I’ve read often that the House Of Lords debut rates as an AOR classic at the top of many peoples lists. I don’t see it. I was letdown the first time I heard it many years ago and nothing has changed to alter my opinion.
Written by: Dangerzone
ARTIST: House Of Lords
ALBUM: House Of Lords
LABEL: Simmons (RCA/BMG)
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: James Christian – vocals * Lanny Cordola – guitars * Chuck Wright – bass * Ken Mary – drums * Gregg Giuffria – keyboards
TRACK LISTING: 01 Pleasure Palace * 02 I Wanna Be Loved * 03 Edge Of Your Life * 04 Lookin’ For Strange * 05 Love Don’t Lie * 06 Slip Of The Tongue * 07 Hearts Of The World * 08 Under Blue Skies * 09 Call My Name * 10 Jealous Heart
WEBLINKS: Site Link
With all the recent Giuffria discussion here at Glory Daze, perhaps it’s appropriate to revisit an album some regard highly, but one I never found as addictive as Giuffria, ‘House of Lords’ merely a clone to my ears. Seeing as I haven’t listened to ‘House Of Lords’ in several years there is the slight chance of finding something new.
Following his previous bands implosion Gregg Giuffria was silent for a brief period until he struck a deal with Gene Simmons to join his newly formed label Simmons Records. Simmons once said Gregg Giuffria wanted to retain the Giuffria tag, but Simmons insisted on something new, fearing the band would be chart failures based on earlier albums.
Giuffria was joined by Cordola and Wright again, the latter pair having played on ‘Silk And Steel’. Seasoned pro Ken Mary took up the drum seat while Christian took the place of David Glen Eisley (who reportedly was removed at Simmon’s request), although based on Christian’s deep vocal style it might as well have been Eisley anyway.
Listening to ‘Pleasure Palace’ I have to fool myself into thinking it isn’t ‘Do Me Right’ again, with the similar keyboard intro and opening vocal scream. It instantly suggests a retread of earlier ideas, and while the melody levels are acceptable it’s lukewarm AOR at best. ‘I Wanna Be Loved’ is a hackneyed piece of late 80’s hard rock which goes the Whitesnake direction, complete with a David Coverdale imitation from Christian.
‘Edge Of Your Life’ sadly fails to move me, with some powerhouse Mary drum rolls the saving grace. The lack of new ideas resurfaces again with fast paced rocker ‘Looking For Strange’, which could be ‘Giuffria’s ‘Turn Me On’ all over again.
The Stan Bush penned ‘Love Don’t Lie’ was a minor hit, but sounds like second rate Scorpions ballad material in House Of Lords hands, amazingly laboured aside from some nice melody lines preceding the disappointing hook. ‘Slip Of The Tongue’ raises the speed several notches, mainly to showcase Cordola’s dexterity with blazing guitar solos.
Things fall into place finally with the drama of ‘Hearts Of The World’ and ‘Under Blue Skies’, which follow a well worn AOR path, but sound more convincing than the forced hard rock sound of earlier tracks. ‘Jealous Heart’ sees Giuffria’s keyboards to the forefront, but by and large mostly forgettable, like the majority of the album.
I’ve read often that the House Of Lords debut rates as an AOR classic at the top of many peoples lists. I don’t see it. I was letdown the first time I heard it many years ago and nothing has changed to alter my opinion. If ‘Silk And Steel’ sounded like standard rock of the era, then this is ten times more guilty.
The pomp levels are low and unlike Giuffria’s earlier work there’s not enough sting in the hooklines to keep coming back for more. He was never likely to top ‘Giuffria’ and this was a thinly veiled attempt to repeat a worn out formula which he tried on 1990’s ‘Sahara’ and 1992’s Demon’s Down’, both flops. Take me to task if you must, but my ears don’t lie, ‘House Of Lords’ falls well short of every mark.
I Wanna Be Loved
Love Don’t Lie