707 – Mega Force (1982)

707_Megaforce3.5 out of 5 Stars!

In the early ’80s, just as acts such as Journey, Foreigner, and Styx started filling countless arenas with their brand of undeniably catchy “stadium rock,” numerous bands appeared on the scene, attempting to duplicate that success. Some (such as Survivor, Loverboy, and 38 Special) achieved their lofty goal, while a greater number of deserving bands (such as Wrabit, Sheriff, Axe, Spys, Prism, Franke & The Knockouts, and Shooting Star, to name only a few), despite having some minor hits and/or receiving radio airplay, couldn’t quite snatch that fickle and elusive brass ring and their names continue to remain in relative obscurity.

Unfortunately, 707 fell into the latter category.

From Detroit, the band released a trio of albums from 1980-1982, each containing a slew of AOR/Hard Rock tunes, many of them three-to-four-minute bursts of melodic, guitar-heavy, keyboard-accented frenzy, that could have garnered hit-single status if only given the right promotion.

For example, on this, 707’s third album, the opening track “Mega Force,” despite being featured in the movie of the same name and being co-written by Jonathan Cain of Journey fame, should have rocketed up the Billboard charts, but Boardwalk/CBS Records didn’t seem to give a hoot. The same could be said for other melodic gems on this album, such as “Heartbeat,” “We Will Last,” “No Better Feeling,” “Out of the Dark,” and “Write Again,” but not one of them was released as a single, and therefore, the album quickly fizzled.

Despite the lack of record company support, the band sure had talent, with unheralded vocalist Kevin Chalfant and axe-slinger Kevin Russell, and in many respects, 707’s sound compared to Journey (no shock, since the “Steve Perry-like” Chalfant went on to work with ex-Journey members in both The Storm and The VU), but the band sadly broke up shortly after this album was released, regrouped with some new members for three additional albums from 2000-2006, before vanishing again.

Regardless, when it comes to AOR/Hard Rock material from the early ’80, Mega Force remains a favorite of mine.

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