Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Chris Rea - Wired To The Moon (1984)

I don't know what it is but I love it....


Released in 1984

Running time 42:01

Chris Rea had a strange career thus far. This was his sixth album and, apart from some popularity for the songs Fool (If You Think It's Over) and I Can Hear Your Heart Beat he had been something of a commercial disaster, not fitting in with either new wave or new romantic trends. The mid-eighties rise of "adult", "wine bar" music helped him succeed more than he had, but that would be more in 1986 and 1987. His follow-up to this, the Springsteen-esque, rocky Shamrock Diaries was far more successful than this was. He was still treading water at this point. This album did very little and has subsequently been almost forgotten about.


1. Bombollini
2. Touché d'Amour
3. Shine, Shine, Shine
4. Wired To The Moon
5. Reasons
6. I Don't Know What It Is But I Love It
7. Ace Of Hearts
8. Holding Out
9. Winning                                                        

Bombollini is a six-minute plus opener that gets in on the contemporary trend for South American pipe music. It has a few lyrics, but not many and doesn't really get anywhere, suffering from poor, muffled, unremastered sound. Much better is the summery, white reggae of Touché d'Amour. Rea's band pull off the reggae rhythms quite convincingly, it has to be said. Shine, Shine, Shine epitomises that late night ambience, the whole low volume background music thing.

Wired To The Moon gets the drummer working a bit, with more of a regular mid-pace rock beat. Rea's growly but melodic voice just washes over you on these songs. He really has a pleasing voice.  Reasons is a great track, sort of Rea meeting Mark Knopfler and Bruce Springsteen and coming up with a really infectious rock song. Good stuff.

I Don't Know What It Is But I Love It is similar to some of the material Elton John was putting out around the same time. It is upbeat and hooky, particularly on the rather cheesy but infectious chorus. On so many Chris Rea albums there is always one superb song. On this one it is the marvellous, evocative Ace Of Hearts. It is packed full of melodic emotion. It also breaks out into some impressive rock half way through. Good old Chris, he could always come up with an understated classic. Holding Out is another Elton John-ish, piano-driven number. Winning  is a big, muscular bluesy Dire Straits-ish rocker to end with, clocking in at another six minutes. It features lots of great guitar including Rea's trademark slide.

You know, this album should have done much better than it did. Thankfully for Rea, his next few albums would redress the balance in his favour.


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