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Articles Home » 1979 Articles » Aviary - 1979 Aviary
Aviary - 1979 Aviary

ARTIST: Aviary
ALBUM: Aviary
SERIAL: JE 35716
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 2001, Rewind/Songhaus Music, 55015-2 * 2013, Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY190


LINEUP: Brad Love - vocals, piano * Toby Bowen - guitars * Paul Madden - keyboards * Ken Steimonts - bass * Richard Bryans - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Soaring * 02 Anthem For The USA * 03 Puddles * 04 As Close As You Can Get * 05 Mystic Sharon * 06 Feel The Heart * 07 Average Boy * 08 I Will Hear * 09 Maple Hall


Described as a classic amalgam of art rock meets pomp.. and you know what? Whoever said it - well, they'd be right! Elsewhere on G-DAZE we've written a couple of reviews and put together an extensive interview with Brad Love and Toby Bowen. But going back to the source is where we go for 1979's 'Aviary' album. Certainly different, but for fans who love The Beatles, Queen, and to a lesser extent Styx and Yes, you'll be wanting to find out what all the fuss is about. Aviary were all about clever, quirky songs that came from left-field, and defied any attempt to try and pigeon-hole them. It was a wonder then that Epic Records signed them - considering their penchant for the tried and true formula. If you've read our interview, you'll know the band go way back into the early 70's and Washington State. By 1978, the band had formed a relationship with Yes manager Brian Lane - who also managed for them to land their deal with Epic. Their debut still manages to amaze, confuse, confound and defy all who have ever laid ears on it - even to this day.

The Songs
Leading off with 'Soaring', this track presents all of the unique Aviary melting pot influences into the space of approx 6 minutes. This one has it all. If the band wanted to focus on the power-pop genre, then a track like 'Anthem For The USA' would've put them in good stead. The bass work from Ken Steimonts is a stand-out feature. The woodwind intro to 'Puddles' and the piano motif which follows must make this one of Aviary's most unusual offerings. It's hard to describe 'As Close As You Can Get', but I guess whimsical would be the nearest thing. It has Beatles like passages, and Styxian like progressive angles. The vocals come at you from everywhere! I rally liked the harmonious 'Mystic Sharon' - with it's stabbing piano and vocal gymnastics providing a point of difference. 'Feel The Heart' displays straight out rock chops. Big sounding organs are the key here, even Dennis De Young would be mightily impressed. 'Average Boy' pokes a hole through the rock veneer, and throws musical colour at other genres like a contestant in a Paint Ball war. Delicate piano cascade through the intro of 'I Will Hear', a shorter piece at just over two minutes. It's followed by the musical schizophrenia of 'Maple Hall', comparable to close buddies Russia. Talk about off the wall!

In Summary
As history would reveal, the band did go back into the studio (over to the UK actually) to record their second album. Brian Lane tried to move Aviary into new-wave territory, but this manouvre failed big time, with Epic Records being none too impressed with the final result - they let the band go. Label-less, the band broke up soon after. As a testament to the album's reputation, it finally received a CD re-release in 2001 by the Songhaus label, with extensive liner notes written by Aviary fan 'Mister Pomp' Stephen B Allen. Aviary would go to release a posthumous CD 'Ambition' during 2003, and there was talk of further Aviary recordings coming out in the white-wash, but as late 2007, nothing has been disclosed. A gret 70's era band with a style all of their own. But one thing is distinctly clear.. meantion the word 'pomp rock' and Aviary will be one of the first bands to be mentioned..

