Device - 1986 22B3

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited August 2 in year-1986

image

ARTIST: Device
ALBUM: 22B3
LABEL: Chrysalis
SERIAL: BFV 41526 (LP), VK 41526 (CD)
YEAR: 1986
CD REISSUE: 1996 & 2007, Renaissance, RMED0107

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Holly Knight - keyboards, bass, vocals * Paul Engemann - vocals * Gene Black - guitars

TRACK LISTING: 01 Hanging On A Heart Attack * 02 Who Says * 03 Pieces On The Ground * 04 Tough And Tender * 05 When Love Is Good * 06 Didn't I Read You Right * 07 Fall Apart Golden Heart * 08 I've Got No Room For Your Love * 09 Who's On The Line * 10 Sand Stone, Cobwebs And Dust

Background

Device were a Los Angeles based trio formed around the classically trained and talented songwriter Holly Knight.

She first came to our attention in the band Spider from the early 80's, playing keyboards alongside Amanda Blue and co, followed by a stint of serious songwriting.

The latter saw songs such as Pat Benatar's 'Love Is A Battlefield' and Tina Turner's 'Better Be Good To Me' become smash hits for Holly.

She wrote many songs for a wide variety of artists ranging from Ozzy Osbourne to Kim Wilde. A talent indeed, and one only wonders what would happened if she'd saved those songs for her mid-80's pop vehicle Device.

Bringing in singer Paul Engemann and session guitarist Gene Black, the trio were formed, and quite a stunning looking trio they were too, with their futuristic clothing being a feature.

The music is hi-tech, an array of electronic devices (excuse the pun) used throughout, whereby Holly does all the programming.

The Songs

The Chrysalis label and Mike Chapman production team became involved, and the album '22B3' was released during the spring of 1986.

The first single 'Hanging On A Heart Attack' was a top 40 hit during the summer of that year (the video was quite freaky too!).

The hi-tech pop attack was relentless on tracks such as 'Who Says' and 'Tough And Tender'.

Even on 'When Love Is Good', the choruses are soaring and guitars are absolutely swinging.

My personal favourite is the dynamic 'Didn't I Read You Right', which draws it's influences from some of their mid-80's pop/rock contemporaries.

With 'I've Got No Room For Your Love', they manage to keep the energy at a danceable level while they get a little subdued and reflective on 'Who's On The Line'.

In Summary

The album was not a commercial success by any means, surprising really considering the strength of the material available.

In any case, '22B3' finally secured a CD release in the late 90's by back catalog kings Renaissance Records.

Following on from this, Holly released a self titled solo album in 1988 (softer, poppier but still nice nonetheless), while Engemann went on to join Cynthia Rhodes (the ex Mrs Richard Marx to you folk) in the second incarnation of pop troupe Animotion.


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