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Articles Home » 1993 Articles » Open Skyz - 1993 Open Skyz
Open Skyz - 1993 Open Skyz

ARTIST: Open Skyz
ALBUM: Open Skyz
SERIAL: 66343-2
YEAR: 1993


LINEUP: Hugo - vocals * Adam Holland - guitars * Craig Pullman - keyboards * Gerard Zappa - bass * Drums performed by Neil Christopher

TRACK LISTING: 01 None Of It Matters * 02 Nothing Without You * 03 Golden Years * 04 Open Skies * 05 The Answer * 06 Every Day Of My Life * 07 Pickin' Up The Pieces Again * 08 Give A Little Bit * 09 Candy From Strangers * 10 Take Me There

The unfortunate demise of Long Island AOR heroes Valentine rode on the back of missed opportunities, bad management and that old chestnut.. 'musical differences' among band members. At this point in their career, Valentine had been pushed, pulled and prodded, not sure whether they were an MTV attraction, arena sellout, or AOR underground material. If they had three feet, they could have easily plonked one in each camp and kept everybody happy. Drummer Neil Christopher, an influential figure in the band, had departed the scene, hence Valentine became known as Open Skyz, a deliberately mistyped title from one of their songs. One can only suggest that Christopher had a say in the original band-name. With a change in band-name came a change in producer and record label, and ultimately, sound. Out went Neil Kernon in came Richie Zito, out went Giant Records, in came RCA. The bombastic approach heard on Valentine has made way for some lighter styled AOR. The Steve Perry-isms, if they weren't so obvious on Valentine, surely are now. Not that I mind!

The Songs
There are a few decent moments on the album. Smooth AOR in the form of 'Nothing Without You', the bright sounding 'Golden Years' plus the pulsing title track. Even a cover of Supertramp's 'Give A Little Bit' is attempted here, though I'm sure many of us would have preferred that it wasn't. By and large it is lighter AOR, harmless enough, but not as dangerous as it could've been.

In Summary
While out on the road supporting Mr. Big, RCA dropped a clanger, dropping the band in midstream. That would be enough to piss any band off and break up, and that is what exactly happened. A few years later Hugo appeared as a solo artist, with a few albums under his belt now for Now And Then/Frontiers Records. He is also a member of a Journey cover band called Evolution based on Long Island, New York. A group of guys who had talent, only to be wasted on some middle management executives with a hearing disorder!!

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#1 | Eric on May 04 2008 14:14:07
A little bit of Jellyfishin' on this one- some nice tunes here although the cover of 'Give A little Bit' wasn't needed.
#2 | Jez on June 14 2008 16:04:53
'Nothing Else Matters' is one of my alltime favourite tracks, and definately one of Hugo's finest hours. The rest of this album is excellent aswell (even the Supertramp cover). A real shame that this one seemed to get overlooked, as it is a monster of an album
#3 | rostoned on July 30 2008 18:51:25
I prefer this one over the overhyped Valentine album, where IMO the songs weren't to par with Neil Kernon's outstanding production.
#4 | Nick C on September 03 2008 01:23:54
Hey Rostoned ... gotta agree to an extent - I much prefer this to the Valentine release (but I do like it) ...
I bought a wooden carved fish mobile and put it up in the bathroom and got in the bath (empty) fully clothed to see how it looked and all the time this CD was playing. I only got out of the bath when it had finished - great/terrible/sad/awful mental picure for you all hahaha!
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