November 24, 2004

SJP


Artist: Aaron, Lee



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Born: Karen Greening in Belleville, ON; 1962

Karen Greening was born in Belleville, Ontario and moved to Brampton, Ontario with her family at an early age. Her house was always filled with Streisand, jazz (Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, and Dinah Washington) music and rock & roll which convinced Karen that this was what she wanted to do the rest of her life. Her first big exposure was at 15 on a Toronto area cable television variety program where she sang Debbie Boone's "You Light Up My Life".

Discovered at the age of 16 singing in a musical production of Babes In Arms Greening joined existing band Lee Aaron as backup singer and keyboardist. Rat-infested hotel rooms and biker bars didn't deter her aspirations and as her experience grew she moved to the lead singer position adopting the band name as her own. A year later, after graduating with honours and two scholarships she met manager Rob Connolly who replaced her entire band which become The Lee Aaron project to tour the Southern Ontario clubs. In 1982 she recorded her debut album The Lee Aaron Project with the Rick Santers Band as the backing musicians for the modest sum of $7,000.

As a promotional stunt, Aaron posed nude for American adult magazine OUI which failed to make an impact on her album sales or her career. In 1984 she signed with Attic Records and begin her long friendship and association with guitarist John Albani (ex-Wrabit). Attic issued a new studio album that would forever brand her the 'Metal Queen'.

The dark, Edgar Rice Burroughs influenced visuals for Metal Queen and its the title track, was controversial immediately with the UK BBC network who gave it an 'R' rating, Australia banning it outright and Canada's MuchMusic scratching their heads. But Much was in its infancy and needed the video for an, as yet untested, market making "Metal Queen" a hit. Impressed with the sudden interest in Lee Aaron, Attic Records bought the rights to The Lee Aaron Project album from Freedom Records and re-packaged it for quick release as, simply, Lee Aaron.

A tour was launched throughout the Eastern US seaboard and portions of Canada but it would exhaust funds and forced Aaron and Albani to return home, broke, in January 1985. They fired manager Connolly, dissolved the band, and contemplated their next move. Because the pressure was on from Attic Records for a follow-up, Aaron and Albani hit the studio with crack studio players and heavy handed producer Bob Ezrin. Recording was wrapped up in four months.

By the time album number three, Call Of The Wild, hit the racks, Aaron had managed to parlay a gig at the Marquee Club in London, England and the subsequent over-night success of the album led to a hastily assembled band for a two month European tour as opening act for Bon Jovi, Krokus, and Uriah Heep. With her popularity skyrocketing, a planned tour opening for Blue Oyster Cult had to be cancelled so that Aaron could headline her own tour in West Germany during October and November 1985. The success of Call Of The Wild led to a European distribution deal with Virgin subsidiary, 10 Records, in England.

It was a short lived association as 10 Records went bankrupt after the release of 1987's eponymously titled Lee Aaron album with its smoother, softer production edge. It yielded the Top-40 hit "Only Human" which would be the first of many co-writing efforts with the likes of Joe Lynn Turner, David Roberts, and Dan Hill. The album did little internationally and subsequently stalled. Aaron took a long needed rest after this to re-assess her career.

This re-invention was translated into the 1989 Bodyrock album with the heavy anthemic singles "Whatcha Do To My Body" and "Hands On" as well as a cover of the Montrose song "Rock Candy". The success of radio play and MuchMusic's heavy rotation of the singles led to her first cross-Canada tour since 1983 in April 1990. She received Juno nominations for Female Vocalist Of The Year and Best Video ("Whatcha Do To My Body"). Eventually, Bodyrock would become Aaron's most successful record with 230,000 units sold.

Lightening nearly struck again in 1991 with the album Some Girls Do and she repeated the formula with the radio added tunes "Sex With Love" and "Motor City Boy" (featuring a voice over by Q107 radio personality John Derringer) -- a song about bandmate and husband Greg Thomas Doyle. Another cover tune was in the mix (Stevie Wonder's "Tell Me Something Good") while Aaron and Albani teamed up with Jim Vallance for the album track "Dangerous". Once again she launched a nationwide Canadian tour -- this time with Darby Mills (of The Headpins).

