What’s The Rockbrat Listening To Today? GIUFFRIA – GIUFFRIA (1984)

Giuffria (the band) formed in 1982 by Gregg Giuffria after his departure from arguably Washington DC’s most famous rock act – Angel. The bands formative line up was the same band that recorded this, the band’s great debut album from 84. They were Gregg Giuffria on keyboards, David Glen Eisley on vocals, Craig Goldy on guitar (Rockbrat and I saw Craig Goldy when he toured with Dio in 86), Chuck Wright on bass and Alan Krigger (drums). Eisley had been singer with LA based Sorcery, Goldy had been in Rough Cutt, (who along with London were pretty much the ‘training schools’ of the LA rock scene) and Chuck Wright played on Quiet Riot’s Metal Health LP. Giuffria were signed to MCA Records and this album was the first result. In terms of success, this album reached #26 on Billboards Charts and was the most successful album of all five albums released by Giuffria, including House of Lords. Make no mistake, this is a very strong debut album and it features some of the finest melodic rock tunes you could ever hope to hear. I’d read somewhere else that this album was “for all intents and purposes the perfect snapshot of the era. It combined the arena rocking sound of bands like Journey and Foreigner with the harder-edged style of the emerging Hollywood hair metal scene. The result was a keyboard-heavy melodic rock sound with catchy guitar hooks and David Glen Eisley’s “silk and steel” vocals.”I think that is a pretty good précis actually. The first single off the album, the hit “Call To Your Heart” is indeed memorable, catchy and well crafted. The big sounding ballad “Lonely in Love” is another great tune, but most tracks on this album are great. The rockin’ ‘Don’t Tear me Down’ is one of my faves on the album, mid tempo hard rock ala Journey. 1st class. This album indicated that Giuffria were headed for the big time, i.e.: move over Journey, here we are. Yet for some reason they lacked longevity – but certainly not memorable songs. ’Dance’, the more metallic  ‘’Turn Me Again’ and ‘Line Of Fire’ keep the momentum going, though The Awakening, whilst interesting, is a bit of a filler. If you dig keyboard heavy AOR, you probably already own this – if you don’t, but you are a fan of 80’s rock/AOR/melodic rock, this album is a must have. Giuffria would go on to release one more album (1986’s Silk and Steel) before evolving into House of Lords. Giuffria toured as support to a reformed Deep Purple in late 84, but were subjected to poor treatment by Blackmore, who cut the band’s set from 45 minutes to 25 minutes, no guitar solos and no encores. (Please, c’mon Ritchie you sad old git. I guess you didn’t want to run the risk of being blown off stage by Giuffria, with Purple’s tuneage in 84 sounding very dated and irrelevant). Giuffria went on to tour as the opening act on Foreigner’s Agent Provocateur Tour, and enjoyed considerable success. The pairing of those two bands was an AOR fans dream! Both Giuffria albums feature the amazing hard rock vocals of David Glen Eisley. He was very much part of Giuffria’s plans for House Of Lords, yet nope, he was fired by Gene $immons, and went on to form his own band Dirty White Boy.

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