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Articles Home » 1988 Articles » Honeymoon Suite - 1988 Racing After Midnight
Honeymoon Suite - 1988 Racing After Midnight

ARTIST: Honeymoon Suite
ALBUM: Racing After Midnight
SERIAL: 25652-1 (LP), 25652-2 (CD)
YEAR: 1988
CD REISSUE: 2013, Rock Candy Records, CANDY215


LINEUP: Johnny Dee - vocals * Derry Grehan - guitars * Rob Preuss - keyboards * Gary Lalonde - bass * Dave Betts - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Lookin' Out For Number One * 02 Long Way Back * 03 Cold Look * 04 Love Fever * 05 Other Side Of Midnight * 06 Love Changes Everything * 07 It's Over Now * 08 Fast Company * 09 Tears On The Face * 10 Lethal Weapon

WEBLINKS: www.honeymoonsuite.com

Who could forget the magnificence of 1985's 'The Big Prize'. Still revered by many in the AOR scene as a classic of that year. And it was with that in mind that many were looking to Honeymoon Suite to deliver the knock-out punch for their third album, but unfortunately they didn't. Certainly the opportunity was there for the band to do so, but the lack of killer material set the band back considerably. 'Racing After Midnight' isn't a bad album after all, but it lacked the dynamics, density, and sense of urgency that prevailed on the previous two albums. Rob Preuss is a great keyboardist but the departure of Ray Coburn changed the workflow appreciably, and as a result, 'Racing After Midnight' compares lukewarm with the two albums prior to this, and the one following 'Monsters Under The Bed' which is the bands second best album they've ever done in my opinion.

The Songs
To be honest, I've played this album back to front, and not one song really locked onto my consciousness in any way. Sure, the opener 'Lookin' Out For Number One' tried hard to impress with its bold and brash output, but I wasn't buying. Dave Betts' drum-work throughout sounds incredibly under-powered and thin, no more evident than on the second track 'Long Way Back'. HMS is a band that thrives on a thunderous back end, but it's nowhere to be found on this album. The inclusion of the I-Ten staple 'Cold Look' is an inspired choice, but in reality they should've opted for something with a bit more sting. The two-step drum-work on 'Other Side Of Midnight' is used to drive some urgency into precedings and it works to a point, as it a hard driving anthem with limited appeal. The next few tracks didn't do a lot for me; 'Tears On The Face' was reasonably good, reminding me of material from the first album, while the song 'Lethal Weapon' from the movie of the same name was a token inclusion and is pretty weak it must be said.

In Summary
Perhaps the weakest of the WEA Canada releases; it was a chance that surely went begging as opportunities go. With the writing on the wall, Betts, Preuss and Lalonde all departed within a year, leaving Dee and Grehan to pick up the pieces. That they did for the magnificent 'Monsters Under The Bed' CD, bringing back keyboardist Ray Coburn and adding top Canadian session men Steve Webster and Jorn Anderson on bass and drums respectively. It's a pity the musical climate wasn't in tune to HMS's new found heavy approach.

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#1 | Eric on January 04 2013 17:06:07
Agree, after the fantastic 'The Big Prize' a major letdown. I do remember hearing 'Lookin' out for Number One' on the radio a few times but this one tanked quick.
#2 | kim_hp on January 04 2013 17:32:55
Couldn't disagree more. Killer album and IMO even better than "The Big Prize", but I know I'm in a minority with that opinion.
#3 | GSpar77491 on January 05 2013 03:15:01
Whew, upon first listening to this album when it came out, I thought it a huge let down to the previous outing...That being said, this album has my favorite HMS song on it in "Love Changes Everything". Great song indeed, but I only wish the rest of the album could live up to that high standard.
#4 | retroaddict on January 05 2013 05:00:10
I used to play this album to death back in the spring of '88 after seeing 'Love Changes Everything' on late night MTV. I always felt the reason that this first single died a quick death was because they were in competition with a song of the same name by a post Naked Eyes dance pop outfit called Climie Fisher. Let's face it, dance pop was the 'in' thing during '88. A lot of melodic/hard rock acts that had established themselves during the early to mid 80's suddenly found themselves heading quickly toward the clearance bins during '88(Night Ranger's MIM and Survivor's THTS being other prime examples). In '88, your rock band had to have the suggestive lyrics of a Def Leppard or an in-your-face brutal honesty of a G n' R in order to make any chart headway. '89 was a banner year for AOR, so it would have been interesting to see how this album would have done if it had been pushed back a year. 'Love Fever' was also a personal fave.
#5 | Nick C on January 05 2013 21:06:05
I really like this album....probably because (uh-oh another boring story looming) I had just got the CD and it was the only CD I threw in the hire car as I took a trip to Beaumont House in Windsor when I was on a training course for Fujitsu (ICL then). So it got played a lot on the 4+ hour journey down .... and on the trip back. Repeat play...
#6 | jeffrey343 on January 06 2013 23:28:38
This is my favorite album of HS, although I didn't discover it until early 2012. The first two albums are quite good, but this one really hit the mark for me. Wish I'd discovered it in 1988, as it would have gotten a lot of play (along with the Night Ranger and Survivor albums that retroaddict mentioned, which I played to death). Very good AOR sound throughout this one. 'Lethal Weapon' is a dud, though.
#7 | gdazegod on January 07 2013 02:18:20
Wow, I am obviously listening to the wrong record. Glad to see that we can offer differences of opinion without any harm done lol!
#8 | richardb on January 07 2013 20:52:36
I'm with you and Eric on this one George mate. A major disappointment. Couldn't see the point of covering "Cold look" especially when the definitive version had already been recorded by I-ten. The rest of the material wasn't especially memorable either..

I don't even think I have this LP in my collection anymore and that's saying something as I'm a huge fan of the debut and "The Big Prize"..
#9 | roadrunner158 on April 03 2014 15:19:43
I really enjoy this CD a lot, IMHO it's more consistent than the first two HMS CDs. Favourite Songs: "Long Way Back" (gorgeous backing vocals by Michael McDonald) and "Love Changes Everything". However, a better production (especially regarding the drum sound) would have made this even better. Strange, as this is a Ted Templeman job...
#10 | super80boy on July 05 2015 16:21:09
While not quite at the level of Big Prize, I give HMS high marks for delivering a consistent set of melodic rock. I agree that there isn't one or two songs that truly stand out, although 'Love Changes Everything' tries mightily…but there also isn't one or two songs that completely flop (not counting 'Lethal Weapon' Grin). Other songs that peep above the fray, 'Lookin' Out For Number One', the blazing 'Love Fever' and 'Tears On The Page'.
#11 | melodiapositiva on February 23 2016 19:16:20
I have a doubt about this album.I had the vinyl version in the 80's and i sold it a lot of years ago.Then when i bought the CD i realized than in the b-side of the vinyl there were two songs different than in the CD .Maybe is my memory that is confusing me, but i recall a song almost instrumental with only a chorus repeated several times, it was a cool song.And the last song was a instrumental version of a movie or a TV series .This made a second side a little 'strange' but i liked more than the one on the cd. Am i wrong? am i confused with another record or band? maybe somebody can help me with this ....
#12 | gdazegod on February 23 2016 22:15:06
Nearly every release of this album includes the same 10 tracks as listed above. The track 'Lethal Weapon' came from the movie. The only reissue which is different is the Rock Candy one, which doesn't include 'Lethal Weapon' due to film licensing arrangements.
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