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Articles Home » 1989 Articles » Signal - 1989 Loud And Clear
Signal - 1989 Loud And Clear

ARTIST: Signal
ALBUM: Loud And Clear
LABEL: EMI America
SERIAL: CDP-7-90973-2
YEAR: 1989
CD REISSUE: 2008, Krescendo, KRECD27


LINEUP: Mark Free - vocals * Danny Jacob - guitars * Erik Scott - bass * Jan Uvena - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Arms Of A Stranger * 02 Does It Feel Like Love * 03 My Mistake * 04 This Love, This Time * 05 Wake Up You Little Fool * 06 Liar * 07 Could This Be Love * 08 You Won't See Me Cry * 09 Go * 10 Run Into The Night

In hindsight, how could this band have not made it? I ask you? All the ingredients were there for a rich cocktail of success. But then again, events conspired to sink this band before they had a chance to flourish. All the members had a start in their careers prior to Signal. Free was with King Kobra, did a stint with legendary LA 'undergrounder' LA Rocks who eventually became Eyes. He also recorded on a host of albums. Erik Scott came from Idle Tears, Uvena from Alcatrazz and Alice Cooper, and Danny Jacob had his own band Kid Brother and did touring stints with Sheena Easton. A melodic amalgam of Giant and Survivor is what we get with 'Loud And Clear'. Kevin Elson did the production here, just as well really as Danny Kortchmar was originally scheduled to do the job but I don't think he could have produced the masterpiece that this album turned out to be, but in saying that, he could've made Signal a completely different sounding band.. hmmm.. there's a thought.

The Songs
There are some impressive co-write credits here too, Mark Baker, Bob Halligan Jnr, Van Stephenson, David Roberts, Eddie Schwartz, all reasonably familiar names in AOR circles. The quality songs are a testament to this fact: 'Arms Of A Stranger', the initial single 'Does It Feel Like Love' and 'My Mistake' warm things up, before we hear one of the albums highlights 'This Love This Time', a subtle piece of AOR genius. Other highlights are 'Wake Up You Little Fool' which is a brooding song, the ballad 'Could This Be Love' and the melodic rocker 'Go', which also appears on Triumph's 'Surveillance' album rebadged as 'Running In The Night' with different lyrics. Indeed another album with guaranteed entry into the AOR Hall of Fame.

In Summary
Epitaph: My own personal opinion.. some record executive at EMI America should quite literally be shot for not doing their job in giving this album the promotional push when it came out in 1989. We in the AOR World may forgive but we will not forget.

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#1 | rostoned on April 12 2008 21:26:10
A faultless collection of splendid, immaculate and frankly GREAT songs.
#2 | Jez on June 13 2008 23:13:26
Rather damned fine album with some top notch songs on board. Probably my fave Mark Free disc from his catologue of excellent releases.
#3 | rostoned on January 08 2009 00:25:45
Interesting comment on Signal by Erik Scott (source at the end)

Signal was something I put together in between the tours of Alice Cooper and Sonia Dada. I teamed with writer Mark Baker, and demo'd some songs with Mark Free singing. Early on, we used a different guitar player each tune, and Baker and myself programmed the drums and keys. Then we made demos with guitarist Mike Slamer and drummer Jan Uvena, pre-produced everything and made what the global melodic rock community has seemed to embrace as a bit of a cult classic, with Danny Jacob replacing Mike Slamer on guitar. It took two years to make, counting writing and pre-production... and once done, it took two months for the band to decide to part ways.

#4 | gdazegod on January 08 2009 00:54:23
That sounds about right. Certainly no questioning Erik Scott and Mark Baker's association. You would have to question the EMI America connection. They did things that sank bands within days! Signal were lucky to last even two months!
#5 | KurtmanJP on January 21 2009 04:24:38
The song 'Arms Of A Stranger' is a pure masterpiece, plain and simple. 'Does It Feel Like Love' and 'My Mistake' aren't far behind it.
#6 | sabace on May 21 2009 17:57:00
great stuff!
#7 | reyno-roxx on May 21 2009 19:53:04
I always thought this to be really overrated. Sure, there's some great songs on the thing, but I don't think it's as strong as other releases of the era or, indeed, is Mark Free's best work.
By the way, I would've loved to have heard the results of Mark Free's brief tenure in Blue Murder!
#8 | george_the_jack on December 05 2011 12:55:11
Mark Free's finest hour and one of my favourite AOR records ever! I'm also one of those who had the luck to find the original EMI issue from 1989 at a reasonable price a few years ago. The Axe Killer re-issue is quite rare to track down already while the Krescendo one, sucks BIG-TIME so keep your hands away!. I guess it's time this jewel to get a proper treat by someone(?).
#9 | jeffrey343 on March 06 2012 22:17:13
If I had found this in 1989, I would have been all over it. I played the heck out of the second Richard Marx album, and this one is up there with it. It is a great example of AOR. Great vocals, great songs. I missed a lot of great stuff in 1989 - my list of favorite albums from that year mainly includes albums I didn't hear until 2006 or later, with this and the debut The Storm being right up there with that Richard Marx one.
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