Tower City - A Little Bit Of Fire

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited August 1 in year-1996

The songs on 'A Little Bit Of The Fire' are amazing, really, if you were a fan of Giant, Def Leppard, Blue Tears, Harem Scarem, Mastedon and Steelhouse Lane then you can't go wrong here.

Tower City - A Little Bit Of Fire
ARTIST: Tower City
ALBUM: A Little Bit Of Fire
SERIAL: 19966
YEAR: 1996

LINEUP: Larry Saltis - lead vocals, lead guitar * T.P. Weiner - bass, background vocals * Heath Saltis - drums, keyboard programming, background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Talking To Sarah * 02 Little Bit Of Fire * 03 Ain't Nobody To Love * 04 I'll Sleep Tonight * 05 Moonlight * 06 Surrender * 07 Closer To The Heart * 08 Stop Runnin' * 09 When It All Falls Down * 10 Something About You * 11 Hooked On Hope * 12 Down All Night * 13 Love And Money


Long described as a Def Leppard clone, Tower City were one of the few highlights during the rather spartan period of the mid 90's. It would be a bit unfair in my books to lump them in with The Lepps as I reckon these guys are far superior. Ohio native Larry Saltis is the main guy here, and for trainspotters, he was also one of the key guys in the mid 80's band and TV series The New Monkees (reviewed elsewhere at Glory Daze, refer tag below).

Essentially though, Tower City were previously known as Colorvine, who released one album in 1995 before morphing into Tower City and delivering prime time AOR. The only other truly classy band from this period was Steelhouse Lane, and in a way, there is a similarity, particularly with both bands using Giant as a template.

In Tower City's case, the songs on 'A Little Bit Of The Fire' are amazing. Really, if you were a fan of Giant, Def Leppard, Blue Tears, Harem Scarem, Mastedon and Steelhouse Lane then you can't go wrong here.

The Songs

'Talking To Sarah' was first heard on an MTM Compilation CD, and sets the scene, but some of the best tracks are yet to follow. 'Little Bit Of Fire' is a gorgeous tune, Lepp like vocal harmonies, but lighter overall in delivery with nice synth work and racy guitars completing the picture.

'Ain't Nobody To Love' was another to feature on Compilation CD's, this one takes a toe-poke at Def Leppard circa their 'Hysteria' era. I guess this is why many compare TC to DL. The acoustic shuffle of 'I'll Sleep Tonight' is captivating, as are all the enveloping melodies that wrap around it - reminding me of John Elefante and Mastedon in parts.

I like the Dann Huff guitar riffs on 'Moonlight', though this is far from a Giant rip-off, as Tower City take it in a different direction altogether. 'Surrender' warms into a wholesome mid-tempo wonderland, again Mastedon is a good bet, the chorus a certain winner. The drama is accentuated for 'Closer To The Heart', which feels like a Mike Slamer inspired piece of melodic mayhem, hot damn!

'Stop Runnin' represents another killer track on this CD. The verses remind me of Slamer's 'Come To Me', while the chorus goes somewhere else, perhaps FM's 'Someday You'll Come Runnin To Me', or is it just the similarity to the lyrics. Regardless, fantastic track!

'Something About You' returns to a gritty style, like early Rick Springfield, while 'Hooked On Hope' has a huge sound canvas, an environment that sees The Lepps and Blue Tears come into focus again. 'Down All Night' continues the 'knock your socks' approach by this amazing trio, fat keyboards, big vocal choruses, you get the picture..

In Summary

Tower City released another album for MTM in 1998 called 'All Or Nothing', and no doubt we'll review that one too in the near future to complete the picture. Take it from me, anything that Larry Saltis is involved with should be part of your music collection. So with that in mind, factor in The New Monkees and Colorvine. In the meantime, enjoy this rather tasty album.

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    gdazegodgdazegod Lostralia

    There was a thread a few weeks ago talking about hi-tech melodic rock, Def Leppard's 'Hysteria' being a good example. Well here's another one.

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