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Articles Home » 1988 Articles » Only Child - 1988 Only Child
Only Child - 1988 Only Child

ARTIST: Only Child
ALBUM: Only Child
LABEL: Rampage
SERIAL: R2 70835
YEAR: 1988
CD REISSUE: 2010, NL Distribution, NL 10095 * 2012, Z Records, ZR0497160


LINEUP: Paul Sabu - vocals, guitars * Murrill Maglio - bass * Tommy Rude - keyboards * Charles Esposito - drums, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Just Ask * 02 Always * 03 I Wanna Touch * 04 I Remember The Night * 05 Love To The Limit * 06 I Believe In You * 07 Save A Place In Your Heart * 08 Rebel Eyes * 09 Scream Until You Like It * 10 Shot Heard Around The World


Only Child was the late eighties musical vehicle for L.A session king and AOR hero Paul Sabu. When not involved in assisting others on their musical projects, Paul can be seen or heard working behind the scenes with other notables in melodic rock circles, a la Silent Rage through their 1987 'Shattered Hearts' period. Only Child follows after his 1985 'Heartbreak' album, itself a fine album of rapier edged rock. With this one, the big keyboard arrangements are evident, a sound to be replicated a year later with the fascinating Alexa album. Still with Paul is drummer Charles Esposito, joined by two new hoods.. Tommy Rude and Murrill Maglio. At the time, Sabu was the darling of several melodic rock mags, but somehow that enthusiasm didn't translate into universal support among the global fan-base. However, those with a hankering for Sabu's certain musical and visual appeal, plus long time fans ignored the derision from certain quarters, and lapped up Only Child like thirsty children.

The Songs
The entree of 'Just Ask' is brilliant. Big sounding, lots of depth, fat keyboards, and a great chorus. 'Always' is a smoother radio friendly piece, with an arrangement similar to Strangeways. The pair of 'I Wanna Touch' and 'Love To The Limit' are great moments too. The former has a classic AOR song structure with a strong pre-chorus/bridge ultimately leading into a memorable chorus. The latter track is gung-ho hard rock bordering on metal, though the ever-present keyboard layers prevent that happening. It's definitely a buoyant piece of music. 'I Believe In You' is perhaps one of the definitive AOR moments onboard, with a chorus like this it's no wonder: 'I believe in you, do you believe in me, hearts running with the night..'. Again, it features a hooky keyboard sequence just prior to the solo. 'Scream Until You Like It' is perhaps best known as the track that WASP did, and though this version is heavy, it's way too melodic and has a touch too much keyboard. Only Child finish up with the anthemic 'Shot Heard Around The World', with a heavy dose of AOR keyboard to round off precedings. Admittedly a couple of tracks don't stick in the memorabilia stakes ('Rebel Eyes'), but the class of the others offset that.

In Summary
A much sought after album now, and though some may find the music unfulfilling, I believe its reputation is still intact after all these years. In comparison to his later efforts, this one still takes the cake. Paul is still very active in the biz right now, though it's about time we saw another effort like this one for 2006. A new years resolution perhaps?

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#1 | jeffrey343 on January 01 1970 01:00:00
This, as well as Paul's 'Heartbreak' album, is great stuff. 'Just Ask' is a phenomenal song, and there are several others that are superb. I wish the production was just a bit better, but other than that, this one is AOR bliss. I just wish I'd discovered it before 2006.
#2 | sabace on March 15 2006 14:05:53
one of the all time great aor lps, HEARTBREAK on steroids, ' nuff said! .
#3 | Jez on June 13 2008 16:33:55
Still one of my favourites of the genre, and one that gets a regular workout here. Used to be a big fave amongst lots of people, now it seems to take a bit of a bashing on various boards. Doesn't get much better than 'Always', 'I Believe In You' & 'Shot Heard Around The World'. Definately better than the 'Kidd Glove' album and just beats the 'Heartbreak' cd in my view.
#4 | reyno-roxx on June 27 2008 16:51:59
Geoff Barton gave this in 'L' in Kerrang! at the time of release, because he wasn't allowed to give it more than 5K's! This is, to my knowledge, the only time an album has ever got such a rating in the mag.
#5 | jeffduran on June 27 2008 19:06:40
Wow the high praise this gets astounds me. I wouldn't bash it because it's a smoking record-just not a 'L' or 10 IMHO.
#6 | gdazegod on June 27 2008 21:19:56
An L? Haha.. thats a bit of a dag! I'd give it about 4K's.. lol!
#7 | richardb on June 28 2008 05:42:01
It is a great album, but I still don't think it's in the same league as his hard rock mini lp.

Richard B
#8 | Eric on July 19 2008 04:23:54
Agree, not a whole lot here to rate it that high. Remember playing this a lot on cassette in my car though....
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