Barth, Bobby - 1986 Two Hearts One Beat

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited August 2 in year-1986

image

ARTIST: Barth, Bobby
ALBUM: Two Hearts, One Beat
LABEL: Atco
SERIAL: 90502-1
YEAR: 1986
CD REISSUE: 2009, Wounded Bird, WOU 502

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Bobby Barth - vocals, guitars, guitar synths * Bruce Nazarian - bass, keyboards * Mark Nilan, Luis Resto - keyboards * Jimmy Hunter, Esteban MacNardo - drums * Phillipe MacNardo - percussion * David McMurray - saxophone * John Trudell, Ross Pooley - horns

TRACK LISTING: 01 Dangerous Games * 02 Don't Come To Me * 03 Stop * 04 Sara * 05 Knifes Edge * 06 I Don't Want To Be Alone Tonight * 07 Burn Me Once Burn Me Twice * 08 Once In A Lifetime

Background

Bobby Barth is best remembered for his stint with the melodic rock band Axe.

During the early 80's, the band switched labels from MCA to Atco, and released two albums 'Offering' and 'Nemesis'.

A heavy schedule of touring, a couple of MTV videos, plus a clutch of songs which scraped the charts, the band were hard working without necessarily breaking into the big time.

1984 dealt a huge blow to Axe and Barth personally. A road accident claiming the life of guitarist Michael Osborne and putting Barth into hospital with serious injuries.

Axe folded predictably after this event. Having recovered from his injuries, 1985 saw Barth join southern rockers Blackfoot, replacing Ken Hensley on the 'Vertical Smiles' tour.

There is a commonality here: and that is Atco Records. Because in 1986, Barth released his one and only solo album 'Two Hearts One Beat' - on Atco, he used Bruce Nazarian (formerly of Brownsville Station and GDM faves The Automatix - who were also signed to Atco) as producer.

Of course, Barth's previous band Blackfoot were also signed to Atco. Talk about keeping it in the family.

As a result, 'Two Hearts One Beat' is very commercial lightweight AOR, quite a bit different from his years with Axe.

The Songs

Immediately the sound of the album is squarely peg-marked in that mid 80's hi-tech groove, which in today's 21st century environment sounds very dated.
The keyboards, horns, sax and percussive elements contribute mostly to that dated-ness. The sound here is similar to mid 80's Starship mainly.

The opener 'Dangerous Games' sounds similar to the Kansas tune 'One Man One Heart', the one chance one shot lyric a near doppelganger.

'Don't Come To Me' is pretty groovy AOR, Barth's vocal is smooth on this one.

Big drums permeate 'Stop', think along the lines of Rick Springfield or Robert Tepper and you're more or less there. The track is a hi-tech cover of The Temptations chestnut 'Stop.. In The Name Love'.

Barth plugs the semi-ballad path with 'Sara' (not the Starship tune.. just in case you were thinking..), while 'Knifes Edge' is an uptempo pop workout similar to John Parr on a good day.

'I Don't Want to Be Alone' is the big sweeping ballad of the album; 'Burn Me Once, Burn Me Twice' is another Rick Springfield meets Starship tune that features a few scorching solos to boot!

The closer 'Once In A Lifetime' is a throwaway commercial workout that would appeal to all fans of Go West.. for want of a comparison.

In Summary

The album is just over a half an hour long, and as mentioned is vastly different to the hard rock/metal found with Axe.

For me this material is so lightweight you'd be hard pressed to thinking this guy is a hard rocker!

For those of you into that mid 80's hi-tech pop sound then 'Two Hearts One Beat' might tempt your taste buds, but don't go looking for traces of his sound from Axe - if that is the only reason you are wanting to procure this album.


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