MTB – How Long [Reissue]

MTB - How Long [Reissue]
  • 8/10
    MTB - How Long [Reissue] - 8/10


Frontiers Records
Release date: June 8, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

To say Michael Thompson has been around, would be an understatement of truth. The guitarist, hailing in from New York, has been a six string sidekick for various legend-like musicians such as Joe Cocker, Celine Dion, and Cher. Ok, this is not exactly Metal, but still honorable, right?

Also, Thompson earned himself quite a reputation in songwriting. AOR and Hard Rock cracks knew what they would get and so they hired him throughout the decades. According to Thompson’s Web site, the acclaimed guitarist contributed on 60-plus singles, EPs and albums, starting from the year of 1979 – only concerned with playing the guitar folks!

Despite the busy schedule, the icon managed to form a band under the moniker MTB, meaning – surprise on it’s way – Michael Thompson Band. Pals from the business-like Rick “Moon” Calhoun on vocals, who sang for AOR standouts The Strand, John Andrew Schreiner on keyboards, Leon Gaer on the bass, and John Keane on drums hopped onboard. Many musicians appeared as guests, in particular drummer-maestro Terry Bozzio, Pat Torpey of Mr Big, bassist Jimmy Haslip, ex-Kansas vocalist John Elefante, Toto’s Bobby Kimball, and Great White associates Michael Lardie and Wyn Davis (who also produced the album). Songwriters would include, among others, AOR luminaries such as: Jeff Paris, Mark Spiro, Bill Trudell, and Brett Walker.

In 1988 the group signed a deal with Geffen records, known for its work with bands such as Aerosmith, reputedly obtaining cult status. The long player was titled How Long and simply is a masterpiece in AOR and Hard Rock.

Every minute sends out dear greetings by TOTO and Co. Simply push the repeat button and let it go.

For people who couldn’t be located in the late 80’s AOR and Hard Rock scene, such as the writer of this review, this album represents a welcome time warp. Come on, did you like Slayer or Sanctuary during grade school? But again, tending to extremes, from rubble back to precious: How Long contains 10 original songs and none of ’em representing the fast forward type.

The band obviously knew about their strongest track and so “Give Love A Chance” lasts for a lovely 7:46 minutes. Lyrics like “In the springtime of our love, don’t let the winter’s cold set in” make your heart pound like the fists of Joe Frazier. The biggest contradiction can be found on “Wasteland.” This is not a desert but an oasis of musicianship. The drums pushing your body back and forth, the guitar playin’ a touching solo and the singin’ makin’ at least your lips form according to the words. Don’t even bother, there’s not a but(t) right here.

The but(t)

The only disturbing thing are the bonus tracks. Ok, the songs “I Can’t Let Go” and “Right To Be Wrong” are leftovers from the original recording session. They’re nice but not an addition really. The final track “Wheelchair” is supposed to be a teaser for recently released The Rivers Of Paradise, but doesn’t fit at all. It’s missing the depth and atmosphere of the old songs, maybe style-wise it’s just a contradiction to heavy. It’s not leaving a bitter taste, but actually no taste at all.

Still, the reissue of How Long is an album – for those who do not have the original one – to buy.


  • Christian Mannsbart

    Christian was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Würzburg, Germany. His brother introduced him to Heavy Metal. Ronnie James Dio’s Holy Diver made a big impression on him right from the beginning, and he has kept bangin' from the age of ten. He also plays the guitar from time to time.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.