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Lana Lane - Love is an Illusion Special Edition

Lana Lane - Love is an Illusion 1998 Version
Lana Lane - Love is an Illusion Original 1995 Version

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Lana Lane - Love is an Illusion Special Edition (2001)

This deluxe edition of Lana's debut album includes a full color booklet with extensive liner notes by producer Erik Norlander and is packaged in a Slimline 2CD jewel box. Love is an Illusion was originally recorded in the early 90s on a shoestring budget and released on the fledgling Think Tank Media label in 1995. In 1998, the Japanese Avalon label commissioned an elegant remix of the entire album along with 3 entirely new bonus tracks. Music purists prefer the original 1995 version because of the vibe, atmosphere and sincerity. Audiophiles and hard rock aficionados prefer the 1998 remix for the clarity and power. But you can decide for yourself -- this 2CD Special Edition contains BOTH versions of the album, one on each disc.

The 1998 Version (Special Edition Disc One)

Love is an Illusion is Lana Lane's classic symphonic rock debut CD that was originally released in 1995. While the music and performances on the original 1995 version were excellent, the audio quality suffered somewhat from a painfully low recording budget. After significant international success following Lana's third album, Garden of the Moon, producer Erik Norlander decided to re-open the vault and ressurrect this classic album with a massive rework.

The 1998 version of Love is an Illusion contains three all new original songs that did not appear on the original 1995 version. These new songs were written specifically for the reissue in the spirit of the original album.

Many of the other existing songs on the album were enhanced with additional instrumental sections and solos.

The entire album was remixed and remastered in 1998 for maximum audio fidelity.

The Original 1995 Version (Special Edition Disc Two)

Following is the original 1995 press release for the album which is now more relevant than ever:

"Think Tank Media announced its release of LOVE IS AN ILLUSION, the long - awaited solo album from Los Angeles session great Lana Lane. After years of supporting the industry's finest artists as backup singer, Lana Lane steps into the limelight with a stunning display of vocal fireworks and artistic vision.

LOVE IS AN ILLUSION combines familiar images of 70's rock greats with evocative new moods of brilliant color. Soaring vocals lead virtuoso instrumental performances into spectacular undiscovered worlds of aural fantasy. Lane's vocal presence is unrivaled by today's female artists and delivers the passion and sincerity desperately needed in 1990's rock n' roll.

LOVE IS AN ILLUSION contains 11 dramatic tracks hand - picked by Lane to convey her artistic identity. "Coloured Life" is a psychadelic trip laced with Beatlesque harmonies and angular grooves reminiscent of classic Led Zeppelin. "Faerie Tale State of Mind" is a haunting lullaby full of atmosphere and surrealism. "Cold Outside" is a sensitive portrayal of the seasons of emotion while "Through the Rain" is a driving anthem lush with orchestration and animation.

LOVE IS AN ILLUSION is a musical journey based around phenomenal cover art by acclaimed surrealist Jacek Yerka. The album is framed by the concept of breaking through the cathode rays of a television set and then being drawn into a world of fantasy and shadow. As tracks flow from one to the next, you soon get the sense that this album is a complete work and not just a collection of songs.

LOVE IS AN ILLUSION is a milestone for Lana Lane. It is the summation of many years in the music industry and capsulizes the current state of an artist whose star is only beginning to rise. As the pages of future rock history are about to be written, look for Lana Lane."



To quote the first sentence from Frank Herbert's Dune, "A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct." Good advice, Frank. The delicate beginning for Lana Lane, then, is Love is an Illusion.

This is where it all started for Lana. Back in 1993, my fledgling label Think Tank Media had just made its first release, Rocket Scientists - Earthbound. But before the Earthbound album was completed, the second release was already being planned. My wife of three years (at that time) was a tremendously talented young vocalist who had earned a quiet respect among certain circles of the Los Angeles and San Francisco recording communities, and it seemed only logical that we should try to make an album to advance her career out of the realm of sessions, jingles and commercials. Hence, Love is an Illusion was born.

