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|Origin||New Jersey, United States|
|Associated acts||Danger Danger, Yngwie Malmsteen|
Saraya was an American hard rock band, based in New Jersey and featuring singer Sandi Saraya, guitarist Tony "Bruno" Rey, keyboardist Gregg Munier, bassist Gary Taylor, and drummer Chuck Bonfante. The band is best known for their song "Love Has Taken Its Toll," and for being one of the few female-fronted rock bands of the 1980s.
In 1987, Sandi Saraya and keyboardist Gregg Munier began performing under the name Alsace Lorraine. They would eventually travel to Los Angeles in search of stardom, changing their name to Saraya, because Sandi was the face of the band. After a short stint in LA, the band would return to New Jersey where Saraya and Munier would spend the next year writing material for their debut album. Later in 1987, Saraya and Munier would be joined by former Danger Danger guitarist Tony "Bruno" Rey, bassist Gary Taylor, and drummer Chuck Bonfante.
Saraya released their self-titled debut on PolyGram Records in 1989. Executives at PolyGram hoped to eventually develop Sandi Saraya into a sex symbol, making her the "Next Bon Jovi". Promoters wanted to establish Saraya as a good rock band and gradually establish Sandi's sex appeal as the band received more exposure. The debut album saw some success, spending 39 weeks on the Billboard 200, peaking at No. 79. Their first single, "Love Has Taken Its Toll" reached No. 64 on the Billboard 100, on the Week of Aug 12th, 1989 and their followup "Back to the Bullet" peaked at No. 63., on the Week of Dec 2nd, 1989.
After the first album, Saraya experienced several lineup changes. Barry Dunaway (Yngwie Malmsteen) replaced Gary Taylor on bass. Munier recorded keyboards and backing vocals on the second album, When the Blackbird Sings, but was unhappy with the direction of the music as it was more guitar driven. He later left the band and was replaced with guitarist John Riggio.
Tony Bruno has been the most prolific of all the band members, playing, writing and recording with, as well as producing, many prominent artists in the music industry, from Joan Jett to Enrique Iglesias to Rihanna.
In October 2010, Saraya planned to reunite for the Firefest Music Festival in the UK. Issues between Sandi Saraya and the Firefest Team, however, prevented the band from performing at the festival.
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- Sandi Saraya - lead vocals, tambourine (1987-1992)
- Tony "Bruno" Rey - guitar, backing vocals (1987-1992)
- Chuck Bonfante - drums (1987-1992)
- Barry Dunaway - bass guitar, backing vocals (1990-1992)
- John Roggio - guitar (1990-1992)
- Gregg Munier - keyboards, piano, backing vocals (1987-1990, 1991 died 2006)
- Gary "Skid" Taylor - bass guitar, backing vocals (1987-1990)
- Saraya (1989)
- When the Blackbird Sings (1991)
single, Timeless Love, off the Shocker soundtrack (1989)
- Thedeadrockstarsclub.com - accessed December 2010