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Hush – Hot Tonight [1983]

Robert ‘Bob’ Berry is a musician with a serious pedigree, apart from leading great bands like Alliance and a prolific solo career, he has been part of legendary groups GTR or Ambrosia and recorded with Keith Emerson, Carl Palmer, Sammy Hagar, etc. After high school, Berry entered San Jose State University as a music major and carefully balanced his academic and professional interests. Together with members from several recently disbanded outfits from the Bay area, formed HUSH, his first band. The group toured the bars and college circuit, and after some line-up changes they recorded a self financed single, which was also used as their entry in a ‘battle of the bands’ contest. HUSH won. With the distinction as ‘Northern California’s best unsigned band’, Berry and the boys realized that this was the time to make their move.

The first full length album simply titled HUSH was released in 1978. Everything went great; airplay was growing, sales were strong, and the band was on a cross country tour in support of the album. There was even a hit song in Japan. Then their label broke up and left the band without contract and promotion. The group continue touring regionally and recording demos for a possible 2nd album, but a legal litigation with the ex-label prevented the album from being released.

But by that time Berry opened his own recording facility studios, and as all the members of HUSH were songwriters and highly proficient musicians, they never stopped to write and record demos. Next year, San Jose’s FM powerhouse KSJO was sponsoring a ‘Best of the Bay’ album contest. HUSH’s song written by Berry, “Gotta Get Back To You”, was the winner and became one of the station’s most requested cuts. The band wasted no time and released “Hot Tonight” on their own label in 1983. Good fortune shined again as “Hot Tonight” was nominated and won the Bay Area music Archive’s Bammie Award for the year’s Best Independent Album in March of 1984. After a year touring and “Hot Tonight” still selling well, Robert Berry decided to release his first solo album and pursue a solo career. HUSH did his two final concerts in june of 1985 dedicated to the local Bay Area fans that helped make them a success.

“Hot Tonight” is the typical commercial poppy / AOR album from that era, but featuring really good songs. The title theme is a pompy AOR with gentle keyboards and a catchy rhythm. Strangely, the second track “You Hold The Key” is a ballad, and the only one in this short LP. It’s a beautiful one with an ELO and Queen flavor. “Out On The Street” is extremely poppy, and “Money” sounds a bit prog, a Berry’s trademark.

But the real winner here is “Gotta Get Back To You”. One of my favorite AOR tracks of all time. A keyboard driven commercial poppy AOR, featuring a great melodic guitar solo and… that chorus. A simple song, but killer. In the vein of the upcoming Berry’s solo albums, “Runaway” is a catchy, melodic and contagious tune. “It’s All Too Much” is a mid-tempo running more than 6 min. but never boring, beautifully orchestrated and arranged. The most complex song on offer here and another highlight. I love this kind of stuff. If you like 1981/84 radio oriented commercial rock don’t miss this one.

Band Members
Robert Berry – Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar
Paul Keller – Guitars, Backing Vocals
Gene Perrault – Bass, Backing Vocals
Peter Adams – Drums, Backing Vocals

01. Hot Tonight
02. You Hold The Key
03. Out On The Street
04. Money
05. Gotta Get Back To You
06. Runaway
07. Let Me Live
08. It’s All Too Much

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Hush - Hot Tonight [1983], 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
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