VALENTINE – Valentine [Rock Candy remaster] (2017)
Fronted by Hugo’s (future Journey singer) smooth vocals, VALENTINE‘s awesome self-titled debut album has just been remastered for the first time by Rock Candy Records specialists.
As requested, now it’s here with a complete 16 full color booklet including rare photos and a 4000+ full essay about the making of the record.
Easily, “Valentine” is one of the best AOR / Melodic Hard Rock releases of the beginning of the ’90s. And in my book, a must have album.
The release of “Valentine” in 1990 is one of the sad examples of bad timing and misfired opportunities by bad management and wrong music executives. If any ’80s AOR / Melodic Hard Rock band should have made a huge international splash then this should have been the one.
Formed in New York during the mid-Eighties and fronted by the sensational vocalist Hugo Valenti, the band soon made friends among the NY music business cognoscenti, leading to major management opportunities (Michael Bolton’s manager Louis Levin) and a coveted major label deal with Columbia Records.
It was easy to see why they attracted such a passionate reaction, armed with music that was not only powerful and memorable but also displayed a songwriting ability that left the competition in the dust.
Amazingly the band’s fortunes took a nose dive when executive changes at the label left them high and dry, forcing them to switch to another company, Giant Records, helmed by industry heavyweight Irving Azoff.
Produced by Neil Kernon (Autograph, Queensryche, Lynch Mob) the album was eventually released in late 1990, and it received a great reception from the Melodic Rock aficionados.
Packed with incredible songs, ranging from gilt-lined AOR such as ‘Runnin’ On Luck Again’ (featured in the movie Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead but not into the soundtrack CD), ‘Too Much Is Never Enough’, to the pomp blast of ‘Where Are You Now’.
The strong melodic theme continues with the keyboard-heaven ‘Someday’, the terrific harmony-filled ‘We Run’, and the cutting ‘Once in a Lifetime’, combining a perfect blend of keys / huge guitar solos, killer vocals and catchy choruses.
But the icing on the cake must surely be ‘Never Said It Was Gonna Be Easy’, one of the greatest power ballads of all time.
I know many people lists “Valentine” as a ‘cult album’, but for me it’s an essential AOR / Melodic Hard Rock LP in your collection.
All in all a complete overview of what the genre was in the late ’80s / early ’90s: luxurious, bright, smooth and polished.
Hard to find for many years, now with the clinical remaster by Rock Candy it sounds in all its glory.
A Must Have
You’ve seen it first here, at 0dayrox
01 – Runnin’ On Luck Again
02 – No Way
03 – Tears In The Night
04 – Too Much Is Never Enough
05 – Never Said It Was Gonna Be Easy
06 – Where Are You Now
07 – Naughty Girl
08 – Once In A Lifetime
09 – Someday
10 – We Run
11 – You’ll Always Have Me
Hugo – lead & backing vocals
Adam Holland – guitars
Craig Pullman – keyboards
Gerard Zappa – bass
Neil Christopher – drums
Mark Radice – keyboards, synths
Terry Brock, Jon Fiore – backing vocals
Neil Kernon – various instruments, producer
BUY IT !