Monday, April 11, 2011

THE FRONT (Funderburk) - ST (1984)


Requested in "Request & Fill Corner" section...

Easy request to fill - I am a Big fan of Tommy - .

If you still don't know who is Tommy Funderburk, check the 'Labels' section, there's many posts about him on this blog.

Around 1983 Tommy met drummer Bob Wilson from the group SEAWIND, they formed THE FRONT and recorded this self titled album the following year.
This is classy '80s material, but not your typically AOR album.
First of all, drums are preponderant than other instrument, although the keyboards and guitars provide the essential embellishment to the songs.
And of course, Tommy (angelical) vocals shine as usual.
The Front, as all Funderburk eighties projects, is a christian-related band, but lyrics don't bother if you aren't a believer.

On "It's Hard To Take" the vocal sustain is incredible. A track with quirky keyboards and strong ambience.
"Holy Light" has more strong guitars and a terrific melody / chorus. This a great tune, play it twice and then tell me.
"All Under Him" and "Tonight" (wonderful lyrics) are calm, westcoast tracks with a smooth sound.
"King Of Glory" has very good vocal arrangement with a very late seventies style, "The Promise" is very modern for its era (reminds me '80s A. Parsons), while "Silent Night" is a stylized midtempo AOR with elegant guitars.
One of my favorites of the pack is "How Long", a killer marching AOR. Seems simple at first glance, but this is a serious monster AOR song with a massive guitar solo by Dan Huff.

The album release was followed by a U.S. tour in 1984 and a European leg in 1985.
As bonus, I added a very rare bootleg recording from the band's performance at the Koinonia Festival, Sweden. The sound is more than decent (I have edited and enhanced all tracks). The live version of "The Promise" is awesome.
On the European tour the line-up was Funderburk on vocals, Wilson on drums, Seawind alums Buddy Nuanez and Ken Wild on bass and guitar, and John Andrew Schreiner on keyboards.

"The Front" was published by a minor label named Refuge Records. This is a re-release by the mythical christian record company Benson. I don't know if it was remastered, but this CD sounds much better than the original release.
Very Good.


01 - It's Hard To Take
02 - Holy Light
03 - All Under Him
04 - King Of Glory
05 - The Promise
06 - Silent Night
07 - Tonight
08 - How Long

Live @ Koinonia Festival, Sweden, 1985
01 - It's Hard To Take
02 - How Long
03 - All Under Him
04 - The Promise
05 - Tonight
06 - On The Boulevard
07 - Christ Of Passion


TOMMY FUNDERBURK: Vocals
BOB WILSON: Drums & Percussion, Keyboards
LARRY WILLIAMS: Keyboards
DAN HUFF: Guitars
DENNIS BELLFIELD: Bass
TOM KELLY: Backing Vocals (4, 7)
LINDA McCRARY: Backing Vocals (3)
TATA VEGA: Backing Vocals (3, 4)
A. CROUCH, P. St. JAMES: Backing Vocals (3)



THE FRONT (Funderburk)

2 Comments:

daz-a-cid said...

Thank you so much Camelblue.
The extras sounds really good.
And the album is a beatiful piece of rock.
You´re right when you said:Tommy (angelical) vocals shine as usual.
Greetings from Colombia.

Camelblue said...

@ daz-a-cid :
Un placer amigo.