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1986 – Part 4.5: Krokus – Change Of Address

“Change of Address” came out in 1986 and its listed as album number 9 for Krokus.

The band for the album is Marc Storace on Vocals, Fernando von Arb on Lead Guitar, Mark Kohler on Rhythm Guitar, Tommy Keiser on Bass and Jeff Klaven on drums. Paul Fox and Jan Winding contribute keyboards.

Production is handled by Tom Werman as Producer and Mixer, with Duane Baron as the engineer and von Arb as Co-Producer.

A special mention to the outfits on the back cover. The 80’s are well known for the wardrobe choices of artists. And Krokus play into this as well.

Check em out in jump suits that mechanics would wear at a Formula 1 race. But they are in a bunker, to highlight the demolition of a building that looks like the White House.

Now (All Through the Night)

Written by Fernando von Arb, Jeff Klaven and Marc Storace.

How good is the Chorus?

It’s like Journey vocally and melodic hard rock musically.

One of my favourite tracks on the album but the midi drum sounds bother me.

You can blame ZZ Top for this, but at least when ZZ did it, it was still sounding like it belonged in the rock domain, whereas, the drum sound here feels like it belongs on a Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine album.

Hot Shot City

Written by Tommy Keiser, Mark Kohler, Jeff Klaven and Marc Storace.

I’m not sure what’s happening with this song.

It’s like they wanted to bring in influences from Robert Palmer and Huey Lewis into their sound. It could have worked.

School’s Out

This is like old school Krokus and after hearing AOR Krokus on the first two tracks, this is a welcome relief of rock and roll.

For those that don’t know, this is a cover of the classic Alice Cooper cut.

But it’s also not necessary to have this on the album. Then again, most 80’s album had a cover of a 60’s or 70’s track on it. For some bands it was pure filler and for others, it was their biggest song.

Let This Love Begin

Written by von Arb and Klaven.

An acoustic guitar arpeggio riff starts it all off, very Malmsteen like with a bit of Vinnie Vincent and “I Still Love You” from Kiss. Once the distorted riffs kick in, its more Foreigner than Malmsteen.

Check out the lead break, bluesy and emotive, which reminds me of Jimmy Page and “Stairway To Heaven”.

Burning Up the Night

The side 1 closer is written by von Arb and Storace.

Its AC/DC “Long Way To The Top” like in the verses and the Chorus could have come from a REO Speedwagon album.

Say Goodbye

Side 2 opens up with this track, written by Fernando von Arb, Jeff Klaven and Marc Storace.

At 5.18, its length shows that it wasn’t written for radio. It has this reggae feel in the verses which I like and the backing vocals remind me of “Black Diamond” from Kiss.

The major key Chorus is like those major key Power Metal choruses.

This is the side to listen to first if you are a Krokus fan. There isn’t a bad song on this side.

And if the intro riff sounds familiar, it should as it was used by Krokus on “Tokyo Nights” from the “Metal Rendezvous” album.

World on Fire

My favourite track of the album at 6 plus minutes long, written by Fernando von Arb, Jeff Klaven and Marc Storace.

While the riffs are metal and hard rock like, the vocal delivery in the verses is very Robert Plant like and I like it.

If you want to press play on a track from this album, start with this track.

Hard Luck Hero

Written by Fernando von Arb, Jeff Klaven and Marc Storace it feels like it’s a cross between Bryan Adams, Night Ranger, early Foreigner and Autograph.

And I like it.

There is this section just before the solo, when Def Leppard also comes to mind.

Long Way from Home

5 plus minutes long and written by Fernando von Arb, Jeff Klaven and Marc Storace.

It’s another Krokus classic song, rooted in their past and perfect to move with into the future.

The Chorus has this Kiss feel which I like and Allan Holdsworth also does the guitar solo a fusion of string skipping and whammy bar madness.

The album did decent business in Switzerland and Sweden, but in the U.S it was up against some decent competition and it failed.

The band would later admit the change in style and sound was due to the label Arista not approving the recording until they heard more radio friendly songs.

But this wasn’t a problem tied to Krokus alone.

All of the bands during this period had albums that sounded radio friendly.

Judas Priest and “Turbo”.

Quiet Riot and “QRIII”.

To name a few.

Overall, the album still sounds like a hard rock album once you get past the first two tracks.

Werman has copped some flak from artists he’s worked with, but one thing is certain. The bands he produces, sound good. Even though I don’t like the midi drum triggers, the album still sounds good.

And if you purchased a Krokus album expecting to hear Shakespearean lyrics, well, it ain’t going to happen.

Enjoy Krokus for what they are, a hard rock band trying to survive in an ever changing market place.

And Krokus does change well.

When all the rage in the scene was about the NWOBHM and AC/DC they gave us “Headhunter” and “The Blitz”.

And when the rage shifted to AOR and midi triggers and synths, well they gave us “Change Of Address”.

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