Recorded on a shoestring budget throughout 1993 and 1994, Love is an Illusion was the search for a musical identity for Lana Lane. Lana certainly did not need a vocal identity - that was clear - but the decision to focus on pop material, heavier music, progressive rock or even jazz was a considerable one. After the realization that the Rocket Scientists - Earthbound realized was somewhat hindered by its lack of firm commitment to either the progressive world or the commercial world, Lana and I made the decision not to hedge our bets, but rather to decisively lay our respective musical cards on the table with a clear, quantifiable focus. We would combine Lana's love of classic and melodic rock with my own affinity for progressive rock to create a lush and elaborate symphonic backdrop for Lana's voice.

But what about the songs? One thing that annoyed both Lana and myself (and still does…) is the phenomenon of albums that have one or two great songs and then ten tracks of filler. We desperately wanted to avoid this pitfall and not establish Lana as a "one hit wonder" but rather as a long term album oriented artist. So we set about finding a selection of songs that were unknown to the rest of world that would support our musical vision for Lana Lane. Songs such as "Coloured Life", "Cold Outside" and "Dream Burnin' Down" are excellent examples of what we were after. These gems, combined with a few self-penned tracks of our own, completed the album.

The musicians on the album were a diverse group of artists that Lana and I had met over the years. We never intended to put together a band, but rather, employ individual musicians on specific tracks where they might shine the brightest. You will notice in reading the musician credits throughout this booklet that there are no less than two drummers, three bass players, four guitarists and five background vocalists. If ever there was an avoidance of commitment to the confines of a band situation, this was it.

The recording of Love is an Illusion was a grueling process. As a producer, I felt very capable, knowing essentially exactly what I wanted and where we were going. But as an engineer, I still had a bit to learn. In listening back to this original album in retrospect, my use of equalization, compression and spacial effects are somewhat heavy handed, which results in a generally "closed in" feeling. Still, the album has a lot of character, and Lana's voice clearly is the focal point supported fairly consistently by a lush accompaniment, which was, happily, our goal.

Love is an Illusion hit the streets on Lana's birthday, January 20, of 1995. It was not an immediate smash success, but the reviews were predominantly positive and the sales were good. Then about halfway through the year, we met Naohiro Yamazaki who ran the Marquee company in Tokyo, Japan. Naohiro truly loved Love is an Illusion, and he sincerely believed that this album could be, in fact, "big in Japan". Naohiro was right. Within one year, the Japanese sales exceeded the US sales by a factor of four and continued to grow.

Please bear with me for a moment as I briefly tell the story of the next few subsequent years - I promise that this little side road will lead us back to Love is an Illusion.

In 1996, Lana released her follow up, Curious Goods, to similar results. Instead of exporting US copies to Japan, we made the decision to manufacture the discs in Japan and import them back into the US due to the ratio of Japanese vs. US sales. Because of this decision, there was no domestic (or even European) release of Curious Goods and several other Lana Lane albums for quite some time. The Japanese pressings were exquisite, and I made it a point to get them sent all over the world.

1998 brought Lana's third album, Garden of the Moon, an album which would change both of our lives. Our partner Naohiro in Japan had launched a new label called Avalon (which was incidentally named after a Rocket Scientists song later covered by Lana on the Ballad Collection album). The Avalon label leveraged a much larger distribution and promotion mechanism than Marquee had access to before, and the result was that Garden of the Moon sold nearly ten times the number of copies of Love is an Illusion and Curious Goods. All of the sudden, Lana Lane was a rock star. The pace became faster. A lot faster.

Once we had recognized the whirlwind success of Lana's Garden of the Moon album, Naohiro and I decided to quickly release a follow up EP of alternate mixes and a couple of new songs to support the inevitable Lana Lane tour of Japan that was now upon us. This EP was the 33-minute Echoes from the Garden CD released as a special Digipack. The Japanese tour was a big success, and now it was clear that there was demand for a live album as a document of this event. So in the summer of 1998 came Lana Lane &endash; Live in Japan.

Now a few paragraphs earlier, I promised you we would get back to Love is an Illusion, and sure enough, here it comes…

With the entire Lana Lane catalog now selling extremely well in Japan, it no longer made sense for the Marquee company to continue to import our US version of Love is an Illusion, especially considering that the subsequent four albums were now all Japanese editions. Marquee asked for a remastered version of the album along with one or two bonus tracks which they would release on the Avalon label just like the last three titles. This would become the Love is an Illusion - 1998 Version.

This seemed like a very good idea to me, and I agreed. But I soon realized that the problem with the original Love is an Illusion was not the mastering, but rather the recording and the mixing. The mastering, done by the legendary Wally Traugott (who had also mastered the classics Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon and The Beatles - Abbey Road, among others) at the Capitol Records studios in Hollywood was really quite good!

The Love is an Illusion - 1998 Version turned out almost to be a new album. Certainly we put as much effort into this renovation project as into any other album. We quickly recorded three new bonus tracks for the edition, then I went through several of the old songs and lengthened their musical interludes and solo sections. As if that were not enough, I had Neil Citron replay almost all of the lead and rhythm guitar from the original recording. Neil's signature style became a very important element of the Lana Lane sound starting with Curious Goods, and I thought this would help to more closely associate Love is an Illusion with the rest of the Lana Lane catalog.

The Love is an Illusion - 1998 Version was mixed at Woodcliff Studio in Sherman Oaks, California by engineer Frank Rosato and myself. While I had mixed the previous five Lana Lane albums entirely on my own, I felt that I needed some objectivity for this project since it was very much still a renovation effort and not a new recording. The result is a sharper, clearer sound, but also perhaps a bit colder and even a little on the harsh side. What was that Frank Herbert said about balances?

Now it is the beginning of 2001 (imagine "Also Sprach Zarathustra" playing in the background…) and an equal amount of time has passed since the 1998 Version as between that edition and the original 1995 Version of the album. So what does history tell me? It's hard to change a classic recording. What you end up doing is not so much changing the original but rather creating something else entirely. Something new. And for me personally, I have now surely lost all credible objectivity on the subject.

I have been asked on more than one occasion which edition I prefer. The answer is surprisingly simple: both of them. I enjoy the warmth and overall atmosphere of the Original 1995 Version, but I also am quite pleased with the clarity, precision and consistency of the Remixed 1998 Version. And so in the spirit of these Lana Lane Special Edition double CD releases, I am quite happy to allow you, the listener, to make your own decision as we present you with both the Original 1995 and the Remixed 1998 Versions of the symphonic rock classic, Lana Lane - Love is an Illusion!

Erik Norlander
Los Angeles, January, 2001


1. LIAA PRELUDE (Norlander / Balmer) 2:25
2. LOVE IS AN ILLUSION (Norlander / Balmer) 4:06
3. COLOURED LIFE (Darling) 5:26
4. COLD OUTSIDE (Winfield / Schiff) 4:15
5. INTO THE ETHER (Lane / Schiff / Norlander) 5:21 *
6. THROUGH THE FIRE (Norlander / Balmer / McCrite) 5:25
7. LIAA INTERLUDE (Norlander / Balmer) 3:05 *
8. THROUGH THE RAIN (Norlander / Marcus) 7:10
9. FAERIE TALE STATE OF MIND (Lane / Wood / Norlander) 4:58
10. DREAM BURNIN' DOWN (Sabu / Plunkett) 5:18
11. CAN'T FIND MY WAY HOME (Norlander / McCrite) 5:06
12. A NIGHT IN THE GARDEN (Norlander) 8:00 *
13. LIAA POSTLUDE (Norlander / Balmer) 4:46

total running time . . . 65:41

* = bonus track recorded for the 1998 Version (Special Edition Disc One)


LANA LANE - LOVE IS AN ILLUSION was performed by

LANA LANE: Lead and backing vocals
ERIK NORLANDER: Hammond organ, Mellotron, Rhodes piano, synthesizers, vocoder, sound effects, backing vocals

NEIL CITRON: Lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals
MARK MCCRITE: Lead and rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, bass, backing vocals
DANELLE KERN: Rhythm guitar
TOMMY AMATO: Drums and percussion
DON SCHIFF: NS/Stick, Chapman Stick, bass guitar, cello, contrabass


TULLY WINFIELD: Backing vocals


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