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Honeymoon Suite - 1984 Honeymoon Suite

ARTIST: Honeymoon Suite
ALBUM: Honeymoon Suite
SERIAL: 25 07301
YEAR: 1984
CD REISSUE: 1987, WEA Canada, W2-25098 * 1990 Warner Bros, 9 25098-2 * 2013, Rock Candy Records, CANDY188


LINEUP: Johnny Dee - vocals * Derry Grehan - guitars * Ray Coburn - keyboards * Gary Lalonde - bass * Dave Betts - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 New Girl Now * 02 Burning In Love * 03 Wave Babies * 04 Stay In The Light * 05 Now that You Got Me * 06 Funny Business * 07 Heart On Fire * 08 Turn My Head * 09 It's Your Heart * 10 Face To Face


From the Niagara Falls area, also known as the 'Honeymoon Zone', comes the aptly named five-piece Honeymoon Suite. The band was (and has always been) centered around the pairing of singer Johnny Deguili (aka Johnny Dee) and guitarist Derry Grehan. The duo came together as far back as 1974, and over the ensuing years recruited other members into the mix. By 1982, the pair entered one of their tracks (the soon to be hit) 'New Girl Now' into a Toronto talent quest and consequently won it. WEA Canada soon signed them up, and the band went into the studio with Tom Treumuth (of the band True Myth) to record their debut. Joined by keyboardist Ray Coburn, drummer Dave Betts and bassist Brian Brackstone (Gary Lalonde would join the band soon after, but is not credited as playing on the album), Honeymoon Suite would soon inflict some damage on the Canadian Charts during the 1984 year.

The Songs
I bought this album more or less the day it was released locally, and not knowing anything about them, I was soon smitten with their brand of AOR. It does have some new wave traces, due in part to Johnny Dee's vocals, but mainly the racy guitars of Grehan and luscious keyboard textures from Coburn land this smack in the middle of AOR Central. The opening brace of tracks are well known to AORsters the world over.. the aforementioned 'New Girl Now', the scorching 'Burning In Love' (excellent vid btw!) offset by the smooth caress of 'Wave Babies'. The fourth minor hit for the band was 'Stay In The Light', a lighter more poppier tune than the others. The HS boyz take a (maple) leaf out of Canadian compadres Harlequin for the tight rockin' 'Now That You Got Me', and then precede to blow the leaves out of the yard with the fast-paced 'Funny Business'. David Tyson and Eddie Schwartz provide the songwriting goodies with 'Heart On Fire', a track Schwartz released three years earlier on his 'No Refuge' album. The band return to some punchy AOR with 'Turn My Head' followed by the hi-tech wizardry of 'It's Your Heart', a workout for Coburn and his battery of synths. Album closer 'Face To Face' is a semi-ballad, melody rich and swimming in keys.

In Summary
The album did wonderfully well on the Canadian charts. The first four tracks made it into the Singles Charts, while 'New Girl Now' also made a dent onto the US Billboard Charts. Their Loverboy meets Journey style of AOR was popular during that 1984-1986 period. As a result, Honeymoon Suite went out on the road with the likes of Billy Idol and an unusual pairing with British prog dinosaurs Jethro Tull. The band would reappear a year or so later with the equally fantastic 'The Big Prize'.

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#1 | Jez on June 13 2008 09:59:23
A great debut album, from one of Canada's top bands of all time. I remember getting this one at the time and playing it non stop for weeks. Even today it stands up very well and is played on a regular basis. The Loverboy comparisons are pretty near on certain tracks, but i always found that they had a sound of their own, especially as Johnny Dee has such a recognisable vocal style.
#2 | richardb on June 13 2008 10:09:38
I like this album but a bit inconsistent in places - still a great cover of 'Heart on fire'. I also remember hearing 'New girl now' on an episode of 'Miama vice' at the time and thinking what a great track it was..

Richard B
#3 | Nick C on August 26 2008 00:42:49
Still my fave HS album even over Big Prize - I love the lazy kind of sound that Wave Babies that song can transport me straight to a Summer's day in the depths of Winter.
#4 | canadiantender on August 12 2012 05:59:22
Great debut from one of my homeland's finest. I saw them in their club days wondering how long it would take before they were huge. Great songwriting, and a bit less glossy than their followup, the masterpiece "The Big Prize", this is one of the best albums of the melodic Rock genre. Even today, it stands up well and resonates as well as it did in 84.
#5 | gdazegod on August 12 2012 06:12:18
Honeymoon Suite - 1984 Burning In Love
YouTube Video:
#6 | gdazegod on August 12 2012 06:17:09
Honeymoon Suite - 1984 New Girl Now
YouTube Video:
#7 | code4 on January 26 2016 12:27:22
Yikes, they look exactly like The Clash on the back cover with their outfits! I dare say most punks wouldn't like Honeymoon Suite. In fact, probably the exact type of band that many punk and rough and raw rock'n'roll lovers would relish citing as a perfect example of corporate record label pushed stuff. No 'real' rock soul..all those sort of claims coming at you like a ton of bricks. Oh well, turns out Honeymoon Suite are a talented bunch. No political statements or anything too deep in the lyrics which are generally a little adolescent/young man (their target audience no doubt).. girls with a heavy dose of the 'she broke my heart' theme running through a number of the tracks (as if you couldn't guess it from the front cover) but I am coming round to liking this cd.
I only got it recently and not sure why it took so long as the video to 'Burning In Love' (quite a classic as you mentioned) was one of the very first videos I would frequently play back when youtube launched.
'Funny Business' sounds to me uncannily like a 4 Out Of 5 Doctors type of tune so I can definitely hear the new wave rock element mentioned upon even if the band is generally a much different style.
'Wave babies' on the other hand brought to my mind Time Gallery during the verses (possibly the song 'The promise'). I also would have played this one back in those early youtube days so I'm not sure why it didn't stick then (being quite catchy itself).
'It's your heart' has vocals that remind me of Reo Speedwagon.
Anyhow, not much of a review, just another thumbs up I suppose. And now that I feel it's safe to guess my affair with Honeymoon Suite will not end in a quick divorce I have just put 'The Big prize' cd on order! Thanks for recommendations as always
#8 | Explorer on January 26 2016 16:59:04
The Big Prize is one hell of an AOR album, you won't be disappointed.

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