M.A.R.S. - Project Driver 12" Vinyl LP Album

"Project Driver" by M.A.R.S unfurls its sonic mastery on a 12" Vinyl LP Album. This superband, composed of the stellar lineup of Robert Rock, Rudy Sarzo, Tommy Aldridge, and Tony MacAlpine, delivers a musical journey that transcends genres. Released as a testament to the collective brilliance of its members, "Project Driver" showcases the amalgamation of rock, metal, and virtuoso performances, making it a definitive gem in the realm of supergroup collaborations.


High Resolution Photo Album Front Cover of M.A.R.S - Project Driver https://vinyl-records.nl

M.A.R.S. - Project Driver: A Supergroup's Sonic Fusion on Vinyl
Album Description:

Released in 1986 on 12" vinyl LP, "Project Driver" marked a unique moment in hard rock and heavy metal history. This supergroup, comprised of vocalist Rob Rock, guitarist Tony MacAlpine, bassist Rudy Sarzo, and drummer Tommy Aldridge, unleashed a powerful blend of instrumental prowess and melodic songwriting.

Historical Context and Musical Exploration

Emerging in the mid-1980s, "Project Driver" was a product of its time. The hard rock and metal scene was flourishing with virtuosic players and ambitious projects. This supergroup, assembled by Mike Varney of Shrapnel Records, sought to combine the talents of four renowned musicians into a cohesive and innovative sound. The album serves as a snapshot of the era's musical landscape, showcasing the technical skill and creative ambition that defined the period.

Music Genre and Controversies

"Project Driver" defies easy categorization, blending elements of hard rock, heavy metal, and progressive rock. The album's instrumental sections showcase the musicians' technical mastery, while the vocal melodies and songwriting offer a more accessible and radio-friendly appeal. D

Production Team and Recording Studio

The album was produced by MacAlpine and Aldridge, with additional production contributions from Mike Varney. The recording sessions took place at Prairie Sun Recording Studios in Cotati, California, known for its state-of-the-art equipment and experienced staff. The album was engineered by Dino Alden, a notable figure in the 1980s metal scene, who worked with numerous other Shrapnel Records artists.

Album Cover Art

The album cover art, designed by Ioannis, features a stylized image of a driver gripping a steering wheel, with a futuristic cityscape in the background. The artwork reflects the album's title and its themes of speed, power, and control. The bold colors and graphic elements capture the energy and intensity of the music within.

Album Summary:  Superband featuring Robert Rock, Rudy Sarzo, Tommy Aldridge and Tony MacAlpine

Music Genre:

Heavy Metal

Collector Notes:

On the album cover the album's name is "Project Driver" on the record's label it is called "Projekt Driver"

Album  Production information

Produced by Mike Varney

Mike Varney A music producer and founder of "Shrapnel Records", in the rock and heave metal music, known as producer of several W.A.S.P albums . Mike Varney isn't just a record producer; he's a legend in the world of rock and heavy metal. At the young age of 22, he founded Shrapnel Records, a label that would become synonymous with shred guitar and propel a generation of musical heroes onto the scene.


Shrapnel wasn't just another record company; it was the first in the US dedicated solely to heavy metal. Founded in 1980, it arrived at a pivotal moment, capturing the burgeoning shred guitar movement and giving a platform to the dazzling technical proficiency that was taking the metal world by storm.

Varney's vision wasn't just about heavy riffs; he had a keen eye for talent. Shrapnel became the launchpad for iconic guitarists like Yngwie Malmsteen, Marty Friedman, Jason Becker, Paul Gilbert, and many more. These players, known for their lightning-fast picking and neo-classical influences, would redefine what it meant to be a metal guitarist.

Varney's influence wasn't limited to shred. Shrapnel also embraced other genres that fell under the rock and metal umbrella, including progressive metal and blues-rock. His impact transcended the music itself; he helped popularize the "shred guitar" aesthetic, with its focus on virtuosity and technical mastery.

Shrapnel wasn't Varney's only venture. The Shrapnel Label Group also includes Tone Center Records, dedicated to jazz fusion, and Blues Bureau International, a haven for blues and blues-rock. He even co-founded Magna Carta Records, a progressive rock and metal label.

