Friday, October 07, 2011

Forgotten Gems: Fortress-Hands In The Till

Atlantic Records

Los Angeles-based AOR/Heavy Metal band Fortress was formed in 1980. The following year their full-length debut album, "Hands In The Till" would be released on Atlantic Records. Drawing on influences as diverse as Journey, Foreigner, Dio and Rush their debut album is a testament to the enduring power of eighties radio rock. At a time when punk rock had changed the landscape of music and heavy metal was set to explode Fortress was the sound of A.M. radio in all of it's glory. Fortress was lead by a vocalist who for all the world sounds like a rough Sammy Hagar. The rest of the band easily shifts gears from smooth AOR to hard driving rock to head-banging metal. There are sing-along numbers and foot-stomping rockers present in these ten numbers. Fortress wouldn't release a follow-up until 1987 though. By all accounts the line-up had changed by then and the charm was gone. In 1987 hair metal and glam proved too powerful an influence and rock like this had no place on the radio. That doesn't mean we can't enjoy this forgotten gem now. Easily found on Amazon, E-Bay and I-Tunes this enduring piece of eighties hard rock history cries out to be heard by a new generation of rock radio fans. Well worth tracking down if you like hard rock and melodic heavy metal.


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