Hi-Tech AOR: An Ultramodern Retro Mix

What is Hi-Tech AOR?

Essentially, it’s AOR (Album Oriented Rock) heavily mixed with pop, using the modern (for the Eighties) technology of the day. Alex Craig describes it as “metallic sounding MIDI bass programming, twinkly Yamaha DX-7 synths, huge gated reverbs on drums and other over the top, flashy touches.” He also, mistakenly, describes it as a phenomenon exclusive to YouTube, which a cursory Google will show you is incorrect.

Many Westcoast AOR artists moved into the area for an album or two in the mid Eighties, artists such as Stephen Bishop, Marc Jordan  and Peter Cetera, probably in an effort to sound modern and ‘down with the kids’. It was also heavily used on soundtrack albums and, of course, ‘Miami Vice’. However, possibly the most famous album of this genre was Mr. Mister’s ‘Welcome To The Real World’.

Anyway, here’s a mix I have done of some of the more obscure songs and bands, just for your enjoyment. There may also be another one in the pipeline……


1. Miami Vice Theme: Jan Hammer
2. Too Late: Modesty
3. Nowhere Land: Time Gallery
4. Underground: Stablizers
5. What’s It Gonna Take: Glenn Medeiros
6. Stranger to Love: St. Paul
7. The Good Life: Dear Enemy
8. Back To The Sunshine: Freiheit
9. Touch & Go: La Manca
10. Heartbeat: Red 7
11. One of These Days: Toys Of Joy
12. Words Without Meaning: Channel 5
13. Life By Night: Life By Night
14. Jean Such A Scene: Jakarta
15. See You at Spargo: Valet Parking
16. Commissioner St.: 8 Seconds
17. Sleeping With Girls: Stephen Bishop
18. Someone Special: Kevin Raleigh
19. How Can We Believe: Keven Jordan
20. Up: Alan Gorrie
21. There Was A Time: One To One