Mike Varney's legacy is undeniable. He's not just a record producer; he's a shepherd who nurtured a generation of musical talent and helped shape the sound of rock and metal for decades to come. His influence continues to inspire guitarists and music fans today, ensuring that the shred spirit lives on.

Sound engineer: Stephen M. Fontano

Steve "Boom" Fontano, born Stephen M. Fontano, is an esteemed American producer, sound engineer, and mixer who has left an indelible mark on the music industry. Known for his exceptional work in the realm of 1980s Heavy Metal, Fontano has collaborated with numerous iconic bands, showcasing his unparalleled talent and contributing to the creation of several groundbreaking albums.


Born and raised in the United States, Fontano's passion for music developed at an early age. Fascinated by the intricate technicalities of sound engineering, he embarked on a journey to master his craft. With dedication and a keen ear for detail, Fontano honed his skills and quickly gained recognition for his exceptional abilities in the studio.

In the vibrant era of 1980s Heavy Metal, Fontano rose to prominence as a sought-after producer and sound engineer. His extensive discography is a testament to his immense talent and his significant contributions to the genre. He has had the privilege of working with some of the most influential bands of that time, elevating their sound to new heights.

One of Fontano's notable collaborations was with the iconic band W.A.S.P. Known for their theatrical performances and energetic music, W.A.S.P. entrusted Fontano with capturing their raw power and intensity in the studio. Together, they crafted albums that resonated with fans worldwide, leaving an indelible impact on the Heavy Metal scene.

Fontano's expertise extended beyond W.A.S.P., as he lent his talents to numerous other acclaimed bands. Racer X, Apocrypha, Chastain, Hexx, M.A.R.S, David T. Chastain, and Tony MacAlpine are among the notable acts that benefited from his technical prowess and creative input. Fontano's skillful mixing and production played a crucial role in shaping the sonic landscape of these albums, showcasing his versatility and adaptability as a producer.

Throughout his career, Fontano consistently demonstrated a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the nuances of Heavy Metal music. His meticulous attention to detail, coupled with his ability to capture the essence of each band's unique sound, made him a trusted collaborator in the industry. Artists relied on his expertise to translate their artistic vision into sonic masterpieces, resulting in albums that are celebrated to this day.

Steve Fontano's impact on the world of Heavy Metal cannot be overstated. His work has stood the test of time, and his contributions continue to inspire generations of music enthusiasts and professionals. His dedication, technical expertise, and creative vision have firmly established him as one of the most accomplished producers, sound engineers, and mixers in the history of Heavy Metal music.

Recorded at Prairie Sun Studios, Cotati, CA

"Prairie Sun Recording Studios" In the world of music, recording studios play a vital role in capturing the essence and creativity of artists. Two prominent studios, Prairie Sun Recording Studios and Fantasy Studios, have made their mark in the industry by providing exceptional recording experiences and producing award-winning albums. Prairie Sun, located in California, and Fantasy Studios, situated in Berkeley, have both contributed significantly to the musical landscape, attracting renowned artists from various genres.


Prairie Sun Recording Studios, nestled in the heart of California, has been a hub for heavy metal music during the 1980s. Its state-of-the-art facilities and exceptional engineering have drawn numerous bands seeking to capture their raw energy and power. Bands like Chastain, Exodus, Laaz Rockit, and Vicious Rumours have graced the studios with their presence, utilizing the studio's capabilities to create some of the genre's most iconic albums.

One of the defining features of Prairie Sun is its commitment to providing artists with a comfortable and conducive environment for the creative process. The studio's unique design, incorporating natural surroundings and ample natural light, allows artists to feel at ease while recording. This relaxed atmosphere often translates into the music, as artists are able to fully immerse themselves in their work, resulting in authentic and powerful performances.

Furthermore, Prairie Sun's dedication to delivering top-notch audio quality sets it apart from other recording studios. The studio houses cutting-edge equipment and employs experienced engineers who possess a deep understanding of the nuances of heavy metal music. These professionals work closely with the artists, ensuring that every element of the music is captured with precision and clarity. As a result, Prairie Sun has become renowned for its exceptional sound production and mixing capabilities.

