Wednesday, August 2, 2017

"Call to the Heart" by Giuffria

Song#:  2119
Date:  11/10/1984
Debut:  82
Peak:  15
Weeks:  19
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  This band was formed by keyboardist Gregg Giuffria after departing his other band, Angel. After filling out the remaining spots, including David Glen Eisley on lead vocals, the band ended up getting signed to MCA Records. A self-titled debut LP was assembled and this first single was released. The track was a hit at Rock and made it to #3 on that chart. Pop acceptance soon followed and the tune slowly made its way into the Top 20. It would be the band's biggest hit.

ReduxReview:  Here is one that I totally forgot about. Actually, I thought Giuffria happened later in the decade, so I was surprised when this one popped up in '84. I used to refer to them as that giraffe band. This Journey-lite tune was a good crossover candidate and indeed it did do well. Band originator Gregg Giuffria spotlights his keyboards while lead singer Eisley sounds like the love child of Sammy Hagar and Steve Perry. It's a solid commercial rock tune. However, I wonder if Hagar and the Van Halen crew were listening to this song when they came up with "Dreams," as the opening of this tune reminds me of the '86 VH hit. Hmmm....

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Giuffria's former band, Angel, had some minor success, but never broke through in a big way. After being spotted by Kiss' Gene Simmons, the band got signed to Casablanca Records and issued a self-titled debut LP in 1975. At the time they were more of a glam rock band with an androgynous look. They would record five studio and two live LPs for Casablanca and grab a couple of minor Pop chart entries along the way. In 1977, "That Magic Touch" would reach #77 while the following year "I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore" would get to #44. Apparently, critics were not fond of the band and even some other musicians were not fans. One artist in particular either made fun of, satirized, or paid tribute to Angel's co-founder and guitarist Punky Meadows. Frank Zappa recorded the song "Punky's Whips," which was based on Zappa's drummer Terry Bozzio's obsession with Meadow's look (pouty lips and shiny hair). This song was recorded live and initially was issued on Zappa's 1978 double-LP Zappa in New York. However, Zappa's label, Warner Bros., feared some legal issues could happen surrounding "Punky's Whips" and ended up recalling stock and issuing a new version without the song. The tune later reappeared on the CD reissue of the album. Apparently, Meadows took it all in stride and didn't mind the song. It seems he actually made an appearance on stage one time at a Zappa performance.


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