Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music

Saraya – Love Has Taken It’s Toll and Runnin Out Of Time

The band was formed in New Jersey, by Sandi Saraya and keyboard player Gregg Munier.  One of the first names they had was Alsace Lorraine.  They then travelled to LA to make it.  They didn’t make it and returned home broke, ready to start over again.  In interviews from 1989, Saraya has stated that the other members didn’t have the same commitment.  This always leads to tensions.   So the band dissolves and the nucleus of Saraya and Munier start again.  They keep on writing new songs.  Then songwriting great Sandy Linzer came into the picture.

Linzer assisted the band in obtaining management with David Sonenberg.  Sonenberg then organised an audition for Saraya and Munier, with Polygram Records.  The rest is history.  Saraya and Munier secured a record deal.

Throughout all of this Linzer was still in the picture, assisting Saraya and Munier in fine tuning the songs they had been writing.

Guitarist Tony Bruno Rey joined during this period, bringing along with him his other Swift Kick band mates, bassist Gary Taylor and drummer Chuck Bonfante.

Songwriting for the album took over a year.  Before Saraya signed with Polygram, she turned down another major label deal, because the label said to her, that all she needs to do is wear a skirt and they will find the songs for her.

The first album was released in 1989.  It was produced by Jeff Glixman.

I actually made the decision to purchase the album because I saw Glixman as the producer.  He had produced albums that I liked a lot, like Leftoverture and Point of Know Return from Kansas, Corridors of Power and Victims Of the Future by Gary Moore, The Eternal Idol by Black Sabbath and the classic Odyssey from Yngwie Malmsteen featuring the talented Joe Lynn Turner on vocals.  So to me it was a no brainer, Jeff was the man.  I wasn’t disappointed.  Production was world-class.

Love Has Taken It’s Toll was the lead single, and it is the opposite of what Timeless Love is.  It’s a classic rocker.  The song is written by Sandi Saraya, Tony Bruno Rey and Sandy Linzer.  The vocal track you hear from Sandi, is the dummy vocal that she recorded as a guide for the rest of the band.  She did it so good, it was decided that it should be used as the final cut.

I remember reading in an interview, that one of her influences was Glenn Hughes and that he never got the attention he deserved.  Fast forward 24 years, and it is the same for Sandi Saraya, she never got the attention she deserved.  She had impeccable timing, a bluesy swagger and sex appeal to match the vocals.

Runnin Out Of Time has that Ritchie Blackmore feel, sort of like Speed King, Highway Star and Death Alley Driver from Deep Purple and Rainbow all merged into one.  It’s written by Sandy Linzer, Gregg Munier and Sandi Saraya.  The lead break by Rey is a song within a song composition.  The guitar work is unbelievable and the Saraya is pushing her voice to the limit.  It feels like it’s she’s going to blow her voice at any minute.  This is my favourite track on the album.  It was exactly what I was into at that time.   Sandi said that one of her favourite instruments is a Charvel Jackson RR Flying V.  I am assuming that she wrote quite a few riffs for the album.  

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music

Saraya – Timeless Love – Classic Song Waiting to be Discovered

I was listening to Halestorm and when I heard Lzzy’s voice, three female voices came to mind immediately.  Ann Wilson from Heart, Pat Benater and Saraya’s.  It’s a tragedy that there isn’t more content on the web dedicated to Saraya.  Her voice is magical, soulful, bluesy, rocky and sexual.

It was Timeless Love from the Shocker soundtrack of 1989 that first got my attention.  It’s a ballad and for some insane reason, it isn’t included on the normal version of the self titled album released the same year, only on an overpriced import album.  Chalk that down to greedy record labels. 

In order to “OWN” the song, you had to purchase the Shocker Soundtrack if it was available, or order it in, where they charged you a bit more for it. That is what I needed to do to hear the music I liked back in eighties. Radio in Australia very rarely played the music I liked, so I needed to spend money on it. 

Timeless Love is another gem written by Desmond Child.  It is a bona fide hit. The melody is haunting and beautiful.  Desmond Child stated in a LA Times article, that Saraya had take after take at completing the song, however she just wasn’t getting the emotion across, that Child wanted to hear. So then an idea came to him.    

“I wanted a huge chain, like they use to tie up a mean dog,” said Child with an impish grin. “I told her that doing this song was like being in a play, where she was playing a character, a woman all tied up in knots over this guy.  Then I wrapped her up in the chains and she got the song on the first take.”

If it is true, he got the take that he wanted, as the vocals are dead set chilling.

There is no tomorrow in my heart
Only dreamers believe in time

So let’s leave no regrets behind

Does it sound like the run of the mill Bon Jovi style that Desmond was renowned for?  No chance.  This is a classic ballad in the vein of Heart’s – Alone.

Steve Lukather of Toto fame does the guitar work and the unbelievable guitar solo, Myron Grombacher from Pat Benater’s band is on drums and John Pierce from Huey Lewis and the News is on bass.  It’s a super group of seasoned musicians, that know how to deliver.

Jennifer Rush (from The Power of Love fame) covered the song and it was too perfect.  It was a great cover version, however Saraya’s version just has that special emotion in it, that special rawness that makes it perfect.

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