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Alien Shores

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Album Review

This album marked Platinum Blonde's commercial peak, and in retrospect you can only wonder why it failed to spread the band's massive Canadian success to America. Beyond the MTV-perfect hairdos, the quartet offered a savvy musical blend that suggested crossing Duran Duran with Def Leppard — just the sort of thing you'd figure would have gone over huge in the heartland. It didn't, but Platinum Blonde had perfected the formula anyway on the single "Crying Over You," adding squalling guitar from Rush's Alex Lifeson to the polished dance groove. Close behind were the muscular metallic funk of "Red Light" and "Animal," while the keyboard-laced melodies of "Somebody Somewhere" and "Hungry Eyes" made those songs obvious hits to everyone — except U.S. listeners. Sometimes the band ventured a little too close to Simon LeBon and co., especially on "Lost in Space," which sounded like an outtake from Duran Duran. And given that singer Mark Holmes' occasional vocal excesses mirrored LeBon's, it wasn't always a flattering comparison. But ultimately, that's a small quarrel with an album that rolled most of what was fun, colorful, and catchy about '80s music into one still-impressive package.


Formed: 1981

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Platinum Blonde was formed in Toronto, Canada in 1982 between the end of the disco boom and the beginnings of glammy hard rock. New wave was in its commercial glory and bands like the Police, Duran Duran and Billy Idol were combining fashion and sound to cash in on the new art form of music video. Vocalist Mark Holmes, guitarist Sergio Galli, bassist Kenny MacLean and percussionist Chris Steffer were Canada's answer to those bands. In 1983, Platinum Blonde released its debut album, Standing in the...
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Alien Shores, Platinum Blonde
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