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#1 | vinyldinosaurus on February 27 2008 16:19:43
Why did they change the cover art for the reissue?
#2 | gdazegod on February 27 2008 19:35:49
Eric can answer that.
#3 | Eric on February 27 2008 21:39:36
This cover was the original British version. CBS America thought it too bizarre. Here's the US cover instead.
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#4 | vinyldinosaurus on March 05 2008 13:57:55
#5 | Jez on June 12 2008 04:45:49
If you're into Pomp/ Sympho style stuff, this is a must have disc, a classic. Brad Love is an excellent vocalist and the rest of the band are no slouches. Songwise very strong throughout (Soaring, Feel The Heart, Maple Hall). Signed to Epic at the time, this was badly promoted (the band was put on as support act to The Stranglers instead of Queen - Duhhh) so wasn't a huge smash it should have been. Brilliant re-issue by Rewind, so now all of you can go get it and make up for lost time.
#6 | Eric on June 12 2008 13:08:34
Actually the support slot with The Stranglers happened much later after the band changed their name to 'The Curves'. Aviary did gig in the U.S and Canada with Eddie Money, Greg Kihn, The Knack and The Hollies and not really good matches either, but they tried...
#7 | Nick C on August 23 2008 11:17:45
Brad Loves voice is fantastic, and the whole band excel - I love music when you can never predict what is going to happen next, music that kind of throws the rule book away - and this hits the nail on the head. Brad Love's 1st solo album (Colours) is wonderfully bizarre too and has some of the most touching songs ever comitted to vinyl IMHO.
#8 | swazi on January 08 2010 12:29:13
Oh, I wish I would find this CD somewhere! Sad And I truly believe that my friend Nick C snapped the last copy off ebay just 1 second before me. Bugger ...! You owe me one, mate! Smile
#9 | Eric on January 08 2010 14:49:18
Long gone I'm sorry to say.
#10 | Nick C on August 01 2010 09:52:37
Bernd mate....sorry not me I'm sure I bought it from Muse Music in Hebden Bridge! ermm.... I think! I wouldn't do that to you would I????
I think you beat me to a Japanese Trillion CD once lol! So if it was me we are even....UNTIL NEXT TIME hahahaha!
#11 | swazi on October 05 2010 21:02:37
Still haven't found one ...! Sad
#12 | swazi on September 14 2011 16:25:11
Found it! GrinThumbs Up
#13 | Nick C on November 19 2011 12:59:48
Yay! Smile
#14 | gdazegod on July 25 2013 13:42:43
I think we're all interested to see which cover makes it onto the Rock Candy reissue. (?)
#15 | gdazegod on July 25 2013 13:43:11
I really should flip the LP covers around on this article..
#16 | gdazegod on July 25 2013 13:44:45
I hope whoever wrote the liner notes gleaned some info from our 2003 interview (Geir Aamo and myself) with Brad love. That was a labour of love writing that one up..
#17 | Flo on August 08 2013 17:59:05
Very good album
I've discovered it lately thanks to GD!)
I 've found this album sooo good i've bought 'Ambition' and 2 Brad Love solo albums.
#18 | windsofmarch on August 28 2013 09:25:21
Stys+Mr Big (UK band)+City Boy+The Beatles= Aviary
Amazing album. One of my faves in Pomp Rock (well, power pomp) field.
#19 | gdazegod on October 12 2013 14:57:33
Should be easy enough to acquire now, thanks to the recent Rock Candy reissue.
#20 | englandashes on November 13 2013 22:27:59
See a couple of promos have be unearthed, and appear on youtube, Soaring, Anthem and Puddles( amazing likeness to Mika!). One of those albums that you always remember where you brought it, mine, off Milton Keynes market. Although received a less than impressive review in the latest Record Collector, what the hell do they know about classic pomp!!
#21 | super80boy on March 29 2014 23:49:45
My vinyl copy came with an interesting press review sheet which talked about the Beatles being an influence and how Brad Love was so talented. Some excerpts - 'Brad Love's brilliant lead vocals soar above the melodic whirlwind that the band creates around the muscular framework of his melodies', 'Brad Love possesses a clear, strong and superbly expressive tenor which glides over the songs and expresses each lyric with appropriate emotion and tension', 'His voice is complimented perfectly by the high harmony parts supplied by Bryans and Steimonts'…This is definitely an out of the ordinary rock album, but intriguing to say the least.
#22 | gdazegod on November 11 2015 11:15:23
Aviary - 1979 Soaring
#23 | gdazegod on November 11 2015 21:06:48
I thought Aviary had a new album due out this year.. 'Heartless'.. where are they at with this? hmm!
#24 | Nick C on November 13 2015 17:08:43
It's out G...I've had my copy for some time now.
#25 | melodiapositiva on October 22 2016 11:44:11
Brad love first solo album is as good as this.It could have been the second aviary album but with a softer sound .Brad is one of the best aor singers ever, totally underrated! .
#26 | Nick C on October 25 2016 12:11:46
The 1st Brad Love solo album 'Colours' is one of my fave albums ever, my actual vinyl on MCA just has his name on and no reference to the title either on the spine or on the label. But the CD release both features it on the spine and printed side of the disc, it's also known as Colours Masterpiece...confusing. I have seen a version of the cover with the title Colours in a box in the bottom right hand corner somewhere but I can't remember where (it is also spelt in the proper English way with the 'u' Smile ). A real desert island disc for me.
#27 | DEMONAOR on March 31 2018 09:00:42
Great album.
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