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Articles Home » 1980 Articles » Straight Lines - 1980 Straight Lines
Straight Lines - 1980 Straight Lines

ARTIST: Straight Lines
ALBUM: Straight Lines
YEAR: 1980


LINEUP: Dave Sinclair - vocals, guitars * Peter Clarke - bass * Daryl Burgess - drums * Peter Padden - drums * Bob Buckley - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Heads Are Gonna Roll * 02 Flyin' Blind * 03 Hope I'm Feelin' Better * 04 Sweet Water * 05 Midnight Woman * 06 Roanne * 07 Heart To Heart * 08 She's A Rounder * 09 Everybody Wants To Be A Star * 10 The Things You Didn't Do

The debut from this much admired Canadian AOR outfit that has been featured here at Glory Daze previously through the online feed of their 1981 'Run For Cover' follow up, which was reviewed many moons ago. The bands beginnings have previously been described, but to refresh memories Sinclair and Buckley formed the band under the name Dogstar, which sensibly did not last, as to CBS execs it was far from a commercial selling point. Prouduced by Jack Richardson and Martin Shaer, both veterans of the Canadian rock scene ensured a mature sound, and one has to wonder if Bob Rock recalls being an engineer during production. This debut admittedly took a while to grow on me unlike the immediacy of the follow up, but after repeated listening this ranks easily with 'Run For Cover', further confirmation of the excellence of this bands AOR potential.

The Songs
There isn't a track going to waste here, although it is clear the band was a bit rough around the edges when compared to the far smoother 'Run For Cover'. This is actually a heavier record, cue the likes of 'Midnight Woman' and its raw 70's hard rock rhythms that mimic Player's 'Danger Zone' album at its hardest. Along the same road is 'Heads Are Gonna Roll' which is an exuberant opening, with a tremendous harmonised bridge that seemed to be a key trait of the band. The AOR comes thick and fast however, there being a real sense of melodic urgency through 'Flyin' Blind', which makes way for a devastatingly haunting ballad 'Hope I'm Feeling Better' which is a hidden gem. 'Sweet Water' is a touch too poppy and the clarinet solo is a nod to Supertramp which this is easily styled after. It's uphill all the way afterwards, 'Roanne' the obligatory female named track, high on racing synths and energy. 'Heart To Heart' is an AOR classic, heed my words. Everything AOR is about here, especially that chorus, fluctuating up and down so excitably. The keyboards push 'Everybody Wants To Be A Star' into overload, combining with guitar work in the same league. A feast. Another massive ballad closes the album, 'The Things You Didn't Do', with the slow buildup leading to a crashing finale.

In Summary
'Roanne' was a minor hit, although 'Heart To Heart' would have been a better choice and this should have taken the US market by storm. Touring with fellow Canadian melodic rockers Prism kept them in the public eye and the excellence of 'Run For Cover' still wasn't enough to lead Straight Lines onto bigger things. A real shame, as it would have been nice to see the band name retained instead of the evolution into Body Electric who with Buckley and Sinclair didn't reach the heights of Straight Lines. A lovely debut here without doubt, you would be robbing yourself without securing it.

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#1 | DEMONAOR on July 21 2008 10:36:25
Great album
#2 | swazi on September 28 2011 08:42:54
Wow! What a fantastic release! I just heard this one for the first time. Where the hell have I been all my life ?? PLEASE someone reissue it on CD!
#3 | rkbluez on October 15 2011 16:20:08
Two great records that have it all and no CD release yet...seems criminal...Angry Can see Rock Candy doing these two gems, oh how nice would that be.
#4 | gdazegod on August 02 2017 07:39:09
Straight Lines - 1980 Roanne
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