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Articles Home » 1980 Articles » Harlequin (Canada) - 1980 Love Crimes
Harlequin (Canada) - 1980 Love Crimes

ARTIST: Harlequin (Canada)
ALBUM: Love Crimes
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: 1999, SME (Japan), SRCS 9462 * 2011, Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY109
SPONSOR: Rock Candy Records


LINEUP: George Belanger - vocals * Glen Willows - guitars * Gary Golden - keyboards * Ralph James - bass * David Budzak - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Innocence * 02 Love On The Rocks * 03 Thinking Of You * 04 It's All Over Now * 05 Heaven (Dial 999) * 06 Sayin' Goodbye To The Boys * 07 Wait For The Night * 08 Crime Of Passion * 09 Can't Hold Back * 10 Midnight Magic


Bit of a lightweight album from our Canadian friends Harlequin, with just enough rough edges and musical colour to make this an interesting proposition nonetheless for melodic rock fans. 'Love Crimes' is the band's second effort, following on from their debut 'Victim Of A Song' the year before. By and large, their sound is straight ahead melodic rock, but the guitar and keyboard mix for a relatively unknown outfit is exemplary. Given a helping hand by producer Jack Douglas, normally associated with harder rocking outfits (a la Aerosmith), the band are able to deliver on their promise. George Belanger's vocal comparison to Steve Tyler is also fairly obvious in some places, but Harlequin don't swim in that same headspace as Aerosmith did during their classic seventies era, with more emphasis on keeping things melodic rather than the swagger and blues approach.

The Songs
The bands trademark song would have to be the classic AOR of 'Innocence', still as impressive to listen to now as it was back in 1980. Staccato piano dominates on another AOR tinged effort 'It's All Over Now'. The melody goes into overdrive on the wonderfully rich and uptempo 'Wait For The Night'. Check out the simple but effective chorus! 'Love On The Rocks' features some gruff guitar in what is essentially some straight ahead rocking, the same applies to 'Sayin' Goodbye To The Boys' which has definite similarities to early Helix. A couple of the slower paced tracks such a 'Heaven (Dial 999)' and 'Crime Of Passion' have a feel akin to Ian Thomas' material while 'Can't Hold Back' and 'Midnight Magic' keep the excitement level fairly high with some energetic musicianship from guitarist Glen Willows.

In Summary
Some of Harlequin's albums did receive a posthumous CD release including this one I understand, but it was more or less cemented in the reissue market courtesy of Rock Candy Records during October 2011. Their Greatest Hits CD released in 1986 contains four tracks from 'Love Crimes' with the rest scattered across their other three studio albums: the aforementioned 'Victim Of A Song', 'One False Move' from 1982 and the self titled effort from 1984. Very worthwhile band to check out, if not for the sheer excellence of that one track 'Innocence'.

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#1 | super80boy on June 21 2014 15:32:32
Love Crimes is a consistently well played album with good guitars and lots of melody. Both singles, 'Innocence' and 'Thinking Of You' are excellent, but then there are other noteworthy tracks which include the melodic rocker 'Love On The Rocks' and the AOR bliss of 'Wait For The Night'. A couple of songs have interesting sound effects mixed in, the title song and 'It's All Over Now'. The album does end on a highly energetic note. Some reviews out there give this a bad rap, which is unfair and IMHO way of the mark, this is a strong AOR package.
#2 | Carlos Ramirez on September 19 2014 01:42:11
'Innocence' is pure pop gold.
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