Signal - Loud And Clear

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited October 8 in year-1989

ARTIST: Signal
ALBUM: Loud And Clear
LABEL: EMI America
SERIAL: CDP-7-90973-2
YEAR: 1989
CD REISSUE: 2008, Krescendo, KRECD27

LINEUP: Mark Free - vocals * Danny Jacob - guitars * Erik Scott - bass * Jan Uvena - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Arms Of A Stranger * 02 Does It Feel Like Love * 03 My Mistake * 04 This Love, This Time * 05 Wake Up You Little Fool * 06 Liar * 07 Could This Be Love * 08 You Won't See Me Cry * 09 Go * 10 Run Into The Night


In hindsight, how could this band have not made it? I ask you? All the ingredients were there for a rich cocktail of success. But then again, events conspired to sink this band before they had a chance to flourish.

All the members had a start in their careers prior to Signal. Free was with King Kobra, did a stint with legendary LA 'undergrounder' LA Rocks who eventually became Eyes. He also recorded on a host of albums.

Erik Scott came from Idle Tears, Uvena from Alcatrazz and Alice Cooper, and Danny Jacob had his own band Kid Brother and did touring stints with Sheena Easton.

A melodic amalgam of Giant and Survivor is what we get with 'Loud And Clear'. Kevin Elson did the production here, just as well really as Danny Kortchmar was originally scheduled to do the job but I don't think he could have produced the masterpiece that this album turned out to be, but in saying that, he could've made Signal a completely different sounding band. Hmm. There's a thought.

The Songs

There are some impressive co-write credits here too, Mark Baker, Bob Halligan Jnr, Van Stephenson, David Roberts, Eddie Schwartz, all reasonably familiar names in AOR circles.

The quality songs are a testament to this fact: 'Arms Of A Stranger', the initial single 'Does It Feel Like Love' and 'My Mistake' warm things up, before we hear one of the album's highlights 'This Love This Time', a subtle piece of AOR genius.

Other highlights are 'Wake Up You Little Fool' which is a brooding song, the ballad 'Could This Be Love' and the super catchy melodic rocker 'Go', which also appears on Triumph's 'Surveillance' album rebadged as 'Running In The Night' with different lyrics. Indeed another album with guaranteed entry into the AOR Hall of Fame.

In Summary

Epitaph: My own personal opinion. Some record executive at EMI America should quite literally be shot for not doing their job in giving this album the promotional push when it came out in 1989. We in the AOR World may forgive but we will certainly not forget.



Arms Of A Stranger

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    gdazegodgdazegod Lostralia

    Revisiting this album the last few days. Sounds great under a set of headphones. Love Danny Jacobs guitar tone. Fender's normally sound quite thin with coil based pickups, but his tone, playing and use of sustain and tremolo dive-bombing is spectacular. Listen to the track 'Go' for proof. 100/100.

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    DaveTDaveT Buenos Aires, Argentina
    edited October 8

    Classic AOR/Melodic Hard Rock, 10 great songs. I was lucky enough to grab the Axe Killer reissue in the early noughties.

    A fat guitar tone indeed, sounds more like humbuckers than single coil pickups. I read Danny Jacob, who played for Sheena Easton and George Michael amongst other plus he wrote several theme songs for TV series, played custom built guitars based on Fender Strats models with single coil sized humbuckers and Floyd Rose tremolos. He also used a good analog rack back then.

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    Always loved this album. Gonna pull it out and give it a listen this evening!

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    PatrickHemmingPatrickHemming Tampa Florida

    One of my favorite AOR albums of all time. Mark/Marcie Free is a Dives regular who, imo, possesses one of the finest voices in Melodic Rock.

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    Yes this album is terrific. The songwriting is just top-notch. Love it!

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    gdazegodgdazegod Lostralia

    I actually corresponded with Mark/Marcie back in our Heart of the Rock days, who was the one that mentioned the Danny Kortchmar possibility for producer.

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    PatrickHemmingPatrickHemming Tampa Florida

    I love that kind of minutia George.

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    Simply a sensational AOR release,, essential if u ask me in genre.

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