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White Heart - 1992 Tales Of Wonder

ARTIST: White Heart
ALBUM: Tales Of Wonder
LABEL: Sparrow
YEAR: 1992


LINEUP: Rick Florian - vocals * Billy Smiley, Brian Wooten - guitars * Mark Gersmehl - keyboards * Anthony Sallee - bass * Jon Knox - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Raging Of The Moon * 02 His Heart Was Always In It * 03 Unchain * 04 Say The Word * 05 Who Owns You * 06 Where The Thunder Roars * 07 Silhouette * 08 Vendetta * 09 Gabriela * 10 Light A Candle


One of my favourite bands of all time. Surprising really because of their religious bent, of whose views I don't fully subscribe to. But when you dig deeper there is nothing on show but sheer utter class! Of the many musicians who have passed through the membership of this band it makes for some pretty impressive reading. Dann Huff was one of the original members for instance. However, the mainstay appears to be guitarist Billy Smiley and keyboardist Mark Gersmehl. And ever since Rick (or is it Rik?) Florian joined, he gave the band the icing on the cake with his vocal prowess. All of their albums (seriously, all of them!) are worth getting. White Heart are one of those bands (like Rush) in which you should have all of their releases in your collection. This one being reviewed 'Tales Of Wonder' follows hard on the great releases preceding it, namely 'Powerhouse' and 'Freedom'. Having seen White Heart live on their 'Powerhouse' tour during 1991, I was only too keen to see how they were going to follow up what I thought was a magnificent album in 'Powerhouse'. They blow it out of the water! Period. This is perhaps their most AOR effort, and the mix of songs and the superb production that is always evident on White Heart albums is showcased on one of the best albums of 1992.

The Songs
I can't say enough about these songs. 'Raging Of The Moon' is a storming opener, listen to those echoed vocal choruses. 'His Heart Was Always In It' could've been played to death on CCM radio due to it's commercial bent, 'Unchain' moves into Kansas territory but has CSNY type vocal harmonies, 'Say The Word' is like an AOR version of Clannad, then there's the thought provoking ' Who Owns You' which meanders atmospherically. One of my favourites is 'Where The Thunder Roars', what a chorus! The band powers up a bit on 'Vendetta', sounding like The Works or Wall Of Silence in rock mode. The last track which is untitled on the CD is a segue called 'Morningstar' and sounds so much like Prophet doing their Kansas thing!

In Summary
Though they share the vocal duties around, it's the ones where Florian sings that lift the band to another level. Truly one of rock's premier vocalists. Though they stayed around for years, the end of 1998 saw the band go into hiatus and apparent inactivity. However, some of the members are still active within the music community, and White Heart albums are easy enough to come by. Fill your collection now, if you haven't done so already!! Failing that, go visit their website listed below.

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#1 | Jez on June 14 2008 00:19:37
Along with 'Highlands', White Heart's greatest moment bar non. Rick Florian is right up there with the greats when it comes to vocalists - listen to tracks like 'Raging Of The Moon' & 'Vendetta' for proof. One of the most accomplished CCM releases ever.
#2 | rkbluez on July 03 2012 02:55:07
Agreed Jez these guys were equals to any band back when they were in their heyday...myself I love the trio of albums "Powerhouse", Tales Of Wonder and Highlands"...classy AOR/Hard Rockin' stuff of the highest order...even their album prior to these classic's "Freedom" is a damn fine album...certainly a group any AOR/Rock lover should have in their collection.
#3 | Emda on June 14 2015 20:48:16
A must have album, found "Tales Of Wonder" many years ago in a bagain bin for next to nothing. I have the follow up "Highlands" on heavy rotation currently. Had the album for years and rediscovered it. Fantastic stuff, great singer. Time to add it to the reviews section George.

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