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Articles Home » 1987 Articles » Paris, Jeff - 1987 Wired Up
 
Paris, Jeff - 1987 Wired Up



ARTIST: Paris, Jeff
ALBUM: Wired Up
LABEL: Mercury/Polygram
SERIAL: 832188-2
YEAR: 1987
CD REISSUE: 2015, Rock Candy Records UK), CANDY273

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Jeff Paris - vocals, guitars * Michael Thompson - guitars * Gary Moon - bass * Matt Sorum - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Saturday Nite * 02 One Night Alone * 03 Trial By Fire * 04 Cryin' * 05 Wired Up * 06 Charmed Life * 07 I Can't Let Go * 08 Heart To The Flame * 09 A Matter Of Time * 10 Illusions


Background
Or 'Wyatt Earp' as they used to say.. Another AOR demi-god well worthy of a GLORY-DAZE hall of famer is LA singer/songwriter Jeff Paris. Seems Jeff has been in the biz for years, with song writing credits all over the place, plus he was a member of obscure 70's outfit Pieces under his real name Jeffrey Leib. 'Wired Up' was in fact Jeff's second solo album, he released the fantastic 'Race To Paradise' the previous year, and if you've heard tracks like 'I'm Better' and 'Back On My Knees' off that album, it certainly is evidence of his songwriting class. Well, what can we say about the lineup? Pretty awesome isn't it. Thompson is an LA session guitar god, Moon himself is a California veteran while Matt Sorum found future fame and glory with Guns 'N' Roses. This is well produced melodic rock riffarama, and there's not a weak track to be seen. All the songs are so strong.


The Songs
Where do we start then? The party kicks off with 'Saturday Night' which sounds like Bryan Adams on steroids, or more's the point, this is the stuff Bryan Adams should be doing! 'One Night Alone' is very much an anthem, one of those songs blasted out the back of the chevy in every US town during the eighties. 'Trial By Fire' has a Danger Danger groove to it, while the Paris AOR classic 'Cryin' is the same one covered by perfume rockers Vixen. Title track 'Wired Up' is a fast and furious workout while 'Charmed Life' is another Paris trademark song. However, the strength of this album in my opinion lies in the ability of the last four songs: all wonderful moments. 'I Can't Let Go' is an infectious sing along romp, 'Heart To The Flame' is another trademark song, and is by far the superior version released in comparison to other artists (Van Zant being one). 'A Matter Of Time' is a gorgeous ballad with subtle keyboards and lilting choruses. The finale 'Illusions' is the heaviest track on the album and lays to waste all before it. What a way to finish, an absolute stormer of a track! Turn it up loud


In Summary
Despite the fact this album fared well with the rock press, it didn't convert into a commercial success story, though Paris' songwriting career did not suffer any. He later signed up with Now And Then Records (UK) and then USG Records in Germany for future releases. However, this album and 'Race To Paradise' are by far his superior works.


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Comments
#1 | jeffrey343 on January 01 1970 01:00:00
I just got this the other day, and I'm afraid after a couple of listens that I'm not quite as impressed as you guys are. I already knew four of the songs (the three that Vixen did and the one that Van Zant did). Put me down as one who prefers the Vixen & Van Zant versions. Part of my problem with this CD is, like sabace mentioned above, the production. My car stereo is pretty good for a standard Honda setup, but this CD sounds very tinny on it, with very little low end. Better production would have greatly helped the sound. I doubt I got a poor-quality bootleg or anything nefarious like that. I'm not sure how much I like his voice either. Granted, the songs are all good, and I don't think this is a bad album. I just had higher expectations, and I'm glad I spent only $10 to get it. I'll see whether it grows on me. At the least, it will be one that I enjoy when the songs come up when I listen to my library in shuffle mode - the way I enjoy a large percentage of my albums.
#2 | jeffrey343 on January 01 1970 01:00:00
I do think that 'Illusions' has a good amount of oomph. I really like all the songs themselves. I just think the album as a whole sounds kind of like the songs are demos. I don't think his voice is that great, and the production doesn't lift it up. I wonder how this sounded on vinyl - being a 1987 release (and I appear to have a vintage 1987 CD), it was pretty early in the days of CDs.

