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Articles Home » 1986 Articles » A=440 - 1986 A=440
A=440 - 1986 A=440

ALBUM: A=440
LABEL: Casablanca
SERIAL: 830 268-4 M1
YEAR: 1986


LINEUP: Tom La Verdi - vocals * Nick Brown - guitars * Rich Ruttenberg - keyboards * Matt Bissonette - bass * Tom Walsh - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Method To My Madness * 02 Flair For The Romantic * 03 Take Me To Heart * 04 Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind * 05 Curiosity * 06 Don't Tell Nobody * 07 Manhunt * 08 Labor Of Love * 09 Under Pressure * 10 Shannon

Here's an American pop/rock outfit with a musical signature of their own. They are called A=440, and they play a hi-tech pop style somewhere west of Mr Mister and east of Rick Springfield. The two big names with this outfit are singer Tommy La Verdi and the bassist Matt Bissonette, who have both gone onto bigger things since this band were formed. Musically, the band are very tight, if perhaps a little 'safe' with their approach and overall delivery. It seems that the brains behind this trust is guitarist Nick Brown (ex Silver Condor), who also manages to produce the album too.

The Songs
There are lots of widdly diddly keyboard runs throughout, punctuated by the often funky bass parts and percussive elements. The opening pair of 'Method To My Madness' and 'Flair For The Dramatic' is a testament to that. The overly hi-tech approach continues on 'Out Of Sight Out Of Mind' and the punchy 'Curiosity'. A=440 rock it up a bit on the stop/start affair which is 'Don't Tell Nobody', containing some sonic guitar work for once from Brown. 'Labor Of Love' and 'Take Me To Heart' are the token ballads on the album, and are neither great nor weak. Some would say fillers, I'd say slightly better than that. The last track 'Shannon' strangely enough is more AOR than pop, giving one an indication as to how they would have sounded if they'd tweaked their sound just slightly.

In Summary
A=440 did a few shows opening for bigger artists during this time. One of these was A-Ha, featuring drummer Michael Sturgis. So when time come to find a lead singer for UK based band 21 Guns of which Sturgis was a member during 1992, La Verdi got the nod. When we think about it, La Verdi is indeed a superb singer, and one only hopes we can hear him sing on another project soon. On the other hand, Bissonette has since played with his brother Gregg in David Lee Roth's backing band.

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#1 | shotgun169 on January 10 2007 21:24:22
Great review
I love this album
Very rare and hard to find
#2 | rostoned on November 19 2008 17:14:20
very very lite, more pop than aor or rock IMHO, sounds like the soundtrack of an 80s movie with Rob Lowe and Tawny Kitaen or Ally Sheedy or one of those teen idols.
What's really odd is that it appeared on the Casablanca label even sporting the classic oasis label on the LP some 3 years after that label folded and became part of Mercury in the US.
#3 | super80boy on May 05 2013 20:22:26
If they were just to rock out a bit more on this, it would have been even better. It's still a polished set of high tech AOR arrangements that have sufficient catchiness to keep the interest intact.
#4 | jefflynnefan on March 08 2015 18:14:29
I heard a couple of tracks off this album and I liked them.
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