Alistair Terry’s Yonge at Heart (a reference to his favourite street in Toronto, Yonge Street) is a power pop / melodic rock slice of heaven and was recorded after the Pet Hate frontman’s former band had called it a day. The album features a deluxe 16 page booklet, lyrics, liner notes written by Rob Evans and is limited to 500 copies.
After releasing their swansong album, “Bad Publicity” it was the suggestion of Pet Hate producer, Roger Boden, that frontman Alistair Terry cut a solo album at his studio, The Cottage, in Macclesfield. Recording commenced just prior to Alistair getting the boot from Pet Hate, “I think it made the Roberts brothers jealous and may have helped Steve’s decision to give me the boot.”
With Boden really liking the material that wasn’t picked, he agreed that Alistair could record at his studio. No money changed hands and they recorded whenever there was spare time. Roger also figured the songs would be better in Alistair’s own hands, with that they would split any profits from sales equally.
With everything recorded by Alistair under the watchful eye of Boden, only a smattering of musicians such as James Beatson, Will Belsen and Duncan Macfarlane would help out on the occasional guitar or sax solo. The whole thing took about a year to record all told. “It was a dream come true to do an entire album. I started recording solo songs when I was 15 so I knew how I was going to put things together. Roger had a good ear for things and I still incorporate some of his ideas to this day.”
With FM Revolver assigned to release the album, the cover art hit a last minute hitch, as Alistair explains, “Basically we handed them master tapes without them having to do anything. Rogers brother took the cover shots so all FM had to do was produce the cover. I liked the original white cover but they wanted black. Luckily a friend called Kate Harper still had the white one and sent it to me last year.”
Entitled “Yonge At Heart” – after “Yonge Street”, the longest road in Canada – it’s music was of a soft rock persuasion that nodded its head to the AOR giants that were pouring out of America at an alarming rate. It showcased a songwriting ability that was only touched upon when he was a part of Silverwing and Pet Hate. The likes of “Centre Island”, “Reason For Summer”, “In Her Kiss” and the wonderful “Yonge At Heart “all display a level of maturity that had been missing in the past.
(Read the full story, with quotes from Alistair himself, in the ‘Yonge at Heart’ booklet)