Lee Aaron was born Karen Lynn Greening. The self proclaimed "Metal
Queen" who took her name from one of her early bands.
Lee Aaron (Attic) 1984
1. Under Your Spell (3:30)
2. Lonely for Your Love (3:39)
3. Night Riders (2:51)
4. Texas Outlaw (3:47)
5.I Like My Rock Hard (3:47)
6. I Just Wanna Make Love to You (3:03)
7. Runnin' from His Love (4:00)
8. Should Have Known (3:54)
9. Took Your Heart Away (3:17)
Lee Aaron's debut album has a bit of a confusing history. Originally released in 1982 on Freedom Records under the band name The Lee Aaron Project, the album was reissued in 1984 on Attic Records with a new cover under the name Lee Aaron. However, this album should not to be confused with her 1987 album which is also self-titled. Some re-issues, including the Undisc Music re-issue I own, have actually named he album "Project".
"Project" is a very 70's sounding hard rock album, having much in common with artists like Rick Derringer, Pat Travers and Pat Benetar. Though some have dubbed her "the Metal Queen", the music contained herein is hardly heavy metal, even by 1970's standards. It's guitar based hard rock with hooky choruses. Aaron has a slightly raspy voice that works well with her brand of melodic hard rock. Songs like "Under Your Spell" and "Should Have Known" are enjoyable, hooky hard rockers. "I Like My Rock Hard" is a song full of pre-pubescent sexual innuendos, the lyrics reminding me of one of Kiss' worst songs, "(You Make Me) Rock Hard." "I Just Wanna Make Love To You" is the Willie Dixon classic that was a hit in the 70's for Foghat. The album ends with a melodic rocker with another hooky, sing-along chorus called "Took Your Heart Away". Thankfully Aaron's debut isn't packed full of sappy ballads and corny 80's pop. That would come with later releases. This album is a solid rock 'n' roll album.
Lee Aaron - Metal Queen (Attic Records) 1984
1. Metal Queen
2. Lady of the Darkest Night
3. Head Above Water
4. Got to Be the One
5. Shake It Up
7. Steal Away Your Love
8. Hold Out
10. We Will Be Rockin'
Back in 1985 or so, I stumbled across this obscure LP by Lee Aaron titled "Metal Queen" on Canada's Attic Records at a little record store in Trenton called The Record Collector. At the time I pretty much bought up anything that even looked heavy. Having already been a fan of Attic Records' band Anvil, I thought I'd give this female metalhead a listen. I brought the record home and was, at first, disappointed that it wasn't quite the raw, heavy metal that I was expecting. However, repeated listens revealed a solid album of melodic heavy metal and hard rock. "Metal Queen" was actually Aaron's second album.
The title track is a classic song, and one that would define Lee Aaron, at least in name. Follow-up albums would move further and further away from a heavy metal sound and more into light pop. The music here is pretty simplistic, with lots of those hanging chord riffs and catchy sing-along choruses. As might be expected there are the obligatory ballads as well. "Got to Be the One" is a power ballad and shows Lee Aaron to have an powerful voice. "Head Above Water." features some very cool harmonies and is another standout cut on the album. "Deciever" is one the heavier, faster tracks on the album. The song is pretty standard and typical of the times, but is brought to life by Aaron's passionate vocals. The closing track is a pop rock anthem, with a repeated chorus. "We will be rocking until the end of time..." Overall, "Metal Queen" is Lee's hardest rocking album and my personal favorite. Aaron gained quite a bit of popularity from this album, mostly in Europe and her homeland of Canada. She never quite broke the American market.
Lee Aaron - Call of the Wild (Attic) 1985
1. "Rock Me All Over"
2. "Runnin' from the Fire" (3:00)
3. "Champion" (4:17)
4. "Barely Holdin' On" (4:42)
5. "Burnin' Love" (3:44)
6. "Call of the Wild" (4:20)
7. "Line of Fire" (4:24)
8. "Beat 'Em Up" (4:24)
9. "Paradise" (3:04)
10. "Evil Game" (3:26)
11. "Danger Zone" (3:52)
12. "Hot to Be Rocked" (3:25)
Oh my, the Shania Twain
of heavy metal. Wasn't Lee known as the Metal Queen? I believe she was. I actually
use to own a cd by her called 'Metal Queen' and as I recalled I really liked
it. Anyhow, Lee has the looks, the voice and certainly the band behind her to
do great things, but alas the music is not outstanding, although not bad either.
