Z RECORDS
ONE OF THE GIANTS IN AOR/HARD ROCK
Europe’s Premier Hard Rock Label

Founded in Lancashire, England as an outlet for melodic hard rock, Z Records has become a steady home for both old and new bands of the genre. Late-‘80s rockers Lillian Axe released a volcanic new record on the label this year while new comers Great King Rat, Savannah, Amaze Me, Southpaw, and Human Race have signed up as hot rising stars. With the advent of the Internet and the massive harvest of independent labels, bands have a wide range of outlets in which to distribute their music to the masses. Z Records is leading the march to help spread the word.

The U.S. division of Z Records is housed in Tempe, Arizona. Orchestrated by hard rock guru, Dave Tedder, the American side keeps a close listen to what is happening musically in the States. “I was contacted by a girl in Boston about the band Savannah,” explains Tedder by the phone. “I asked her to send out a tape, and when I heard these guys I was blown away! We immediately arranged to handle their distribution and brought them on board as one of our artists.”

Savannah joins a new breed of rock bands assembled in the classic vein of Journey, Styx, and Kansas, which highlight the ‘70s mold. Their addictive hooks and soaring harmonies are pure candy for the next generation in power rock. “We started out wanting to take rock music back to the roots of our influences which included a lot of great bands from the ‘70s and early ‘80s,” explains Savannah keyboardist, Marty Olga. “I was into Deep Purple—specifically Jon Lord,—Triumph, and even Air Supply. For us it has always been about song arrangements, harmonies, and passion.” Savannah’s self-titled debut was penned in the spring of 1998 and saw it’s release a year ago this month. “The reaction has been fantastic for us,” continues Olga. “We’ve spent a lot of this year touring behind the record and even did a limited live CD in Salem called ‘Salem’s Lot’ (available on their web site: http://thrill.to/Savannah).

Quality is Z Records’ trademark. Their bands are sonically balanced to pull in a high production, larger-than-life sound from the records they produce.
Amaze Me morphs the best of Swedish pop metal into a blinding flurry of gems. Known for such pop exports as Abba, Roxette, and Ace Of Base, Sweden proves with Amaze Me that they can compete with the champs of muscle rock. The band is the lethal combo of Conny Lind (vocals) and Peter Broman (guitars) who have completed three soaring rock nuggets including their self-titled Amaze Me, Dream On, and Wonderland. Although somewhat elusive, all three CDs are worth owning.

Lillian Axe maintains their longevity with the release of Fields Of Yesterday. The band has had the CD on the back burner for some time now. The disc comprises twelve unreleased tracks covering a four-year segment (1989-1992). The songs, including ‘Death Valley Daze,’ ‘Do It,’ and ‘For Crying Out Loud,’ have been very popular with fans as underground tapes. With the group reassembling in 1999, there was no better time to do it up right. The band had used regional distributors and Internet import shops as their primary distribution outlet for their first several releases within North America. After coming to the attention of Z Records, the label teamed up with Mutiny Records and secured a distribution deal through ADA for this album. The CD boasts a dynamic booklet, well thought out and lush in color. There is also some promise of a world tour.

In the early ‘90s,
Great King Rat made big waves in the European press as the next monster group to take the continent. Leif Sundin was heralded by Jimmy Page as “the nearest thing I’ve seen to a young Paul Rodgers.” Although accolades like this branded Sundin as the band’s star attraction, the musical workout from the rest of the band is legendary. The CD reportedly is the band’s second release put together by demos that were already in the can since 1995. It is yet to be determined if we will see another incarnation of the Great king Rat. Sundin was last seen contributing vocals to MSG’s 1996 release ‘Written In The Sand.’

For the start of the fourth quarter, Z Records America has partnered with NEH Records and will have future product distributed by the ever-powerful Universal Music Group. The first release through Universal will be Philadelphia native Danny Danzi’s ‘Somewhere Lost In Time.’ Other fourth quarter releases include Ken Tamplin ~ ‘The Brave Days Of Old;’ Seven Wishes ~ ‘ST;’ and Shout ~ ‘Shout Back.’ New signings include Canadian Supergroup, 24K, featuring Phil Naro (Talas, Naro), Mladen (Triumph) and Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big).

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Z Records