Eaton, Chris - 1986 Vision

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited August 2 in year-1986


ARTIST: Eaton, Chris
ALBUM: Vision
LABEL: Reunion
SERIAL: 7-01-001372-1
YEAR: 1986

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image image

LINEUP: Chris Eaton - lead and backing vocals

Additional Musicians: Robbie Buchanan, Rhett Lawrence, Larry Williams, Dave Cooke, Robin Smith - keyboards * Dann Huff, Paul Jackson, Michael Landau, Phil Palmer - guitars * Paul Leim, Carlos Vega, Charlie Morgan - drums * Neil Stubenhaus, Nathan East, Pino Palladino - bass * Lenny Castro - percussion * Mel Collins - horns * Tom Kelly, Tommy Funderburk, Mark Williamson, Nick-Glennie Smith, Don Snow - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Vision * 02 Don't Underestimate My Love * 03 When My Heart Breaks * 04 Golden Rule * 05 Hold Back The Tears * 06 Love For The Common Man * 07 Talk To Me * 08 This Is For Real * 09 Don't Play Games * 10 It Was Love


Only the seriously studious fans of melodic rock will know this guy. Those in the christian rock movement will already know of Chris' superb singer/songwriter reputation, and his first album 'Vision' on the mainstream Christian label Reunion is an insight to his gifted talent.

Originally from Birmingham in the UK, Chris spent his early years in the Christian band Lyrix, plus he was associated with another CCM icon in Mark Williamson and his band (Mark Williamson Band).

The album, produced by Brown Bannister (producer of Amy Grant), looks like it's been recorded all over the place. From London, Los Angeles, to Nashville, it also boasts a superb cast of supporting musicians as you can see from the lineup listed above.

If you want an immediate comparison, I can think of three reference points: David Pack, Tim Feehan, and Kenny Rogers Jnr. It's AOR. It's West Coast, and it's hi-tech.

A wonderful combination and this album would go close to perhaps being the definitive AOR/West Coast crossover album. Yes, high praise indeed, but once you hear it, you'll know why.

The Songs

The title track 'Vision' opens with some bombastic synths, before Chris' incredibly melodic voice soars through the verses and hi-tech arrangements.

'Don't Underestimate My Love' is a funky West Coast flavoured tune of which David Pack or Michael McDonald would rip into with fervor.

The third track is a killer.. 'When My Heart Breaks' has the juiciest chorus this side of the black stump and is an absolute melodic melter. If an AOR song could be the equivalent of white chocolate, then this is it. The guys assembled to provide the backing vocals do so in complete harmony.

'Golden Rule' moves in the same foot tapping direction as Go West, and even 'Hold Back The Tears' is not too far removed either, but has more of a rock backbeat.

'Love For The Common Man' is a faster paced track, closer to Tim Feehan's 'Full Contact' era. Dann Huff is all over this one but unfortunately doesn't give us a solo.

'Talk To Me' has a cool chorus and West Coast theme whilst 'This Is For Real' has a poppier approach with stabbing guitars and keyboards and some sax roaring through the middle.

The last pair of tracks are highlights for me: 'Don't Play Games' is a urgent rocker with a great chorus and Go West type synth parps, and then to top it off the album closer 'It Was Love' is a subtle piece of brilliance.

Starting slowly then building to an all out melodic climax, and we finally induce a solo out of Mr Huff this time around, and it's perfect. The wind-down on this song makes me wish the album didn't stop there.

In Summary

It seemed that after this album, Chris disappeared off the map for a few years (I'm sure he didn't). He did make a reappearance during the mid 90's with a couple of albums, 'Wonderful World' and 'What Kind Of Love'.

Both of these are not as hi-tech as 'Vision' preferring instead to be more mellow, but nevertheless contain some stunning tracks like 'Take My Heart Away', and 'Breath Of Heaven'.

An incredible vocalist who really should be better known among the melodic rock fraternity.

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