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707 Mega Force MTM Classix MTM 068199 (2004)

Now the MTM Classix series releases a real classic! 707 were around from the mid-70's onwars and released a series of albums, as well as touring with the likes of REO Speedwagon and Molly Hatchett. Then in 1982 came this, the band's biggest album and one that features Kevin Chalfant (later of the Storm/Two Fires) on vocals. The rest of the band are well known in AOR/melodic rock circles as well comprising of guitarist/vocalist Kevin Russell (who has just released a new solo album and worked with Rick Derringer amongst others), Tod Howarth (keys/rhythm guitar), Jim McClarty (drums) and Phil Bryant (bass).

Starting of with the best track is 'Mega Force', a classic melodic hard rocker (and apparently used in a film of the same name but I've personally never heard of it!). More hard rockin' with 'Can't Hold Back' and 'Get To You' (where Chalfant shows his Steve Perry like vocals). 'Out of the Dark' builds up nicely from a piano/vocal intro and features some sterling guitar work from Kevin Russell. After a flurry of keys 'We Will Last' develops into a solid AOR track - think prime time Survivor and Loverboy. Great stuff!

There are six bonus tracks on here, including a live version of 'Mega Force'. In fact the latter tune appears also as an instrumental 'Mega Stomp' (lots of guitars and massive drum sound) and a different studio version 'Mega Force 2' (the song is radically slowed down and sounds very different). 'Eagle One' is not bad but suffers from a slighty 'tinny' production (there is also 'Eagle One 2' as a further bonus track). The last bonus track is the short, spacey instrumental 'The Float' nice but hardly essential.

Now all you AOR/melodic rock fans get a copy of this CD as it is on of the essentials in any collection and still stands-up to repeated plays today. Be nice if the band got back together again. Nice one MTM!

Label website

****

Review by Jason Ritchie

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly


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