King of Hearts – King of Hearts [1989]

57995584ffff4b5ca02a3edb1790031e

The group KING OF HEARTS born during Richard Marx’s “Repeat Offender” recording sessions in 1988.

In fact, this is a duo comprising the talents of multi-platinum songwriter, guitarist, producer, engineer Bruce Gaitsch (Richard Marx, Chicago, Michael Bolton) and Tommy ‘the-angels-voice-like-no-other-on-the-face-of-earth’ Funderburk, supported by a dream team: Kelly Keagy (Night Ranger) on drums and vocals, George Hawkins (Kenny Loggins band) on bass, Bill Champlin (need to say!) on keyboards and vocals and more.

KING OF HEARTS has released 4 albums, all in Japan, Sweden and Germany only. Particularly this one, their debut, recorded for a major US label in 1989 but rejected, never was published until 1999 by a japanese small company. And what a gem it is. Marketed erroneously as a westcoast album (although contains some tracks in this style and vibe), this is pure AOR guys. Not the swirling-keyboard type, just pure American AOR. And rocks.

I can’t highlight one track, all are really good. But ‘Remember Me’ … OMG… super-duper first class AOR tune.  Tommy shines everywhere and Gaitsch guitar work is perfect (there’s rumors that master Jay Graydon also play guitar, uncredited). Attention Nigh Ranger fans, many of you do not know the fact that Kelly Keagy did lead vocals here on ‘Smack Dab’, ‘Under The Gun’ and ‘Was It Good For You’, and in ‘Everyday’ with Funderburk. No fillers in sight, great song after great song, superb musicianship, terrific songwriting and top notch production. A must have, no self-respecting AOR fan should be without it.

Band Members
Tommy Funderburk – Vocals
Bruce Gaitsch – Guitars
Kelly Keagy – Drums, Vocals
George Hawkins – Bass, Vocals

Additional Musicians
CJ Vanston – Keyboards
Bill Champlin – Hammond B3, Vocals
Timothy Schmit, Randy Meisner – Backing Vocals

Tracks
01. Working Man
02. In So Many Words
03. Don’t Call My Name
04. Smack Dab
05. Remember When
06. Hold On To Love
07. Under The Gun
08. Lovin’ Arms
09. Was It Good For You
10. Everyday
11. King Of Hearts

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
King of Hearts - King of Hearts [1989], 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating