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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Out There!: "Call To The Heart" by Giuffria

If you read my book review of And Party Every Day!: The Inside Story Of Casablanca Records, you noticed that I mentioned a band called Angel. They were supposed to have been as big as KISS, but it never panned out for them. Even with an elaborate stage show and a lot of marketing behind the band as a contrast to KISS, Angel didn't go far although they would gain status as a cult band. The keyboardist in the band was a real wiz on the taps whose name was Gregg Giuffria. After Angel disbanded, Giuffria started a new band in 1981 which got signed by MCA in 1984. Ironically, thanks to good networking skills while at Casablanca, Giuffria was able to bring on Larry Harris as their manager. They had mild success in the 80's but gave us a song for the ages. That song is Call To The Heart. Although if you heard the song without knowing the artist or seeing the video, you would automatically assume it was a Journey song.

Call To The Heart was Giuffria's one and only Top 20 hit. Released in 1984, the song featured David Glen Eisley on vocals, and boy does he sound a lot like Steve Perry. There also is a noticable polished keyboard sound very similiar to Jonathan Cain's work also from Journey. Although it sounds like a throwaway track from Journey, it still garnered a lot of attention for the band and got them opening up tours for Deep Purple and Foreigner. Check out the video for the typical 80's outfits and style that Giuffria and bands similiar to them were wearing back in those days. Giuffria would suffer a sophomore slump in 1986 leading to MCA dropping the band. But the work they put in on some demos for the the unreleashed album led to the formation of Giuffria's new band, House Or Lords. Gene Simmons signed the group to his own record label, but got too involved with the band and screwed them over by trademarking the band's name for himself. He also forced the lead singer, David Eisley, out of the band. Gregg Giuffria eventually quit the music business and now owns his own business in Las Vegas. He left the music business as one of the best but unrecognized keyboard players in rock & roll.

Ladies and gentlemen... Call To The Heart by Giuffria

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