Tag Archives: Honeymoon Suite

Honeymoon Suite(1984)

Canadian Homeboy’s “Honeymoon Suite” with this self titled debut exploded not only on MuchMusic but the album was flying out the doors of record shops in Canada.

Triple Platinum in Canada and  as well  all four singles went Gold (New Girl Now, Stay In The Light, Burning In Love and Wave Babies)

I bought this on vinyl way back in 84 and some of it is killer and some of it is ok. 

Would the what I would consider Ok in 1984 be better in 2021?

Would what I would consider killer in 1984 still be that in 2021?

Guitar Player Derry Grehan composed 9 tracks^ for this debut and Derry knew the fine art of crafting good catchy riff rock obviously in the opening tune “New Girl Now”. 

Johnnie Dee was the guy who could deliver Derry’s song with conviction as Dee has a good set of pipes. This band had chops and knew how to put on a good live show.

Listening to the debut by these guys I still feel the same now in 2021 as I did in 1984. I like it when Derry would write straight ahead guitar driven tracks like “Funny Business” as he could hot dog with the best of them on the six string. 

Honeymoon had that tinge in their sound for the radio/video which helped the cause.  I always liked and still do tunes  like “Burning In Love”, “Hearts On Fire”. 

The other singles “Stay In The Light” and “Wave Babies” I somewhat dig one and the other one is well…

“Stay In The Light” has a cool opening guitar riff but the keyboards kinda bug me as they are overdone a bit too much like as if Jon Cain showed up to the studio to drown out the guitar that day with his keyboard.

“Wave Babies” is just goofy and the video was even goofier so yeah my feeling has not changed. I can’t even get into this tune video or no video.

This one was like stepping back in the time machine which I can honestly say the records that followed this debut we’re much better.

But you gotta start somewhere…

deKe’s Stream- A-Rater- 6/10

^-“Hearts On Fire” is a song written by Eddie Schwartz who was the writer of Benetar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” mega hit. Plus Eddie’s a Canuck.

 
 
 
 

 

 

Honeymoon Suite: The Big Prize(1985)

Sliding in the door
Are the roads we all know
Yesterday’s heroes with no room to grow
You say you want the money
You want the Big Prize
But they’ll cut you
Down to size, with your…..

Here come those fellow fun-loving   Canucks known as Honeymoon Suite dropping down a pretty serious slab of vinyl in the form of The Big Prize back in the good old year of 1985!

The Big Prize was the followup to the self-titled debut from 1984 and was a significant step up to my ears that is. The songwriting and mainly the production courtesy of the Late Great Bruce Fairbairn and his mixing engineer sidekick Bob Rock.

The debut wasn’t bad. Had some decent songs (New Girl Now/Funny Business) and some silliness (Wave Babies) but overall not bad. Where they won me over is when they opened for Helix in front of 3-4000 people here in Tbay back in the summer of 1985!

Hell at this show it was not only myself but along for the ride was Tbone and his brothers in tow Dar and Rugg!

So for that, Honeymoon Suite got a pass so when The Big Prize dropped into the record shops in the fall of 1985 it wasn’t too long before dEke’s/Tbone and many others in  Canada and even the U.S scooped up wanting the Big Prize!

Honeymoon Suite succeeded on many fronts the packaging and the presentation of the album wasn’t the norm at the time. Definitely not metal looking but still kinda a slick concept if I don’t say so myself!

The Big Prize opens with Bad Attitude. A great ass kicker in the Hard AOR Department if anything. High tempo as well and Honeymoon on this album had 3 aces up there sleeve that being Guitarist Derry Grehan/Lead Singer Johnnie Dee and Keyboardist Ray Coburn who all contributed material. (especially Grehan who wrote 7 of the bands 10 songs on the album)

The sonics are superb on this album as this is the record previous to Fairbairn and Rock applying their talents on the mega-selling Slippery When Wet album by Bon Jovi a  year later in 1986!

You know by working with a guy like Fairbairn in the hard rock circles there would be a few singles along the way. Honeymoon Suite went 4 singles deep with Bad Attitude/All Along You Knew/ What Does It Take and Feel It Again,

This was a smart move on whoever’s decision it was to release the singles. 3 solid rock tracks along with the typical kinda power ballad that was really becoming mandatory in the mid to late ’80s!

