Originally released in 1984, Shaft of Light was the debut album from UK-based AOR/melodic rockers Airrace, which featured Jason Bonham (son of the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham) on drums alongside guitarist Laurie Mansworth (ex-More) and singer Keith Murrell (ex-Moontier). The band had a keyboard heavy, arena rocking sound similar to UK bands Lionheart, Tobruk and Snowblind, and obviously drew inspiration from bands like Journey and Foreigner.
Shaft of Light is a classy, ultra-polished (with signature Beau Hill production) melodic AOR album that just about any fan of that style of music is going to love. It's got wall to wall melodies, catchy choruses, totally 80's keyboards, and best of all it's the kind of pure early 80's rock & roll album where every song could have fit on any popular movie soundtrack. Highlights are the opening single "I Don't Care," "Didn't Wanna Lose Ya" and "Open Your Eyes," but the whole album is really terrific.
Shaft of Light was Airrace's only release until 2011's Back To The Start. Jason Bonham went on join Virginia Wolf for a pair of albums before finding success with his own band Bonham. If you're a fan of the `80s melodic rock sound, particularly bands like Shy, Strangeways and Aldo Nova, Shaft of Light is a must-have album, especially now that it has been given a proper reissue.
Edition Notes: Wounded Bird reissued Shaft of Light in 2003, which marks the first time the album has been released on CD. It does not feature any bonus material, nor has it been remastered.
Edition Notes 2: Rock Candy reissued Shaft of Light in 2009, and they definitely did the album justice. Not only is the album digitally remastered for amazing sound quality, it also features a pair of bonus demo tracks ("Not Really Me" and "She Can't Come Out") and expanded liner notes with rare photos and an essay by Classic Rock Magazine scribe Dave Ling. Even if you already bought the Wounded Bird version you're going to want to replace it with this 5-star reissue.