Grace, Graham - 1986 Shining Knight

EricEric USA
edited August 2 in year-1986

image

ARTIST: Grace, Graham
ALBUM: Shining Knight
LABEL: Palace Records
SERIAL: PRLP-701
YEAR: 1986
CD REISSUE: Refer website below

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Graham Grace - lead and backing vocals * Paul Hertzog - keyboards, synthesizers * Steve Sykes - guitar * Jennifer Condos, Carl Sealove - bass * Denny Fonghieser - drums * Wade Hougland, Andy Segal, Paul Delph, Andy Markley - keyboards * Chris Post, Eddie Keating - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Follow Me Follow You * 02 Fly Fly Fly * 03 Donna * 04 Shining Knight * 05 Fool To Love You * 06 Thing Called Love * 07 Over You * 08 All Alone

Background

You'll barely find a mention of British-born Graham (Grame) Grace in glam rock books or related web sites which is a little chin-scratching considering his 1975 album 'Hail Me' is a minor classic of Sparks and early T. Rex influenced pop.

Released on RCA, Grace's tenor is strikingly similar to Sparks' Russell Mael which can be off-putting for the casual listener and yet it's a solid effort that deserves far more glam-cred than connoisseurs have given it or at least I think so.

The release of a non-LP Muff Winwood produced single followed but it disappeared without any chart action while Graham seemingly went into hiding for the next eleven years. Licking his wounds perhaps or starting a family maybe?

Whatever he did between that lengthy period remains a mystery until 1986 when he signed to the tiny L.A. based Palace label, all moussed-up and MTV ready.

The Songs

And very hi-tech I might add. That's fine and the fact it sounds nothing like 'Hail Me' I can live with, although musically 'Shining Knight' is not nearly as strong. .

With no less than five keyboard players, this is a synth-happy platter and with all the state of the art gadgetry and ear-numbing production values that were so common place in 1986.

If familiar with German group Hubert Kah and hi-tech innovator Michael Cretu, you should have a pretty good idea where Grace is at on this rather short set and most of it works.

'Follow Me Follow You' was pulled as a single and is easily the best song here with a big pumping chorus and major league hooks. A larger label would have had the wherewithal to give it the necessary push and I'm sure Palace Records hardly scratched the promo surface while this lost 80s pop classic languished in obscurity.

Unfortunate but on the plus side Graham's voice matured and deepened appropriately although there's still that edginess that puts him in once again in the same league as Sparks only this time the mid-80s albums 'In Outer Space' and 'Pulling Rabbits Out Of A Hat'are points of reference.

I dig the new wave artiness of 'Fly Fly Fly' and the OMD-ish title track is a tremendous piece of synth pop while side two loses steam quickly with the average 'Fool To Love You' and a silly attempt at reggae 'Thing Called Love' which is seriously awful although the power pop styled 'All Alone' more than makes amends.

In Summary

'Shining Knight' is not essential but very easy to find, even the CD issue which is still amazingly cheap over at Amazon.

If in doubt, Grace's rudimentary web site offers samples of everything he's released which is nice but offers no indication where he is now or if new material is forthcoming.


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