John Payne/Andy Nye – The Passion [1987]

svfsvsCountry USA          

Style Melodic Hard Rock

Rating 88/100

Band Members Andy Nye – Keyboards, Ant Glynne – Guitar, Clive Burr – Drums, John Payne – Vocals, Mel Gabbitas – Bass

Tracks 01. All We Need Is a Miracle, 02. Break the Chain, 03. Burning the Innocent, 04. Desire, 05. Does It Look Like Love, 06. Don’t Hide Your Feelings, 07. Hearts of Fire, 08. I Can’t Wait for You, 09. I Won’t Surrender, 10. Running Back To You, 11. Talk To Me

Profile In the mid 80s Payne met Andy Nye at “The Wall” a recording studio in the city of London owned by Payne and Matt Walker, of UK punk band The Boys. Payne was familiar with Andy’s stellar keyboard work with Michael Schenker Group and they both had much in common. In 1986 Nye began writing and recording with Leo Lyons (Ten Years After) as The Kick, resulting in the release of the album Heartland. At the same time, Andy had started a successful writing partnership with John Payne, working on songs for the upcoming ELO Part II project, Payne having been chosen to replace Jeff Lynne as vocalist. But Payne departed the project before recording began and both of them went on to form The Passion as a vehicle for their songs, enlisting the services of drummer Clive Burr (Iron Maiden), bassist Mel Gabbitas and ex-Mike Oldfield guitarist Ant Glynne.

Very pleasant and smooth album cross between melodic hard rock and pop but the songs still have a definite demo sound. The keyboard work is totally outstanding, Payne’s has such a fantasticly gritty, when necessary voice, while a couple of the songs are pretty forgettable. “All We Need is a Miracle” is an excellent starter, “Burning the Innocent” is one of the album’s highlight with a totally melodious and ultra catchy chorus, “Desire” is a solid smoothie, the rocking “Does It Look Like Love” is another killer song with great guitar work and another memorable chorus while the song “Hearts Of Fire”, my personal anthem is one of those that will stuck in your head for a long time…..just listen the sample above…. “I Won´t Surrender” brings back AOR power to the cause and obviously another fave one, “Running Back To You” has some Hi·Tech AOR, “Talk To Me” is a catchy one and “Wasteland” is just excellent…

In 2009, Voiceprint released an album of the remaining Nye/Payne material entitled The Passion. I’ve been a fan of John Payne’s since he took the reins of Asia with Aqua. This cd holds up with his Asia catalog, as well as his work with GPS. A must have for anybody that followed this period of Asia, due to John and Andy co-writing a good amount of the songs while John was with Asia.

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John Payne/Andy Nye - The Passion [1987], 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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