Saraya released a big sounding guitar rocking album ‘When The Blackbird Sings..’ proved to be one of the better albums of 1991.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: When The Blackbird Sings
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Sandy Saraya – vocals * Tony Bruno – guitars * Barry Dunaway – bass * Chuck Bonfante – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Queen Of Sheba * 02 Bring Back The Light * 03 Hitchin’ A Ride * 04 When You See Me Again * 05 Tear Down The Wall * 06 Seducer * 07 When The Blackbird Sings * 08 Lions Den * 09 In The Shade Of The Sun * 10 White Highway * 11 New World
Starting out as the band Alsace Lorraine, this lot would become one of the more popular hair metal bands from the glory-days era. Based around the pocket powerhouse Sandy Saraya and axe-wizard Tony Bruno, the band would eventually change their name to Saraya, sign to Polydor Records, and release a damn fine debut record in 1989.
At the time, Bruno was busy dividing his time between Saraya and fellow New Jersey rockers Danger Danger, who were releasing their much acclaimed debut at the same time. In the end, Bruno would commit his time to Saraya, while DD would recruit Texan wonderkid Andy Timmons to tickle the strings. Despite high praise for the debut and a solid bout of touring including gigs in the UK supporting the likes of FM, the band went through a bit of shakeup in the months following.
They changed managers, band members and producers. Out the door went founding member – keyboardist Gregg Munier, saying that the pure guitar based direction would leave him little scope to contribute. He was eventually replaced by another guitarist instead, John Roggio when the band would eventually tour. Bassist Gary Taylor also left, replaced by Barry Dunaway (Joe Lynn Turner, Yngwie Malmsteen).
Producer Peter Collins, who had worked previously with Rush and Queensryche bought his technical skill into the mix, which proved to be challenge for the band as the ‘live’ rehearsal feel that was evident on the debut when working with Jeff Glixman, was replaced by the cut and paste approach of Collins. In saying that though, many punters were very impressed with the final result, Saraya released a big sounding guitar rocking album ‘When The Blackbird Sings..’ proved to be one of the better albums of 1991.
A wealth of strong songs which still sound good today. Simply said, there are some incredible songs here. This band were at their prime during this stage of their career. Listening to timeless rockers such as ‘Tear Down The Wall’, ‘Hitchin’ A Ride’, the very Ratt like ‘When You See Me Again’ and the bands first single ‘Seducer’ all bring back wonderful memories. The intensity of the pairing of ‘Bring Back The Light’ and ‘White Highway’ cap off what is a fine selection of tunes.
Both Saraya albums are quite hard to find now, so if you see them on Ebay, grab them. In the where are they now stakes: Tony Bruno did stints with Danger Danger and Enrique Iglesias, Sandi Saraya is busy being a mum, while Munier unfortunately passed away early in 2006. A great band, for which I would love to see something happen with this lot again.
Bring Back The Light
Tear Down The Wall