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Articles Home » 1986 Articles » Device - 1986 22B3
Device - 1986 22B3

ARTIST: Device
LABEL: Chrysalis
SERIAL: BFV 41526 (LP), VK 41526 (CD)
YEAR: 1986
CD REISSUE: 1996 & 2007, Renaissance, RMED0107


LINEUP: Holly Knight - keyboards, bass, vocals * Paul Engemann - vocals * Gene Black - guitars

TRACK LISTING: 01 Hanging On A Heart Attack * 02 Who Says * 03 Pieces On The Ground * 04 Tough And Tender * 05 When Love Is Good * 06 Didn't I Read You Right * 07 Fall Apart Golden Heart * 08 I've Got No Room For Your Love * 09 Who's On The Line * 10 Sand Stone, Cobwebs And Dust

Device were a Los Angeles based trio formed around the classically trained and talented songwriter Holly Knight. She first came to our attention in the band Spider from the early eighties, playing keyboards alongside Amanda Blue and co, followed by a stint of serious songwriting. The latter saw songs such as Pat Benatar's 'Love Is A Battlefield' and Tina Turner's 'Better Be Good To Me' become smash hits for Holly. She wrote many songs for a wide variety of artists ranging from Ozzy Osbourne to Kim Wilde. A talent indeed, and one only wonders what would happened if she'd saved those songs for her mid-eighties pop vehicle Device. Bringing in singer Paul Engemann and session guitarist Gene Black, the trio were formed, and quite a stunning looking trio they were too, with their futuristic clothing being a feature. The music is hi-tech, an array of electronic devices (excuse the pun) used throughout, whereby Holly does all the programming.

The Songs
The Chrysalis label and Mike Chapman production team became involved, and the album '22B3' was released during the spring of 1986. The first single 'Hanging On A Heart Attack' was a top 40 hit during the summer of that year (the video was quite freaky too!). The hi-tech pop attack was relentless on tracks such as 'Who Says' and 'Tough And Tender'. Even on 'When Love Is Good', the choruses are soaring and guitars are absolutely swinging. My personal favourite is the dynamic 'Didn't I Read You Right', which draws it's influences from some of their mid-eighties pop/rock contemporaries. With 'I've Got No Room For Your Love', they manage to keep the energy at a danceable level while they get a little subdued and reflective on 'Who's On The Line'.

In Summary
The album was not a commercial success by any means, surprising really considering the strength of the material available. In any case, '22B3' finally secured a CD release in the late nineties by back catalog kings Renaissance Records. Following on from this, Holly released a self titled solo album in 1988 (softer, poppier but still nice nonetheless), while Engemann went on to join Cynthia Rhodes (the former Mrs Richard Marx to you folk) in the second incarnation of pop troupe Animotion.

Device - 1986 Who Says

Device - 1986 Hangin' On A Heart Attack

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#1 | reyno-roxx on June 23 2008 16:07:23
Holly Knight's best creation. Too bad it wasn't a success.
Anyone else have the single she recorded with Michael Des Barres that includes the original version of 'Obsession' (as later taken to chart success by Animotion) as the A-side?
#2 | rostoned on August 09 2008 16:28:34
I consider Holly Knight as the best female (hit) songwriter out there. Much much better and under rated than the hugely over rated Diane Warren, whose song are way too formulaic.

As noted by Dave it wasn't a smashing success but the album had a life in the US chart peaking at #73 during a 16 week run.
#3 | Nick C on August 24 2008 20:23:50
The video for Hanging on a Heart Attack got a fair bit of play in the UK as well. Usually after midnight but there was one show....I think it was called No Limits or something that had it on during the day a few times.
#4 | gdazegod on August 24 2008 21:25:02
I agree Rostoned. Much of Diane Warren's work is moulded out of the same cookie cutter template. Not many of her songs do anything for my ears.
#5 | jefflynnefan on August 26 2008 05:33:40
Hmm, I agree that Diane's various songs sound similar like 'Don't Turn Around' by Eyes sounds like 'Look Away' by Chicago and others but still I might pick Diane over Holly. But I agree that this is Holly's best work.
#6 | reyno-roxx on August 27 2008 16:44:49
Quarterflash sound postively bored performing the Diane Warren song they put on 'Girl In The Wind', which is the worst track on that album.
#7 | JAG on May 30 2010 15:33:56
In my opinion this is the best A.O.R./Hi-Tech album alltime followed by LaMarca and Stabilizers
#8 | trillion1999 on October 19 2011 18:35:32
I liked everything I heard from this one to my surprise.
#9 | reyno-roxx on March 30 2013 14:46:56
Interesting to see that there is a new outfit, a side project by a guy from Disturbed, using the name Device with a dodgy cover of Lita Ford's 'Close My Eyes Forever' recorded.
Holly is not giving that choice of name her blessing at all!
#10 | gerard on June 06 2013 23:09:47
Great album! Only recently noticed that Engemann features on the 'Official Music of the 1984 games' album...
#11 | super80boy on April 25 2014 19:11:32
My vinyl copy came with a press package which talks about all three band members. I didn't realize how many Top 10 hit songs Holly wrote for other artists - there's a large list of them in her bio for this album. Anyway, this endeavor was unfortunately not very successful, yet the music is catchy, with rhythmic choruses. Yes it was a little left of center at the time, with the heavily programmed synth metallic sounds, but it still had good guitar riffs and hooks. Besides the well known album single 'Hanging On A Heart Attack', 'Didn't I Read You Right' is a close runner up for another stellar single designation, although the ill-fated 'Who Says' was the follow up single. 22B3 is an underrated one off effort.
#12 | jeffrey343 on May 07 2014 02:40:13
I read the last comment and then found this on Rhapsody and gave it a listen. Pretty good. I kinda remembered the first track from way back. And then lo and behold - I was driving around town listening to the SiriusXM 80s station, and guess what the 'lost 80s hit' was? 'Hanging On A Heart Attack'. Good timing.
#13 | tompa on November 07 2015 18:13:47
Heard somewhere Gene BLACK is in fact the same person as Gene BLOCH, who recorded an album with Marcus in 1976. Anyone know if this is true?
#14 | reyno-roxx on November 07 2015 19:09:48
One and the same guy. Although he spells his real surname Block.
#15 | tompa on November 07 2015 23:27:07
Thanks! Checked the website and in the 'discography'-section Marcus isn't listed. Can it be Gene disowns it? Me, I love that album!
#16 | reyno-roxx on November 08 2015 10:22:04
It is odd, but If you look at his About section he does mention working with Marcus.
#17 | gdazegod on September 05 2016 10:43:59
Does Gene Black /Bloch/Block get a mention in the Marcus liner notes for the upcoming RC reissue?
#18 | Explorer on September 05 2016 15:43:16
Another great album that needs an airing.
#19 | reyno-roxx on November 20 2016 15:29:06
Just picked up a cheap copy of the 'Scarface' soundtrack that features Paul Engemann's 'Push It To The The Limit' plus a few E.G. Daily tunes. Engemann worked a lot with Giorgio Moroder prior to Device and actually cut his debut single in 1975 with one of his sisters ( who later married Larry King).
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