Thursday, July 25, 2019

"The Hunter" by GTR

Song#:  2840
Date:  08/23/1986
Debut:  92
Peak:  85
Weeks:  6
Genre:  Prog Rock

Pop Bits:  This supergroup formed by guitarists Steve Howe (Yes/Asia) and Steve Hackett (Genesis) scored a #3 Rock hit with "When the Heart Rules the Mind," the first single from their self-titled debut album. The song also did well at Pop reaching #14. For a follow-up, this next track was selected. It did fine at Rock getting to #14, but it just wasn't the right fit for Pop and the song stalled low on the chart. The album would reach #11 and eventually go gold, and their supporting tour would be successful. This should have lead to a second album, but things began to fall apart and in the end, GTR would end up just being a one-off project.

ReduxReview:  "When the Heart" was a radio-ready track that was hooky enough to lure in a pop audience. The band needed that track to establish themselves and to get album sales going. It worked well for them. However, the balance of the album didn't contain anything else that was as catchy or mainstream. This track did fine at Rock, but it just wasn't going to make waves at Pop. It's a nice slice of AOR prog rock and lead singer Max Bacon tosses on a top-notch vocal, but ultimately it wasn't all that memorable.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  To produce the GTR album, Steve Howe sought out his former Asia bandmate Geoff Downes for the job. Downes would produce the album and would also write this song for the project. Downes would later record his own version of the track with Asia. It would be included on the 1997 collection Anthology. That LP had issues of its own. It was supposed to be a compilation of Asia's best songs in their original versions. Unfortunately, the co-writer of and the voice on Asia's biggest hits, John Wetton, who had left the group (for a third time) in 1991, objected to the use of the songs with his voice and filed a lawsuit. Therefore, the current version of Asia could not use those track for Anthology. So instead of leaving those tracks off the collection, the band did re-recorded versions of the songs with their current vocalist John Payne. Apparently, Wetton let bygones by bygones and in 2006 he would rejoin Asia with the other three original members. Wetton would stay with Asia until his death in 2017.


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