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Born from the ashes of the Winnipeg, Canada based band The Pumps, ORPHAN was founded by keyboardist Brent Diamond and singer / bass player Chris Burke-Gaffney. The group secured a deal with Columbia Records and soon recorded their debut "Lonely At Night" in 1983, regarded as a classic Canuck AOR album.
This pompy, keyboard filled radio-friendly beauty was recorded at the famous Power Station studios in New York and produced by the afamed Lance Quinn (Arc Angel, Bon Jovi) and Bon's second cousin Tony Bongiovi.
Catchy, plenty of harmony vocals and contagious chrouses, "Lonely At Night" is a must for fans of the genre. Title track owns that unmistakable first half of the '80s feeling akin Honeymoon Suite or Steelheart, followed by the harder and sharp "What Kind Of Love Is This" which remembers Americans Preview.
The atmospheric midtempo "Miracle" recalls the aforementioned Arc Angel, but also has a lovable new wave touch, a characteristic that made Orphan so special. Then on "She Told Me" they sound typically Canadian, ala Loverboy. Those keyboards and chunky melodic guitar riffs... Love it.
"Any Time At All" is another gem in a disc full of them: heavenly synths and vocals to die for. An AOR diamond if you ask me. On the faster "Hello" and the pompy "All Over The World" they sound more Americanized, the latter bringing to mind Giuffria's Angel or New England.
Orphan toured extensively US and Canada, and with former The Pumps bandmate Terry Norman Taylor as new drummer, the group recorded the second and final opus "Salute" in 1985, with Englishman Phil Chapman (Eric Clapton, Corey Hart) & Jon Astley behind the desk.
The style was more mid-eighties, quirky melodic rock oriented here, but still extremely melodious and radio friendly. Awesome numbers such as the ecstatic "Woman In Love" and the fighting "Stand Up" (Refugee comes to mind) are staples of the pure AOR-Rock we all love. "Old Enough To Know" is another instant favorite, just listen these quick guitars and processed drums.
The melodic rock perfection of "Lyin' To Me" combines a sultry refrain with a bombastic chorus, "Steel + Iron" is heavily guitar oriented, while the more poppy "Crazy For The Night" and "A Little Heart + Soul" adds sensibility to a very well balanced recording.
Orphan disbanded in 1986, but Burke-Gaffney and Terry Norman Taylor returned during the nineties with another band; Dead Beat Honeymooners, to be featured soon on this blog.
"Lonely At Night" & "Salute" never were officially pressed on CD until 2003 when a British label picked up both original tapes and released this great 2 in 1 gatefold digipak remastered edition. Sadly, it's out of print now, but occasionally appears on eBay at decent price.
Orphan was a unique AOR/MR act, and both records have magnificently stood the test of time still sounding fresh and vital.
A Must Have.
LONELY AT NIGHT (1983)
01 - Lonely At Night
02 - What Kind Of Love Is This
03 - Miracle
04 - She Told Me
05 - Saved By The Bell
06 - Any Time At All
07 - Hello
08 - All Over The World
09 - Night Parade
01 - Open Up The Skies
02 - Lyin' To Me
03 - Woman In Love
04 - Crazy For The Night
05 - Stand Up
06 - A Little Heart + Soul
07 - Old Enough To Know
08 - Uncle Sam Wants You
09 - Steel + Iron
10 - The Way It Should Be
Chris Burke-Gaffney - Bass, Lead Vocals
Steve McGovern - Guitar, Vocals
Brent Diamond - Keyboards, Vocals
Ron Boisvenue - Drums, Backing vocals on Lonely At Night
Terry Norman Taylor - Drums, Backing vocals on Salute
ORPHAN Lonely At Night & Salute 2in1