With the four pack of singles mentioned about 3 are excellent choices with the already mentioned Bad Attitude. All Along You Knew which features Mikey Ladano’s homeboy Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) on flute which is a significant track none the less. What Does It Take is the power ballad and is ok. Not really my bag as I want hard rock driving tracks but I get it. Honeymoon had to crossover to get the Ladies!

Feel It Again written by keyboard fella Ray Coburn is the bonafide winner in the singles that were released on this album.  It went to number 16 on the Canadian Singles Chart and charted at number 34 on the Billboard Singles Chart in the U.S!

Feel It Again is a fantastic written track. Derry plays some sweet licks on the 6 string while Dee delivers an impressive vocal as the chorus is the real money shot with Coburn driving what sounds like a Hammond organ at times! Perfect as in sweet Ear Candy! The video is goofy, but the song is gold!

Honeymoon Suite was a band on a good roll as back in the day they released a string of solid albums from the Debut in 1984. The Big Prize(85) Racing After Midnight( my fav of there’s from 1988) and the very underrated Monsters Under The Bed(1991).

Honeymoon Suite is still going today as the current lineup including drummer Dave Betts and bassist Gary Lalonde is intact. Coburn though is a no show in the present incarnation.

The Big Prize is a solid piece of hard rock! Good time listen harkening back to a simpler time!

Long Live The 80’s!

 

 

 

 

Muc’s All Time Top 20 Albums..

So a few weeks back I tossed out to some folks via FaceCrack to throw down what they would consider their favourite Top 20 Albums.

Some of my Peep’s got right into it( I thank you all who participated) and submitted their picks which I laid down a few rules being that you could not duplicate artists and not to include Live Albums!

Some people are just plain old Rule Breakers  and one of them is Muc  (I have known for close to 36 years! ) Ha! But I was glad he submitted his Top 20 and most of the stuff I have heard but there are a few submitted I had never heard!

With  Muc’s Top 20 I thought I would talk about all his Top 20 albums with just one or two sentences explaining them to you all……(Muc’s Top 20 is pictured below)

Muc….grow back that Mullet Dude……

Lets Do This…

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AC/DC’s “BACK IN BLACK’ – Yup with titles like Given The Dog A Bone,Shake A Leg and the greatest song ever written about Hookers(What You Do For Money Honey) we all learned life lessons from Jonno,Angus and the rest of the DC’ers!

RUSH’s “MOVING PICTURES”-What happens when you get three virtuosos(Lee/Lifeson and Peart) locked up at Le Studio in Quebec back in 1981? A bona fide all time great piece of Kinda Prog Rock that is relentless in the chops of the musicians and the songs just explode and  after one spin of Moving Pictures we all became Air Drummers thanks to Mr Peart!

BLACK SABBATH’s ” HEAVEN AND HELL- 1980 ushers in Ronnie James Dio as the new Sabbath vocalist and Iommi/Butler and Ward shift gears and deliver a  rock solid masterpiece! Neon Knights  leads off the charge and if you want your Sabbath Sludged like how it was with Ozzy you came to the wrong house…..

JUDAS PRIEST’s “Unleashed In The East- What a rule breaker that Muc fellow is. Unleashed is live so I can forgive him as this is Priest on fire before they became Turbo Lovers. Unleashed is when Priest   sang songs about Genocide and toss in a Green Manaleshi With The Two Pronged Crown while we’re at it!

THE KILLER’s ” SAM’S TOWN”-Don’t know too much about these guys but I will say that the tune When We Were Young is a great piece of written rock. Muc moves into the present time pretty much with this one…

KISS “ALIVE 2”- I will say that Kiss Alive 2( not counting the actual studio portion of it)  is the second best Kiss studio album next to the first Kiss Alive album! Money Bags  Simmons and Stanley along with Piss Tanks Criss and Frehley deliver a Sonic Juggernaut to our young minds back than and delivered of course the marketing with Alive 2 which included that real cool Live Pic in the gatefold along with booklet and  washable Tatoo’s??

MATTHEW GOOD “White Light Rock N Roll Review”-Too be honest I only own a couple of Good albums but the guy still makes it to Tbay now and then to play and still puts out albums so Kudos to him for that!

PEARL JAM “10”-When I think of 1992 ,this album  is at the top of that heap as it did lend a helping hand( along with Nirvana and others) to demolish Bret Michael’s into the foothills of his L.A Mansion crying into his Bandanna! Mr Vedder! I thank you for that!

