October 12, 2023

Several other Hit The Ground Runnin’ albums are already reviewed elsewhere on the Velvet Thunder website and these show the band to be an AOR outfit originally out of Canadian but subsequently relocated to Philadelphia.

The band began life in 1985 with the name Free Delivery which was changed to Hit The Ground Runnin’ the following year with the debut, Sudden Impact, coming out in 1989 being a tight, cultured and melodic album which stimulated a fair amount of interest but due to a number of reasons, mainly the prevailing change in musical trends, the band’s career stalled. Control Yourself was the second release having been recorded in ’90/’91 but it ended up being shelved and was not put out until 2001 with a somewhat limited release meaning that it is now a hard album to find for AOR fans.

Consequently, AOR Heaven is in the process of making the groups material available again with Control Yourself now released in remastered form with new artwork and three bonus songs with the previously unreleased Melva Devine, an alternative demo of Pain and a demo of Back Again.

As far as I am aware, the line-up on this album was Blair Ramsey on lead vocals, Alan Auginnas on guitar, Paul Piccaro on bass, Jimmy Katone on drums and Rob Kay on keyboards and I do not know if anything has subsequently been re-recorded but you never know! As with Sudden Impact, the music is vocal driven melodic rock with a fine performance from Ramsey and plenty of neat guitar and great vocal harmonies and has a sound somewhat similar to Saga, Max Webster and Honeymoon Suite.

The music is very much of its time being old-school AOR and the band was never going to be the next big thing in melodic rock but they have left a legacy of several interesting and pleasing melodic rock delights which all fans of the genre should enjoy and are definitely worth a listen if only to see what could have been!

Control Yourself

  1. Control Yourself (4:08)
  2. Back Again (4:19)
  3. Shanghaid (3:50)
  4. Lost (4:39)
  5. Still Life Lover (3:45)
  6. Born to Be With You (4:04
  7. Pain (4:34)
  8. Holding You (5:57)
  9. I.C.U. (4:18)
  10. Dirty Girl (4:14)
  11. Surrounded By Fire (5:01
  12. Melva Devine (4:39) (Bonus track)
  13. Pain (alt version) (4:27) (Bonus track),
  14. Back Again (demo) (4:07) (Bonus track)