Big things were planned for Boston’s Face To Face in 1984. Signed to Epic, the New Wave group was pushed heavily by the label as the next big music sensation. The band was featured as the backing group in the movie musical Streets of Fire, with lead singer Laurie Sargent providing the singing voice for Diane Lane’s character. Meantime, the band’s self-titled debut and first single, “10-9-8” (download) began climbing the charts, complete with a video in heavy rotation on MTV:
A funny thing happened on the way to multi-platinum superstardom, though – their big hit single peaked at a puny #38, despite the promotional push. Things could have looked up as a second single, “Under the Gun,” (download) was released. A dancier number complete with a rap, “Under the Gun” was a personal favorite and once again MTV picked up on the video:
But despite a 12″ remix that charted fairly high in the clubs, “Under the Gun” failed to cross over and soon Face To Face were facing a tough time on the charts. Undaunted, the band forged ahead with a second album, Confrontation, in 1985, but that performed even more poorly, failing to chart any singles. Soon after, Epic dropped the group. They recovered a few years later with a new deal on PolyGram and a third album, One Big Day, in 1988, but again, nothing failed to catch fire and Face To Face disbanded.
As a few more years passed, another Face To Face appeared, this one a punk rock group having nothing in common with the original save the name. The original Face To Face’s first two albums were recently reissued on Wounded Bird Records and are both available on iTunes and Amazon – you just have to dig a bit to find the right ones. They’re both worth checking out if you liked the singles … Sargent’s voice is great and the hooks are strong.
“10-9-8” peaked at #38 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1984.
“Under The Gun” peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart that same year.
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