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Articles Home » 1985 Articles » VXN - 1985 VXN
VXN - 1985 VXN

LABEL: Osmosis
YEAR: 1985


LINEUP: Sherrie Marginean - vocals * Mario Pariello - guitars * Bill Kinal - bass * Bernie Cossentino - keyboards * Al Di Buono - drums

Guest: Frank Marino - guitar solo ' Just A Game'

TRACK LISTING: 01 Illusion Of The Heart * 02 Putting Love Aside * 03 Not Only In Love * 04 Just A Game * 05 Running Out * 06 Could It Be * 07 Which One Are You * 08 The Magic Is In Your Hands * 09 No More

The mid 80's Toronto scene generated this wonderful female fronted outfit called VXN. Their 1985 debut is a much revered album featuring the mega-tastic vocals of Sherrie Marginean. Sherrie was very young when this was recorded (17 or 18 I understand), the album released on the small Osmosis label, also released a 2-track single accompanying this LP. VXN were a very accomplished band with drummer Al Di Buono also producing this record. If you can think of all the best female singers in the melodic rock/AOR field, then I have no hesitation adding Ms Marginean to the list. VXN had enough clout to entice the Montreal guitar legend Frank Marino to play on the album. He guests on the bombastic overload that is 'Just A Game'. For a comparison, try pitching VXN alongside San Francisco based outfit the Paul Godfrey Band. The female vocals and great keyboard work are a match made in AOR Heaven!

The Songs
'Illusion Of The Heart' commences the album and we can tell at this early stage the vocal power evident from Sherrie. Wow!

'Putting Love Aside' was the band's first choice as a single, it's not a commercial track by any means. In fact on the strength of this song, Marginean could easily have made it as a lead vocalist of a metal band had she pursued this course; however I think it wouldn't have suited her personality as she has since admitted to being very shy. The other notable thing is the lead guitar work of Mario Pariello, who is very influenced by Vinnie Vincent judging by what I heard! Wow.

VXN's first ballad 'Not Only In Love' is a delicious affair. Soaring vocals, keyboards and synths melding into one melodic entity. Very nice.

Changing tack completely, is the amazing 'Just A Game'. A pumping rocker of the first order with everyone operating at the top of their game.. lol! Bernie Cossentino synth solos have to be heard to be believed.. they are off the map! Complimenting his ivory dazzle are both Mario Pariello and Frank Marino on lead guitars. It's like a massive guitar/keyboard jam.

Catching our breath again, 'Running Out' is mid-paced AOR with pumping bass lines and keyboard work reminiscent of Bystander at their best. Sherrie belts out the chorus and so far through the album, one can tell she is an absolute melody-magnet!

'Could It Be' cranks it up as a hard rocker rather than an AOR track, though the chorus brings it back to the center. Pariello's guitar work stands out here, and that Vinnie Vincent comparison I made earlier comes home to roost yet again.

'Which One Are You' has some great poppy synth work similar to the aforementioned Paul Godfrey Band, while Pariello continues to stun with his six-string heroics.

'The Magic Is In Your Hands' returns to that purist form of mid 80's AOR. This actually sounds as if it has a CCM blueprint all over it; a sub-genre of melodic rock that would go ballistic during the 1984-1990 timeframe.

Closing the album is the punch-drunk hard rock of 'No More'. This is pretty heavy actually, and strangely enough was the B-side to the single mentioned earlier in this article. Hard to believe that two of the heaviest tracks on the LP were put forward as the A and B side. WTF?

In Summary
VXN disappeared off the map later in the 80's decade, the band did tour across eastern Canada and parts of the US; I reckon they would've been amazing to see live. There was talk of a second album released in 1987 called 'Stick To Your Guns' but I think this is just a rumour. This is the sort of album that could be a prime contender for a digital reissue by the likes of Rock Candy, but if, as I believe that the master tapes no longer exist, then that could well be impossible. After being out of the scene for some years, Marginean has built a career as a singing coach, while 2012 saw activity on her website ( that talks of a new album on her part: 'On Any Given Day'. I have yet to see this being available anywhere, so we will have to wait and see what eventuates on that front. In the meantime, track this down on Ebay or on a blog somewhere, and get a load of that 'voice'..

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#1 | gdazegod on December 30 2012 07:43:43
Here's our previous discussion thread on VXN (members only)..

#2 | gdazegod on December 30 2012 08:31:48
YouTube Video:
#3 | swazi on December 30 2012 16:46:53
Thanks for reminding me to finally listen to this stunning little disc. My CDR has been sitting on the shelf for ages. Yes, she's got some impressive pipes and after googling her I can report she's quite good looking. too(still ..). Definitely one to be re-issued by Rock Candy!
#4 | GSpar77491 on January 01 2013 00:41:42
Does anyone know of a download link for this little gem? I can't find it on Musicstack or Gemm let alone ebay. Drat.....

#5 | gdazegod on January 01 2013 00:54:13
I'll put it up on our DL Links forum page today Greg.
#6 | jeffrey343 on January 10 2013 00:56:45
Wow, this is good stuff! I figured I'd check out the link to see if there is anything good here - maybe I'll find a couple of good songs to throw into my shuffle playlist. Turns out the whole album is quite good. I have listened to Toronto and Headpins, and this is more consistent (to me, anyway) than any of their albums. Marginean has some pipes on her, and the band is tight and solid. She sounds a lot like Pat Benatar. Yeah, I'll be playing this a lot.
#7 | windsofmarch on July 23 2013 08:53:37
Sherrie reminds me to Patricia Tapia of Nexx. Or viceversa...
#8 | super80boy on November 26 2016 15:26:14
VXN is an absolute killer private press female fronted rock album. My vinyl copy came with press materials that further fleshes out the background of the band. Sherrie Marginean had been singing since the age of five and cited Diana Ross and Streisand as influences. The original band name was VIXEN, but once they figured out that was already taken, they took out the 'I' and 'E'. At the time, the new Montreal based independent label Osmosis tapped ballad 'Not Only In Love' as a single due to it having crossover potential for most radio formats. The first two songs written for the album were 'Just A Game' and 'Which One Are You', they were shopped around to garner more distribution agreements for the upcoming album. Sherrie's penetrating vocals are outstanding. Highly rated and sought after in AOR collector circles - and for good reason!
#9 | swingkingandy on January 27 2017 12:21:42
Classic album...for me one of the top 5 female fronted bands of all time. Great songs, fantastic voice and an album I was quite close to re-issuing with aor-fm. But via third party negotiations it seemed that Sherrie still had aspirations for the bands music and the hope of a number 1 single. Something that my wee label couldn't help her with, which was understandable. Ah well...what could have been a jewel in my slightly lopsided crown ;-)
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