With a man like Bob Ezrin (Kiss, Pink
Floyd, Alice Cooper, Aerosmith,
etc) producing, I guess I was expecting something a bit more memorable. As it
stands, the most memorable part of the disc is the cover art. Will have to see
what happens after living with the disc for a while.
Lee Aaron - Bodyrock (Attic) 1989
1. "Nasty Boyz"
2. "Yesterday" (4:50)
3. "Gotta Thing for You" (4:06)
4. "Rock Candy" (4:11)
5. "Tough Girls Don't Cry" (4:40)
6. "Sweet Talk" (6:02)
7. "Rock the Hard Way" (3:47)
8. "Shame" (4:51)
9. "Whatcha Do to My Body" (4:46)
10. "Hands On" (4:15)
11. "Rebel Angel" (4:18)
12. "How Deep" (5:11)
"Body Rock" is quite
a bit more commercial than "Metal Queen" or "Call of the Wild," which actually
suits Aaron's voice quite well. Apparently many others thought the same thing,
for within a year of it's release, "Bodyrock" sold over 200,000 copies. As with
"Call of the Wild" repeated listens are what is required to really enjoy this
disc. Aaron's voice is quite nice, and in itself is what makes repeated listens
something that will happen. I don't know that I would actually label this heavy
metal, but more commercial hard rock, but regardless, I think anyone into the
80's style of pop metal would enjoy this disc.
Lee Aaron - Some Girls Do (Attic Records) 1991
1. "Some Girls Do"
2. "Crazy in Love" (3:49)
3. "Hands off the Merchandise" (3:28)
4. "Wild At Heart" (4:06)
5. "Sex With Love" (4:430
6. "(You Make Me) Wanna Be Bad" (3:52)
7. "Tuff Love" (4:40)
8. "Motor City Boy" (4:15)
9. "Love Crimes" (3:54)
10. "Can't Stand the Heat" (3:42)
11. "Dangerous" (3:36)
12. "Tell Me Somethin' Good" (4:39)
13. "Peace on Earth" (5:13)
Slick, happy, pop rock
with a slight metal sheen, mostly due to the gritty guitars. Songs like "Wild
At Heart", "Love Crimes" and "Dangerous" are all memorable pop songs that could easily
have been radio hits in '91 had Aaron had major label backing. Also, it must
be noted that Lee has a beautiful voice. However, as with all the CDs I own
by Lee Aaron, there is something almost generic about them. "Some Girls Do"
isn't bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it's also not great. There
isn't a whole lot to hold your attention. I find the photos more intreging than
Lee Aaron - Emotional Rain (Solid Gold) 1994
1. Odds Of Love (4:39)
2. Baby Go Round (4:24)
3. Fire In Your Flame (4:35)
4. Waterfall (4:05)
5. Inside (3:40)
6. Raggedy Jane (3:28)
7. Soul In Motion (4:39)
8. Emotional Rain (4:18)
9. Judgement Day (4:16)
10. Heaven (4:37)
11. Cry (4:16)
12. Had Enough (3:03)
In the 1990's after the death of big hair and glam metal, there was a new dog ruling the streets, grunge. Heavy metal in general became a dirty word with media claiming that "heavy metal was dead!" and some band's from the 80's trying to adapt to the times. Bands like Def Leppard, Holy Soldier, and a few others that aren't coming to mind at the moment were making the claim that they were finally playing the style of music they had always wanted to play, as if someone was forcing them with a shotgun to play the hard rock and heavy metal they started off with. Unfortunately Lee Aaron is sitting in that same camp with the liner notes to "Emotional Rain" stating, "...it marked an end of an era, musically, culturally and personally. Big hair, pointy guitar rock had finally been ousted ...by the advent of grunge and I finally had the chance to step away from the confines of a career driven by a vampy image and corporate record power..." So, much like those other bands, Lee was only playing "pointy guitar rock" because she was being forced to. Awesome! I guess it would be hard for her to deny she was ever really "metal" since she dubbed herself the Metal Queen in the 80's.
Here's the thing though, unlike some of the other bands that tried to go grunge, Lee manages to pull off an enjoyable and honest album. "Emotional Rain" manages to cull a large amount of groove in the songs that rock. Songs like "Odds of Love", "Judgement Day" and "Waterfall" are all examples of this groove. Other songs such as "Fire in Your Flame" actually still sound planted in the 80's sound. This song in particular sounds like it could have been on one of Heart's big hit albums from the 1980's. This direction actually works for Lee, unlike many of her contemporaries. Much of this is due to the fact Lee hasn't really gone for the grunge sound, but rather just took the organic nature of grunge and applied it to her own sound. A good album for Lee Aarron, even if it is a departure.