Tony Mitchell – Hot Endless Summer Nights
AOR Heaven (November 26th 2021)
Reviewer: Chris O’Connor
Cast your minds back to the mid ‘90’s and to Kiss Of The Gypsy – remember them? Well, you should! They should have been huge, it’s one of life’s great injustices that they weren’t. Anyway, Tony was the frontman for that band, and has gone on to sing and play for the likes Jon Anderson, Alice Cooper, Alan Parsons Project, It Bites, and Stealer’s Wheel, amongst others. He also founded the excellent UK Melodic Rock act Dirty White Boyz of course – another outfit that should have known big success.
Now Tony returns with his third solo album, and a genuine gem it is too. It’s choc-a-bloc full of classic AOR/Melodic Rock classics, with a distinctly ‘retrowave’ feel. He is in massive voice throughout, and if you love classic sounding ‘80’s Melodic Rock – this is so for you! This is a wonderfully feelgood release, and I guarantee it will have you singing along loudly throughout.
While Tony is the voice (obviously), he also plays guitar and keyboards too. However, it certainly doesn’t hurt that he has assembled a truly stellar band to back him: Miles Meakin – lead guitars (Midnite City/Life Of A Hero), Nigel Bailey – bass guitars/ backing vocals (Three Lions/Dirty White Boyz), Eddie Anthony – drums/percussion (Mitchell/Kingdom Of Deadmen), Daniel Sings – saxophones (No Hard Feelings/Whyte Lies), and The Rogues gallery Rock Choir – backing vocals (Mitchell).
So, this album has it all going on, Tony’s always impassioned vocals, immaculate musicianship, powerful songs with terrific arrangements, and suitably bombastic production – what else could you possibly need to persuade you that you absolutely need this album? This album cries out to be played loudly while cruising on open roads in an open-topped car – it has that warmth and passion about it.
There are so many great songs on here, Tony has really excelled himself, they’re all fabulously crafted, and absolutely cry out to get massive exposure – maybe this time the stars will align for him? It would be very justified. Just listen to the likes of ‘Neon Sky’, ‘Drowning In A Sea Of Paradise’, ‘Leave The World Behind’, ‘With You In A Heartbeat‘, or ‘Can’t Fight It’ – then tell me they don’t move you or make you want to listen to them over and again – because you can’t!
One of the most impressive numbers is the hard edged ‘Calling Mother Nature’ with its punchy riff, and its cry of support for this damaged earth, it’s stirring stuff – in clumsier hands it would come across as crass, but Tony makes it genuinely striking – and he should be commended for it. ‘Hot Endless Summer Nights’ is a Tour De Force of AOR/Melodic Rock, and Tony Mitchell ought to be justifiably proud of this tremendous album! This will easily be up there amongst my albums of the year!