Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Heights ~ Music From The Television Show (soundtrack)

(No official website.)
Style: hard rock
Label: Capitol
Year: 1992
Home: n/a (disbanded)

Members: Alex Desert, Shawn Thompson, Charlotte Ross ~ vocals
James Walters ~ vocals/electric guitar
Zachary Throne ~ vocals/keyboards/bass/guitars
Ken Garito ~ drums/acoustic guitars/vocals
Cheryl Pollack ~ sax/b. vocals
Guy Moon, Barry Coffing ~ programming

Additional: John Goux ~ programming/guitar solo
Mike Finnigan ~ keyboards/b. vocals
Bob Mann, Dean Parks, Michael Landau, Michael Thompson ~ guitar solos
Brandon Fields ~ sax solo
John "JR" Robinson, Gary Malaber ~ drums
Freddie Washington, Jim Cox ~ bass
Marlena Jeter, Mortonette Jenkins, Johnnie B. Fiori, Anita Sherman, Juke Logan ~ b. vocals

Guests: Billy Preston ~ organ
Dave Koz ~ sax solo
Leland Sklar ~ bass
Steve Tyrell ~ keyboards
Lenny Castro ~ percussion



I can remember dancing in high school to "How Do You Talk To An Angel" with the first girl I had a major crush on & using it as an awkward compliment to her ... awkward is the key word, though its such a great song I'm tempted to use it again. This rock power ballad is right up there with the best of them & the open-endedness of the phrase itself just makes the mind wander. It's like "Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad" by Meat Loaf, you're thinking about what those two of three are ... you're thinking about how to talk to an angel or who in your life is an angel. Though, the fact that it comes from a fake band from a failed Aaron Spelling produced television series of but thirteen episodes most people don't seem to remember, if they even know this is from a tv show about a rock band. Also, most people don't remember any other song from the show. This wasn't like Fame or now Glee where songs were well-known songs inserted to help tell the story, but the Heights wrote their own songs ... actually penned by jazz musician Steve Tyrell who worked on "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head". The show also wasn't funny like the Monkees, a fake band that had their own music, though it had the same approach of being reflective of its era, but unlike the Monkees failed to transcend the era or become a real band outlasting the show. It's almost like everything was potentially there for a hit show, yet not & so far away. Which is the same for this soundtrack album. Everything is there for some great music, all the perfect playing pieces, yet not & its hard to put your finger on exactly how not, as it's not bad but just not great. I recently bought this soundtrack after a lifetime of wanting it & the disappointment factor is large but confusing. It's too perfect for its own good. The entire album feels like a play numbers game with 80's rock & blues-rock with Richard Marx as the role model, but without Richard Marx it ends up sounding like every throwing away commercial rock album of the era with great songs in the moment that have no longevity or real climax. Actually, the female vocals of "Common Ground" reminds me of Doro but without the rock edge. Then there's the cover "Feelin' Alright" & "What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)" allowing a different R&B singer to join the club, which isn't any worse nor better than any other cover of this song. "Rear View Mirror" has a NYC edge & is the other rock song worth checking out, while the acoustic "Strongest Man Alive" tries to call upon James Taylor to some interesting effect. While there is one redeemable R&B ballad in the closer "Friendship", but on the whole stick to the angels & forget about the rest of the people on this album.

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