Published on October 17th, 2020 | by Justin G.
Sabu: Heartbreak (Rock Candy, 1985/2020)
Originally released in 1985, Heartbreak was the third solo album from singer/guitarist Paul Sabu, who also wrote and produced the album. Fresh from the Kidd Glove project and free from label interference, Sabu could make the kind of album he wanted to, and the result was a perfect example of the mid ‘80s melodic hard rock scene.
Heartbreak is slightly less commercially-oriented than Kidd Glove, but is still a super radio-friendly melodic rock album. It’s full of catchy melodies, prominent keyboards, feel-good rock songs and of course Sabu’s very strong vocals, which are so reminiscent of Sammy Hagar and Dave Meniketti. The whole album is full of soundtrack-ready melodic rockers, with “Call of the Wild,” “Shake, Rattle, Roll” and “Angeline” as the main highlights.
Sadly, this album didn’t get much attention when it came out. Sabu might not have had a label influencing the recording process, but that also meant there was no real label to promote the album or get the band on tours. Heartbreak certainly had the potential to be a major hit though. Fans of Sabu’s work in Only Child and Kidd Glove definitely need to own Heartbreak, and fans of ‘80s rockers like Y&T, Sammy Hagar, Coney Hatch, Kane Roberts and Giuffria ought to check it out as well.
Reissue Notes: Heartbreak was reissued by the MTM label as part of their MTM Classix line in 2006. The MTM reissue featured remastered audio and three bonus studio songs. It was reissued again this year by the Rock Candy label as what has to be called the definitive edition of Heartbreak. Rock Candy’s version features the three bonus tracks from MTM’s version and adds another six bonus tracks, effectively doubling the length of the album. Unfortunately they don’t share much about where these tracks came from (demos? a scrapped follow-up album?), but they’re all really good tracks mostly in line with the sound on the main album. A couple have a poppier Kidd Glove vibe and one (“Ashes Of Wrong”) is an angry metal tune, and it’s damn near impossible to tell “Dream Burnin’ Down” isn’t a Sammy Hagar song. They all get a new remastering here, which is up to the high Rock Candy standard, and the booklet has a nice interview with Paul Sabu. All-in-all, it’s a fantastic reissue and a more than worthwhile upgrade.
Summary: Fantastic reissue of this overlooked melodic rock album