(Los Angeles, 4 January, 2002) PROJECT SHANGRI-LA is the sixth release from Los Angeles symphonic rock diva Lana Lane and her most powerful work to date. The album contains twelve new incredible tracks ranging from intimate acoustic ballads to bone crushing neo-classic metal anthems. The musical performances are dramatic and masterful, and leading the way is of course the unforgettable voice of Lana Lane herself.
PROJECT SHANGRI-LA features a stellar lineup of world-class musicians. The album is again produced by Lana's husband, progressive rock master keyboardist Erik Norlander. Joining Lana and Erik this time are the long time American Lana Lane musicians Neil Citron (lead guitar), Mark McCrite (rhythm guitar, harmony vocals) and Don Schiff (Chapman Stick). New to the Lana Lane family and appearing here for the first time is drummer Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath, Dio). PROJECT SHANGRI-LA also includes fantastic guest apperances by vocalist Mark Boals (Ring of Fire, Yngwie Malmsteen) and guitarist Helge Engelke (Fair Warning), both of whom co-wrote songs for the album as well. The album closes with a stirring Italian language duet of Lana Lane and Mark Boals singing their powerful interpretation of the modern classical piece, "Time To Say Goodbye".
Producer Erik Norlander writes in the liner notes to PROJECT SHANGRI-LA: "This album is the second point of convergence for Lana Lane. Good things come in threes, so it is said, and this is certainly true for our albums. "Project Shangri-La" completes a second trilogy that was begun in 1999 with "Queen of the Ocean" followed in 2000 by "Secrets of Astrology". In "Project Shangri-La" you will find shades from each of these prior releases along with some new colors as well. Prior to these recent albums, we had reached our first point of convergence with "Garden of the Moon" in 1998. "Garden of the Moon" took the best AOR and atmospheric elements from Lana's 1995 debut, "Love is an Illusion" and combined them with more evolved progressive and symphonic styles from her sophomore effort, the 1996 "Curious Goods" release. "Garden of the Moon" was a tremendous success in Japan, and for all intents and purposes, this album launched Lana's career in Europe as the first domestic release there."
THE TWO 'PROJECTS':
Because of the politics of the international record business, there are two released versions of PROJECT SHANGRI-LA: One in Japan, and the other in Europe, North and South America.
The European / American version of PROJECT SHANGRI-LA contains a great bonus track entitled "Romeo and Juliet", an outtake from Lana's SECRETS OF ASTROLOGY album from 2000 featuring Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon, Vengeance) on guitar, Ed Warby (Ayreon, Gorefest) on drums and Tony Franklin (Blue Murder, The Firm, Whitesnake) on bass. "Romeo and Juliet" was previously released only in Japan as the bonus track to the Japanese SECRETS OF ASTROLOGY.
The Japanese version of PROJECT SHANGRI-LA contains an original composition by prog rock legend John Wetton entitled "I Believe In You" written for Lana Lane. The track features a lush Mellotron and Moog arrangement by Erik Norlander with Gregg Bissonette on drums.
Think Tank Media offers the Japanese version
as an import for sale here on the tank.
NOTES FROM THE PRODUCER'S DESK (taken from the booklet to the Japanese edition)
This album is the second point of convergence for Lana Lane. Good things come in threes, so it is said, and this is certainly true for our albums. "Project Shangri-La" completes a second trilogy that was begun in 1999 with "Queen of the Ocean" followed in 2000 by "Secrets of Astrology". In "Project Shangri-La" you will find shades from each of these prior releases along with some new colors as well.
Prior to these recent albums, we had reached our first point of convergence with "Garden of the Moon" in 1998. "Garden of the Moon" took the best AOR and atmospheric elements from Lana's 1995 debut, "Love is an Illusion" and combined them with more evolved progressive and symphonic styles from her sophomore effort, the 1996 "Curious Goods" release. "Garden of the Moon" was a tremendous success in Japan, and for all intents and purposes, this album launched Lana's career in Europe as the first domestic release there. This landmark album was followed by several celebratory releases including an EP of outtakes, a live album, a ballad collection and a revisited reissue of Lana's debut.
So what does an artist do after such a success? One can either try to repeat that success by making similar albums, or one can venture into new territory in order to grow and evolve. We chose the latter path. The 1999 "Queen of the Ocean" album was a very symphonic feeling release introducing densly lush string arrangments and orchestral stylings into Lana's sound. The production became more complex, with many elements competing for space and attention. The role of instrumental solos was increased, generally with multiple solos by keyboards and guitars in each song.
Then in 2000, we continued our search for new sounds and influences with "Secrets of Astrology". This album took us to the Netherlands where we recorded with essentially all new musicians in new studios. "Secrets of Astrology" continued the dense arrangment style of "Queen of the Ocean", but it also diverged from the previous Lana Lane albums by embracing a more neo-classic sound. This meant bigger and more aggressive rhythm guitars along with more precise, surgical sounding drums. Our work with Arjen Lucassen and Ayreon was certainly an influence on this album, and it shows both sonically and musically.
