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Articles Home » 1986 Articles » Blinding Tears - 1986 Blinding Tears
Blinding Tears - 1986 Blinding Tears

ARTIST: Blinding Tears
ALBUM: Blinding Tears
LABEL: Riva Records
YEAR: 1986


LINEUP: Carl Storie - lead vocals * Mark Cawley - bass guitar, keyboards, backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Heaven Only Knows * 02 Walk On The Wire * 03 From Now On * 04 Dangerous Moves * 05 Hardest Thing * 06 Look To The East * 07 Justice * 08 Blinding Tears * 09 Call Of The Wild * 10 PEH 101

Hindsight can be a wonderful thing (I said hindsight, not 'love', so sit down, Michael), in my years of collecting I have come across many albums, only to have at the time a lack of knowledge and thus taking the decision not to purchase a particular album that would be staring back at me, then only to learn years later (or usually a matter of hours, when I've returned back from London after a record trip) that I have missed out on either a rarity with immense value (an original Decca copy of the folk classic by Hunter Muskett sat in a little record shop in Wellingborough for years, unsold), or an album that would have been a great melodic find, or I was unaware of a previously unknown connection to another group that would have pricked my enjoyment. This reality check is usually brought by Glorydazemusic itself. In a bizarre way this album is evident of such a position I currently find myself in. You see many years ago I used to visit quite regularly a shop in the outer parts of Northampton, called Pied Piper Records, which upstairs used to stock a range of vinyl albums that rarely changed from visit to visit. I remember one album that I constantly passed over and yes probably took the odd glance, being 'Face To Face' from the Faith Band, you can find an article in GD's 1979 reviews. Of course, the shop has since closed and the album has probably found its way into a lock up garage (somewhere near Heathrow, obviously) never to be seen again. OK so why the long introduction and some might say, boring monologue! well what that article doesn't mention, is that two of the guys Carl Storie and Mark Cawley went onto release this album under the name, Blinding Tears.

Actually I have had a cassette copy of this album for a good number of years, and due to being a cassette (why is it that only The Police still use this recording format?) never got played much, although I seem to remember this album may have come up on the discussion boards at some point. Anyway, I managed to pick up a CD version of this album recently, although it smells of possible bootleg, the signs being a poor standard of insert and the track listing on the back, detailing side 1 and side 2, but remember it was only on a small label and those things used to be the norm in the early days of cd releases, also it is a silver disc, but who cares because it give me a chance to properly appreciate it. Before my research, I had incorrectly assumed these guys were British, and had already written about comparing the AOR DNA of British bands against the US, Canada and Sweden etc., Recorded at Marquee Studios in London, I actually had gone one better and stated these guys were Scottish, who could blame me, when the music publisher was 'Tartan Music'. Riva Records, was it possible that this label was actually a subsidiary of Lada Cars? So more twists and turns than a good detective TV show, so does this also provide a false AOR impression?, I'll will finally begin to provide the evidence and present a conclusion ready for the jury to consider.

The Songs
'Heaven Only Knows' chirps away quite sweetly, with its glimmer of Rod Stewart contained in the vocal phrasing, not after a wild night on the tiles, just that vibe, not coarse, it just lends itself to that character.

The initial keyboard sounds is more of a game of ping pong, rather than Olympic ultrafast Table Tennis. This is no Geoffrey Downes, but really it doesn't degrade the delivery too much, or have any long lasting effect. With 'Walk On The Wire' it develops a more soulful complexion, like that of Paul Carrack on his album 'One Good Reason' (another record that needs closer inspection in the future) issued in the same year, plus a touch of Steve Overland. I found this tune not as exciting as the opener, in fact while that tune really got the album off to a fresh and spirited sprint, 'Walk On The Wire' had the guys already hitting the wall. Caught in a fog of fatigue so early?

Much more fun is 'From Now On', this has the jumpiness of Southern Sons and the novelty factor of Eye Eye, it is in fact beautifully written. I am also getting stressed out when to mention the likes of Rio and Bridge Too Far, but they seem to appear over the course of the album.

The poppy keyboard tricks continue on 'Dangerous Moves', although not that dangerous but more of an easy descent. Female vocals and brass are brought into the chorus, usually my recipe for disaster, but can be credited as an assist in this move. While the tune is easily paced and would find itself nestled quite comfortably in the Radio 2 playlist, the resulting single sales would still be devilishly poor.

It's quite strange to understand, that while 'Dangerous Moves', is a touch lacklustre that the next tune, 'Hardest Thing' doesn't follow that same route, cos on the face of it, the construction of both is quite similar. Luckily that's not the case, as the boys managed to again pull out all the stops. This is more westcoast, more singers and it just flows so well, very lightweight but the execution is spot on and a pleasing experience is enjoyed. Even the likes of Bobby Caldwell and Paul Davis would have trouble reaching this in terms of quality, this is a great song choice, it sounds so easy when the boys get it right.

This point can be extended with the likes of 'In My World'; FM would give their back teeth to pull off a composition like this. Warming, soulful, lovely pompy chorus, brilliant, maybe the way Canadians, The Arrows would have taken if they had carried on as a going concern.

You can pull down The Arrows again with the saxophone ingredient with 'Justice' more of a Midwest drift, but it just fails to get the emphasis quite right, a distinct lack of beefed up guitaring I'm afraid.

The title track comes across as a Paul Young crooner not the excellent Sad Cafe vocalist, but the ex-Vauxhall Car employee from Luton and is about as exciting as a Vauxhall Chevette. While 'Call Of The Wild' sees them using up the remaining quota of strange keyboard effects.

It could be argued that the album is trailing off, but amazingly my favourite track is left right at the end. The oddly titled 'PEH 101', which is blessed with a delicate storyline, embedded with orchestration, tension simmering underneath the surface. Its true professionalism, quality reverberates from every sinew of the song. It's lengthy, but that just gives the song time to ripen. It bleeds John Miles, ELO, and Mike And The Mechanics, a milestone for sure. I feel it would resonate with all those who have ventured that extra mile to secure themselves a copy of this album.

In Summary
Just for you anoraks, Riva Records, was formed in 1975 by Rod Stewart's manager Billy Gaff, hence the Tartan Music? It went on to release a small quantity of singles and albums, mainly by Rod and John Cougar Mellencamp, while Blinding Tears was the last to be issued, and 'Heaven Only Knows' was even released as a single. On reflection an album that takes too many breaks to make it a classic, although definitely more than a handful of tracks helps reduce the handicap to provide other musicians in this field a real challenge. The skeleton that runs through the album and holding it together showed the quality that existed, it is a shame that this didn't seem to continue, or did it? Well, Carl Storie released a solo album in 1999; I would be interested if anyone has heard this, while the Faith Band has continued to play for the last couple of years.

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#1 | gdazegod on November 07 2012 20:55:40
This was from 1986. Story has it that Mark Cawley moved from L.A to London on the back of this project, hence the Riva connection. It was much hyped at the time, but ultimately ended up going nowhere.
#2 | Ralfster on January 22 2015 20:33:17
Great CD! Reminds of JOHN MILES BAND in places. Man, I wish those FAITH BANDS albums would be picked up and released on CD by a label like Rock Candy!
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