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Articles Home » 1991 Articles » Saraya - 1991 When The Blackbird Sings
Saraya - 1991 When The Blackbird Sings

ARTIST: Saraya
ALBUM: When The Blackbird Sings
LABEL: Polydor
SERIAL: 849087-2
YEAR: 1991


LINEUP: Sandy Saraya - vocals * Tony Bruno - guitars * Barry Dunaway - bass * Chuck Bonfante - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Queen Of Sheba * 02 Bring Back The Light * 03 Hitchin' A Ride * 04 When You See Me Again * 05 Tear Down The Wall * 06 Seducer * 07 When The Blackbird Sings * 08 Lions Den * 09 In The Shade Of The Sun * 10 White Highway * 11 New World

Starting out as the band Alsace Lorraine, this lot would become one of the more popular hair metal bands from the glory-days era. Based around the pocket powerhouse Sandy Saraya and axe-wizard Tony Bruno, the band would eventually change their name to Saraya, sign to Polydor Records, and release a damn fine debut record in 1989. At the time, Bruno was busy dividing his time between Saraya and fellow New Jersey rockers Danger Danger, who were releasing their much acclaimed debut at the same time. In the end, Bruno would commit his time to Saraya, while DD would recruit Texan wonderkid Andy Timmons to tickle the strings. Despite high praise for the debut and a solid bout of touring including gigs in the UK supporting the likes of FM, the band went through a bit of shakeup in the months following. They changed managers, band members and producers. Out the door went founding member - keyboardist Gregg Munier, saying that the pure guitar based direction would leave him little scope to contribute. He was eventually replaced by another guitarist instead.. John Roggio when the band would eventually tour. Bassist Gary Taylor also left, replaced by Barry Dunaway (Joe Lynn Turner, Yngwie Malmsteen).

The Songs
Producer Peter Collins, who had worked previously with Rush and Queensryche bought his technical skill into the mix, which proved to be challenge for the band as the 'live' rehearsal feel that was evident on the debut when working with Jeff Glixman, was replaced by the cut and paste approach of Collins. In saying that though, many punters were very impressed with the final result, a big sounding guitar rocking album 'When The Blackbird Sings..' proved to be, which was one of the better releases of 1991. A wealth of strong songs which still sound good today. Simply said, there are some incredible songs here. This band were at their prime during this stage of their career. Listening to timeless rockers such as 'Tear Down The Wall', 'Hitchin' A Ride', the very Ratt like 'When You See Me Again' and the bands first single 'Seducer' all bring back wonderful memories. The intensity of the pairing of 'Bring Back The Light' and 'White Highway' cap off what is a fine selection of tunes.

In Summary
Both Saraya albums are quite hard to find now, so if you see them on Ebay, grab them. In the where are they now stakes: Tony Bruno did stints with Danger Danger and Enrique Iglesias, Saraya is busy being a mum, while Munier unfortunately passed away early in 2006. A great band, for which I would love to see something happen with this lot again.

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#1 | englandashes on January 01 1970 01:00:00
Another great ballad by Saraya is on the SHOCKER soundtrack, its a tune called Timeless Love, written by Desmond Child, which is also on a promo of Desmond Child songs.
#2 | jeffrey343 on January 01 1970 01:00:00
I haven't been able to get into this one nearly as much as the first one. It's not bad by any means; I just can't get into the songs as easily. The sound is great - great vocal, great production. I just prefer the greater emphasis on keys on the debut album. I did pick this one up cheap several months ago (under $10), but I paid closer to $30 for the first one.
#3 | bassdrum on October 16 2006 04:48:56
Agree with gdazegod. Two fantastic HARD rock albums. Great Vocal.
#4 | george_the_jack on July 06 2008 18:07:37
One of the best ever female-fronted AOR groups...guns
#5 | Hardlover on February 01 2009 01:49:57
But why, jeffrey343? Simply because it lacks keys? I think this one is better than Back to the Bullet on every level - the songs are a lot more sophisticated, the musicians (especially Bruno) are incredible. I would tell that the first one was much easier to listen to, more commercial and more radio-friendly. But "When the blackbird sings" is simply the real hard rock masterpiece.
#6 | gdazegod on February 01 2009 02:23:50
I much prefer this to the debut. This one is razor sharp - guitar wise!
#7 | jeffrey343 on February 01 2009 05:48:39
I guess it's Hardlover said - the first one is easier to listen to. I haven't given this one as much time to grow on me. There have been several albums like that for me, where they're not that immediate in spite of being very well performed and produced. The Winger 'Pull' album is like that. I'll give this one a couple of spins the next week. I do want to really like it, and it has the potential to be one I end up really liking.
#8 | reyno-roxx on February 01 2009 10:54:25
This album is the better of the two. Darker material, a more original sound, less generic. Loved it the first time I heard it blasting on an advance tape in the old Kerrang! office in Blackfriars.
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