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Articles Home » 1987 Articles » Imperials, The - 1987 This Years Model
 
Imperials, The - 1987 This Years Model



ARTIST: Imperials, The
ALBUM: This Years Model
LABEL: Myrrh/Word
SERIAL: 701-683561-8
YEAR: 1987

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Armond Morales - vocals * David Will - vocals * Ron Hemby - vocals * Jimmy Lee Sloas - vocals

Various musicians..

TRACK LISTING: 01 Holding On (First Love) * 02 Fallin' * 03 Warriors * 04 How Do I Get You * 05 Wings Of Love * 06 Power Of God * 07 Outlander * 08 Get Ready * 09 Devoted To You

WEBLINKS: www.theimperials.com


Background
A band that takes its origins back to 1964 - believe it or not. Anyone with a trainspotting ability to pick the bones out of the CCM industry will have heard of The Imperials. Like a long winding road, this band have taken many journeys, and have had a vast assortment of musicians join the fold over a career history which is now 45 years long! I won't dwelve too much into their past, you can read about it elsewhere if you so choose. By 1986, the band had lost two of their four singers. Paul Smith and Jim Murray had departed, and were replaced by Ron Hemby and Jimmy Lee Sloas, the latter coming off a stint with Robert White Johnson and the AOR band RPM. Joining up with producer Brown Bannister, The Imperials threw off their gospel garb, replaced it with jeans, leather jackets and hair gel, and joined the hi-tech rock/pop world of the late 80's CCM movement. Similar acts like Allies, Al Denson, Idle Cure, De Garmo And Key, Rick Cua and Myron LeFevre proved to be a good comparison for this bunch of melodic rock wannabees. Was this a good move? Most of us would say yes, the media were impressed, and a new flock of fans would tag along.A band that takes its origins back to 1964 - believe it or not. Anyone with a trainspotting ability to pick the bones out of the CCM industry will have heard of The Imperials. Like a long winding road, this band have taken many journeys, and have had a vast assortment of musicians join the fold over a career history which is now 45 years long! I won't dwelve too much into their past, you can read about it elsewhere if you so choose. By 1986, the band had lost two of their four singers. Paul Smith and Jim Murray had departed, and were replaced by Ron Hemby and Jimmy Lee Sloas, the latter coming off a stint with Robert White Johnson and the AOR band RPM. Joining up with producer Brown Bannister, The Imperials threw off their gospel garb, replaced it with jeans, leather jackets and hair gel, and joined the hi-tech rock/pop world of the late 80's CCM movement. Similar acts like Allies, Al Denson, Idle Cure, De Garmo And Key, Rick Cua and Myron LeFevre proved to be a good comparison for this bunch of melodic rock wannabees. Was this a good move? Most of us would say yes, the media were impressed, and a new flock of fans would tag along.


The Songs
Opener 'Holding On (First Love)' has all the hallmarks of that classic debut Chris Eaton album 'Vision' released the year before. Hi-tech, vocally similar, with the glossy production to match. Second up, 'Fallin' literally falls into the same camp as hi-tech funky AORsters Rhythm House, a CCM band heavily influenced by Whiteheart. The saxophone gets a good workout on 'Warriors', a track which is punctuated with synth parps and guitar bursts, the singer sounding like a cross between Bob Carlisle and Chris Smith from Canadian outift Regatta. 'How Do I Get You' is a pretty impressive slice of AOR, kinda intense, hovering in that zone frequented by many AOR acts during the 1985-1988 era. 'Wings Of Love' is a doppleganger of Allies at their very best, from production ideals to arrangements. Beaut song! 'Power Of God' became a fan favourite, and saw action in the CCM market. The vocal harmonies are gorgeous! 'Outlander' is the longest track on the album, as well drawing the blinds for a darker spot of shade. 'Get Ready' returns the focus to the band's four-part vocal prowess, at least simulating their work prior to and after this album. The finale is a praise-worthy ballad entitled 'Devoted To You', again, Bob Carlisle's solo work would be a good comparison.


In Summary
The band continued in this same vein for 1988's 'Feel The Fire', which featured Dann Huff on guitar amidst a Bill Schnee (Pablo Cruise) production job. Ringleader Armond Morales felt the band was getting off track with this latest incarnation, and though The Imperials won a whole bunch of new fans with their rockier sound/image, they lost a heap more due to their departure from their longtime gospel roots. In fact, Morales described the following couple of albums as a loss of identity, and it wasn't until the early 90's that they reverted back to a simpler vocal oriented style true to their gospel origins. Still in existence, The Imperials may be alive in name only, but with a turnstile approach to membership through the years, AOR and rock fans may want to focus on their 1986-1990 period exclusively, rather than the rest of the lengthy (and non rock oriented) discography.


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Comments
#1 | gdazegod on December 30 2008 10:16:43
There are a few Imperials downloads out there in blogspot land. Keep to the late 80's releases - would be my suggestion!
#2 | jeffduran on December 30 2008 10:37:39
Thanks George for this! One of faves of this genre!
#3 | Eric on December 30 2008 12:08:27
Agree, the later Imperials albums are the best although I did see the group live in the early 80's and they were pretty good, in particular Russ Taff.
#4 | dangerzone on January 08 2012 08:54:19
Their early 80's albums are West Coast classics, especially 82's 'Stand By the Power.' Doesn't get any better than that and it's even melodically superior than this album. To be expected with most of Toto on hand of course!
#5 | dangerzone on January 09 2012 14:44:06
YouTube Video:
#6 | kim_hp on August 17 2012 21:06:11
In total agreement with dangerzone! This is a good album, but I would definitely like to see a review of 'Stand By The Power' on these pages too. With a style almost identical to White Heart's debut and songwriting credits by the likes of Franke Previte, Kerry Livgren and others it's IMO a better album and somewhat of an underground CCM Westcoast/AOR classic.
 
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