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Headpins - 1985 Head Over Heels

ARTIST: Headpins
ALBUM: Head Over Heels
YEAR: 1985


LINEUP: Darby Mills - vocals * Brian MacLeod - guitar, drums, keyboards * Ab Bryant - bass * Bernie Aubin - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Still The One * 02 Death Of Me * 03 Staying' All Night * 04 Hot Stuff * 05 Chain Gang * 06 Never Come Down * 07 Don't Matter What You Say * 08 Be With You * 09 Afraid Of The Dark * 10 Burnin' At Both Ends


One of my alltime favourite Canadian bands are the Headpins. Well known to readers of this site, the band are centered around the pocket battleship known as Darby Mills. This woman can sing the house down. No comparisons to Ann Wilson or Dalbello please. Step on up Robert Plant, David Coverdale et al. She can outdo them on any good day. Punters will recall the fallout from Chilliwack, with messrs MacLeod and Bryant leaving to hook up with Mills and Aubin. Their 1982 debut 'Turn It Loud' turned more heads than most, while their follow-up 'The Line Of Fire' saw a general release in many countries outside of Canada. Both went gold. With success on the cards, it wasn't enough to keep their label Solid Gold Records above the waterline. By 1984 they had gone bust and left Headpins in the lurch. Soon however, a new label was found: this time MCA. Their debut for MCA appeared in 1985; 'Head Over Heels' would be the one and only album for the label, and the last studio offering.. to date.. though the band are still active (a new album would be nice Darby.. Ed).

The Songs
Immediately their trademark sound is heard on 'Still The One' - a typical melodic ripsnorter which would've sounded great on FM Radio at the time. 'Death Of Me' takes its cue from Coney Hatch's strutting style. Some smooth keys lay the platform for the delicious 'Stayin' All Night', while the next 'Hot Stuff' is a stomping delivery that is a bit rough around the edges. Equally gruff is 'Chain Gang', a blue-collar work-out complete with sax. It might be a bit of a mouthful but 'Never Come Down From The Danger Zone' contains more melody than the previous two tracks. 'Don't Matter What You Say' is similar to the energy and style of the previous albums, while 'Be With You' is very commercial and radio friendly. The closer 'Burnin' At Both Ends' is the equivalent of 'I Know What'ya Thinking' from 'The Line Of Fire'. Again, the same raucous kick-ass energy is on display here, a healthy rabble rouser in a live setting no doubt.

In Summary
The album would go to sell in excess of 100,000 units in Canada, giving the band their third straight gold album. Not bad for an 80's hard rock band in the wrong country, wrong era and possibly wrong genre! Despite the moderate success, MCA dropped the band the following year, despite this setback, Headpins still continued to tour right up until 1987. Despite being relatively quiet during the 90's, and coupled with the passing of Brian MacLeod, Headpins reformed and continue to the tour to this day. Their albums have seen a spate of re-releases, so shouldn't be too hard to track down. If not, ask any Canadian hard rock fan to source a copy for you.

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#1 | jeffrey343 on January 01 1970 01:00:00
Very nice album. I haven't found this one on CD yet, but I've heard almost all the songs from either one of their greatest hits collections or from finding them on the web. It's a more commercial offering than their first two albums.
#2 | sabace on October 28 2007 18:59:16
absolutely love this band! wonderful vocals from Darby
#3 | reyno-roxx on July 21 2008 17:33:22
For some bizarre reason this record has, I'm sure, not yet surfaced on CD officially.
#4 | gdazegod on May 19 2014 02:22:03
It's 2014, and this still hasn't picked up a CD reissue. Come on!
#5 | super80boy on April 23 2017 20:06:31
By this point, their 3rd effort, they had adopted a more commercially oriented sound. The incorporation of big pounding drums (check out 'Be With You') and a thicker production arrangement made for an arena-like projection, similar to what Heart was up to in the mid-80's. However they didn't leave their hard rock roots behind them, both 'Don't Matter What You Say' and 'Hot Stuff' are chargers with extra edge. You can never go wrong with the pipes of Darby Mills at the helm.

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