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Valentine (#2) - 1990 Valentine

ARTIST: Valentine
ALBUM: Valentine
LABEL: Giant
SERIAL: 924404-2
YEAR: 1990
CD REISSUE: 2017, Rock Candy Records, CANDY352


LINEUP: Hugo - vocals * Adam Holland - guitars * Craig Pullman - keyboards * Gerald Zappa - bass * Neil Christopher - drums

Guests: Mark Radice - keyboards * Terry Brock, Jon Fiore - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Runnin' On Luck Again * 02 No Way * 03 Tears In The Night * 04 Too Much Is Never Enough * 05 Never Said It Was Gonna Be Easy * 06 Where Are You Now * 07 Naughty Girl * 08 Once In A Lifetime * 09 Someday * 10 We Run * 11 You'll Always Have Me

Sensational slice of melodic hard rock from these New York residents. Based around the vocal talent of Hugo Valenti, who it seems has a penchant for all things Journey. As if you thought the Steve Perry similarity wasn't obvious. So much so he had a band doing Journey and Triumph covers, before finding the guys listed above to get Valentine up and running. It's not all soft and fluffy, mostly it's full of cutting guitars from Adam Holland played in the style of mid eighties Dokken, with lots of layers and warm fuzzies coming over the top courtesy of Mr Pullman.

The Songs
Having Neil Kernon onboard does help, and I feel he gets to experiment a bit on this album, with some interesting production techniques and the odd noise here and there.. like horses and porno actresses! Get it? All in all a complete overview of what AOR in 1990 is all about when done properly. I don't think you'll hear too many complaints from melodic rock fans. Some instant classics are recognisable, most notably 'Tears In The Night', 'Where Are You Now' and the duo ballads of 'Never Said It Was Going To Be Easy' and 'You'll Always Have Me'. Elsewhere, the strong melodic theme continues with 'Someday', 'We Run' and the cutting 'Runnin' On Luck Again'. All the way through it's a great listen.

In Summary
Valentine didn't have much luck at the box office, and moved house to RCA three years later when they softened their approach, changed their handle to Open Skyz, and saw the departure of drummer Neil Christopher. Hugo of course went on to bigger and better things a few years later as a solo artist for Now And Then/Frontiers, plus he's also involved with a Journey cover-band on Long Island called Evolution.

Valentine - 1990 Tears In The Night

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#1 | Jez on June 13 2008 23:42:11
Definately Hugo's finest hour, although I do really like the 'Open Skyz' and the Hugo - S/T discs aswell. This is pretty much what the genre is all about, and is one of the 90's outstanding Melodic Hard rock discs(amongst some illustrious company). As with a lot of albums from years gone by, the sound is a little thin, so could do with a good remastering job to bring up the bottom end, which is slightly lacking, otherwise, this is as a near to a 'Classic' disc of the genre as you are gonna get.
#2 | rostoned on November 24 2008 21:28:59
Additional background vocals on all the album were provided by none other than Terry Brock (Strangeways, Le Roux, The Sign) and Jon Fiore (Preview) while Mark Radice played some additional keyboards. Phfew!

The album was released on CD in the US and Japan and on vinyl in Germany.
#3 | Eric on January 08 2011 04:14:48
Huh, The great Mark Radice played on this. Never picked that up on the credits. His 1971 debut reviewed here at GD a while back was killer pop. 'Tears In The Night' off this disc gets me every time...
#4 | george_the_jack on August 08 2017 01:23:11
I've always thought this guy is a joke especially when compared to Steve Perry and I have seen many daring to do this comparison. He certainly would have liked to be Steve Perry but he falls short even in being a good Perry clone IMHO. I find his vocals extremely weak and thin with no power at all. He leaves me with an impression he sings with falsetto all the time.

I will admit I like a few songs from this album as well as from his solo career and the Ramos-Hugo album, but there's where the story ends for me.
#5 | gdazegod on October 16 2017 08:59:50
Been playing this one quite a lot lately. Fantastic stuff.

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