In 2001, we embarked on our first major European tour. We spent nearly two months in Europe traveling to many countries and playing sets of over two and a half hours. Our sets contained music from all of Lana's albums, and this tour became very much a nexus to the catalog Lana Lane. During these months, we really came to realize what lies at the center of Lana's music. It is a difficult quantity to put into words, but essentially there is a combination of fantasy, surrealism, symphonic settings and of course a strong emphasis put on the vocals and melodies. And of course there is an intangible quality that cannot be put into words. At least, not by me.
During the summer of 2001 we began to write for this album. Lana has evolved tremendously as a writer over the years, and for this album she has written or co-written almost every track. And the result is incredible. I believe her song "Before You Go" to be the strongest and most moving composition we have ever recorded. And the title track, co-written with guitarist Mark McCrite, brings together the perfect composition of advanced harmony and surreal visions. In contrast, the simplicity of songs such as "Ebbtide" and "The Nightingale" carry on in the tradition of songs Lana has written for her previous two Ballad Collection releases with simple guitar-oriented chord changes supporting an unforgettable melody.
"Project Shangri-La" also brings some new writers to the Lana Lane sound. We are very honored to have a contribution by progressive rock legend John Wetton who wrote "I Believe in You" specifically for this album. On the contrastingly AOR side, Helge Engelke from the German band Fair Warning has penned "Encore" for us. And then carrying on in our neo-classic dabblings from "Secrets of Astrology", we are pleased to include the song "Only a Dream" from Mark Boals who has become one of Lana's favorite singers after we all met during Mark's Ring of Fire project. Mark also makes a special guest vocal appearance in the stunning duet with Lana on the stirring Italian language cover track, "Time To Say Goodbye".
"Project Shangri-La" features another stellar lineup of virtuoso musicians. Returning on guitar are Neil Citron and Mark McCrite who have not only appeared on several of Lana's albums, they have also toured with her extensively. Don Schiff plays the very intriguing N/S Stick instrument covering the bass tracks on the album, and we are delighted to welcome our friend and neighbor Vinny Appice to the Lana Lane sound with his legendary drumming. We had planned to also include our Dutch friends Peer Verschuren, Arjen Lucassen and Ed Warby on the album, but due the unspeakable events of September 11, 2001, it became impossible for us to travel to Holland to do it. We will certainly include these fine musicians on future releases, and on this one they are with us in spirit.
I wish you many happy listening as you journey through the welcoming neon gates of Project Shangri-La!
Los Angeles, November 2001
1. REDEMPTION PART I (Norlander)
2. PROJECT SHANGRI-LA (McCrite / Lane)
3. ENCORE (Engelke / Norlander)
4. BEFORE YOU GO (Lane)
5. THE NIGHTINGALE (Lane)
6. THE BEAST WITHIN YOU (Norlander / Lane)
7. TEARS OF BABYLON (McCrite / Lane)
8. EBBTIDE (Lane)
9. (LIFE IS) ONLY A DREAM (Boals / Norlander)
10. TIME TO SAY GOODBYE (Sartori / Quarantotto)
11. REDEMPTION PART II (Norlander)
Japanese bonus track
12. I BELIEVE IN YOU (Wetton)
European / American bonus track:
12. ROMEO AND JULIET (Lane / Norlander)
LANA LANE - PROJECT SHANGRI-LA was performed by
LANA LANE: Lead and harmony
ERIK NORLANDER: Hammond organ, Mellotron, piano, Rhodes piano, modular Moog and other synthesizers, ARP String Ensemble, Taurus pedals
NEIL CITRON: Lead and rhythm guitars
MARK MCCRITE: Rhythm guitars, acoustic guitars, additional lead guitars, harmony vocals
DON SCHIFF: NS/Stick and Chapman Stick
VINNY APPICE: Drums
with special guests
MARK BOALS: Lead vocal on "Time To
Say Goodbye" duet, harmony vocals
HELGE ENGELKE: Rhythm and theme guitars on "Encore", 1st solo on "Project Shangri-La"
and bonus track guest musicians
GREGG BISSONETTE: Drums on "I Believe
In You" (Japanese bonus track)
ED WARBY: Drums on "Romeo and Juliet" (Euro / American bonus track)
ARJEN LUCASSEN: Rhythm guitars on "Romeo and Juliet" (Euro / American bonus track)
DAVID VICTOR: Guitar solo on "Romeo and Juliet" (Euro / American bonus track)
TONY FRANKLIN: Fretless bass on "Romeo and Juliet" (Euro / American bonus track)
PRODUCED BY ERIK NORLANDER FOR THINK TANK