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DeLuca, Tom - 1986 Down To The Wire

ARTIST: DeLuca, Tom
ALBUM: Down To The Wire
SERIAL: E 40283
YEAR: 1986
CD REISSUE: 2009, Sony Music (Europe)/Yesterrock, 88697634882


LINEUP: Tom DeLuca - vocals, guitars, harmonica * Derek O'Neil - guitars * Mickey Feat - bass, vocals * Danny Schogger - keyboards * Taylor Rhodes - keyboards, vocals * Gary Barnacle - saxophone * Martin Ditcham - percussion * Jamie Lane - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 57 Chevy * 02 Runaway Hearts * 03 Chasing Shadows * 04 Dirty Fingers * 05 Fire In The Night * 06 Down To The Wire * 07 Going The Distance * 08 Stone In Your Heart * 09 Betrayed * 10 Reunion

Probably going to offer 'bugger all' in terms of background about this guy, apart from his rust-belt origins in Pittsburgh, before moving to Florida. His musical history starts off in Nashville, where he became a songwriter. His two-album deal with Epic, which kicked off with this release, and ended with 1987's 'Captured' album. Of note, was DeLuca's assistance to Molly Hatchet on their 1984 album 'The Deed Is Done'. Tom contributes a co-write on the song 'Satisfied Man', and along with Jimi Jamison, provides backing vocals on the album. Tom also worked with Aldo Nova on his 1985 'Twitch' album, contributing three songs. He must have impressed someone at MH's label Epic, because they signed him, and sent him over to England to record his debut album 'Down To The Wire' with noted British producer James Guthrie (Judas Priest, Ambrosia) at the helm. The recording session took place between October 1985 and January 1986, the album released later that year.

The Songs
Musically, it's a bit of everything. A melting pot of Bruce Springsteen, Jude Cole, Jimmy Davis. It's a bit rough-house in places - with an edge that keeps it out of commercial reach. On other parts it's very melodic. DeLuca's vocal isn't a smooth voice to be honest. It has a harsh edge like Robin McAuley - but it's not too bad either. Surprising that Guthrie didn't stamp his mark on this album - as it doesn't have a British 'feel' at all. This is particularly obvious on the opener '57 Chevy' - barnstorming made-for-US radio anthem. 'Runaway Hearts' has more of a poppy edge, lightweight fare at best. Of the other songs, there are a handful that stack up very well. 'Fire In The Night' is a real stormer, played in that late 80's style that Petra occupied. The title track is a pretty cool tune too. 'Going The Distance' has this power-ballad thing going on, as does 'Stone In Your Heart' - this one is quite classy actually.

In Summary
Not sure what the stats were on this album, but as mentioned, Tom was fortunate enough to work on a second album called 'Captured' which was recorded in 1987, though I understand it was never officially released. I haven't seen this one as yet, hopefully soon. Beyond that, the man has disappeared off the map. Not even a google search can help the situation. Anyone with more information about Tom DeLuca feel free to drop us a line. In the meantime, a reasonable slice of melodic rock with an edge.

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#1 | jefflynnefan on November 10 2007 02:30:41
It's great to see this review! Tom co-wrote with Aldo Nova the songs: Tonite (Lift Me Up), Surrender Your Heart, and Stay from AN's 1985 album 'Twitch'. Tom was brought in by the record label much to Aldo's dismay. But after they worked together on several songs Aldo was glad for the help. Tom is like Jeff Paris (is there a better album then 'Wired Up'!) one of the forgotten great ones in my opinion.
#2 | gdazegod on November 10 2007 04:39:41
Aha.. so that is why Aldo Nova gets a mention on the album jacket then.. along with Molly Hatchet. Case solved. Yeah, bit of bummer when the label tells you that they are bringing in outside songwriters for your album. Imagine how Icon felt on 'Night Of The Crime'? lol!
#3 | LALOROCK on April 25 2010 23:15:58
Great re-issued by YESTERROCK with bonus tracks,Down to the Wire, awesome melodies and that raspy voice... kiler album
#4 | LALOROCK on May 30 2010 20:27:26
It reminds me Evenrude's 'One size Fits All' the same raspy voice and songs,Going the distance and Broken Heart from evenrude have the same style and are awesome midtempo songs...
#5 | dangerzone on February 17 2012 10:24:34
Even though he wrote the song I think Molly Hatchet's version of 'Stone In Your Heart' is superior to DeLuca's.
#6 | super80boy on October 12 2013 00:56:17
A spirited set of AOR and melodic hard rock with lots of sharp guitar lines, big chorus moments and an excellent production job. Really a shame about what happened at Epic Records while this LP was being released, especially since this album was a year and a half in the making. I have a promo vinyl, but nice to hear that this has been officially reissued on CD format.

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