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Actual Sighs

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iTunes Review

Richard X. Heyman had the songs; he just lacked the timing. His stock-in-trade was ‘60s-influenced pop tunes with tight, excited harmonies, soaring melodies and bright, punchy instrumentation informed by the ’70-‘80s punk-new wave movement. Wrong place, wrong time. Think the Byrds and Left Banke two decades later. With a limited budget, he issued the Actual Size six-song EP in 1986 and eventually signed with a major label at the turn of the 1990s. The music business is filled with performers who never reached their full potential, but Heyman’s fate seems particularly a shame since it wasn’t for lack of talent or material. Actual Sighs attempts to right an overlooked wrong. Twenty-plus years since his first EP, Heyman re-records that EP’s six tunes with stronger production and adds 14 additional tracks he’d written back then but never recorded since the money ran out. The highlights are frequent and steady. “Kenyon Walls,” “Winter Blue,” “Can’t Keep Me From Talkin’,” “Hoosier” — Heyman’s songs make the case for immediate rediscovery of this man’s immense talents.

Customer Reviews

Actual Brilliance

RXH continues to top himself with each new (and long-awaited) release. With "Actual Sighs", he pulls the neat trick of going back to the future, re-recording songs from his initial EP "Actual Size" and placing them as a virtual EP at the end of his customary "Beatles dozen" (i.e., 14) new tracks. Every new song sounds like you're hearing it all over again for the first time, and the 6 older tracks sound just as contemporary and innovative as the newer material. A must-have for everyone!


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Richard X. Heyman is one of the sadly overlooked pop craftsmen of the '90s, but his albums are widely regarded in power pop circles as instant classics. Heyman began recording in the late '80s in the tradition of the studio nerd/one-man band, playing all instruments himself in his upper west side Manhattan apartment living room, named Brontasaurus, presumably after the classic song by the Move. He released the independent Actual Size EP in 1987 and followed with the full-length Living Room!! in 1988....
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