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|Studio album by Corey Hart|
|Recorded||1982–1983 Revolution Recording Studios, Cheadle Hulme, Greater Manchester, England
Eel Pie Studios, London, England
|Genre||New Wave, Synthpop|
|Label||Aquarius (Canada) - AQR 537
EMI (United States) - 2401861
|Producer||Jon Astley, Phil Chapman|
|Corey Hart chronology|
First Offense is the first album by Corey Hart, released in 1983. It includes the hit single "Sunglasses at Night" and the ballad "It Ain't Enough". Hart was subsequently nominated for four Juno Awards and a Grammy Award for "Best New Artist".
Background and writing
After meeting Billy Joel in a New York recording studio, Hart was signed to Aquarius Records and went to England to record his first album. Much of it was recorded at Revolution Recording Studios in Cheshire, where owner Andy Macpherson helped him to gather a mix of British musicians who were known for their work in other bands, including Gary Tibbs (Adam and the Ants) on bass guitar, Paul Burgess (10cc) on drums and Michael Byron-Hehir (Sad Café) on guitar. Byron-Hehir became a full-time member of Hart's band for the next seven years. The album also features a cameo by Eric Clapton, playing the Dobro (resonator guitar); a fact mentioned in Hart's early promotional materials.
Hart had completed the album by August 1982, apart from "Sunglasses at Night" which had yet to be written. In a 1985 radio interview with CHUM-FM, Hart described how he returned to Canada and then wrote the song: "I wrote 'Sunglasses' and I said to the record company "I gotta do this song. I've just got to put it on the album" because ... it's just such an immediate song for me that when I wrote it, when I wrote the riff to that song, I said there's just something about it, some magic about this song. It was one of the only songs that I've written where I actually thought of the video at the time that I was writing it. I had that same gut feeling about 'Sunglasses' the minute I wrote it." The song, with its synthesizer-driven beat and distinctive guitar, was added to the album and became the hit lead single, rising to #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
The other singles from the album included the ballad "It Ain't Enough" which became a Top-20 hit, "She Got the Radio" which features a lead saxophone and "Lamp at Midnite". Hart toured North America and subsequently Europe and Australia on the strength of the "Sunglasses" single.
Two versions of the album were released, with the Canadian edition (on Aquarius Records) featuring a black and white photograph of Hart on the cover standing against a brick wall. The other edition (released on EMI) is more familiar as it is the cover used for all CD releases of the album and features a color close-up shot of Hart with stubble. The Canadian LP edition has an extra track, "Araby (She's Just a Girl)", which was not used on the EMI edition and has never been released on CD.
In the liner notes, Hart dedicated the album to his mother Mindy.
All songs written by Corey Hart.
- "Sunglasses at Night" 5:17
- "Peruvian Lady" 4:21
- "Lamp at Midnite" 4:06
- "She Got the Radio" 3:56
- "It Ain't Enough" 3:31
- "Does She Love You" 3:35
- "Cheatin' in School" 4:25
- "World Is Fire" 5:09
- "At the Dance" 3:31
- "Jenny Fey" 3:37
- "Araby (She's Just a Girl)" (3:40) - fifth track from the Canadian LP edition
- "Don't Keep Your Heart" (4:45) - B-side from the "Sunglasses at Night" 7" single (unreleased outside this 45)
The following singles were released from the album, with the highest charting positions listed.
|1.||"Sunglasses at Night"||"Don't Keep Your Heart"||1984||24||7|
|2.||"It Ain't Enough"||"Cheatin' in School"||1984||74||17|
|3.||"She Got the Radio"||"Araby"||1984||40||—|
|4.||"Lamp at Midnite"||"Sunglasses at Night" (extended version)||1985||38||—|
Charts and awards
- First Offense reached a high of #31 on the Billboard 200 album charts.
- The album was certified gold in the U.S. (over 500,000 sold) by the RIAA in January 1987.
- Hart was nominated for four Juno Awards in 1984 including "Male Vocalist of the Year", "Composer of the Year", "Single of the Year" and "Best Video" (winner).
Three music videos were produced for this album, all of them directed by Rob Quartly who was one of the most active Canadian music video directors at that time (and who went on to produce more videos for Hart).
The iconic video for "Sunglasses at Night" featured a futuristic vision of a police-run state with a young Hart wearing Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses and trying to outrun the authorities. The video received heavy airplay on MTV and helped push the song up the Billboard charts. Quartly received the Juno Award for Video of the Year for "Sunglasses" in 1984.
Two versions of the video for the ballad "It Ain't Enough" were made, one redone for the U.S. market. The difference between these two versions is that one simply features Hart singing the song into a classic Shure model 55 microphone in a shadowy room, while the other focuses on a storyline of Hart trying to win back the affections of a girl. The audio is also different. The first version has the original mix of "It Ain't Enough", while the second version features the remix/single version, which adds a little guitar riff throughout the entire song.
The girl who appears as Hart's love interest in both the video for "Sunglasses" and one of the versions of "It Ain't Enough" is Laurie Brown, who was a host of The NewMusic and later became a VJ on MuchMusic.
- Corey Hart - vocals, background vocals, keyboards
- Richie Close - keyboards
- Phil Chapman - keyboards
- Andy Barnett - lead guitar
- Michael Byron-Hehir - guitar
- Jon Astley - guitar, background vocals on "At the Dance"
- Eric Clapton - Dobro guitar on "Jenny Fey"
- Andy Macpherson - guitar
- Andy Hamilton - tenor & alto saxophone
- Gary Tibbs - bass guitar
- Paul Burgess - drums, percussion
- Phil Wooley and Tim Green - background vocals on "Peruvian Lady" and "At the Dance"
- Jon Astley - producer, engineer
- Phil Chapman - producer, engineer
- Andy Macpherson - engineer
- Greg Fulginiti - mastering at Artisan Sound Recorders
- Henry Marquez - art direction
- Michael Diehl - design
- Raul Vega and Jerry McGaraughty - photography
- Michael Hehir - Biography from SadCafe.co.uk
- Andy Macpherson - Biography
- MVDbase - Hart's videos
- Hart Bio - Jam! Canadian Pop Encyclopedia