This is "The Big 10 - The Essential Tracks", in which we take a closer look at particular artist's or band's back catalogue, and choose the 10 finest moments. These are our subjective choices, so if you want to ask how on earth we could leave off such and such song from the list, you can... and the answer is... because we could.

  AUTOGRAPH - That's the stuff that dreams are made of. The glossy U.S. act of the eighties, the very definition of catchy and fun melodic rock. Originally formed in 1983 by the Ronald McDonald look-alike, singer, songwriter & guitarist Steve Plunkett (Looker, John Doe, Wolfgang). At the time the very disappointed member of Earl Slick's band, Silver Condor (CBS Records) and fed up with the fact that his songs didn't make the record, Plunk decided to start up a new project with old friends. Looker guitarist Steve Lynch with his extra-ordinary signature 8-finger hammer-on technique [Guitar Player's solo of the year award winner of 1985]. Wolfgang and Lita Ford bassist Randy Rand. John Doe drummer Keni Richards and keyboardist Steve Isham, who sadly passed away in 2008 (R.I.P.).

"Day in, day out, all week long. Things go better with rock". The five of them chose their moniker after hearing Def Leppard's Photograph. The band managed to score the very attractive position as opening act on the VAN HALEN 1984 U.S. tour as the unsigned act without a recording contract? Unbelievable, but true. They took a loan to buy amps and equipment, made their very first gig infront of 12,000 people and did eventually 48 shows with Van Halen. The RCA president came to see them at Madison Square Garden in New York and signed them up directly after the show. Their debut album, "Sign In Please", released in late '84, contains ten utterly fun rock tunes. "Turn Up The Radio" became their trademark song and hit single, #28 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Top 5 on Rock Radio. The song was featured in "Miami Vice" and the band would continue to have several songs in 80's movie soundtracks like Secret Admirer, Fright Night, Youngblood, Like Father, Like Son, etc. GTA Vice City fans may also recognize Autograph from the in games radio stations. The fun "You Can't Hide From The Beast Inside" is sadly only available on the 'Fright Night' soundtrack (scarce CD).

The band and especially Plunkett had a special knack for coming up with the catchy material. Or at least that's what the world thought prior to listening to their follow-up album, "That's The Stuff". It's unfortunately not quite the "stuff". "Loud and Clear" from 1987 the great return to shape and form, but it was sadly too little and too late according to RCA. They stopped promoting and dropped them like hot potatos. They broke-up in '89 and many of their unreleased songs would eventually end up as "Missing Pieces" in 1997. Including 'Angel In Black' which became the minor hit with Bangalore Choir in the early 90's. Plunkett ended up as the famed producer and songwriter with 100's of songs in movies and TV shows like Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place, Sex and the City, 7th Heaven, Summerland, etc, etc. Steve Lynch and Randy Rand decided to reform Autograph the other year with a new singer, ex-Jailhouse vocalist Simon Daniels. Keni Richards was involved too but has been replaced by Marc Wieland recently. They're about to play at Firefest in the U.K. and there's even a new album in the works. For now, here's the Big-10...

10. All I'm Gonna Take
9. Night Teen & Non Stop
8. Turn Up The Radio
7. You Can't Hide From The Beast Inside
6. Everytime I Dream

5. Friday
"Friday evening on the boulevard. All the boys hoping that they'll met. All the girls standing on the street". I'm not entirelly sure why I enjoy this song as much as I do? I guess it's because it's got that feeling of 'Your Love' (The Outfield) and biting guitar work. Obviously catchy and hey, I'll drink a toast to every Friday. The song that Roger from American Dad would totally sing and especially the 'Friday [whispered] I'm a good boy' part :)

4. More Than A Million Times
One of their pure keyboard tracks with a lot more in common with Pomp and Pop at first until the chorus part explodes into AORmageddon. Big, pink, fluffy. It ain't Metal and it ain't trying to be so stop your bitching. One of several top notch tracks from Loud and Clear. Simply put the flawless delivery of eighties mid-tempo AOR.

3. Just Got Back From Heaven
I love the simplicity of the keyboard work by Isham (RIP). Another winner from the Loud and Clear album. The track is simply just catchy/poppy with its soft build up and stunning echo effect. "I'll never be the same, 'cause I just got back from heaven. Heaven is in your arms. I just got back from heaven and heaven is where you are".

2. Send Her To Me
"I don't know how I let her go? I thought the chain would always be unbroken". The follow-up single to their biggest hit 'Turn Up The Radio' from their debut album. Cheesy or simply just the honest cry for lost love? Plunk and his eighties hairdo surely must have gone through some hard times? "So after you are through. Doin what you're gonna do. After you blow her heart away. I will still be here to say. Send her to me, Send her to me. I'm the one who loves her"...

1. She Never Looked That Good For Me
"They say that love is blind. I didn't see the signs. All the things I didn't do. Made her give her love to you". One of those perfect Melodic Rock anthems with your catchy hook and sing-a-long chorus. The 'I regret breaking up with my old girlfriend and especially now since there's a new smile I've never seen' song from the Loud and Clear album takes the #1 spot on this Big 10 list. Sort of similar (lyric-wise) to #2 and living proof that ginger blokes hurt :)

This list by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,

The list as a YouTube playlist

Individual lists:

Kimmo Toivonen:

10. When I'm Gone
9. Turn Up The Radio
8. Bad Boy
7. Send Her To Me
6. In The Night
5. More Than A Million Times
4. Everytime I Dream
3. All I'm Gonna Take
2. You Can't Hide From The Beast Inside
1. She Never Looked That Good For Me

Dan Mann:

10. She Never Looked That Good For Me
9. We're An American Band
8. Cloud 10
7. Night Teen And Non Stop
6. Take No Prisoners
5. Everytime I Dream
4. Just Got Back From Heaven
3. Loud And Clear
2. That's The Stuff
1. Turn Up The Radio

Rich Dillon:

10. Blondes in Black Cars
9. All I'm Gonna Take
8. When the Sun Goes Down
7. That's the Stuff
6. Send Her to Me
5. Loud and Clear
4. She Never Looked That Good For Me
3. My Girfriend's Boyfriend Isn't Me
2. Deep End
1. Turn Up the Radio


(c) 2014 RockUnited.Com


10. All I'm Gonna Take
9. That's The Stuff
8. More Than A Million Times
7. You Can't Hide From The Beast Inside
6. Loud and Clear
5. Just Got Back From Heaven
4. Everytime I Dream
3. Send Her To Me
2. Turn Up The Radio
1. She Never Looked That Good For Me