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Purple Heart - 1990 Purple Heart



ARTIST: Purple Heart
ALBUM: Purple Heart
LABEL: Igeli Records
SERIAL: 26590
YEAR: 1990

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Flavio H - vocals * Marcel Infanger - guitars * Lolo Lolowitch - guitars * Mercy Wise - bass * Guido Becker - keyboards * Mike Truttmann - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Now Or Never * 02 How Long * 03 Woman * 04 Come On Home * 05 All I Ever Need * 06 Purple Dawn * 07 Strange Visions * 08 Closer * 09 Flight Through The Night * 10 Here We Go


Background
A thoroughly enjoyable melodic rock platter from Swizterland, courtesy of Purple Heart. And like the band-name suggests, these guys pay a tribute to all things American, and in this case, it is their sound that doffs a hat to the style made popular during the previous decade. In saying that though, Purple Heart resemble countrymen China quite closely, plus other Euro bands like Mystery and Dalton, though without the finesse of those three outfits. Finesse they might not have (that is usually acquired over many years and many albums). But class, is something they do have.


The Songs
You can hear the class on the album opener 'Now Or Never'. A perfectly weighted piece of AOR, even though the album veers more toward a heavier brand of melodic rock.. not AOR. On this one though, the keys are dominant, and the melody and chorus flow beautifully. The heavier slog kicks in on 'How Long', the aforementioned China reference very apparent. Apart from the daft lyrics, 'Woman' slices through the soundscape with hard-rock precision. We take on the first ballad with the superb 'Come On Home', where the harmony vocals on the chorus extend with a long-held breath. Nice track that one. Another audio highlight is the racy sounding 'All I Ever Need is You', perhaps a nod to early Gotthard where the piano and organ work embellishes that comparison. Moving beyond 'Purple Dawn' which is a brief 1min 16s keyboard arrangement, we segue into 'Strange Visions', which at first appearance is a war-story (I guess that's where the band-name kicks in right?). Reverting back to the fantastic AOR we heard at the start of the album is the equally grand 'Closer'.. The keys are a feature here, while Flavio's vocals take on a John Wetton likeness. Actually, this likeness is held mostly through the album, but not overly so. The penultimate track 'Through The Night' is a power-ballad of sorts.. it does tend to ebb and flow, while the closer 'Here We Go' ends things on a upbeat fashion. Big harmonies, keyboards that Robby Valentine would be happy with, and cutting guitar solos that would shred your fingers off if you aren't careful.


In Summary
In recent times, Switzerland has been ably represented by the likes of Gotthard, Shakra, Crystal Ball, Infinite Dreams, Blackburn and the resurgent Krokus. But let us not forget a generation of bands from a decade ago that helped shape melodic rock in that country. Include Purple Heart in that list, even though they released just this one album. Lovers of Euro melodic rock who enjoyed albums like China's 1989 'Sign In The Sky' album, should be looking to seek Purple Heart out at all costs.


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