Friday, October 03, 2008

Friday Night Videos - ITuneless AOR Classics

Giuffria = the minor leagues of AOR, bassist Chuck Wright and guitarist Craig Goldy would join Quiet Riot and Dio respectively. Replacement bassist David Sikes would end up in Boston. An album later, most of the group morphed into House of Lords.

For a long time I've been a huge AOR fan to the point I spent a lot of time listening to bands of the genre that would even have half a hit. Some of these bands and songs are so forgotten you can't buy them for a dollar on ITunes, though you can pony up for imports in some cases (as my wife did for the Giuffria CDs when I asked for them as a gift). It's time for another trip through my flying V guitar mind and look back at some of these forgotten warriors of smooth melodic rock.

A while back I wrote a post about the old Eric Martin Band album Sucker For A Pretty Face. When I finished the post, I was bummed that the classic video wasn't anywhere on line and I haven't seen it for a while. The Bay Area based group Eric Martin fronted before Mr Big, the title song was one of those Mr Mike teen years greatest hits with it's raspy vocals, big beat and blend of swirling synths alongside crunching guitars. The song and album wasn't a huge hit, which is why it's out of print and not even on ITunes which sucks. The video is finally back online and I want to catch it while I can, so the first ITuneless AOR classic is EMB!

Giuffria started with keyboardist Gregg Giuffria who had spent the 70's slugging it out on the tour circuit with the band Angel. Teaming up with singer David Glen Eisley, they conspired to write Arena Rock with a Journeyish edge. Eisley had a great voice that sounded like Steve Perry panting after a long distance marathon, some people who were casual radio listeners even thought it was Journey. Their quasi big hit (Top 40 hit) "Call to the Heart" drew a little attention but I've featured it before so I'm going with the lead single from the 2nd album called "I Must Be Dreaming". Another ITuneless classic.

Because great things comes in three's and we need a theme song for our computer age, here's the Buddy Holly of AOR...Donnie Iris. This was the only Donnie Iris song I knew back then (I've heard the excellent "Ah Leah" since then) but this jam was so slick and high tech how could any sane man resist it? And in this video, Iris goes uber nerd and utilizes an Atari 1200x. To make this video, he must have loaded at least ten cassette tapes of data or maybe one of those giant floppy discs that you put in the toaster shaped disc drive. When they started calling those little card things floppy discs in the 90's I got so confused. This reminds me, I took a programming course when I was 15. Here's what I learned:

10 "I hate programming"

20 Goto 10

You know what's sad, I probably don't remember this right and it doesn't work. But when I did know it, it would make whatever phrase you typed in repeat infinitely on the computer screen. Computers and Cars are the same to me, I use them, I like them and their insides are run by little elves running on sprockets and hamster wheels. Oops, rambled so long almost forgot the song.

My original theme was to have songs not on ITunes and the third choice was going to be Van Stephenson "Modern Day Delilah". But when Donnie Iris popped in my head I knew I just had to throw that one in. Iris is on ITunes in all his glory. Happy Friday everybody!


Some Kinda Wonderful said...

Hey! Is that the same set Olivia Newton-John used for her video "Lets get Physical"? Know what I mean?

I liked Donnie Iris at one point. that Leah song still rocks.

Mr. Mike said...

I think it is the "Physical" set, with the costume taken right off Annie Lennox's back from "Sweet Dreams" for the girl.

Yeah, Donnie Iris had some good tunes. "Love Is Like A Rock" was cool too.