Moving on to Fantasy Studios, situated in Berkeley's Zaentz Media Center, the studio has earned a reputation for its role in recording award-winning albums. Initially built as a private recording studio for artists on the Fantasy Records label in 1971, it opened its doors to the public in 1980. Since then, it has become a go-to destination for musicians across various genres, including rock, pop, and punk.

Fantasy Studios holds an illustrious history of producing chart-topping albums that have resonated with audiences worldwide. Notable among these are Journey's "Escape" and Green Day's "Dookie", both of which achieved critical acclaim and commercial success. The studio's commitment to excellence is reflected in its state-of-the-art facilities and talented team of engineers and producers, who work tirelessly to ensure the highest quality recordings.

Beyond its technical prowess, Fantasy Studios boasts a unique atmosphere that fosters creativity and collaboration. Its spacious recording rooms and comfortable lounges provide artists with a comfortable environment to explore their musical ideas. The studio's acoustics are meticulously designed to capture the nuances of different instruments and vocal performances, allowing artists to realize their artistic vision with precision and authenticity.

Moreover, Fantasy Studios' location in Berkeley adds to its allure. The vibrant and diverse music scene in the surrounding area serves as a constant source of inspiration for artists who choose to record at the studio. The city's rich cultural history and artistic community create a stimulating backdrop, enhancing the creative process and often influencing the music itself.

Assistent sound engineers: Dino Alden, Randy Vance

Dino Alden, a prominent American sound engineer, made his mark on the music industry during the electrifying era of the 1980s. Renowned for his exceptional skills and passion for heavy metal, Alden played a pivotal role in shaping the iconic sound of numerous bands, leaving an indelible mark on the genre.


Early Life and Passion for Music:

Born and raised in a small town in the United States, Dino Alden was captivated by music from a young age. As a teenager, he found solace in the soul-stirring sounds of heavy metal and instantly knew that he wanted to be part of the magic behind the scenes. Alden's innate curiosity about sound engineering led him to experiment with recording equipment and immerse himself in the technical aspects of music production.

Career Breakthrough and Collaboration:

In the early 1980s, Alden's talent and dedication caught the attention of some of the most promising heavy metal bands of the era. With his unique ability to capture the raw energy and intensity of their music, he soon became a sought-after sound engineer in the industry. Alden's career breakthrough came when he was approached by the legendary guitar virtuoso Marty Friedman to engineer his debut solo album, "Dragon's Kiss".

Notable Works and Discography:

Following the success of his collaboration with Marty Friedman, Dino Alden went on to engineer a string of influential heavy metal albums throughout the 1980s. Some of the bands and musicians Alden worked with include Apocrypha, Attitude, Cacophony (a collaboration between Marty Friedman and Jason Becker), Dr. Mastermind, Joey Tafolla, M.A.R.S. (featuring Tony MacAlpine, Tommy Aldridge, Rob Rock, and Rudy Sarzo), Mordred, Racer X, Tony MacAlpine, Vicious Rumors, and Vinnie Moore.

Alden's contributions to these albums were remarkable, as he skillfully blended the aggressive guitar riffs, thunderous drums, and soaring vocals to create a sonic landscape that became the signature sound of the heavy metal scene at the time. His meticulous attention to detail and innovative techniques allowed the music to come alive, captivating listeners worldwide.

Legacy and Impact:

Dino Alden's contributions to heavy metal music during the 1980s cannot be overstated. His engineering prowess and technical expertise helped shape the sound of an entire generation of metal bands, leaving an enduring legacy in the industry. Through his work, Alden played a crucial role in pushing the boundaries of the genre and solidifying heavy metal's place in the world of music history.

Beyond his technical accomplishments, Dino Alden's humble and collaborative nature endeared him to the artists he worked with. Many of the bands he collaborated with spoke highly of his ability to understand their vision and bring it to life through his engineering skills. His dedication to capturing the true essence of heavy metal music earned him the respect and admiration of musicians and fans alike.

While the 1980s marked the height of Dino Alden's career, his impact on the world of music continues to resonate to this day. His innovative techniques and passion for heavy metal music have influenced subsequent generations of sound engineers and continue to shape the genre.

Dino Alden's unwavering commitment to his craft and his ability to create awe-inspiring sonic landscapes have left an indelible mark on the heavy metal genre. His name will forever be associated with some of the most iconic albums and bands of the 1980s, solidifying his place as a legend in the realm of sound engineering.

Mastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios

George Horn is a highly acclaimed Chief Mastering Engineer known for his exceptional work at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California, as well as his contributions as a mastering engineer at CBS Studios in San Francisco. Renowned for his expertise and meticulous attention to detail, Horn has played a pivotal role in shaping the sound of numerous heavy metal albums, collaborating frequently with industry stalwarts such as Steve Fontano, Dino Alden, and Guy Aitchison.


Born with an innate passion for music, George Horn's journey in the world of audio engineering began early on. Growing up in a musically inclined family, he was exposed to various genres and instruments, which fueled his curiosity and desire to understand the technical aspects of sound. His fascination with the process of capturing and enhancing audio quality led him to pursue a formal education in audio engineering and mastering.

After completing his studies, Horn embarked on his professional career at CBS Studios in San Francisco, where he honed his skills under the guidance of seasoned engineers. During his tenure there, he had the opportunity to work on a diverse range of projects, gaining invaluable experience and establishing a reputation for his exceptional ear for sound.

Horn's true breakthrough came when he joined the esteemed team at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California. As the Chief Mastering Engineer at this iconic studio, he oversaw the final stage of the production process, meticulously fine-tuning the sound of countless albums. It was here that he forged significant partnerships with renowned heavy metal producers and engineers, including Steve Fontano, Dino Alden, and Guy Aitchison.

The collaboration between George Horn and these industry luminaries proved to be a winning formula, resulting in numerous highly acclaimed heavy metal albums that captured the hearts of fans worldwide. Their combined expertise and creative synergy pushed the boundaries of the genre, delivering powerful and sonically rich recordings that defined the sound of many iconic bands.

With a keen understanding of the nuances of heavy metal music, George Horn's mastering work brought out the best in each album he touched. His acute attention to detail ensured that every element of the music, from the thunderous guitars to the pounding drums and soaring vocals, was presented with exceptional clarity, power, and balance. His precise and artistic approach to mastering contributed greatly to the overall impact and emotional resonance of the final product.

Throughout his career, George Horn has received widespread acclaim for his contributions to the music industry. His work has earned him multiple awards and nominations, solidifying his reputation as one of the finest mastering engineers in the business. Beyond heavy metal, he has also worked on a diverse range of genres, demonstrating his versatility and adaptability as an engineer.

George Horn's dedication to his craft and unwavering commitment to excellence have made him a trusted figure in the world of audio engineering. His contributions to heavy metal music, in particular, have left an indelible mark on the genre, influencing the way it sounds and ensuring its enduring popularity.

Today, George Horn continues to push the boundaries of audio engineering, constantly seeking new ways to enhance the sonic experience. His passion for music and unwavering pursuit of sonic perfection have made him a revered figure among musicians, producers, and fellow engineers alike. Through his remarkable work, George Horn has undoubtedly shaped the landscape of heavy metal and left an enduring legacy in the realm of audio mastering.


Album cover illustration: Guy Aitchison / Guilty and Innocent Productions

Guy Aitchison has been designing and drawing Heavy Metal album covers during the mid to late-1980s. During this period he has drawn numerous album covers. Since 1988 he apprenticed in Chicago at Bob Olson's Custom Tattooing and became a tattooist. Guy Aitchison has been working often together with Steve Fontano, Dino Alden, and George Horn on the same heavy metal albums.

Photography by Pat Johnson Studios, San Francisco, CA

Pat Johnson, an esteemed American photographer, has left an indelible mark in the world of photography with his remarkable talent for capturing the essence of great personalities in music, sports, and entertainment. Through his lens, he has immortalized some of the most iconic moments in history, creating a visual legacy that continues to inspire and captivate audiences around the world.


Born and raised in the vibrant city of New York, Pat Johnson discovered his passion for photography at an early age. Armed with a camera and an unwavering curiosity, he began honing his skills, capturing the energy and spirit of the people and places that surrounded him. As he delved deeper into his craft, his unique ability to capture the essence of his subjects became evident.

