K-Chuck Radio: 21 years without Marc Hunter

Longtime readers of this blog will know that I am a devout fan of the New Zealand rock band Dragon.  Their songs are melodic and on point; and their original lead singer Marc Hunter was blessed with equal amounts of vocal talent and charisma.

Marc passed away in 1998.  He was only 44 years old.  But in his short life, he fronted Dragon through their classic tracks and hits.

And today, 21 years after his untimely passing … I’ve got a K-Chuck Radio blog post list of Marc Hunter’s greatest songs and hits, both with Dragon and as a solo artist.  You can hear that powerful, energetic voice as it evolved from prog-rock lead vocalist to a crooner of pop songs, all the way to the strong voice of an elder statesman of rock.

First, here are some of Dragon’s singles BEFORE they made it big in New Zealand and in Australia.

WAIT UNTIL TOMORROW

By the time they crossed the Tasman to seek their fortune in Australia, their next hit was …

THIS TIME (released in the USA as “In the Right Direction”)

And then the floodgates opened with …

APRIL SUN IN CUBA

Then came their first #1 Australian hit …

ARE YOU OLD ENOUGH

A beautiful follow-up track came with …

I’M STILL IN LOVE WITH YOU

Eventually Marc and Dragon parted ways, and he recorded some solo tracks, including this bluesy rocker,

ROCK AND ROLL (IS A LOSER’S GAME)

But eventually the bandmembers reunited … releasing their seminal “Body and the Beat” album, with their greatest track (in my not so humble opinion) –

RAIN

“Body and the Beat” spawned several Top 40 hits, including:

CRY

Eventually the band recorded their “Dreams of Ordinary Men” follow-up LP in New York, of all places, working with Todd Rundgren on an amazing LP.

DREAMS OF ORDINARY MEN

Then came a successful European tour as the support act for Tina Turner … while this song became an international hit ….

WESTERN GIRLS

By the early 1990’s, Dragon had morphed into a country-rock act, and Marc went along with the ride like it was second nature.

YOUNG YEARS

Dragon’s final hit with Marc Hunter as lead vocalist was their rock and funk remake of Kool & the Gang’s classic…

CELEBRATION

Marc returned to his solo projects, and one of them was this amazing LP of standards and classics, where his soaring vocals was tempered to a soothing croon.  But don’t get me wrong, he could still hit those high notes whenever he needed.

NIGHT AND DAY

Here’s another Marc Hunter solo track, where he embraces his rock and country side.

GET SO ROUGH

Dragon’s last album with Marc as lead singer was the “Incarnations” LP, where Dragon went through their old catalog and updated their best songs with new arrangements – including this ethereal remake of “I’m Still In Love With You.”

STILL IN LOVE

Marc Hunter came so close to worldwide success.  Today, though, we have an amazing collection of music from a great artist who left his imprint on the New Zealand and Australian rock music scene, and even found a collection of fans in Europe and in America.

All the best, Marc.  I raise a glass to you and to your family and to your bandmates on this day of remembrance.