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Steel Breeze

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  • Formed: Sacramento, CA
  • Years Active: 1980s


Biography All Music GuideWikipedia

All Music Guide:

Taking their name from a snatch of lyrics to Pink Floyd's "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" ("You were caught on the crossfire/Of childhood and stardom/Blown on the steel breeze"), the Californian sextet Steel Breeze became an early darling of MTV. Blending traditional, guitar-based power pop with the new wave/synthesizer trends of the day, their self-titled 1982 release scored a sizable hit, aided by the fledgling video outlet, with "You Don't Want Me Anymore." The song wasn't quite able to crack the Top Ten (halting at number 16), but it remained charted for five months. When "Dreamin' Is Easy" followed it into the Top 40, the band relinquished any possible claim on one-hit wonder status (although it's unlikely that few but the most trivia-oriented fans remember the song). The band would release Heart on the Line in 1983, but it faded without much notice (although Clarence Clemons did contribute saxophone to one track) and Steel Breeze would be a cover band playing West Coast clubs by the '90s (and into the ensuing decade). Lead singer Kevin Chalfont would become a member of the Storm, singing on their sole hit "I've Got a Lot to Learn About Love," which would be a Top 40 single in 1991.


Steel Breeze is an American album-oriented rock group that had a popular video on MTV with "You Don't Want Me Anymore" in 1982, followed by "Dreamin' is Easy" the following year.


Taking their name from a phrase in Pink Floyd's song, "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", the six-member band from Sacramento, California comprised- in its "classic" lineup- of Ric Jacobs (vocals), Ken Goorabian and Waylin Carpenter (guitars), Rod Toner (keyboards), Vinnie Pantaleoni (bass guitar), and Barry Lowenthal (drums) released their self-titled debut album in 1982 on RCA Records. "You Don't Want Me Anymore," the first single from the album, quickly jumped into the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 supported by a video that was a favorite of early MTV, and peaked at #16. The next single, "Dreamin' Is Easy" also made it into the Top 40, but could not go higher than #30.

They had originally gotten together a few years earlier in a different lineup and had enjoyed some local success with "You Don't Want Me Anymore" with the hard work of manager John Wiseman, before catching the ear of producer Kim Fowley and attorney David Chatfield, who recorded the band's first album at Rusk studios in Hollywood and got Steel Breeze their recording contract with RCA. Casey Kasem, on the March 12, 1983 edition of American Top 40, describes how Fowley discovered Steel Breeze while going through approximately 1200 demo tapes that were about to be discarded by a local Hollywood night club, Madam Wongs. Chatfield and Fowley flew up to Sacramento and signed the band after Chrysalis Record executive Tom Trumbo told Chatfield he was looking for a band like Journey. Chatfield left Trumbo's office and went to Fowley's home where Fowley pulled out the Steel Breeze demo of "You Don't Want Me Anymore," which they both knew was a hit.

The band's lineup has shifted considerably since the release of the debut album, with keyboardist Rod Toner remaining in the band the longest of anyone from the classic lineup days. In 1984, Steel Breeze (now with ex-707 vocalist Kevin Chalfant and keyboardist Loren Haas as members) released their second album, Heart On The Line on an independent record label, but the record went unnoticed despite guest appearances by Bruce Springsteen's saxophonist, Clarence Clemons and Santana's vocalist, Alex Ligertwood. Five years later, a third Steel Breeze album, Cry Thunder came out with Bobby Thompson on vocals, Rick Lowe and Robbie Bickford on guitar, Toner on keyboards and Paul Ojeda on drums. In 1991, Still Warrior was released with yet another lineup, just as Chalfant had a small hit with a similar act, The Storm. In 1994, Peace Of Mind was issued.

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