Despite another handful of Juno nominations and wins at the Toronto Music Awards for "Female Vocalist", the international Hard Rock scene began to wane as did album sales, and Aaron requested a release from her expiring record deal at the end of May 1992. Attic agreed and the two split amicably with her final release on the label being 1992's best-of package Powerline.

An emotional roller coaster ride ensued as her marriage dissolved and her lack of recording contract led to a two year grace period before fighting back with a new sound, hairstyle, wardrobe and independent album in 1994 called Emotional Rain. The CD was released on a new label she formed with manager Steve Propas who also distributed the disc through his own Spy Records.

Following her change in direction to a grungier, chunkier sound, she parted ways with long-time collaborator John Albani, moved to British Columbia in 1995. She soon hooked up with ex-members of Vancouver's Sons Of Freedom to create the all new 2preciious who released a self-titled debut in 1996 featuring the single "Superbitch".

She was invited many times to step outside the pop genre and perform live, twice in the prestigious 'Kumbaya' festival, and by November of 1996, flown in to special guest with some of the Toronto's premier jazz and blues players in the Toronto Women's Blues Revue.

2preciious never regrouped, and in early 1997 Aaron sought a departure from pop limitations to return to a pure, stripped down form -- piano and voice. Coincidentally, while listening to the CBC late one evening, jazz pianist Dennis Michael Ziebart caught three tracks performed live by Aaron at the previous Women's Blues Revue show. He sought her out and the two eventually connected fashioning their own versions of jazz and blues songs spanning the 20's to the 50's. With a repertoire of over 160 minutes worth of live music they pursued a low-key tour through the British Columbia interior test-drive the material some of which ended up on the the Lee Aaron And The Swingin' Barflies CD Slick Chick which saw the light of day in May 2000. Videos for "Why Don't You Do Right" and "I'd Love To" charted in the Top 10 on The Bravo Countdown. Slick Chick was subsequently released in Europe and South America followed by a nine country tour.

In 2002, on yet another musical adventure, Aaron took on a role with Vancouver's Modern Baroque Opera in a VEC production which took home an Alcan Performing Arts Award.

In 2003, Aaron began writing and production on Beautiful Things which was released in 2004. What initially started as another jazz effort, evolved into some of her most creative and personal work to date.

Aaron gave birth to a daughter in June 2004 and is expecting a second child in February 2006.




Singles
1984 Shake It Up/Deceiver (Attic)
1984 We Will Be Rockin' (edited remix)/Hold Out (Attic)
1985 Runnin' From The Fire/Call Of The Wild (Attic)
1985 Barely Holdin' On/Danger Zone (Attic)
1987 Only Human/Empty Heart (Attic) AT-350
1987 Goin' Off The Deep End/Hands Are Tied AT-358 (Attic)
1987 Dream With Me/Empty Heart (Attic) AT-363
1989 Whatcha Do To My Body (Single Version)/Tough Girls Don't Cry AT-394(Attic)
1989 Whatcha Do To My Body [cassette] (Attic)
[Whatcha Do To My Body (7")/Tough Girls Don't Cry//Whatcha Do To My Body (LP)/Nasty Boyz]
1989 Hands On (Single Version)/Shame (Attic)
1990 Sweet Talk (Single Version)/Rock The Hard Way (Attic)
1991 Sex With Love (Single Version)/Motor City Boy (Single Version)(Attic)
1991 Sex With Love"/Peace On Earth" (Metronome - Germany)
1994 Shakin' Down The Odds Of Love (Special Mix) [promo CD-single in Labatt's beer cases]
1994 Odds Of Love (radio edit)/Odds Of Love (Hipchic/Spy)
1995 Baby Go Round (Hipchic/Spy)
1996 Superbitch/Black Metal Jesus (Hipchic/KOCH - Germany)