As I listen to this, I can't help thinking how awesome many of these songs would sound performed by a group like, say, Giant. I'd have no complaints there.

Your comment about hearing the Vixen and Van Zant versions of those songs got me thinking. To my ears, the covers are the originals, since I heard them first. To you, it's the other way around. I'm trying to think of songs where I heard the original first then heard a cover that I liked more. I have plenty of examples of where I heard the cover first and preferred it to the original, but I'm having a hard time thinking of a cover that I heard after I was familiar with the original that I preferred over the original. I haven't come up with one yet...
#3 | jeffrey343 on January 01 1970 01:00:00
Plunkett does have a 'different' style, but it generally works for me, as long as he doesn't get too 'silly' with his delivery. The first three Autograph CDs were well-produced. I've heard the 'Missing Pieces' CD, which is a collection of demos, and the production is lacking there, which could increase the possible grating effect of his vocals. There are a couple of stunning pieces on that one, though.
#4 | sabace on December 25 2007 13:28:03
great songs, great vocals, great playing but production sucks in my opinion!
#5 | KurtmanJP on March 22 2008 19:24:27
Simply KILLER album! I love his versions of Vixen's songs and his originals like 'I Can't Let Go' and 'Wired Up' are WONDERFUL!
#6 | Jez on June 13 2008 15:55:56
This is a fantastic slice of Melodic rock, and definately my fave JP album. 'One Night Alone', 'Cryin'' & 'Charmed Life' all appeared on the debut Vixen album as mentioned, but these are the better versions overall (Good though the Vixen versions were). Also notable on this are the fabulous trio of 'Can't let Go', 'Heart To The Flame' and the excellent ballad 'A Matter Of Time'. Without doubt an album to track down at all costs.
#7 | reyno-roxx on June 27 2008 16:46:29
Jeff released some great records early on.
Mind you, I remember having a blazing row with him on the phone after my review of his set at the Gods show in Manchester wasn't to his liking. He questioned the fact that I'd mentioned some people heckling him. He claimed these were friends of his, but he was still being heckled whether they were friends of his or not! In the end I think we agreed to disagree and the call ended quite amicably.
#8 | george_the_jack on July 04 2008 21:54:10
'Cryin' original performance by J.Paris, is miles better compared to the Vixen's 'superhit' cover.....
#9 | rostoned on July 30 2008 21:29:10
During 1987 Jeff Paris toured in the States on a 'Double Thunder' co-headlining package with the Canadian outfit REFUGEE, label mates on the PolyGram family roster (Polydor).
#10 | rostoned on July 30 2008 22:28:47
And his voice is an acquired taste too, I'm not too crazy about it. Much better as a songwriter than as a solo artist IMHO.
#11 | gdazegod on July 31 2008 04:25:16
Jeffrey, you were at a disadvantage in hearing the cover versions of his songs first, particularly the Vixen versions which I don't like at all. Most of us bought this back in 1987 and were familiar with it from the outset. The album finishes off with a thud with 'Illusions'. You can't tell me that that track is tinny.. no way!
#12 | gdazegod on August 01 2008 07:19:50
Yep, the vocals could've been better. Same goes for Steve Plunkett and Autograph. I don't rate his vocals either!
#13 | rostoned on September 11 2015 20:27:36
It is almost comical that on the front sleeve of this LP Jeff is a deadringer of Winger's Paul Taylor, on the back sleeve he is a double of Extreme's Gary Cherone rofl
#14 | gdazegod on September 12 2015 01:58:51
That's a very good observation Filippo. Now, he looks like neither!
 
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