FM: Rockville

AOR survivors: still a class act.

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On June 13, 2010, when FM appeared on the main stage at Download as last-minute replacements for Ratt, they sealed a comeback that surprised many people – themselves most of all.

In the 80s, FM had made two great albums – Indiscreet and Tough It Out – and had been hyped as Britain’s answer to Bon Jovi. But the big break never came, and in 1995 the band quietly broke up. 12 years passed before they played live again.

But with 2010 album Metropolis, FM achieved something that had eluded them in the 80s – mainstream UK radio support. And on that day at Download, they received a welcome that was, in singer Steve Overland’s words, “beyond anything we could have dreamed of”.

Rockville is the follow-up to Metropolis, and it delivers the same high-quality, radio-friendly melodic hard rock. There’s a flavour of Def Leppard to the anthems Tough Love and My Love Bleeds. Only Foolin’ is even better – a swaggering, big-hitting rock song that takes you back to the glory days of the 80s. And with Story Of My Life, which begins like Heart’s Alone, FM have created a classic power ballad.

For Britain’s greatest AOR band, these really are the best of times.

Paul Elliott

Freelance writer for Classic Rock since 2005, Paul Elliott has worked for leading music titles since 1985, including Sounds, Kerrang!, MOJO and Q. He is the author of several books including the first biography of Guns N’ Roses and the autobiography of bodyguard-to-the-stars Danny Francis. He has written liner notes for classic album reissues by artists such as Def Leppard, Thin Lizzy and Kiss, and currently works as content editor for Total Guitar. He lives in Bath - of which David Coverdale recently said: “How very Roman of you!”