They leave the quirky styles from yesteryear in the closet, this set of tunes an improvement on what was (for me at least) an already excellent debut. -

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