L.A band Life By Night were caught up in the mid 80’s hubaloo of hi-tech pop rock, but they were off the map as quickly as they arrived.
Written by: Eric
ARTIST: Life By Night
ALBUM: Glass Walls
LABEL: Escape Music
SERIAL: ESM 360
CD INFO: Discogs Info
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Tom Croucier – vocals, bass * Gene Black – guitars * Pat Regan – keyboards * Mark Nelson – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Anything Can Happen * 02 Give Me One More Night * 03 Catch You In My Dreams * 04 Fade To Blue * 05 Can’t Get It Out Of My Head * 06 Glass Walls * 07 I Was That Man * 08 Say It * 09 Living On The Edge * 10 Bridge Of Love * 11 I Fall In Love With You * 12 This House Is Not A Home
Los Angeles band Life By Night were caught up in the mid 80’s hubaloo of hi-tech pop rock with a nod to bands like Mr Mister, Sojourn and Bystander, but they disappeared off the map as quickly as they arrived.
After a promising 1985 debut released on the Manhattan label, Life By Night lost their deal. Tom Croucier continued on despite recording a follow-up with a new line up, but these newer tracks did not resurface until decades later. Wind the clock forward to 2021 and Life By Night Part 2 has seen the light of day, a stylish album that not surprisingly, dives right back into the 1985-1989 era without skipping a beat.
The additional names of Gene Black and Pat Regan should ring a bell for any 80’s melodic rock trainspotter, and its no coincidence that Life By Night sounded like a million bucks in the studio. Black as we remember, did time with Device among others while Pat Regan was with Harlow plus he has production credits as long as his arm. Drummer Mark Nelson also worked with Device.
‘Anything Can Happen’ typifies the edgy pop rock style of the day while the brisk delivery of ‘Give Me One More Night’ is a major selling point, you have to wonder why the suits from the 80’s didn’t pick up on this one. Simply good. ‘Catch You In My Dreams’ is an absolute doppelganger of the Fake I.D tune ‘Nothing Next To You’. Considering the players on that record, it wouldn’t surprise me that there would be a connection to this track.
‘Fade To Blue’ with its big drum work and guitar flash is a byproduct of the 80’s, whereas ‘Can’t Get It Out Of My Head’ is the E.L.O chestnut which was similarly covered by L.A hard rockers Silent Rage back in 1989. This version is kinda unique too. The title track ‘Glass Walls’ is a melody laden affair, and I am reminded of several contemporaries from the 80’s era while listening to it. ‘I Was That Man’ is propelled by a dance like rhythm pattern albeit still in a mostly pop rock style,
‘Say It’ takes on a harder and slightly darker tone, with synths used to provide ample amounts of shade and contrast. ‘Living On The Edge’ is delivered on a platform of staggered drum patterns and jangly guitar lines, another 80’s template for sure. ‘Bridge Of Love’ is full to the brim with delayed guitar effects though the song itself is probably a notch below the excitement levels of what we’ve heard thus far, despite a cool but brief guitar solo.
Would it be fair to label ‘I Fall In Love With You’ the album’s ballad moment? Maybe, maybe not, as it’s the closest contender due to none of the others being a suitable fit. However, the closer ‘This House Is Not A Home’ is a very good track to finish the set. Graced with good verses and an even better chorus, this is an album highlight.
I’m very glad that Life By Night managed a resurrection, albeit in another decade. Their sound appealed to me way back then and it still does now. With twelve tracks there’s something for everyone. Be sure to give this album a listen. There are video tracks for nearly all the songs on YouTube, plus they can be found on Spotify too.
Give Me One More Night
This House Is Not A Home
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