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Quarterflash

4.5 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Vinyl
  • Label: Geffen
  • ASIN: B00411H97G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,402,734 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Quarterflash Store

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Top Customer Reviews

By Daniel J. Hamlow HALL OF FAME on November 8, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Quarterflash is one of those 80's groups that were short-lived and only had a few singles to their name. What's generally overlooked is their sound, a unique brand of 80's new-wave, snarling guitar rock, a great vocalist/sax player, and synths that became more prominent with the last album.
From the opening wailing sax and upbeat pace, and the snarling guitars that come late in the song, "Harden My Heart" was Quarterflash's first big hit, and some say only, though given the fact I have all three of their albums, I take issue with that. OK, so it was their only Top Ten hit, but since when do chart positions alone determine greatness? Rindy Ross delivers of those bittersweet lyrics with great aplomb. She reminds me of Cyndi Lauper without the gooniness, more polished, and with a higher range.
With its breakneck bass and drums, with jangling electric guitar, slamming riffs, "Find Another Fool" rivals Pat Benatar's "Heartbreaker." Yet another song of being let down and disappointed, and Rindy's upper register is pretty to listen to. Bruce Sweetman has a violin solo accompanied by that fierce guitar, adding to the exoticness of Q's sound.
"Critical Times" proved the template for future sad introspective Styx-like ballads backed with string synths like "Eye To Eye" and "It All Becomes Clear." Like those two, this is sung by Jack Charles. The sense of insecurity of a fading love is highlighted here. "you lose all track of yourself when you're feeling that way/you can always hide yourself in a corner/worrying about the miserable pain/but everyone seems to swim in it/it makes the world go round.
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Format: Audio CD
Released in late 1981, this album includes three charting singles; "Harden My Heart" - #3 pop hit and #1 album rock hit, "Find Another Fool" - #16 pop hit and #12 album rock hit and "Right Kind Of Love" - #56 pop hit. The Quarterflash album sold over two million copies and topped charts in many countries and landed in the #8 spot in 1982 here in the US. Marv (guitar and song writer for eight of the nine tracks) and Rindy Ross (lead vocal and alto saxophone) were both school teachers who gave up their teaching certificates for the music field. Marv and Rindy had some local success in the northwest with a band called "Seafood Mama". The band had cut a demo version of "Harden My Heart" which actually hit #1 on the local radio station in Portland. This caught the ears of producer John Boylan and he flew in to hear the band which played a mixture of polished rock, swing, country and folk. The band changed line-ups, focused on rock n roll and changed their name to Quarterflash, making this the first new project signed to Geffen Records. Quarterflash is one of the cleanest albums that I have ever heard. The solos are rightly placed and Rindy sings using many dynamic changes which offer the listener a solid forty minutes of pleasure. The album is also quite moody having several songs in b minor that dive deep into the demises of love affairs. "Valerie", an up-tempo ballad about a woman receiving advances at an art school is quite amusing. The jazz influenced "William's Avenue" is also a great addition to the package. Jack Charles, the lead guitarist, adds some changes to the direction of the LP with his melancholy "Critical Times". The album still sounds as good today as it did when I first heard it over twenty years ago. As a 28 year old teacher, I listen to most everything, but I still find refuge in the classics and Quarterflash will always be at the top of my list!
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Format: Audio CD
I lived in Portland in 1980, and I can still tell you where I was the first time Craig Walker at KGW played Seafood Mama's Harden My Heart, recorded on a four-track reel to reel recorder at Marv and Rindy's house. I bought the single the second I found it, and yes, I still have it. I told people it was going to be a big, big hit if it were to be released nationally. Almost a year later, I watched as the re-recorded "Harden My Heart" climbed the charts to #3; it had the bad timing to come up against "Physical" and "Waiting For A Girl Like You", which dominated the charts for the bulk of "Harden My Heart"'s peak chart run. It could have climbed higher if not for those two blockbuster hits.

This is a terrific set of songs. Several have mentioned "Williams Avenue", which best represents the jazz-tinged Seafood Mama sound. Some of my other favorites are "Right Kind of Love", "Cruisin' With The Deuce", and "Valerie", which kinda weirded me out on first listen, but grew on me. "Critical Times" grew on me, and I, for one, am glad Jack Charles sang it. If you only know Quarterflash from "Harden My Heart", check out this CD, you'll be glad you did.
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Format: Audio CD
As a few others here have mentioned, this is one of the most underrated albums of the early 80's. True their hits left a little to be desired, but their first album shows this band had far more talent than most of their peers.

Aside from the two hits (most people seem to forget that Find Another Fool had plenty of airplay too), they had some great songs showcasing their abilities. Williams Avenue is one of those perfect songs, great vocal work on the first three minutes followed by a groovin' 4+ minute jam with a great solos on violin, sax and guitar with Rich Gooch's moovin' bass under it all.

I'd happily buy this album just for this tune alone, and then enjoy the other great tracks such as "Critical Times", "Valerie" and "Crusin' with the Deuce"
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