Albums
1982 The Lee Aaron Project (Freedom) FR-014
1984 Lee Aaron [aka The Lee Aaron Project re-issue] (Attic) LAT-1193
1984 Metal Queen (Attic) LAT-1188
1985 Call Of The Wild (Attic) LAT-1212
1985 Barely Holdin' On [Picture Disc] (Roadrunner)
[Barely Holdin' On/Danger Zone/Call Of The Wild]
1987 Call Of The Wild [UK re-issue] (10 Records)
1987 Metal Queen [UK re-issue] (10 Records)
1987 Lee Aaron (Attic) [not the same as The Lee Aaron Project albums] LAT-1231
1988 Call Of The Wild (Attic) [bonus track: "Call Of The Wild"]
1989 Lee Aaron/Metal Queen [2-4-1 re-issue] (Attic) [bonus track: "Night Riders (live)"]
1989 Bodyrock (Attic) LAT-1257
1991 Some Girls Do (Attic)
1992 Powerline: The Best Of Lee Aaron (Attic)
1994 Emotional Rain (Hipchic/Spy) [European bonus tracks: Concrete & Ice; Strange Alice]
2004 Emotional Rain [re-issue] (Solid Gold)

as LEE AARON AND THE SWINGIN' BARFLIES
2000 Slick Chick (Barking Dog Music/Fusion III)
2004 Beautiful Things (Barking Dog Music/Fusion III)

with 2preciious
1996 2preciious (Spastic Plastic/IMD) [released in Germany as Lee Aaron And 2preciious]

EPs
1983 The Lee Aaron Project Picture Disc (Visual Vinyl) VV1001
[I Like My Rock Hard/Under Your Spell/Lonely For Love/I Just Wanna To Make Love To You]
1984 Metal Queen (Road Runner)
[Metal Queen (edited version)/Head Above Water/We Will Be Rockin'/Night Riders (live)]
1985 Rock Me All Over (Attic)
[Rock Me All Over (alternate version)/Line Of Fire/Evil Game]
1985 Barely Holdin' On (Roadrunner)
RR5488 [Barely Holdin' On/Danger Zone/Call Of The Wild]
1987 Only Human (10 Records) TENT155
[Only Human/Empty Heart/Call Of The Wild]
1989 Whatcha Do To My Body (Metronome - Germany)
[Whatcha Do To My Body (Single Version)/Tough Girls Don't Cry//Whatcha Do To My Body (LP Version)/Nasty Boyz]
1989 The Lee Aaron Project Picture Disc [re-issue](Visual Vinyl)
[I Like My Rock Hard/Under Your Spell/Lonely For Love/I Just Wanna To Make Love To You]

Full-length videos
1986 Lee Aaron Live [full-length] (Embassy Home Entertainment)
1986 Danger Zone [full-length] (Hendring Limited, UK)
1990 Video History [full-length] (Polygram Video - Germany)

Video clips
1982 Under Your Spell [Film from Aaron's OUI magazine photo shoot. Withdrawn by Attic Records]
1984 Metal Queen
1984 Shake It Up
1985 Barely Holdin' On
1985 Rock Me All Over
1985 Hot To Be Rocked
1987 Only Human
1989 Whatcha Do To My Body
1989 Hands On
1989 Sweet Talk
1991 Sex With Love
1991 Some Girls Do
1992 Peace On Earth
1994 Baby Go Round
1994 Fire In Your Flame

as LEE AARON AND THE SWINGIN' BARFLIES
2000 Why Don't You Do Right
2000 I'd Love To

with KICK AXE
1985 With A Little Help From My Friends [Aaron does guest vocals]

with THE VIGILANTS
1985 Run For Cover [Aaron's acting debut]

with 2preciious
1996 Mascara

Collaborations
with FRANK SODA
1983 The Adventures Of Sodaman Picture Disc (Visual Vinyl) [Aaron: backing vox on "You Got Me Where You Want Me" & "Weekend Wilds"]

with KICK AXE
1985 Welcome To The Club (Pasha/CBS) [Aaron: backing vox on "With A Little Help From My Friends"]

with THE SCORPIONS
1988 Savage Amusement (Mercury/Polygram) [Aaron: backing vox on "Rhythm Of Love"]

with MYLES GOODWYN
1988 Myles Goodwyn (Aquarius) [Aaron: Duet on "Do You Know What I Mean?"]

with HELIX
1993 It's A Business Doing Pleasure (Aquarius) [Aaron: duet on "Look Me Straight In The Heart"]

with BIG SUGAR
1993 El 7 Niteclub (Hypnotic Records) [Aaron: guest vocalist on "In The Dark"]

with FurnaceFace
1994 This Will Make You Happy (independent) [Aaron: talking on "The Ballad Of Richard Iommi"]




Official Lee Aaron website




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