Friday, August 24, 2012

Steel Breeze - Steel Breeze

Hailing from Sacramento, California, the rock group Steel Breeze took their name from a line in the Pink Floyd song "Shine On You Crazy Diamond". The six member band consisted of Ric Jacobs (vocals), Waylin Carpenter (lead guitar), Ken Goorabian (guitar, vocals), Barry Lowenthal (drums), Vinnie Pantaleoni (bass, vocals) and Rod Toner (keyboards).

Today (August 24th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of their self-titled debut album. Steel Breeze entered the charts in 1982 and rose to number 50 on the US Billboard Hot 200 thanks to a hit single and memorable music video in the early days of MTV. Goorabian wrote all of the tracks, with an assist from Carpenter on the eighth track.

Side one opens with their hit first single "You Don't Want Me Anymore". The track went to number 16 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 9 on the Mainstream Rock charts. I like how this one opens with a keyboard riff by Toner which is then joined by the percussion and guitars as the intro builds. Jacobs gets just the right emotion going in this song about being dumped. This is a favorite song of mine; it has been since I first heard it on the radio back in the summer of ‘82. In three and a half minutes, the band is able to deliver a kick butt pop-rock song.

"Lost in the 80's" takes on a decidedly new-wave sound which is appropriate for this song about trying to find their way musically in this new decade where pretty much everything goes.

The band keeps the energy going with "I Think About You", a song about being totally obsessed with a girl who leaves him weak.

"All I Ever Wanted To Do" has some wonderful guitar playing on it. Listening to it with the speakers on my desk, I can pick out each of the players individually in each of the speakers. The guys really rock this one. The lyrics tell of a guy who tries to help a girl out. The guy she has been seeing has been talking trash about her behind her back.

"Dreamin' Is Easy", the second single, peaked at number 30 on the US Billboard Hot 100. If you were around in the early 80’s, this is likely one of those songs you heard a lot back then but have not thought about in decades. That’s how I felt about it until I heard it again after almost twenty five years. It has a catchy chorus and really tight playing.

Side two starts with "Every Night", another song about longing to be with that special girl. This one has a bit of a stalker aspect to it.

"I Can't Wait" is up next. This one sums up those teenaged hormones when you’re with your first love and cannot wait to be alone together to get more intimate.

"Who's Gonna Love You Tonight" is about a girl who plays the field and a guy who realizes it is not his place to tell her what to do. Still, he wonders with whom she’ll be spending the night.

"Can't Stop This Feeling" tries to sum up that hard to quantify feeling of attraction.

The record closes with the Calypso/reggae inspired "Street Talkin'". It was a definite welcome change-up; while all the ten songs here are good the band does stick pretty close to the musical style that worked for them. This track shows they did not have to worry about branching out.

I remember the two singles by Steel Breeze from my days of listening to top 40 radio back in late 1982 and early 1983. I am certain the album-oriented rock station also played a few of the tracks from this debut as well.

I was very happy to have re-discovered Steel Breeze a number of years ago when I moved into the digital age. At that point I was looking for music to add to my library when I ran across the downloads on I figured for five dollars it was worth a shot, especially since I was a huge fan of the opening track. This turned out to be a worthwhile investment as I find it to be a very enjoyable record. It definitely brought back those early 80’s memories.


KevAtomic said...

Excellent! Very informative and helpful. You have now made me officially want to track down this ablum!

Martin Maenza said...

Kevin, I think you will like it. Check it out on Spotify first - it should be there.