The American band 8084 was formed
in the State of New Hampshire in the spring of 1982 by Keyboardplayer Charlie
Hawthorne, Vocalist Randy Smith and Drummer Gary Spaulding. In the beginning
the band was just performing covers of popular rock hits of the day on
the local bar circuit to make a living and to provide a platform from which
to launch an original album project. In the fall of 1982,Bassist Frank
Barnes and Guitarist Andre Maquera joined the group,which completed the
line-up of 8084. From 1982 through 1985,the band performed throughout the
northeastern US and Canada. They became one of the hottest bar bands on
the New England circuit.
In 1986,the band moved from their
home in northern Vermont into a house in New Hampshire. There they would
write songs for their upcoming debut album. In the meantime they would
perform on the Boston circuit. At the same time they were discovered by
BOSTON-producer/former NEW ENGLAND-drummer Hirsh Gardner. With him,the
band would produce their self-titled debut album. Finally, in the fall
of 1986, 8084 released their debut-album. The album was released on a small
independent recordlabel called Swinesong. But soon the band released their
debut in Europe through the Dutch recordlabel Semaphore Records. As soon
as the album was released in Europe,the band would receive fan mail and
press from magazines,fanzines and fans throughout Europe. The band became
popular in the AOR-circuit of Europe,which was pretty underground back
Their debut contained A.O.R./Melodic
Rock that had similarities to bands like NIGHT RANGER,HONEYMOON SUITE and
some influences of early BON JOVI at times.
The music sounded very cheerful
with lots of harmonyvocals and a very high energy and radiofriendly commercial
melodic rocksound. The album contained 8 tracks,including 1 track that
later ended up on a compilation of the AOR Basement-magazine.
The best tracks were “Bad man”,”Lover’s
feel”,”Hold on”(3 uptempo A.O.R.-rockers) and the beautiful AOR-ballad
“When I think of you".
At the time of release of the debut
of 8084 in 1986, A.O.R. and Melodic Rock was very popular in the USA with
bands like JOURNEY, NIGHT RANGER,SURVIVOR,HONEYMOON SUITE ... being on
top of the charts,which meant that the AOR of 8084 would also easily make
it. The band had built a large reputation in the USA, and so they were
taken under the wing of Richie Havens,who was a famous artist in the Sixties.
Havens worked with the band as an advisor and mentor, teaching them the
ins and outs he had learned in his musical carreer.
In April of 1987,the band performed
at a music competition for bands from all over North America. This Rock
Search International Competition was held at the Olympic Stadium Vellodrome
in Montreal,Canada. It took four days of competition, and 8084 emerged
victorious,taking first place and they received a standing ovation of the
10,000 attendees at the end of their performance. This was a very important
step for the band,because the judges for the competetion they had win,included
important people from major recordlabels such as CBS Records,Virgin Records
... So it was only a matter of days before the band began receiving offers
for management and recording contracts.
8084 signed a management and recording
contract with MCM, a CBS affiliated management company. The band started
to work on their second album with ALDO NOVA as the producer. 8084 moved
to Montreal in Canada and started writing and recording their 2nd album
the next five months. But for legal reasons the project was put on hold,the
album was almost finished and now they had to move to The States to produce
the songs again.
They also wrote some new material
and reworked some of the tracks that were recorded in Montreal. After many
struggles,8084 released in 1989 their long-awaited second album. The songs
that were produced by ALDO NOVA in Montreal,were re-produced by HIRSH GARDNER
again, this is side-A of their 2nd album which was titled ‘Love and war’.
Side-B was produced by the band theirselves.
Again only 8 tracks were on the
album. Opener “Too late for love” is definitely the best track 8084 ever
recorded. The song was written by Vocalist Randy Smith and ALDO NOVA. So,the
co-operation with Aldo Nova had resulted in at least 1 great song. "Too
late for love" has that typical 80’s-sound,which is-uptempo A.O.R.-rock
with a fantastic chorus that includes repeated harmonyvocals and also some
Other highlights on their 2nd album
are “Lonely at the top”, “She comes to me” and “Love and war”, 3 great
A.O.R./melodic Rocksongs. The album is not a classic,but still nice to
hear if you’re into AOR.
After the release of this second
album,the band received many press and was able to tour with some of the
major label touring acts such as WARRANT,HENRY LEE SUMMER and BLUE OYSTER
8084 seemed to be headed for the
major leagues when tragedy struck.
On Christmas Eve 1989, something
terrible happened. Keyboardist and founder Charlie Hawthorne was killed
in an automobile accident while driving home from a local performance.
Charlie was the leader of the band,and so it was not easy for the band
to continue. But the band returned on the scene in 1991 with the release
of their 3rd album. This self-produced album was titled 'Satisfaction guaranteed’
and released only on tape.
Charlie Hawthorne,who passed away,was
not replaced. Vocalist Randy Smith was and still is handling the keyboards.
Original Drummer Gary Spaulding was replaced by Andy Hanscom. The third
album included 5 tracks. 2 nice melodic rockers titled “Satisfaction guaranteed”
and “Animal logic”,l acoustic ballad titled “Fade away” and 2 very good
Those 2 songs are “Call me”(a fantastic
uptempo AOR/Melodic Rocker like their first album) and “Surrender” (a sublime,
These songs make 8084 sound at
It is now 6 years later and it has
been a bit quiet around the band,but I can inform you that the story of
8084 is not over yet,because in next issue of Strutter'zine (issue 13)
there will be an interview with the band and they promised me they are
working on some new material to be expected soon. We will wait and see
if the band still rocks! Visit our LATEST
AOR NEWSPAGE for the latest
news on 8084.
DISCOGRAPHY OF 8084:
|Love and war
LINE-UP THROUGH THE YEARS:
-Bass on 1,2 and 3
-Lead Vocals on 1,2 and 3 +Keyboards on 3
-Guitars on 1,2 and 3
-Keyboards on 1 and 2
-Drums on 1 and 2
-Drums on 3
47 Bank Street
(A special thanks goes out
to Randy Smith and the other members of 8084)
We also had an interview with
8084. You can read it soon on this WebSite!
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