During the 1980s, a defining era in both music and photography, Pat Johnson found himself in the midst of a creative explosion. He became an influential figure in the music industry, collaborating with renowned musicians and contributing to some of the era's most iconic album covers. His distinctive style and innovative approach allowed him to perfectly capture the essence of the artists and their music, turning each album cover into a visual masterpiece.

With his keen eye for detail and an intuitive understanding of his subjects, Pat Johnson worked with a wide array of musicians, including legends such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince, and Bruce Springsteen. His photographs adorned the covers of critically acclaimed albums, becoming an integral part of the music's visual narrative.

Beyond the realm of music, Pat Johnson's talent extended to sports and entertainment. His work appeared in prominent magazines, capturing the intensity and grace of athletes in motion, the allure of Hollywood stars, and the vibrant energy of live performances. Through his photographs, he brought forth the emotions, stories, and struggles of those he captured, offering a glimpse into their world for all to witness.

Pat Johnson's ability to establish a deep connection with his subjects, putting them at ease in front of the lens, was a testament to his genuine curiosity and respect for humanity. His photographs were not merely snapshots but narratives that conveyed the essence of each person he photographed, revealing layers of their personality and leaving an everlasting impression on the viewer.

As the years passed, Pat Johnson's work continued to evolve, adapting to changing trends and technological advancements. His photographs not only documented the past but also served as a source of inspiration for aspiring photographers, constantly pushing the boundaries of the craft and redefining what it meant to capture a moment in time.

Today, Pat Johnson's legacy as an American photographer remains unparalleled. His images continue to inspire generations, resonating with their raw emotion and artistic brilliance. His ability to immortalize the great personalities of music, sports, and entertainment in a single frame has solidified his place among the legends of the craft. Pat Johnson's remarkable career serves as a testament to the power of photography, reminding us that a single image has the ability to transcend time and capture the very essence of the human experience.

Record Label Information:

RoadrunneR RR 9632

Media Format:

12" Vinyl LP Record 150 grams vinyl

Year & Country:

1986 Made in Holland
Band Members and Musicians on: M.A.R.S Project Driver
    Band-members, Musicians and Performers
  • Robert Rock - Vocals
  • Rudy Sarzo - Bass
  • Tommy Aldridge - Drums, Percussion
  • Tony MacAlpine - Guitars, Keyboards

Robert Rock is a rock singer from Orlando Florida, during the 1980s he has sung in the bands: Axel Rudi, Pell, Driver, Impellitteri, Joshua Perahia, M.A.R.S. , Vice (band)

Rudy Sarzo (real name: Rodolfo Maximiliano Sarzo Lavieille Grande Ruiz Payret y Chaumont) from Havana, Cuba has played bass guitar with dozens of bands. During the 1980s he has performed with the bands: Hear 'N Aid, M.A.R.S. , Ozzy Osbourne , Quiet Riot , Whitesnake.

Tommy Aldridge (Drums, Percussion) is a superstar from the 1980's having played with Gary Moore, Hear 'n' Aid, M.A.R.S. , Ozzy Osbourne, Vinnie Moore and White Oak Arkansas.

Tony MacAlpine is a Guitar and keyboard player having performed with Joey Tafolla, M.A.R.S. Tony MacAlpine (Band), Vinnie Moore.

Track Listing of: M.A.R.S Project Driver
    The Song/tracks on "Projekt Driver" are:
  • Nations on Fire (2:48)
  • Writings on the Wall (2:59)
  • Stand Up and Fight (3:44)
  • Nostradamus (6:08)
  • Unknown Survivor (3:34)
  • Fantasy (3:25)
  • Slave to My Touch (3:27)
  • I Can See It In Your Eyes (4:23)
  • You and I (3:47)


Album cover photos of : M.A.R.S Project Driver

Photo of Front Cover 
High Resolution Photo Album Front Cover of M.A.R.S - Project Driver https://vinyl-records.nl
Photo of Album's Back Cover  
High Resolution Photo Album Back Cover of M.A.R.S - Project Driver https://vinyl-records.nl  
Photo of Record Label 
Enlargedd High Resolution Photo of the Record's label M.A.R.S - Project Driver https://vinyl-records.nl  

 Note: The images on this page are photos of the actual album. Slight differences in color may exist due to the use of the camera's flash. Images can be zoomed in/out ( eg pinch with your fingers on a tablet or smartphone ).