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Articles Home » 1985 Articles » Sabu - 1985 Heartbreak
Sabu - 1985 Heartbreak

ALBUM: Heartbreak
LABEL: Heavy Metal America
YEAR: 1985
CD REISSUE: 1995, Long Island Records, LIRC 00109 * 2006, MTM Music, 0681-156


LINEUP: Paul Sabu - vocals, guitars * Dan Ellis - keyboards, vocals * Rick Bozzo - bass, vocals * Charles J Esposito - drums, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Angeline * 02 Call Of The Wild * 03 Shake Rattle Roll * 04 Just For The Moment * 05 Hot Flash * 06 Heartbreak * 07 Tuff Stuff * 08 Still Alive * 09 Breakin' Out * 10 New Girl In Town * 11 Countdown To Love * 12 Maybe A Lifetime * 13 Dogs In The Night



A big favourite among the readers here is L.A melodic rock god Paul Sabu. Having progressed beyond his disco tendencies in the late 70's, Paul produced a smattering of records that gave all AOR and melodic rock fans something to cheer about. After 1980's terrific self titled affair, and 1984's Kidd Glove release, Paul went back to basics. Not content with some of the production jobs performed on his records, Paul undertook the job himself for 1985's 'Heartbreak', and a damn fine effort it is too. Signed to the small Heavy Metal USA label, this album probably skipped many people by, but looking back on it now, and hearing it again in its full glory, it certainly looks and sounds like the quintessential AOR album.

The Songs
The melding of Sabu's melodic but powerful guitar lines and Dan Ellis' synth layers is a combination worthy of mention. The two of them weave magic all the way through, but notwithstanding, the back-end of Bozzo and Esposito keep the Sabu engine ticking away. 'Angeline' commences in true anthemic fashion. Picture it now, some gorgeous looking chick undulating her hips all over MTV writhing in sync to this song. Haha! Track two 'Call Of The Wild' is immense AOR, probably the pick of the album. Dense reverb-laden guitar combined with spiky keyboard runs, and of course, a killer chorus, something Sabu is famous for.

Video stills taken from the 'Heartbreak' video clip 1985

Those familiar Sabu riffs appear on 'Shake Rattle Roll', a fast-paced track that appears to be on a relentless mission. Not so 'Just For The Moment', which eases back slightly allowing Sabu's vocals to shine. Both 'Hot Flash' and the title track 'Heartbreak' are similarly paced and structured, but it's not until 'Still Alive' that the we return to thick guitar layers and big keyboards. 'Breakin' Out' is the closest thing to a ballad on the album, but it's still quite a hard rockin' affair nonetheless. 'Tuff Stuff is typically anthemic, while 'New Girl In Town' features a riff heard a few years later on the track 'Scream Until You Like It', performed by W.A.S.P and Sabu's own Only Child.

In Summary
By this stage in his career, Los Angeles was in a musical blur, as many hair-metal outfits strutted their stuff. Sabu though was heavily involved with his own projects, plus his production talents were in demand elsewhere. He had a direct hand with some of L.A's best acts (Silent Rage and Alexa being two of these) and has credits on many projects, enough to make him a very wealthy individual one would suggest. Many years later in Feb 2006, 'Heartbreak' was reissued by German label on their MTM-Classix series, with three bonus tracks. A prime contender I reckon. Well done to all involved.

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#1 | jeffrey343 on January 01 1970 01:00:00
I got this one off iTunes back in September 2006. I just happened to check whether the great Kidd Glove album was available under the artist Paul Sabu rather than Kidd Glove, and imagine my joy when it was! I bought everything he had on iTunes, as I had seen this review and the Only Child review. This, as well as the first Only Child, are great albums. Definitely more straight ahead than the Kidd Glove album (which I had loved for many years). Alas, I don't care much for most of the stuff after the first Only Child. The three bonus tracks on the iTunes version are better, IMHO, than the ones listed here. They are 'Countdown To Love', 'Maybe A Lifetime', and 'Dogs In The Night'. Like sabace said, 'Maybe A Lifetime' is as good as anything he's done. I bought the actual CD to get the three bonus tracks listed here, but they're not quite as good to me (like maybe they didn't make the cut for the Kidd Glove album). This version of 'Street Angel' is a much tougher version than the one found on the Kidd Glove album.
#2 | sabace on March 15 2006 13:56:04
I agree totally with review this is one of the all time greats fortunately enough I managed to get a copy of german long island ltd with 3 bonus tracks and one of those 'maybe a lifetime' is one of sabu's all time best!
#3 | DEMONAOR on July 21 2008 10:37:08
Great album
#4 | sabace on March 29 2009 15:04:41
the bonus tracks on this reissue are from the soundtrack
to the HARD ROCK ZOMBIES film!
#5 | sabace on January 13 2013 13:26:10
the new digitally remastered version ( by paul sabu) is
the business - a new lease of life!
#6 | jeffrey343 on November 19 2013 05:25:56
I have always thought Sabu sounds quite a bit like Sammy Hagar on this album. I'll have to investigate the later versions of this and the first Only Child album. My CD of this album sounds quite good, but I'd be curious about a remastered version. I do need to get a version of the Only Child album that sounds better than what I bought off iTunes seven years ago.
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