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Articles Home » 1978 Articles » Sniff n The Tears - 1978 Fickle Heart
Sniff n The Tears - 1978 Fickle Heart

ARTIST: Sniff N The Tears
ALBUM: Fickle Heart
LABEL: Atlantic/Chiswick
SERIAL: SD-19242, CWK-3002
YEAR: 1978
CD REISSUE: 2002, Chiswick, CDWIKM 9


LINEUP: Paul Roberts - vocals, acoustic guitar * Mick Dyche - guitars * Loz Netto - guitars * Alan Fealdman - keyboards * Chris Birkin - bass * Luigi Salvoni - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Drivers Seat * 02 New Lines On Love * 03 Carve Your Name On My Door * 04 This Side Of The Blue Horizon * 05 Sing * 06 Rock 'n' Roll Music * 07 Fight For Love * 08 The Thrill Of It All * 09 Slide Away * 10 Last Dance * 11 Looking For You


Another one of those late seventies 'near schmaltzy' UK pop/rock bands were Sniff 'n' The Tears. They sort of snuck around the charts and popular radio stations with their brand of harmless, though edgy pop rock. With an image that was probably inspired by an Eddie Money cover-shot early on in his career, you can tell the Sniff'ters (as opposed to the jaffas!) have copied him to every last skinny tie, scarf, leather jacket and boots. Even the cigarette pose by lead singer Paul Roberts is the proverbial 'money-shot' (excuse the pun!). The Sniff sound was complimentary to other mid-tempo UK bands doing the rounds at the time. Outfits like City Boy, Runner, and Voyager all evoke memories from 3 decades ago, and you wanna know what? Most of it still sounds good today! Initially, the 'Sniff' band was assembled on the back of a recording contract awarded to band leader Paul Roberts, who put together the lineup named above. Most had played in local UK bands, of which guitarist Mick Dyche was probably the best known, having participated in bands which featured past/future members of Rainbow, Jethro Tull and Whitesnake. For trainspotters, Mick also toured as the second guitarist with the Pat Travers Band during their 1977 UK tour. Drummer Luigi Salvoni was also a key figure: probably responsible for resurrecting many of the early Sniff demos he had worked on with Paul, pursuing a contract with record label Chiswick, and providing the production chores. Nice guy huh?

The Songs
Onto 'Fickle Heart', which was the debut album for Sniff 'N' The Tears. Most AOR punters will remember their massive hit single 'Drivers Seat', the lead off track to the album. Believe it or not, it went to #12 on the US Billboard charts! Second track in 'New Lines On Love' ain't bad either! The band chase a bluesy style with 'Carve Your Name On My Door', not unlike a smooth Joe Cerisano or Frankie Miller. Elsewhere the other tracks meander their way through a maze of pleasant late seventies radio rock. The band were managed for a time by Bud Prager (the man behind AOR figureheads Foreigner) and even supported Kansas over in the States for a couple of months during 1979.

In Summary
Over the following years, the band went through many lineup changes, with the one constant being Paul Roberts. The irony of all this is: many people thought Sniff only released one or two albums. Check out the website above, you'll see they've released a heap of albums, not forgetting Paul Roberts solo albums. An interesting discographical exercise should you wish to pursue it.

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#1 | sabace on March 03 2008 14:31:24
drivers seat is a brilliant track
#2 | Eric on March 03 2008 17:18:44
Great band, great album covers too. I believe one of the band members designed/ painted most of them.
#3 | Eric on March 03 2008 20:39:33
Yes, band leader Paul Roberts painted the group's covers.
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