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Remastered reissue of the Swedish metal act's 1990 album features 25 tracks including a bonus disc with 14 extra live & previously unreleased demo tracks, 'Break Your Chains' (Demo), 'Under Fire' (Demo), 'If You Need Somebody' (Demo), 'Dangerous' (Demo), 'Oceans' (Demo), 'Lightning Strikes' (Demo), 'Day By Day' (Demo), 'NJBBWO' (Demo), 'Just Between Us' (Live), 'Eternal Flame' (Live), 'Scream Of Anger' (Live), 'NJBBWO' (Live), 'Let Me Love You' (Live) & 'Ice Cream Man' (Live). Slipcase. Rock Treasures. 2003.
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I'll be completely honest about my total fanhood of JSS. I love the guy! He is, in my mind, the best hard rock vocalist that I have ever heard. Another amazing feat for this guy is, evevy band that he has been in he's made them worlds better than they should have been. Talisman is no different. This record is chalked full of huge choruses, big-time riffs, catchy tunes and great production. Basically everything we love about melodic rock from the late 80's/early 90's. The songs are all terrific throughout, and one has to wonder why these guys weren't rivaling Bon Jovi or Poison back in the day. While the entire album is beyond awesome, my favorite tracks are "I'll Be Waiting," "Lightning Strikes," "Queen" and "Day By Day."
This album has been remastered and re-released recently I believe. I would suggest going with that version. The older one is kinda low sounding, and the newer version has a ton of bonus music. GO BUY THIS RECORD NOW PEOPLE!!!!
Talisman is a great example of why the late `80s melodic rock sound was so much fun. You've got these amazing guitar hooks, catchy rhythms, fantastic melodies and of course Soto's powerful, soulful vocals. Later Talisman albums would go in a more soulful, funky direction, but this album is pure arena rocking AOR along the lines of Giant, Bad English and Tyketto. The album is just loaded with songs that should have been huge hit singles - "Break Your Chains," "I'll Be Waiting," "Just Between Us" to name a few - but for whatever reason the band never really broke big. Fortunately that didn't keep them from continuing to record amazing melodic rock albums.
Just about any release by Talisman falls under the "must have" heading for all dedicated melodic rock fans, but the debut is an absolute essential. This is about as good as late `80s and early `90s melodic rock gets, and is one of the bet Jeff Scott Soto performances period.
Edition Notes: Rock Treasures reissued Talisman in 2003, and did a fantastic job of it. In addition to expanded liner notes and a nice slipcase, the reissue features digitally remastered sound and a second CD full of rare and unreleased songs, including the early Talisman demos with Goran Edman on vocals. It's a real treat hearing the more polished Edman's take on these songs. It sounds a lot like Europe, actually. The remastering is terrific, and the bonus disc is a great addition. Together they make an already great album that much better.
This 2003 reissue features the original album PLUS a second CD with most of the songs in Demo version. While the original album is sung entirely by Jeff, the demos feature Goran Edman on vocals; he and Jacob were both part of the line up of the John Norum band so the choice seemed obvious. Still Edman would exit the line up, being offered the lead singer spot in Y.J. Malmsteen's band a move that left Jacob without a singer and little time on his hands. At this point Jacob turned to Jeff Scott Soto another former bandmate of his (the two musicians were original members in Y.J.M. "Rising Force") and "Talisman"s core was formed. The line up would be completed by Christopher Stahl on lead guitar, Jake Samuel (currently "The poodles" frontman) on drums, and Mats Olausson on keyboards.
In retrospect "Talisman", as an album, drew considerably on the late 80s hard rock/glam metal style. The compositions are in line with the 80s American glam sound featuing catchy choruses, melodic keyboards and huge drumming, while Jeff Scott Soto deviates from his characteristic vocal and takes a "Europe"-Joey Tempest style of singing. So the band were clearly looking at mainstrean success with this debut album and, to a certain extent, they achieved that as the single version of "I'll be waiting" topped the radio charts. One has to also adress that the production of "Talisman" was definitely ahead of its time, the entire album sounds immense. Favorite tracks include "Break your chains", "I'll be waiting" "Just between us" and "Day by Day".
Overall "Talisman" layed the foundation for a melodic hard rock group that would move forward through the unforgiving 90s, batling its way through label disputes and establishing a distinct sound and following.