SweetNSour Magazine

Tony McGuinness

Tony McGuinness of Above & Beyond Drops 30-Year-Old Rock Album

Tony McGuinness, renowned as a member of the influential trance group Above & Beyond, is set to release a rock album that has been hidden away for nearly three decades. This unexpected venture reveals a different facet of McGuinness’s musical journey, long before his fame in the electronic music scene.

Long before Tony McGuinness became a household name in the trance music world alongside his bandmates Jono Grant and Paavo Siljamäki, he was a rock-and-roll artist. Influenced by legendary acts like Steely Dan and The Beach Boys, McGuinness poured his passion for rock into a solo album titled Salt. Despite dedicating six months to creating nine tracks, the album was stowed away in his archives for almost 30 years.

Salt represents McGuinness’s early artistic vision, an endeavor that predated his trance triumphs with Above & Beyond and their label Anjunabeats. “I was heavily inspired by the classic rock sounds of Steely Dan and the harmonious vibes of The Beach Boys,” McGuinness recalls. However, despite the dedication and effort invested in the album, it remained unheard by the public for decades.

After achieving global success with Above & Beyond, McGuinness felt the time was right to share this long-lost piece of his musical history. “I’ve always been proud of Salt,” he said. “It’s a significant part of my musical journey, and I’m excited for people to finally hear it.”

The album’s lead single, “Biker Babe“, carries a poignant backstory. Inspired by a brief romance with an American girl in the 90s, the song’s narrative places McGuinness and his muse within the enigmatic world of David Lynch’s television show Twin Peaks. “The combination of bittersweet, romantic lyricism and sun-dappled guitar riffs will remind listeners of those summertime drives where your parents picked what was on the radio, long before the days of Spotify,” McGuinness explains.

In a press release, he elaborated on the song’s inspiration: “Which is where the mention of The Roadhouse comes from and ran with that all the way through to the ending. I knew she was gonna have to go back to America because she had no visa, and she had a flat in America that she didn’t want to lose.”

Another track from the album, “Babydoll White”, may sound familiar to fans of McGuinness‘s deep house side project, Fingerprint. In 2020, he remixed this unreleased rock single for Anjunadeep, giving fans a taste of his rock roots. Now, with the help of Bob Bradley, “Babydoll White” is available in its original 90s format, allowing listeners to experience the raw, authentic sound that McGuinness originally envisioned.

For McGuinness, releasing Salt is not just about sharing music; it’s about embracing and celebrating his artistic evolution. “This album is a window into my past, a past that shaped who I am today as a musician,” he says. “I hope it resonates with listeners and offers them a different perspective on my journey.”

With Salt, Tony McGuinness invites fans old and new to explore a previously hidden chapter of his career. As the world eagerly anticipates the full album, it’s clear that McGuinness‘s rock legacy will soon take its rightful place alongside his celebrated contributions to trance music. The release of Salt promises to be a nostalgic yet fresh experience, blending the timeless appeal of rock with the unique storytelling that only McGuinness can deliver.