So with this rather eclectic mix of talent, what do we get with Distance? We get well produced AOR with hi-tech and funk overtones and a brash drum sound.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: Under The One Sky
SERIAL: 926 014-2
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Robert Hart – vocals * Eddie Martinez – guitars * Jeff Bova – keyboards * Bernard Edwards – bass * Tony Thompson – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 No Way Out * 02 Leave It Up To You * 03 Speech Of Angels * 04 As You Turn Away * 05 Give It Up * 06 Under The One Sky * 07 Rescue Me * 08 Lokking Over Your Shoulder * 09 Everytime I Stand Up * 10 Softly Speak * 11 Stand Up * 12 I Hear You
Wow! What a line-up. Not exactly the definitive AOR line-up but class oozes out of every guitar string, drum stick and keyboard ivory these boys put together. In hindsight, looking back several years, Distance is a bit of supergroup really.
Primarily the band came together in New York, where Jeff Bova is a near legendary session keyboardist, Eddie Martinez is held in the same league for guitar sessions, Bernard had his hour in the sun with disco greats Chic (ie: ‘Le Freak’), while Tony Thompson had played with Robert Palmer in Power Station.
The band was rounded out by Englishman Robert Hart, a man whose voice is steeped in the same tradition as Paul Rodgers, Glenn Hughes and David Coverdale, though with a softer slant.
So with this rather eclectic mix of talent, what do we get with Distance? We get well produced AOR with hi-tech and funk overtones and a brash drum sound. Similar to Power Station and the Dan Reed Network but very melodic and dynamic. 12 songs on offer and it’s very hard to pick out a bad song here.
They are all so strong. A great mix of instrumentation, particularly Bova’s unique keyboard stylings mixed with Martinez’s overdriven guitar sound. If I had to choose it would be the raucous ‘Speech Of Angels’, similarly ‘Rescue Me’ and ‘Everytime I Stand Up’. The two ballads ‘As You Turn Away’ and the momentous ‘Softly Speak’ literally speak volumes for Distance’s class on the slower songs.
Pretty good listening all round, and a CD that’s not too far away from my CD player. Again, a case of the ‘one hit’ wonder syndrome, and I’m still looking for that Reprise Records A&R Executive who supposedly looked after this bands interests. I can offer him a single bullet with his name on it, as a present for giving this album wonderful promotion (not!).
Footnote: Bernard Edwards who played bass and produced this album passed away in April 1997 while on tour in Japan, while Robert Hart has recently moved on to UK band The Snakes as their new lead singer after a stint with Bad Company.
Distance – 1989 Softly Speak
Distance – 1989 Speech Of Angels
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This album is definitely a future contender for a Rock Candy reissue. I’d also throw in the 1990 self titled Harlow from 1990, another Reprise Records stablemate.