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Romeo's Daughter - 1988 Romeo's Daughter



ARTIST: Romeo's Daughter
ALBUM: Romeo's Daughter
LABEL: Jive
SERIAL: HIP 69 (vinyl), 1135-2-J (CD)
YEAR: 1988
CD REISSUE: 2008, Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY030

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Leigh Matty - lead vocals, background vocals * Craig Joiner - guitars, background vocals * Anthony Mitman - keyboards, background vocals * Andy Wells - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Heaven In The Back Seat * 02 Don't Break My Heart * 03 I Cry Myself To Sleep At Night * 04 Wild Child * 05 Hymn (Look Through Gold Eyes) * 06 Velvet Tongue * 07 Stay With Me Tonight * 08 Inside Out * 09 I Like What I See * 10 Colour You With A Smile

WEBLINKS: www.romeosdaughter.co.uk


Background
Here's a British outfit based around the sultry vision and voice of Leigh Matty. From the late 80's, Romeo's Daughter fashioned their music out of that late 80's overproduced studio environment, though in their own right, they were a pretty decent live outfit too. The origins of the band go back to about 1985, RD consisting of Joiner on vocals, guitar; Mitman on drums, Ed Poole on bass and Andy Wells on drums. Their manager Olga Lange (previously married to Mutt Lange) thought the band needed a female singer to compliment their sound, and after numerous auditions, Leigh Matty was recruited. RD signed to Jive Records in 1987 (same label as Mamas Boys), and landed Mutt Lange as a producer for six songs, with high profile British artist John Parr doing four. The album was released in 1988, and obvious comparisons include Heart, Def Leppard and more latterly.. Shania Twain, with the connection to Mutt Lange there for all to see. This is the sort of album that typified the late 80's scene. It is one of many good releases from that glory daze era, and stands tall above many of the established acts doing the rounds at the time. Pretty catchy songs all round, with Mutt Lange's attention to detail on six of these; John Parr on the remaining four. I have to say, the first six songs are superb, the Parr produced tracks less so.


The Songs
The Def Leppard isms are apparent on the opening 'Heaven In The Back Seat'. From the similarly produced drumwork, chant choruses, this one swaggers through a trail of perfume and estrogen meeting up with some testosterone muscle at the night time parking lot.

The fabulous AOR of 'Don't Break My Heart' has the back-end rhythm that made fellow Brits FM (UK) such a popular band. Leigh Matty obviously thought so too, being the long time partner of FM bassist Merv Goldsworthy.

Mutt Lange penned the truly excellent 'I Cry Myself To Sleep At Night', a track that would be covered by Chrissy Steele and Bonnie Tyler at some point. This is my favourite version of it though.

RD stride out with the guitar rocker 'Wild Child', another of the albums best tracks. Heart re-recorded this for their 1990 album 'Brigade', and I like both versions immensely. Hard to separate.

'Hymn (Look Through Gold Eyes) ' is simply divine. A atmosphere drenched track, more in common with Clannad or Iona than anything else, delicious nonetheless.

The hi-tech punch of 'Velvet Tongue' is similar to mid 80's era Starship. Think of material from their 'No Protection' or 'Love Among The Cannibals' albums and you'll get the picture. Certainly the latter album had its Leppard inspired moments.

My guess is that John Parr produced the next four songs, because you can tell that the production values are different, and don't carry any of Mutt Lange's trademark attributes.

'Stay With Me Tonight' reminds me of a female fronted version of The Outfield. It's an OK track, but meandered more than most for my liking.

'Inside Out' is an upbeat pop/rock tune that had too many keyboard parts in it, and despite the energy, failed to spark much interest with me.

'I Like What I See' suffers from the same affliction as the previous two. An ok track, but not much more than that.

'Colour You With A Smile' swings on a mainly acoustic approach, with rich keys to compliment. It's probably the best of the Parr produced songs.


In Summary
'Romeos' Daughter' - the album, generated a lot of interest in the UK, and the band even had their sights set on the hard to crack US market, but thought the better of it at the time. Intending to ride the momentum with their second album, the band wanted Mutt Lange to produce it, but there was no room in his schedule, and RD were left to die on the vine.. so to speak. Frustrated, RD signed to new management and to indie specialists Music For Nations. The band would go on to release their equally good second album 'Delectable' for them during 1993, but they weren't able to promote the album as well as Jive did with the 1988 debut, and as such, RD hovered in the background rather than being in the forefront. A pity then that the band disappeared off the circuit for good during the 90's, but their time in the sun was resurrected briefly with a 2008 re-release of this album by re-release heroes Rock Candy Records, with bonus material (4 live tracks), new artwork and a 16 page booklet. Woah! Plus, 'Delectable' received its quality reissue from Rock Candy during 2011.


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Comments
#1 | super80boy on January 01 1970 01:00:00
A trademark Lange production job with at times excessive studio effects needled into the mix. I've always liked this debut
#2 | Nick C on December 31 2008 03:55:18
A top band who deserved a lot more than they eventually got. I saw them live and they were excellent! I prefer this to Delectable but that may be more down to familiarity than any short comings of the second release.
#3 | Jez on December 31 2008 14:56:12
re-acquainted myself with this one recently and I forgot how good this was - 'Heaven in a Back Seat' is a class track as is the beautiful 'Hymn (look through golden eyes)'. 'Wild child' isn't as good as the Heart version on the 'Brigade' cd but runs it close. All in all a great album with filler to a minimum.
#4 | jeffduran on January 03 2009 01:07:50
Great album although I do prefer Heart's version!
#5 | gdazegod on March 20 2012 12:22:04
Romeos Daughter - 1988 Don't Break My Heart
YouTube Video:

[url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1KDymjSK58]Direct to YouTube[/youtube]
#6 | jeffrey343 on March 17 2014 02:24:23
I got the Rock Candy version three weeks ago, and that marked the first time I'd heard the entire album. I definitely prefer "Delectable", as it is more straight-ahead rock. After reacquainting myself with Def Leppard's "Hysteria", I can see how Lange tried a lot of the same tricks here. This can be a little too high-tech for my tastes. It does help my enjoyment of the album that I've had the Chrissy Steele album for several years and thus am familiar with "I Cry Myself To Sleep At Night". I had seen RD's video of it - it's a tossup to me as to which is better, as they're both great. I'm also very familiar with "Wild Child" since I got that Heart "Brigade" album when it came out. Not at all a bad album, but I think they went in a better direction with the followup.
 
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