HONEYMOON SUITE – Racing After Midnight [Rock Candy remaster] (2013)
Another of the Rock Candy Records remastered reissues from HONEYMOON SUITE is their 3rd “Racing After Midnight”.
This time with lead singer Johnnie Dee involved in the co-writing on most of the songs together with guitarist Dermot Grehan, this record was produced by the talented Ted Templeman (Van Halen).
When talking about Canadian Rock acts, Honeymoon Suite definitely rank in the top ten, if not the top five from the land of the Maple Leaf. Their brand of concise and memorable melodic rock went right to the very heart of the charts, heralding a period of intense activity that cumulated in multi-Platinum success and pushing international touring schedules that seemed to have no beginning and no end.
But precisely that momentum was what delayed 3 years the recording of this third album “Racing After Midnight”, and subsequently derived in the lower sales compared with the first two blockbusters.
Honeymoon Suite somehow lost too many time to capitalize their success due some logistic troubles.
First of all, the band and the recoding label wanted Bruce Fairbairn & Bob Rock as production team again, but at the time Grehan & Co. were ready (after an endlessly tour with Bryan Adams, Heart, ZZ Top and Journey) Fairbairn and Bob Rock were busy with Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet album and they would have had to wait a year to get them available.
Ted Templeman was chosen and he did a great job behind the desk, not only producing but also playing some instruments and focusing Honeymoon Suite to a more American sound.
But the band should have known this project was cursed when lead singer Dee was struck by a car at LAX airport in December 1987 and suffered multiple breaks to his leg, forcing again a delay in the album release.
Even more; the leadoff single “Love Changes Everything” (one of the highlights on the CD) failed to chart, yet not for its lack of quality.
Unfortunately, the British rock&pop duo Climie-Fisher had a European hit with the same title (different song) and of course when that hit was released in North America, Honeymoon Suite’s song died a death at radio (which would never chart two different songs with the same title at the same time).
But that’s history – “Racing After Midnight” resulted into another great album from Honeymoon Suite.
Templeman provided a clear Americanized production for the US market with sharper guitars, instant chorus arrangements and a more bouncy rhythm section. In short; more hard rocking as the US taste circa 1988.
Anyway, Honeymoon Suite is one of these bands that never looses its essence, and there’s plenty of AOR moments on “Racing After Midnight”.
The album contains an explosive collection of tracks including the aforementioned gem “Love Changes Everything”, “The Other Side Of Midnight”, the terrific mid-tempo “It’s Over Now”, “Tears On The Page” (my personal favorite), and the mind-bending cover of “Cold Look”, a track written by AOR kings Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly for their fantastic I-Ten project.
This Rock Candy remaster is really good, but there’s no bonus tracks, nor the hit-single “Lethal Weapon” recorded by Honeymoon Suite for the movie of the same name, due to legal reasons (the song is owned by the film studio).
Who cares… “Racing After Midnight” is a must have for any ’80s melodic rock / hard rockin’ AOR fan.
01 – Lookin’ Out For Number One
02 – Long Way Back
03 – Cold Look
04 – Love Fever
05 – Other Side Of Midnight
06 – Love Changes Everything
07 – It’s Over Now
08 – Fast Company
09 – Tears On The Page
Johnnie Dee – lead vocals
Dermot ‘Derry’ Grehan – guitars, vocals
Dave Betts – drums
Gary Lalonde – bass
Rob Preuss – keyboards
Ted Templeman – percussion, programming
Bobby LaKind – percussion
Produced by Ted Templeman
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