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Articles Home » 1983 Articles » Hart, Corey - 1983 First Offense
Hart, Corey - 1983 First Offense

ARTIST: Hart, Corey
ALBUM: First Offense
LABEL: EMI America
SERIAL: 1C 064 2401861
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 1984, EMI America, CDP 7 46077 2


LINEUP: Corey Hart - vocals, keyboards * Mike Hehir, Andy Barnett, Andy MacPherson, Jon Astley - guitars * Gary Tibbs - bass * Paul Burgess - drums, percussion * Richie Close, Phil Chapman - keyboards * Eric Clapton - dobro guitar

TRACK LISTING: 01 Sunglasses At Night * 02 Peruvian Lady * 03 Lamp At Midnite * 04 She Got The Radio * 05 It Ain't Enough * 06 Does She Love You * 07 Cheatin' In School * 08 The World Is Fire * 09 At The Dance * 10 Jenny Fey


Hart was amazingly only 21 years of age when he broke through with the worldwide hit 'Sunglasses At Night' in 1984. His success was no overnight sensation however. Hart was born in Canada, spending his teenage years perfecting his craft, before moving to the US and playing with Billy Joel and his band to help record his demos. Hart finally signed with Aquarius Records and went to London, which he considered the center of the musical world. Hart spent time hanging around with such luminaries as Pete Townshend and Eric Clapton, the latter adding guitar to the debut. 'First Offense' was produced by Jon Astley who had co produced The Who's classic 'Who Are You' in 1978. The album broke huge in the US with constant airings of 'Sunglasses' on MTV, the song an 80's defining moment of commercial AOR.

The Songs
'Sunglasses At Night' contains all the attributes of addictive AOR, with tasty synths and intricate guitar fills, topped off by the desperate chorus. A deserved hit that's lost nothing in the ensuing two decades. A flurry of sax introduces 'Peruvian Lady' which contains enough biting guitar to recommend it. The jangly guitar work of 'Lamp At Midnite' recall The Who's 'Face Dances' modern 80's sound, not to mention The Police also. 'She Got The Radio' sees Hart sounding a bit like Steve Perry, and it's another accomplished melodic belter. Sub ballad mode is breached with 'It Ain't Enough', again heavy on the sax. 'Cheatin' In School' is a cross between AOR and reggae, but is carried well by Hart's passionate vocals. AOR heights are scaled with the gut wrenching 'The World Is Fire', which begins similarly to Shooting Star's 'Burning'. Hart puts everything into the delivery aided by moody keyboard stabs and tortured guitar wails. Essential. 'At The Dance' and 'Jenny Fey' (Eric Clapton plays Dobro on this one) can only be considered anti-climatic following this, lacking the emotional and melodic appeal.

In Summary
Hart built on this success with 1985's superb 'Boy In The Box', which furthered his AOR status, scoring with the hit 'Never Surrender'. Following efforts 'Fields Of Fire' (1986), 'Young Man Running' (1988) and 'Bang! (1990) were met to ever decreasing audiences in the US although Hart is still a major draw in his native Canada. His last album was 1998's 'Jade', which Hart considered his strongest vocal effort ever. Hart recently added a track to the latest Celine Dion album and re-recorded a dance version of 'Sunglasses At Night', something which was uncalled for. Everyone else should be content with the original version and the fine debut.

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