I’m sure I speak for many AORsters, when declaring White Sister as a certainty to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, 1986 was the height of fashion for Los Angeles hair metal but the band were no longer in neon lights.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: White Sister
ALBUM: Fashion By Passion
LABEL: FM Revolver
SERIAL: WKFMLP 76, WKFMXD 76
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Dennis Churchill-Dries – vocals, bass * Rick Chadock – guitars * Richard Wright – drums * David Vincent – keyboards
TRACK LISTING: 01 A Place In The Heart * 02 Fashion By Passion * 03 Dancin’ On Moonlight * 04 Save Me Tonight * 05 Ticket To Ride * 06 April * 07 Until It Hurts * 08 Troubleshooter * 09 Lonely Teardrops
WEBLINKS: Site Link
I’m sure I speak for many AORsters, when declaring White Sister as a certainty to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. 1986 was the height of fashion for Los Angeles hair metal. Not only was it the glam capitol of the music world, melodic hair metal was ‘big’. The bigger the hair, the bigger the profile – so they say. Dangling onto the hair metal scene by the barest wisp of a sugar-coated candycane stick were White Sister. The band went AWOL after their amazing 1984 debut. Just how that album never struck success defies belief.
My previous review of this album laid the blame squarely at the lead-footed boots of EMI America, a label which constantly drew my criticism for their shoddy behaviour. By 1985, White Sister were label-less. Also gone, but under acrimonious circumstances was band leader Garri Brandon. Not happy that his singing role was being curtailed, he moved on to greener pastures.
Though they were still sprouting demo material, the band worked with a few keyboardists, but eventually Brandon’s replacement would be David Vincent, even though he did not play on this album. Much interest in the band came from the UK. So much so that smalltime label FM/Revolver, out of Wolverhampton, signed the band to their label, and a domestic UK release was forthcoming for ‘Fashion By Passion’.
Only a couple of these songs continued the heavy melodic backdrop provided on the debut. The lead-off ‘A Place In The Heart’ was one of those. The title track was a keyboard fest, with loads of parps chucked in among the guitars. This was continued on ‘Lonely Teardrops’. Whereas ‘Troubleshooter’ was ‘Whips’ Part 2.
White Sister offered something completely different – with the Beatles party trick ‘Ticket To Ride’. A couple of stand-out moments include the pompous ‘Dancin’ On Midnight’ and a power-ballad extraordinaire in ‘Save Me Tonight’. Three of these songs made it onto Movie Soundtracks. ‘Save Me Tonight’ in Fright Night during 1985, ‘April’ in Killer Party in 1986 and ‘Dancin’ On Midnight’ appeared on ‘Halloween 5’ in 1989.
Trainspotters will know that the album featured two covers. The blue coloured one (shown above) is the best known one, but FM/Revolver also had the punk-girl cover with the white hair. It wasn’t as good as the blue one admittedly, but hey, trainspotters are out there!
The band still continued to work, but by 1989 the magic had died and it was time for a change. Hence the birth of the band Tattoo Rodeo, featuring Churchill-Dries, Chadock and Wright, who would release two albums on the Atlantic label before the suffocation of grunge ended any hopes of success.
White Sister threatened to make several comebacks during the 90’s and into the 21st century, but nothing was forthcoming. Tragedy struck in 2004, with the passing of drummer Richard Wright, but the band continued on and made it to the Firefest gig in both 2008 and 2009.
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