An absolute scintillating expression of AOR as expressed by L.A heroes White Sister. Mighty stuff!
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: White Sister
ALBUM: White Sister
LABEL: EMI America
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Dennis Churchill-Dries – vocals, bass * Rick Chadock – guitars * Garri Brandon – vocals, keyboards * Richard Wright – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Don’t Say That Your Mine * 02 Straight From The Heart * 03 Love Don’t Make It Right * 04 Breakin’ All The Rules * 05 Whips * 06 Can’t Say No * 07 Promises * 08 Walk Away * 09 One More Night * 10 Just For You
Back in 1984?
‘a band that looks like Angel and sounds like Journey ..majestic keyboards and heavy guitar .. dynamic melodic metal but with some sinew and muscle’.
Well that certainly got my attention, and years later it’s still got my attention. In true typical LA fashion, White Sister did the local gigs, changed their name a few times, developed a following, got some material together and got a deal.
Big time deal too, with Gregg Giuffria doing production and EMI America (ggrrr..) doing the honourable deed and initally giving them license to release their self titled album (my opinion of EMI America can be read elsewhere on this site). What we get is heavy melodic pomp rock at it’s finest. Gregg Guiffria has given this album a fairly tight and compressed mix, especially the rhythm section, which gives the guitars and keyboards ample space to breathe.
The vocals are shared between Churchill-Dries and Brandon, and both are great on the respective songs they sing, but I think Churchill-Dries probably sings with more passion and urgency. Rick Chadock’s guitar is like a chainsaw at times, cutting through songs with those chugga chugga riffs.
Keyboards swoop down from the heavens as we open our account with ‘Don’t Say That You’re Mine’ and from then on in we get majestic keyboard and guitar interplay. Turn it up! The pomp attack continues with ‘Straight From The Heart’ and ‘Love Don’t Make It Right’.
The most definitive AOR song I can ever think of is represented in the shape of ‘Can’t Say No’. If people ask me what sort of music AOR represents, I put this song on, and bow my head in gratitude (just kidding!). The follow up song ‘Promises’ is nearly equal, an awesomely rich chorus and Garri Brandon’s synth solo is right up there in the top 10 keyboard solos of all time.
‘Breakin’ All The Rules’ gives Chadock a chance to let loose his guitar in machine gun fashion while a slight deviation occurs with ‘Whips’, incidentally written by Ricky Phillips, Fergie Fredriksen and Punky Meadows when they were together in one of the later incarnations of Angel.
This particular CD release I have is the Japanese Burrn/Legendary Masters Collection. The highlight for me is the Japanese interpretation of the lyrics. Absolutely hilarious, and nothing about what’s being sung in the songs! All I can say is ..’good try guys but your lyrics are way off the mark’.
Again 1984 produces the goods! Well, for those who have followed the fortunes of White Sister (pre and post Tattoo Rodeo), it is unlikely we’ll ever see this band in operation again, so we’ll just savour the moment and this 40 odd minutes of excellence.
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Simply a top 10 album of all time for me. 🎹🎸✅
Can’t Say No
Don’t Say That You’re Mine
Straight From The Heart