MOONLIGHT DESIRES - Just The Hits (1981-1985)

Moonlight Desires - Just The Hits (1981-1985)

11 songs
37:04 minutes
***** ****
Infamous Butcher


There are more cover bands than you can possibly think of, although the first that come to my mind are Me First And The Gimme Gimmes, Elškelšiset and Steve'n'Seagulls. And I am not even starting with bands that only cover one artist (Brit Floyd, The Musical Box,...). And then there is Moonlight Desires from Ontario, Canada who have a rather interesting origin. Two musicians are actors who used to be in the Canadian sitcom Sons Of Butcher. This TV show was rather popular about ten years ago, and was about two guys who work by day as butchers and at nights try their luck, for better or worse, as rock musicians. When the show was popular, they played some real live shows to a rather surprising success. When the show was cancelled, they decided to continue the band under the name Moonlight Desires, titled after an Eighties hit from progressive rock artist Lawrence Gowan who currently is the singer of progressive rock band Styx.

Moonlight Desire are into grunge and see Foo Fighters and Soundgarden as their major influences. But as their concept is cover versions from the Eighties, they had to reconcile those two separate worlds. By concentrating their energies mostly on songs from the first half of the Eighties, the band substitutes the synthesizers with distorted guitars in order to target an audience interested in rock and metal music. Their debut album Frankie Goes To Hamilton was releases in 2014 and contained only love songs from their chosen era. Now they are back with their second longplayer Just The Hits (1981-1985) where they only cover tracks that made it back then into the Top Five of the Canadian music charts.

The album starts with Criminal Mind by the aforementioned Lawrence Gowan, and while this was a popular song in Canada, it was less so in Europe. Itís still a very catchy tune that also appeals to my European ears. Up next is Corey Hartís Sunglasses At Night. A one-hot-wonder in Europe, he apparently had more success in his native Canada. This version sounds just as carefree and fun as the original. Hall & Oates were mostly known for their hit Maneater, but Moonlight Desires cover Out Of Touch which was once featured on the soundtrack of the video game Grand Theft Auto Vice City. Duran Duranís Hungry Like A Wolf transports me back into my teenage years, and while I have never been a big fan of Rod Stewart, the bandís take on Young Turks feels very authentic. Despite Bette Davis Eyes being originally a song from the Seventies written by Donna Weiss and Jackie DeShannon, Moonlight Desires point out that they cover with a lot of gusto the much more famous version by Kim Carnes, yet another one-hit-wonder. Simply Red was always one of the artists I really didnít like at all, but this new take on Holding Back The Years shows that this track can rock if played the right way. Steve Winwoodís Valerie is the best pop song of the Eighties, according to Moonlight Desires, and I have to admit that their version sounds quite upbeat. New wave band Naked Eyesí Something About You is a song I have never come across in my life, but things have more recall value with Something About You, the second biggest hit by Level 42 right after Lessons In Love. The album ends on a sentimental note with The Power Of Love, the Łber-ballad by Frankie Goes To Hollywood that hasnít lost any of its magic thirty-five years of its release.

It should be pointed out that only two people are in the firm line-up of Moonlight Desires. The others are either studio or live musicians. Moonlight Desires are the kind of band that should be the ice breaker at every party where the average age is above forty years. Right now it seems as if the band isnít that popular yet, with not even 500 Likes on Facebook, but I wouldnít be surprised if their really well done cover version would soon gather much more attention. Just The Hits (1981-1985) is a short album with a very high entertainment factor.

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