what today is called “melodic rock”…

…is a genre that I have a particularly notable love/hate relationship with.

When it’s done well, it’s amazing. When it’s just a little bit more generic… it’s horrible.

In the 80s, Norwegians seemed to be able to do it especially well.

Aina Olsen is a name that no-one is required to recognise, although what a voice! And the songs that she recorded were also quite strong IMO.

Basically, any song of hers that I ever came across was great.

Now, with Tone Norum it’s a bit more hit-or-miss. And yes, if the name “Norum” makes you think of the band called Europe, you’re right. Tone is John Norum the guitarist’s little sister, and while the band was (is? they reformed a while ago, but they may have disbanded again for all I know…) Swedish, John and Tone are Norwegians.

Her 1986 album was unbearably poppy and she was singing in a cutesy-girly kinda way, rather high and, well, not my cup of tea. But starting with 1988…

And while we’re at it, I just found a relatively recent acoustic live version of Europe’s biggest hit, in which Tone kinda gives Mr Tempest a run for his money.

Speaking of John… he was never a bad singer himself. And there’s a whacky catchiness warning coming attached to this song… just wait till you get to the refrain.

And last but not the least… okay, musically the least. I mean, song-wise. Alyson Avenue, with none other than Anette Olzon (ex-Nightwish by now) behind the mic. Now, Anette is Swedish. Alyson Avenue is a British band. Anette is a wonderful singer. The band… not so much. Kinda boring. But here are my two favourites.

And here are a couple tracks from her post-Nightwish solo recording which is a lovely album that I can’t recommend enough. Not even remotely metal and very little rock, but it’s the best recording that showcases her amazing voice so well.

And, well, about the subject matter… It’s not Anette who was a “diva”, neither was Tarja for that matter. The only diva in Nightwish is herra Tuomas Holopainen, the mastermind and Johnny Depp wannabe.

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