Great Rock Albums of 1985: Fiona

New Jersey has always been divided into North and South. The Southern part, where I’m from, has always been Philadelphia oriented while the Northern part has always been New York oriented. This has always been the case when supporting sports teams and it seems has been the case for music. It’s probably another reason why Beru Revue’s popularity never went beyond the Philadelphia- South Jersey area and it is also why more people living in South Jersey at the time were more into The Hooters than they were into Northern New Jersey singer Fiona.

Fiona (Flanagan)’s debut album appeared in early 1985 and from what I remember, her label, Atlantic, seemed to be doing everything they could to push the album and its single, “Talk to Me.” Unfortunately, the highest the single got was #64. Fortunately, the album did slightly better. Examining the album, I know there are some good to decent rock tunes. “Hang Your Heart on Me” is a decent opener for the album. It does the job in obtaining your interest and the mentioned single does have a cool sax solo on it. I think the problem with it was that it was too mainstream for metalheads and too rock for trendies. The best rocking track is the third one, “You’re No Angel,” which boasts Fiona’s best vocals and a really cool guitar solo. “James” is also a decent rocker although her vocals aren’t quite as good on it. For me, “Rescue You” sounds too 80s synth pop for me but her vocals are okay and there’s another good guitar solo on it. Then there’s the closer, “The Na Na Song.” I have to say that it is probably one of the best album closing tracks of all time. True, the second half on the song is mostly comprised of her singing, “Na na, na na na na na” but it, with the harder rocking does great to take the song and the album to it’s natural conclusion.

In spite of some good rock tunes and some great musicianship on the album, what let’s this album is Fiona herself. I won’t be as harsh as my sister who simply says Fiona can’t sing, I will say that she’s not a great vocalist. Take “James” for instance. When she’s singing the more power rock parts, her voice is okay but it’s when she tries to go more melodic, her voice lets the song down. The same can be said on “Over Now,” which is a shame in a way because that song has the best guitar solo on the album. Her vocal weakness comes through the most on the power ballad, “Love Makes You Blind.” Her voice isn’t up to it. I don’t want to be cruel to her so I’ll put forward this perspective. Instead of being made to sing more commercial ready, it would have been better for her if she had fronted a proper heavy metal band which her vocal ability is more suited for. That’s my verdict anyway.

Track Listing:

  1. Hang Your Heart On Me
  2. Talk to Me
  3. You’re No Angel
  4. Rescue You
  5. James
  6. Love Makes You Blind
  7. Over Now
  8. The Na Na Song

Fiona

Fiona- lead vocals

Bobby Messano- guitar

Gregory Tebbitt- guitar

Benjy King- keyboard

Alan Hurwitz- keyboard

Peter Zale- keyboard

Joe Franco- drums, percussion

Donnie Kisselbach- bass

Schuyler Deale- bass

Rick Bell- saxophone

Elena Aazan- backing vocals

Tom Flanagan- backing vocals

Peppi Marchello- backing vocals

Louie Merlino- backing vocals

‘The Mob’- backing vocals

Tara O’Boyle- backing vocals

Jimmy Wilcox- backing vocals

Fiona wasn’t the big commercial success Atlantic Records was hoping for in 1985 and I’ve given clues as to why. In spite of that, her debut album is still pretty good and worth a listen.

BTW, I hope people out there aren’t taking this to mean that heavy metal singers aren’t as good as those who aren’t. Many mainstream vocalists can’t sing metal.

Next post: George Thorogood- Maverick

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1536483187&sr=1-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1985: Fiona”

  1. I happened across her second LP a few days ago in the racks, held it for a second and thought ‘Nah’. I now know I should have thought “Na na, na na na na na” instead!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I don’t think I know her music at all.

    In a side note, I just got back from a weeks holidays from your old stomping grounds in Jersey. From the northwest border to Long Branch, down the shore to Ocean City and over to Philly. Fun times (except for the $20 toll at Philly only to be thrown into a traffic jam)

    Liked by 1 person

    • That sounds like the Philly I remember! During my teenage years and those immediately coming out of the service, I only lived 5 miles from Ocean City. Used to go to the beach and boardwalk there every summer. It gets lots of mention in Rock and Roll Children. Small world isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

      • We stayed a few nights in Ocean View and hit the beach/boardwalk in Ocean City.
        Super hot though. 100 degrees. Kids were crying because the sand was so hot.
        We parked our lawn chairs under the pier near the public restrooms to get out of the sun.
        The girls liked the shopping. I liked the busker that called out my Sabbath shirt and started singing a little Sabbath.
        Fun times.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The sand can get really hot there in the summer. Best place to be is near the water. That busker sounds cool. We’re hoping to get there next summer.

        Like

  3. […] Source: Great Rock Albums of 1985: Fiona | 80smetalman’s Blog […]

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve never heard of her. Looks like a 80’s pop record right there… perhaps Atlantic used the wrong image.

    Liked by 1 person

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