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House Of Lords - 1988 House Of Lords




ARTIST: House Of Lords
ALBUM: House Of Lords
LABEL: Simmons (RCA/BMG)
SERIAL: 8530-2-R
YEAR: 1988
CD REISSUE: 2000, Axekiller (France), 3060772 (bonus tracks, remastered)

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: James Christian - vocals * Lanny Cordola - guitars * Chuck Wright - bass * Ken Mary - drums * Gregg Giuffria - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Pleasure Palace * 02 I Wanna Be Loved * 03 Edge Of Your Life * 04 Lookin' For Strange * 05 Love Don't Lie * 06 Slip Of The Tongue * 07 Hearts Of The World * 08 Under Blue Skies * 09 Call My Name * 10 Jealous Heart

WEBLINKS: www.jameschristianmusic.com


Background
With all the recent Giuffria discussion here at Glory Daze, perhaps it's appropriate to revisit an album some regard highly, but one I never found as addictive as Giuffria, 'House of Lords' merely a clone to my ears. Seeing as I haven't listened to 'House Of Lords' in several years there is the slight chance of finding something new. Following his previous bands implosion Gregg Giuffria was silent for a brief period until he struck a deal with Gene Simmons to join his newly formed label Simmons Records. Simmons once said Gregg Giuffria wanted to retain the Giuffria tag, but Simmons insisted on something new, fearing the band would be chart failures based on earlier albums. Giuffria was joined by Cordola and Wright again, the latter pair having played on 'Silk And Steel'. Seasoned pro Mary took up the drum seat while Christian took the place of David Glen Eisley (who reportedly was removed at Simmon's request), although based on Christian's deep vocal style it might as well have been Eisley anyway.


The Songs
Listening to 'Pleasure Palace' I have to fool myself into thinking it isn't 'Do Me Right' again, with the similar keyboard intro and opening vocal scream. It instantly suggests a retread of earlier ideas, and while the melody levels are acceptable it's lukewarm AOR at best. 'I Wanna Be Loved' is a hackneyed piece of late 80's hard rock which goes the Whitesnake direction, complete with a David Coverdale imitation from Christian. 'Edge Of Your Life' sadly fails to move me, with some powerhouse Mary drum rolls the saving grace. The lack of new ideas resurfaces again with fast paced rocker 'Looking For Strange', which could be 'Giuffria's 'Turn Me On' all over again. The Stan Bush penned 'Love Don't Lie' was a minor hit, but sounds like second rate Scorpions ballad material in House Of Lords hands, amazingly laboured aside from some nice melody lines preceding the disappointing hook. 'Slip Of The Tongue' raises the speed several notches, mainly to showcase Cordola's dexterity with blazing guitar solos. Things fall into place finally with the drama of 'Hearts Of The World' and 'Under Blue Skies', which follow a well worn AOR path, but sound more convincing than the forced hard rock sound of earlier tracks. 'Jealous Heart' sees Giuffria's keyboards to the forefront, but by and large mostly forgettable, like the majority of the album.


In Summary
I've read often that this rates as an AOR classic at the top of many peoples lists. I don't see it. I was letdown the first time I heard it many years ago and nothing has changed to alter my opinion. If 'Silk And Steel' sounded like standard rock of the era, then this is ten times more guilty. The pomp levels are low and unlike Giuffria's earlier work there's not enough sting in the hooklines to keep coming back for more. He was never likely to top 'Giuffria' and this was a thinly veiled attempt to repeat a worn out formula which he tried on 1990's 'Sahara' and 1992's Demon's Down', both flops. Take me to task if you must, but my ears don't lie, 'House Of Lords' falls well short of every mark.


