The Form – Informal [1989]

The Form - Informal 1989 front cover

Austrian Hi-Tech / Light AOR / Synth Rock&Pop band THE FORM was founded by keyboard player and singer Wolfgang Marc Berry, who studied and worked in the USA. But Marc developed his musical career in his homeland, mostly as songwriter / producer. In the second half of the eighties, Berry started a partnership with David Bronner, another Austrian musician specialized in modern recording techniques. 

Both secured a deal with Viena CBS Schallplatten Cesmbll, and recruited some of Austria’s best studio musicians to record their one and only album “Informal”, released in 1989 over fourteen European countries. This was one of the most expensive albums ever produced in Austria, as the aim was to conquer the international market. So expect a top notch sound, excellent mix and mastering here.

The style of The Form is not far from their countryman Andy Baum, yet more stylized and ascetic: all, every note was arranged and playedwith attention to minimum detail. At places they even sound kinda sinister, reminding me the great group Shriekback (Manhunter soundtrack). Anyway, the overall approach by The Form is easy to the ears as heard on the breezy “Save Me”, the elegant “Land Of Mystery” or the jumping “Talk To Me” where they recall Opus and ’80s Germans Lake.

There’s a sumptuous midtempo in “Ocean Of Love” with some Red 7 (underrated band) atmosphere written over it, a more energetic delivery and very nice guitars on “Falling Back On You”, while “Far Away” is a light AOR affair quite Canadian-sounding in the Boulevard mould.  “Love In A Dark Room” goes pure hi-tech with a lot of synths, same the with fun cover of The Police’s “Walking On The Moon”. We find some kind of a buried gem on “Jaimie”, one of my favourites. It sounds completely different to the rest of the material: it’s a sweet, lullaby ballad and tells a nice story with superb lyrics.

Apart from the great production and musicianship, “Informal” features excellent songcraft as well. It’s strange that being charted reasonably well in Sweden, Switzerland and Austria, this record is not better known outside of central Europe. Out of print and very hard to find, “Informal” represents in great form the clean, pristine Hi-Tech / Light AOR / Synth Rock&Pop sound of the ’80s in the old continent. A very recommended listen.

Band Members
Marc Berry – vocals, keyboards
David Bronner – keyboards, programming
Bernhard Locker – guitar
Andreas Tieber – bass
Heribert Metzker – drums
Leo Bei – acoustic guitar on 3
Frankie Mitschitczek – percussion on 3
Kathi Gabler, Susanne Kreuzberger, Karin Raab, Ina Sieber – backing vocals

Tracks
01. Colours Of Ever
02. Save Me
03. Land Of Mystery
04. Talk To Me
05. Jaimie
06. Ocean Of Love
07. Walking On The Moon
08. Love In A Dark Room
09. Far Away
10. Falling Back On You

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