Idle Tears - 1986 Idle Tears

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited August 2 in year-1986


ARTIST: Idle Tears
ALBUM: Idle Tears
SERIAL: MCA-5863 (LP), MCAD-5863 (CD)
YEAR: 1986
CD REISSUE: 2014, Yesterrock, YR-2014-45


LINEUP: Liz Constantine - vocals * Dan Pritzker, David Resnik - guitars * Erik Scott - bass * Gregg Rich - keyboards * Tom Crowley - vocals, percussion

Additional Musicians: Craig Krampf, Steve Ferrone - drums * Randy Jackson - bass

TRACK LISTING: 01 Fingers On The Pulse Of America * 02 Take Me Home * 03 Oh No * 04 Hysterical Broads In Space * 05 Paradise * 06 Until You're Down * 07 Love In The Dark * 08 F.B.I * 09 Heroes Never Cry


One album wonders are prevalent throughout the AOR genre. Whether you could include American combo Idle Tears into the mix is a moot point.

Though the band assembled in Los Angeles to record their only album during the 1986, the band's origins go back to the Windy City Chicago.

The band, based around guitarist Dan Pritzker had moved out to L.A after he had secured a deal with MCA.

Musically, Idle Tears are occupying the same sort of territory as Face To Face, Scandal, Wild Blue and Delta.

They are stuck in that mid 80's mind-set of AOR where things tended to be over-produced and overblown, and in Idle Tears case, they bought four producers to the mixing desk. We'll add another 'over' word to the review.. how about 'overkill'?

Similar to the debut Face To Face album a year earlier, too many cooks in the kitchen literally spoiled the broth, though at the end of the day the end-result was still kinda palatable.


The Songs

With classy singer Liz Constantine, Pritzker had a very good foil to represent the band upfront.

Her Patty Smyth sounding vocal gave this album a slight edge, without it I'd suggest this album would've been 'run-of-the-mill'.

The tortured into of the Star Spangled Banner greets us on 'Fingers On The Pulse Of America' - the sharp and incisive guitar work letting us in on Idle Tears little musical secret from the outset.

The first highlight for me is 'Oh No' - a simple arrangement really but executed to perfection - the change-up chorus is very nice.

'Hysterical Broads In Space' is a brief instrumental excursion bordering on Tubes like wackiness - whereas the four-minute 'Paradise' touches on the lilting quality of Til Tuesday but it tends to drag on by songs-end.

'Until You're Down' is a basic but fun pop-rocker - but the vocal sustain by Constantine at the end of the song really deserves a mention - she is impressive.

The Scandal comparison on 'Love In The Dark' is an apt one I reckon - bordering on doppelganger stuff.

The band go 'undercover' with 'F.B.I' - complete with love's betrayal and secret squirrel surveillance.

The album closer 'Heroes Never Cry' is a ballad with balls - another album highlight for me.

Yes, it may be a 'lighters in the air' type tune, but Constantine's vocal is impassioned without having to overdo (another 'over' word) it!

In Summary

There was life after Idle Tears. Three members from this band would go on to become the successful Chicago based rock/blues outfit Sonia Dada.

That band formed in 1990 and remain a successful act to this day - again centered around guitarist Dan Pritzker.

Erik Scott was one of those three, but remember also he had a brief stint with the legendary Signal before that band fell by the wayside.

Singer Liz Constantine would hook up with L.A ambient modern rockers Dizzy X (essentially a duo) and she would feature as a guest singer with the band Ministry - a far cry from her time with Idle Tears! lol!

Fans of the aforementioned female-fronted outfits, particularly Scandal will be very interested in this shortlived outfit.

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