Sheriff - Sheriff

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited December 2022 in Year-1982


ARTIST: Sheriff
ALBUM: Sheriff
LABEL: Capitol
SERIAL: ST 12227
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 1988, Capitol, CDP 7 91216 2 * 2012, Rock Candy Records, CANDY126
SPONSOR: Rock Candy Records


LINEUP: Freddy Curci - vocals * Steve DeMarchi - guitars * Arnold Lanni - guitars, keyboards * Wolf Hassel - bass * Rob Elliott - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 You Remind Me * 02 California * 03 Makin' My Way * 04 When I'm With You * 05 Kept Me Coming * 06 Mama's Baby * 07 Crazy Without You * 08 Elisa * 09 Living For A Dream * 10 Give Me Rock 'n' Roll


Listening to this album time and again still sends shivers of AOR delight down my spine. It's hard to believe this piece of Canadian perfection came out in 1982, it still sounds fresh now as it did back all those years ago.

Initially this album sort of came out of nowhere, though a big label release on Capitol got it a higher profile. From my perspective not much is known about the bands earlier history (apart from being Toronto natives), though they began around 1979 and we all know that the members (with the exception of Elliott) went onto bigger and better things with their future respective projects.

For me Sheriff first came to prominence courtesy of their appearance in Derek Oliver's Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal. Upon their description I knew I just had to have this album so in 1982 I imported it from the UK and was not disappointed.

The 'X factor' with Sheriff is obviously the incredible vocals of Freddy 'The Human Siren' Curci. This guy sings with power and melody and to this day I rank him right up there with the Mark Free's and Steve Perry's of this world.

However, not to be outdone is the gifted song writing talent that is Arnold Lanni. His contribution to the album is enormous, in fact his efforts are represented on all the songs and melody and harmony are a pre-requisite.

The Songs

All the songs are wonderful, some more than most. 'California', and 'Makin' My Way' feature soaring vocals from Curci while 'Kept Me Coming' and 'Give Me Rock And Roll' really rock the ante up a bit.

For me the highlights are the AOR tastic 'Mama's Baby' and the superb ballad 'When I'm With You'. Funny how 6 years after the bands demise does this track get radio play to the point of going to No#1 on the US Top 40.

Funny also how the track as it appears on the remastered CD from 1988 is slightly different to the original version put on vinyl in 1982. For collectors see if you can spot the difference.

In Summary

Sheriff went nowhere fast and by 1985 they were no more. Later on they metamorphosed into two separate units: Frozen Ghost featuring Lanni and Hassel while Alias contained Curci and De Marchi (along with ex Heart members) and in itself was a fine band.

Even with the success of 'When I'm With You' in 1988, Sheriff could not be persuaded to rejoin, mainly because Lanni had the Frozen Ghost gig happening and was the principle songwriter and did not want Sheriff going out without his involvement.

Alias was also happening but by the time their second album was due, the bottom fell out and the material eventually became Freddy Curci's 1994 solo album 'Dreamers Road'.

However, even after thirty years, you can't keep a good album down, and 2012 paid tribute to this great album with a Rock Candy reissue, adding eight additional bonus tracks of a 1983 live performance at El Mocambo (7 tracks + intro).

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