Glass Tiger - 1986 The Thin Red Line

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited August 2 in year-1986


ARTIST: Glass Tiger
ALBUM: The Thin Red Line
LABEL: Capitol/Manhattan
SERIAL: ST 53032
YEAR: 1986


LINEUP: Alan Frew - vocals * Al Connelly - guitars * Sam Reid - keyboards * Wayne Parker - bass * Michael Hanson - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Thin Red Line * 02 Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone) * 03 Closer To You * 04 Vanishing Tribe * 05 Looking At A Picture * 06 The Secret * 07 Ancient Evenings * 08 Ecstacy * 09 Someday * 10 I Will Be There * 11 You're What I Look For


Mention Canadian hard rock during the 80's and a few names crop up. One that hasn't been mentioned here is the Ontario based Glass Tiger. You remember them right?

A couple of big hit singles, plus involvement with Jim Vallance and Bryan Adams. This lot came from a town north of Toronto called Newmarket, and started life off in 1984 as the band Tokyo.

Why is it that every aspiring band have to call themselves with the uninspired name of 'Tokyo' for goodness sakes?

There must've been a gazillion bands going by this name during the 80's. Who'd want to be a patent lawyer?

Tokyo were discovered playing support for Boy George and Culture Club at a Toronto show. Impressing many in the audience, including A&R reps, it wouldn't be long before the band would be snapped up.

The winner ended up being Capitol Records, and by 1985 Tokyo became Glass Tiger. Jim Vallance was called in the produce the debut album, the overall sound combining influences such as Honeymoon Suite and Simple Minds.

Vocalist Alan Frew was originally born in Scotland, and his distinctive melodic vocals would become the band's trademark over the ensuing years of the career.

He was also the oldest in the band, the other members at least five or seven years his junior.

The Songs

According to the Glass Tiger website, 'The Thin Red Line' would go on to become the fatest selling album in Canadian history at the time.

I'm not certain if that has since been superceded, but to go 'gold status' within a week is an impressive feat.

The album is populated with a bunch of superb songs. Let's recall some of these.

Of course, the best known track is 'Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone)' which features the aforementioned Bryan Adams adding his voice on the chorus.

This track was a massive hit, reaching #2 on the US Billboard Charts plus significant placings on charts elsewhere around the world.

The follow up 'Someday' was also a big mover, making #7 on the Billboard Charts. In my opinion, those two weren't even the best tracks on the album.

The fantastic pairing of 'Closer To You' which is so Honeymoon Suite that Johnny Dee should be alarmed, plus the terrific 'Pictures Of You' are my picks for albums best moments.

The lead off title track is pretty good too, as is the synth overkill of 'Ancient Evenings', which was the B side to 'Don't Forget Me..'.

In Summary

The band would find success at both the 1986 and 1987 Juno Awards, with songs from the album winning awards at both events, an unusual occurrence for sure.

Glass Tiger went over to Europe as special guests of Tina Turner, before returning to Canada and assembling themselves for their second album 'Diamond Sun', where they became even more embedded in the melodic rock/pop and AOR genres.

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