Wednesday, April 4, 2018

"Burning Flame" by Vitamin Z

Song#:  2363
Date:  06/15/1985
Debut:  87
Peak:  73
Weeks:  7
Genre: Synthpop, Rock

Pop Bits:  This group mainly consisted of two Sheffield, England, musicians, Geoff Barradale and Nick Lockwood. The pair wrote songs and gigged around for a while before capturing the attention of Mercury Records. They recorded their debut LP, Rites of Passage, and this first single was issued out in the UK earlier in '84. Despite not really catching fire (#80), they got the chance to see if they could break in the US. Geffen took the opportunity to sign them and the single and album got pushed out in the States in the summer of '85. The results were nearly the same as at home with the song stalling low on the chart. Oddly, the mid-tempo tune got some airplay in clubs and ended up hitting #27 on the Dance chart. It would be their only charting song in the US. A follow-up album would see the light of day four years later, but nothing came from it. Barradale and Lockwood would then part ways. Barradale would later move into management. He would later become the manager of the hugely successful UK group Arctic Monkeys. That band would have five consecutive #1 albums in the UK between 2006 and 2013.

ReduxReview:  This song definitely has a Euro feel that's not too far away from other UK bands like Tears for Fears or The Fixx. It's a song that doesn't necessarily hook you on the first listen, but after a few plays it settles in your ears just fine. The band had a nice sound and their production was pretty tasty. I just don't think they had a strong enough radio-friendly song to break them through on the charts. They had potential, but in the end it just didn't happen for them.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  For anyone who is a fan of the Alan Parsons Project, the voice on this track may sound familiar. In 1987, Barradale would work with the Project on their final album, Gaudi. Barradale would handle the lead vocal duties on the track "Standing on Higher Ground." That song would be issued as a single and reach #3 on the Rock chart. It did not make it to the Pop chart. A video for the song was made, but Barradale did not appear in it.


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