Today let's take a listen to this obscure yet quite awesome private LP. Established in Stamford, Connecticut, EARL VALENTINE was founded by Earl M. Valentine at the end of the Seventies with the group releasing their debut in 1980, a really nice Pomp-rock effort.
Earl Valentine (the band) continued active touring the East Coast and after several line-up changes over the years the band started the recording of this "Night Blindness" in 1986.
With another CT native producing, engineering & mixing - the then young Earl Cohen now famous for his work with Lady Gaga - "Night Blindness" was released in 1987 via EMV Records (Earl M. Valentine own label).
Since the first bits of opener "These Kids Yesterday / These Kids Today" you can tell EARL VALENTINE not only showcases an impressive musicianship but also a quite original sound.
This is melodic hard rock with a clear American vibe, but Earl & Co. inject a wonderful Pomp AOR dose to the proceedings.
There's some Beau Coup on "Rock And Roll Star", some Bryan Hughes Group "You're The One I'm Dreaming Of" or some Brian McDonald in "Can't Keep A Good Man Down", but overall, EARL VALENTINE remind me of Giuffria.
The strong use of keyboards, that 'harmonic' guitar and Earl's vocal timbre reminiscent of David Glen Eisley makes the band and this album very Giuffria-esque. Just listen "Looking Out My Window"...
Earl Valentine released a final album in 1990 but more Adult Contemporary oriented, however there's various demos / unreleased tracks in an awesome AOR style that perhaps I will present here someday.
A very rare '80s private press, EARL VALENTINE's "Night Blindness" is an AOR collectors piece.
There's a poor sounding file floating the web obviously copied from cassette, but this is a pretty good vinyl-LP rip cleaned / restored by me.
Rarities not always guarantee quality, but this is a little unknown gem that turns better and better with each listen.
You'll love it.
01 - These Kids Yesterday / These Kids Today
02 - Rock And Roll Star
03 - You're The One I'm Dreaming Of
04 - See The Man He's On The Run Again
05 - Night Blindness
06 - Looking Out My Window
07 - Stop
08 - Can't Keep A Good Man Down
09 - Power Surge
EARL VALENTINE - Night Blindness