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Articles Home » 1979 Articles » Alien (USA 70's) - 1979 Sons Of The Universe
Alien (USA 70's) - 1979 Sons Of The Universe

ARTIST: Alien (USA 70's)
ALBUM: Sons Of The Universe
LABEL: Elektra
SERIAL: 6E-221
YEAR: 1979


LINEUP: Michael - vocals, keyboards * Cristen - vocals, percussion * Vance - vocals, guitar

Additional Musicians: Sauger - keyboards, synthesizer * Bobbit - bass * Bazaro - drums * Jaeton, Eliran - guitar * Suzanne Ciani - keyboards, effects * Rich Ulfik - effects

TRACK LISTING: 01 Sons Of The Universe * 02 Project Tomorrow * 03 Break Through * 04 Fly * 05 Love Touch * 06 Midnight Wish * 07 Angel Of Light * 08 The Other Side Of The Sun * 09 Alien Eyes * 10 Zarion

A clever space case we have here and a band using only their first names in the credits. I suppose Alien whoever they were in the real world figured if the album crashed and burned (which it did) there would be no one to blame other than producer Ron Dante; the bubblegum man responsible for The Archies 'Sugar, Sugar' and Barry Manilow's classic early MOR work. Fortunately, the production is state of the art for early 1979 so Dante's all good, which only leaves Elektra who promoted 'Sons Of The Universe' at a bare minimum. Why, we'll never know. An excellent AOR/pop/disco crossover released at a time when such things in the post 'Saturday Night Fever' world were commonplace and everyone was trying to cash-in on a craze that while few knew at the time, was in its death-throes.

The Songs
Maybe as a concept album its optics were a little too prog rock and a tough sell. The inner-sleeve's brief tale of people from the lost continent of Atlantis who left Earth in a spaceship, finding the planet Zarion and procreating with the women of the planet whose offspring Michael, Cristen and Vance eventually returned to their ancestor's world as the band Alien might have been a bit much for programmers. Still, this record is sure to please fans of Desmond Child & Rouge, RCR, the 'Xanadu' soundtrack and disco inflected pop that didn't forget to rock. Despite the sweeping keyboards and at times metronomic beat, electric guitar is prominent throughout the album with good male vocals and either an un-credited female background singer was present or one of these cats put out an ungodly kick in the crotch falsetto. Notably, new age music goddess Suzanne Ciani who wasn't afraid to attach her name to the project and whose albums I suggest you avoid contributes extensively to the record, but none of 'Sons Of The Universe' composed entirely by the band by the way, moves very slowly. In fact, there is a nice flow to the sequencing and some of this stuff wouldn't go amiss on a Planet P album. Setting controls for heart of the mirror ball, the title track takes off just shy of warp speed while 'Project Tomorrow' and 'Break Through' are a definite lift of ideas from the first Desmond Child & Rouge album and although nothing on the album is rocket science, the song quality is stellar including the cosmic love song 'Fly' with over-the-top lyrics that would surely make Starcastle blush. Over to side two and the poppy 'The Other Side Of The Sun' leaves me starry-eyed and thinking Air Supply although the last two cuts 'Alien Eyes' and 'Zarion' are quite possibly the album's best songs with the latter very much in the aforementioned Planet P style.

In Summary
I have often wondered how the band might have progressed if they had held together or Elektra picked up an option for a second album. Alien were certainly an interesting blip on the crowded musical radar that was 1979 and while few heard 'Sons Of The Universe' at the time, that's no reason not to pick-up on it now. Recommended.

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#1 | gdazegod on December 31 2010 01:47:05
Isn't Suzanne Ciani a buddy of Stevie Nicks? Or am I thinking of somebody else?
#2 | Eric on December 31 2010 04:24:04
I don't know about that but I made the mistake of buying a couple of her Private Music label releases back in the 80's. Sleep inducing new age.. Z-z-z-z....
#3 | gdazegod on December 31 2010 07:21:49
yeah just checked.. no connection to Stevie Nicks.. I was thinking of Sharon Celani (grouped with Sandi Stewart, Lori Perry etc).
#4 | Harvey Mettle on January 06 2011 16:14:11
I picked this up around 1979/80 - mine's dated 1978 and I've never seen another copy since!
#5 | super80boy on February 13 2014 21:21:42
This took a few spins to resonate. Although there are a few wimpy songs, there are also some interesting AOR moments as well, like the progressive 'Project Tomorrow' and 'Zarion'. 'Love Touch' and 'Midnight Wish' are good as well.
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