Ampage – Future Days Gone By

Ampage - Future Days Gone By
Released 2007 (Mason Music)

Track List:
01. Lost & Learned
02. Words
03. Bamboozaler
04. D-Day
05. Plastic People
06. Gimme Some Truth
07. Heaven
08. Coming Home
09. American Red White & Blues
10. If I Knew Then
11. Downtown Playground
12. The Pusherman
13. Rain
14. I Needed Someone
15. The Beast Inside

Mark Mason – lead vocals, bass and acoustic guitar
Loren Molinare – guitar
Jason Carroll – guitar
Michael Kroeger – drums
Tom Mullaney – keyboards

Additional Musicians:
Mark Englert – guitar (1,12)
Michael Monarch – guitar (12)
Rick Dufay – guitar (12)
Earl Slick – guitar (6)
Michael Sheffington – guitar (12)
Dogboy – drums (4,5,8)
Rick Allen – drums (10)
Randy Meers – drums (12)
Dave Swendig – keyboards and piano (1)
Ron Young – backing vocals (13,14)
Jeff Conaway – backing vocals (4,7,11,13,14)
Pamela Mason – backing vocals (4,7,11,13,14)
Gary Busey – street preacher intro (4)

Produced by Duane Baron, Jeff Klaven, Mark Mason, Susan Herndon, Rick Allen and Dan McOnomy.

Mark Mason has evolved from a strung-out Sunset Strip rocker to a more mellowed crooner – life will do that to people. He hasn’t turned his back on rock however, instead he now travels down a similar road as the London Quireboys. When you’ve gone through as much (and forgotten as much) as Mark has there is no doubt that one would become introspective, yet he never preaches, he just plays from the heart.

  Future Days Gone By is a star-studded album, including current and former members of Little Caesar, Aerosmith, Def Leppard and Cats In Boots. Even actor Gary Busey makes an appearance ranting as only he can at the beginning of “D-Day”, a rerecorded version of one of the standout tracks on Ampage‘s 1988 debut. Squeezing the best out of everyone is famed producer Duane Baron, who helps make this disc a sharp and smooth listen.

  The lone new track presented here, “Lost & Learned”, is a semi-acoustic number that may go down as one of Mark‘s best compositions. The rest of the material is gathered from Ampage‘s Iron Horse and Falling Higher albums, the later of which never got an official release. “Words”, “Gimme Some Truth”, “The Beast Inside” and the two tracks co-written by Tommy Shaw, “Heaven” and the mellow “Rain” are the stand-out songs here. The only song I personally feel should have been included on this release is the beautiful ballad “Mona Lisa” which appeared on 1997’s Iron Horse, but for some reason it is absent.

  Love or hate his new musical direction you have to admire Mark Mason for turning his life around and getting back in the saddle. He may never reach the heights that every musician dreams about, but I think at this stage of his career he is satisfied to bring smiles to a few curious listeners. Fans of the Dogs D’amour/Tyla and the London Quireboys/Spike should love this album.

Reviewed by Skid for Sleaze Roxx, November 2007.

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