The album was one of the best AOR albums of 1984 and remains a favourite of the genre mainly because of Giuffria’s keyboard dexterity and amazing melodic content.
Written by: Dangerzone
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: David Glen Eisley – vocals * Craig Goldy – guitars * Gregg Giuffria – keyboards * Chuck Wright – bass * Alan Krigger – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Do Me Right * 02 Call To The Heart * 03 Don’t Tear Me Down * 04 Dance * 05 Lonely In Love * 06 Trouble Again * 07 Turn Me On * 08 Line Of Fire * 09 The Awakening * 10 Out Of The Blue
WEBLINKS: Wikipedia Link
Despite Angel‘s critical acclaim, album sales were not forthcoming and the band called it a day in 1981, leaving keyboardist Gregg Giuffria to seek his musical fortunes elsewhere. He found them in 1984 after forming his own band and releasing a self titled album ‘Giuffria’ which reached no 26 on Billboard. It was helped in part by the single ‘Call To The Heart’ which reached no 15 in its own right.
The album was one of the best AOR albums of 1984 and remains a favourite of the genre mainly because of Giuffria’s keyboard dexterity and amazing melodic content. Some have claimed the keys have badly dated the album, but on the contrary it was the albums best attribute.
The tone is set with the jovial keyboard flurry which opens ‘Do Me Right’, very pomp in execution. It settles into a nice rhythm and the first of many memorable choruses. Not to be outdone by Giuffria’s presence is guitarist Craig Goldy who gets off a tuneful solo.
The hit ‘Call To The Heart’ follows, one of the 80’s best remembered AOR ballads, but oddly enough I think, one of the albums weaker tracks. It lacks the dynamics of the heavier numbers and is quite basic in comparison to ‘Don’t Tear Me Down’ which feeds off the guitar synth interplay of Giuffria and Goldy. It is the best song of side one, with a superlative hook that deviates expansively with its chord changes.
‘Dance’ and ‘Lonely In Love’ are respectable, but obsolete in the onslaught of side two’s brilliance. ‘Trouble Again’ is the first song of that side, a staunch rocker with a real atmosphere of trouble, thanks to Eisley’s tough vocals, some of the best in AOR up to that point. There’s some menacing background synth work capped by a crude solo and a guitar tradeoff sequence. Faultless.
‘Turn Me On’ is metal in execution, far too heavy to be classified as AOR, fast as hell, but never lacking in the keys section. This is after all Giuffria’s band. The man is a genius with the instrument and his interaction with Goldy is reminiscent of the best Ritchie Blackmore/Jon Lord work.
‘Line Of Fire’ follows the same path as ‘Don’t Tear Me Down’, building into another huge verse, one you can listen to a million times and never tire of. Oh so dramatic music. The epic keyboard workout of ‘The Awakening’ and ‘Out Of The Blue’ closes the album on a high note, ending one of the best sides of AOR ever.
This supreme effort was duplicated two years later with ‘Silk And Steel’ after a couple of line up changes, but fell well short of the debut, with only a couple of classics, ‘Radio’ and ‘No Escape’.
Giuffria went on to more success with his House Of Lords project, but it was essentially a repeat of ‘Giuffria’ every time. Guiffria, for all his musicianship, ran short of ideas. With ‘Giuffria’ he got the right mood with each song and note. It was impossible to top, a one of a kind AOR classic.
Call To The Heart
Don’t Tear Me Down
Entire Album (Select Tracks)