In the blood of a warrior
In the soul of a fighter
It’s a battle for glory
In a long fought-out story…

AOR Titan Stan Bush is, of course, the man who wrote Transformers anthems The Touch and Dare. His Stan Bush and Barrage album is in my list of the top ten AOR albums of all time at around number seven. He is, therefore, utterly untouchable and beyond reproach. But I ‘dare’ you not to hear those lyrics, uttered in Bush’s trademark semi-croon at the start of Dare To Dream‘s opening track, Born To Fight, without permitting yourself a little chuckle.

In Stan’s mind, it would seem, it’s still 1988 and there are still innumerable themes to films where an underdog hero defies the odds and gets the girl to write. Helpfully, he’s written an awful lot of them on this record, armed with titles like Dream Big, True Believer and Never Give Up but, near-toxic levels of cheese aside, as noted earlier, it is absolutely impossible to mount a credible attack on the man. Dare To Dream is a front-to-back great album if you expect nothing more than superbly played-and-sung, uplifting and nostalgic melodic hard rock. He’s even written a song called The 80’s just to avoid any confusion for anybody stumbling across the album by accident.

Said song is a deftly constructed mix of Def Leppard, Jeff Paris and Survivor and yes, it is a gormless exercise in nostalgia-stoking naffness. But – and it’s a big but in the circumstances – if you were around at the time and loved this music as much as Stan, well… it’s quite likely you’ll be a mass of goosebumps before the first chorus has ended.

And that’s what counts. In this tiresome age of post modern critical thinking, where everything we’ve ever loved is now a symbol of some sort of insidious evil that needs to be wiped from the collective memory, Stan Bush stands as a beacon for all that was right about that hairsprayed few years towards the end of the last century – Enjoyment. Fun. Tight trousers – you know the score. And as you stand, vape stick aloft, trousers around your ankles on the kitchen table bellowing along to the stadium-levelling ballad Live and Breathe, or punch the air and play air guitar to the superbly Survivoresque Heat of Attack, nothing and no-one can take those moments away from you, or Stan… and that’s a good thing, surely.

Dare To Dream releases on November 21st.