THE CLASH “LONDON CALLING”- Even though Muc was full-out 100% Hard Rocker you can see that by  some of his picks he could listen outside the musical box and give The Clash credit as they were one of the first bands I knew of to deliver a double studio album. Train In Vain is still a real good track…..

HONEYMOON SUITE “BIG PRIZE”- Surprised to see this one here! These guys were the deal here in Canada back in 1986 and thanks to the production of the late Bruce Fairbairn, Honeymoon delivered a blistering set of Rock Tracks that even featured  Mike Ladano’s Homeboy Ian Anderson(Jethro Tull) playing some cranked up flute on All Along You Knew!

FOO FIGHTER”s “THE COLOUR AND SHAPE” – Dave Grohl  before he became Mr Everywhere  delivered a real good album and had a good knack(no pun,keep reading) for writing real cool big rock riffs that even an Old Geezer like me could relate too! Case in point,Monkey Wrench and Hey Johnny Park…

DEF LEPPARD “On Through The Night”- Yes! Classic Lepp and when Muc bought this back in 1981 I purchased at the same time Iron Maiden’s Killer’s! On Through The Night is Lepp going for the throat with nothing to lose and no signs of pouring any kind of sugar at all!

THE KNACK “Get The Knack”-Muc I think mentioned that this is his all time favourite album! Fair enough as it was jammed pack  with simple rock and real catchy tunes and a song about Sharona!

CHEAP TRICK “DREAM POLICE”- This album landed in my Top 20 as well. It’s a Sonic Boom of Epic Proportions in song structure and string selection along with Rick Nielsen’s quirkiness with a singer in Robin Zander who could belt it out made this a win win..

FLEETWOOD MAC “RUMOURS”- How many copies did this sell? 20 mill and counting? Who knows but man I think Mick Fleetwood has the coolest Skullet ever! Well Kim Mitchell pre 1990 had a good Skullet as well….

THE TRAGICALLY HIP ” FULLY COMPLETELY”-You can’t really go wrong in my estimation with the first 4 Hip albums! This is a dud free album and man The Wherewithal is an absolute blast of genius!

IRON MAIDEN “PIECE OF MIND” –Atta Boy ! Maiden deliver a Bombastic Slab O  Metal that just blew us all away! Dickinson soars vocally while the rest of the Maiden’s lay down the British Metal Law Musically! Epic comes to  mind!

SEVEN MARY THREE “DIS/LOCATION- Can’t really comment here but if Muc says so ……well its his Top 20 ….

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN “BORN TO RUN”- I can see this one here as Muc always dug the Boss! The title track sez it all doesn’t it??

SEX PISTOLS “NEVER MIND THE BOLLOCKS”- Ha!Muc being different but fair enough.Amazing how much a game changer this was for many people yet it sold peanuts but every rock fan knows of its existence! Bizarre….

Well there you have it my friends!

 

Other Side Of Midnight…..

Honeymoon Suite/Haywire/July 26 1988/Thunder Bay/Fort William Gardens

Summer of 1988 rolls around and the Suite Express shows up again to play the Gardens and whats evidently clear is the place is almost half empty as when they rolled into town 2 years earlier the Barn was almost sold out say 4000 or so and well now (1988) maybe just over 2000 people and from where i was sitting(straight at the back of the Gardens ) there were patches of people around me and my lady friend.

Like i said last week in the Racing After Midnight album review this album I thought was there best but  for many it slid by kinda bizarro but hey what do I know! Finicky album buyers back in 1988!

So Haywire is plugging there current release Don’t Just Stand There and what’s clear is that they have ditched the baggy pants/bright clothes that they wore 2 years earlier when they played Tbay supporting Kim Mitchell ! Now they were into the street rock look with the leathers and whatnots and a heavier punchier sound live! That night even Haywire impressed me with a little snipet of Aerosmiths Mother Popcorn thrown into one of there tunes! Shit Ya! Good call !

Honeymoon Suite hits the stage with a one two punch of Other Side Of Midnight and Tears On The Page and we’re off an running! Pretty slick  lighting show and Johnnie Dee lead singer played a lot of rythm guitar that night as his leg was in a full sized leg cast! Story went to the effect that he was crossing the road at the airport in LA and boom some car hit him and snap a roo …but hey here he is in Tbay the show must go on and it did! This I thought was a better show than 2 years earlier oh yeah that’s cuz I liked Racing After Midnight that much better than the Big Prize!