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Comments

#1 | Vincenzo on November 22 2007 15:08:18
o_O you ears don't lie, yes, but four YOUR personal opinion obviously. Also my ears don't lie but in my opinion this is a real masterpiece. Great songs, great songwriting, 'muscular AOR', great musicians...great all....TOP album.
#2 | Dag on April 15 2008 12:51:20
Hi. Good album, lacks real KILLERS AND NOT AS GOOD AS SILK AND STEEL,but a MUST FOR EACH MELODIC rock collector.

dagclapclap
#3 | reyno-roxx on April 15 2008 13:09:27
I don't think the first Giuffria album could be considered a chart failure, but I'd agree that Simmons had a certain idea in mind when he signed a re-jigged Giuffria. I seem to recall David Glen Eisley got the boot as a result.
The first Giuffria record was the best selling album of Gregg's career and gave the band a lot of media coverage, thanks in no small part to the success of the 'Call To The Heart' single and a high profile stint opening for Deep Purple. The second album was a bit of a shocker though. Still don't rate it that much.
#4 | rostoned on April 15 2008 19:15:56
Really funny: in a radio interview (I believe with Eddie Trunk) Gene Simmons stated on air that the first thing he imposed on the band after signing them to his label was the change of their name, to him 'Giuffria' sounded too much like an 'some italian fruit vendor: hey....Giuffria...come heeere....' (said in a typical Brooklyn style/Broccolino accent). And, me being italian, I agree with him for once! clap Also how many times I've seen the american or english people misspelling his name as GUIFFRIA???? hilarious
#5 | jefflynnefan on April 16 2008 01:01:47
I not sure but I think Gene Simmons still owns the name HOL according to James Christian. That's probably why Greg didn't want to return to the band. Why put more money into Gene's pocket. I think Gypsy Rose (Prey) got full control of their name.
#6 | george_the_jack on June 22 2008 16:00:02
Really can't see what you're missing here.This is sheer class all the way IMO.I sit on the other side of the fence also and the Giuffria records don't do that much for me.I guess one man's trash is another's treasure.

Quality melodic rock, groovy rythm lines, memorable hooks, skilled musicianship is what you get here. When Whitesnake started showing inoperable fatigue, HOL raised the flag again! What else can I say? This one has to be in my all time favourite list, as I hold many unconscious memories of my early childhood linked with some of the featured anthems in that record....10/10!
#7 | rostoned on June 23 2008 22:30:27
At the link below you can listen to the original 1987 4 track demo of 'I Wanna Be Loved' as performed by the writers Steve Johnstad (ex Mayday) and Mandy Meyer (ex Cobra and Asia). Very Boston-y intro! Well now I understand where James Christian literally copied his singin style from..*blushing*

Read also Steve's bitter comments:

'...I originally declined to join the band due to many disagreements with Gene and Greg, but instead agreed to provide material for the record instead.
....
Another interesting side note is that, in order to place this song on the HOUSE OF LORDS record, Mandy and I had to surrender 100% of our publishing in exchange for a small amount of cash.
Corporate rock was indeed alive and well with that crew thanks primarily to the selfish natures of Gene S. and Greg G.! But as they say, that's another story!
Maybe in their next lives they'll both sell-fish for a living! Lol.'


*blushing* *blushing*

YouTube Video:
#8 | gdazegod on June 23 2008 22:40:16
Judging by those recent show-off pix of Giuffria and his lotus and lamborghini cars, you can see that he is loaded with $$. Perhaps he learned a thing or two from Gene $immon$ shop
#9 | rostoned on June 29 2008 11:11:58
Links to three EYES clip/songs from 1984 (feat. James Christian pre HOL) in the forum section! Great stuff, highly melodic. Some vocals and stuff reminds me of JOURNEY yummy
#10 | jasonthebuc on June 29 2008 18:17:06
James Christian now is the sole owner of the HoL name.He and Gregg were eventually able to work out an agreement with Gene.That was one of the,actually the main reason HoL was out of commission for so long.
#11 | reyno-roxx on July 01 2008 10:56:36
I doubt very much whether it was Gene that Greg learned how to make money from...
As an aside, Gene is actually very clever. You never hear of any of his business ventures involving much of his own money. He's always in on things with business associates/investors.
#12 | george_the_jack on December 20 2011 05:19:45
YouTube Video:
#13 | super80boy on July 30 2017 19:35:06
The melodic hard rock genre was quite saturated by the late 80's, so this platter was swimming with tons of similar colleagues and sounds. There's a couple heavy handed songs that change things up, namely the aggressive 'Lookin For Strange', but mostly what you get is straight-ahead big production formulaic rock melodies. For what it is, it gets the job done to a satisfaction level that keeps it in the collection.

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