Lookin Out For Number 1,Long Way,It’s Over Now and the two opening songs were played off of Racing After Midnight so about half the record was played live! Of course a healthy dose of the debut and Big Prize were represented that night as well. This was another good performance from them so in 3 years,one as a opener and two as headliner Honeymoon Suite was moving on up in the live ranks but Racing After Midnight was the end of I guess there Arena run. There next release Monsters Under The Bed in 1991 was buried by a Seattle musical mudslide that wiped any chance of them sustaining any momentum! Case in point they were in Tbay early in 1992 playing the Inntowner(bar)….

SONIC WAVES….Honeymoon Suite/Racing After Midnight

 

Yep so Honeymoon Suite were I band I dug especially from the Big Prize on. The debut had some good moments (Funny Business) and some goofy moments(Wave Babies) but all in all they had a good vocalist in Johnnie Dee and a good guitar player in Derry Grehan! There second album (Big Prize)was produced by Bruce Fairbairn(RIP) who went on later to produce Bon Jovi/Aerosmith/VH/Kiss/ Yes/Dan Reed and many others and oh yeah Krokus ha! But by the third album The boys went down to LA and hooked up with Ted Templemen who worked with the Doobie Brothers and well also Templemen produced the first 6 VH albums with David Lee and of course my other fav,Eat Em And Smile and  many others as well.

So when I read this in Music Express Magazine I knew the guitar would not be drowned by the keys! Yippity Ki yeah!

LOOKIN OUT FOR NUMBER 1- drums and boom here comes Derry and his guitar. The album is off to a racing start. Good for them Honeymoon is on a roll with the previous two albums being good in there own right. So off to LA LA Land and hey I likey what I hear so far!” This time there’s no turning” back sez Johnnie Dee he continues with ‘ you tell the boss he’s at a loss I’m Lookin Out For Number 1″ ha if I said that I would be lookin’ not out for number 1 but for a job! Great lead off track!

LONG WAY BACK- Derry leads off with a power riff and holy crap Michael McDonald from the Doobie Brothers co wrote this with them and it’s a great track. Michael McDonald also cowrote the great Van Halen track I’ll Wait from VH’s 1984 album but it wasn’t Til many years later he was actually credited.

COLD LOOK- coulda been a single make that a rock single. Good song and it’s got there sound plastered all over it ! That’s the thing I really like about this record as it’s more guitar rock and it’s not lost on the mix! But hey you get Ted Templemen producing Van Halen Ya think Teds gonna tell Eddie”I think we should crank the keyboards here?” Nope, but Templmen keeps the keys chill on this release.

LOVE FEVER- pretty good song as well! I even know that Honeymoon has to chill out in the Suite every so often and I’m good with that!

OTHER SIDE OF MIDNIGHT- the tour opener for the Racing After Midnight tour! Boom,drums and than Derry plays some fancy dancey Eddie like riffs and we’re off and it’s easily one of my fav tracks of there’s!  Johnnie Dee nails down a superb lead vocal on this track as well and Derry goes off on the solo! “ladies in waiting, listennnning to the radio” wham and this song it just kicks man!

LOVE CHANGES EVERYTHING- Yup this was the single and for the fans of the band everyone knows it but for the general casually lazy Honeymoon fan maybe not the single well the video never really caught fire! Kinda surprising ….

ITS OVER NOW- The big power rockish ballad thats supposed to push the album over the top but it didn’t! I mean Europe drips Carrie everywhere and sells huge and this track is buried …ah well that’s the way it goes sometimes!

FAST COMPANY- love this song,it’s got some real good percussion and the song just rocks along and a decent clip but without overdoing it to the point that it makes me nauseous! Dig the middle part where you hear the screeching of tires,bottles smashing….Wowzers I’m Rumbling with the Suite Boys!…

TEARS ON THE PAGE- So blind to see,with the Tears On The Page sez Mr Dee and this is my other fav track! Great guitaring during the verses and the Chorus drives the point home! Great tune….

LETHAL WEAPON- yeah the tune from the first Lethal Weapon movie. This song to me always seemed out of place on this album. That’s ok I’m sure this sold a few more copies with it on it.

IN CONCLUSION- Honeymoon Suite goes to L.A and sets up shop and puts out a more guitar oriented Rock record which I really dug but for some reason it never really took off! When I do listen to these guys it’s this one and Monsters Under The Bed(very underrated ). Johnnie,Derry,Rob,Dave and Gary rocked it up. Good job fellas!