The Heart’s The Best Part

All Night Radio

Released in October 1984 on Previous Records, catalogue number PRL 1. Mixed at House of Music, New Jersey. Mastered at Sterling Sound, New York City. Produced by John Rollo.

The first single from All Night Radio’s debut album… “Breaking Hearts” is probably the noisiest and freshest-sounding rock single produced in this country to date.

Andrew Donaldson, Cape Times

Tracks

  1. Breaking Hearts [3.25] released as a double a-side single with Sea Side Love in 1984
  2. She’s The One [3.33]
  3. Debbie [3.11]
  4. Sea Side Love [3.30] released as a double a-side single with Breaking Hearts in 1984
  5. Heat Of My Heart [1.54]
  6. Rising Storm [3.10]
  7. The Heart’s The Best Part [2.52]
  8. City Hall [4.04]
  9. Killing Time [3.46]
  10. Land Of Sin [4.26]
  11. Love Will Carry You [3.25]

All songs written by Steve Louw

Musicians

  • Nico Burger: Guitar
  • Steve Louw: Vocals, guitar
  • Rob Nagel: Bass, harmonica

Session musicians

  • Richard Pickett: Drums, backing vocals on “Love Will Carry On”
  • Brian Seppel: Keyboards
The Heart's The Best Part Back Cover
The Heart’s The Best Part Back Cover

Richard Pickett, great drummer also sang that high harmony part on “Love Will Carry You” … he sounds like a female gospel singer.


When we toured we played with Richard “Dish” Devey, (The News) and Derek “Bokkie” de Beer (Juluka/Savuka  … he played with us in the time between Juluka ending and Savuka starting up. We opened for Juluka in early 85.

Steve Louw, April, 2021
All Night Radio (l-to-r): Steve Louw, Rob Nagel, Nico Burger, Bokkie de Beer
All Night Radio (l-to-r): Steve Louw, Rob Nagel, Nico Burger, Derek “Bokkie” de Beer
All Night Radio: March 1984 (l-r): Rob Nagel: bass & sax, Steve Louw: vocals, Nico Burger: guitar, Dish Devey: drums, Pitchie Rommelaere: guitar
All Night Radio: March 1984 (l-r): Rob Nagel: bass & sax, Steve Louw: vocals, Nico Burger: guitar,
Dish Devey: drums, Pitchie Rommelaere: guitar
All Night Radio – Breaking Hearts (Live at Ellis Park Stadium, 12 January 1985)

Reviews

The Argus Tonight (3 October 1984) Pop World by Shannon Sherry

First off, if only for its trail-blazing status, is All Night Radio’s double A-sided record, Breaking Hearts and Sea Side Love. This is the much talked-about first product of the Cape Town band’s collaboration with producer John Rollo, an Englishman living in the United States who has produced amongst others, Little Steven & the Disciples Of Soul, Roberta Flack, Stevie Nicks, the Kinks and George Benson.

While on the subject, some gossip might be in order. The story goes that ANR’s Steve “Alltime” Louw just happened to be going to Johannesburg at the same time that Little Steven was in town, a fact mentioned to a local journalist who had been hoping to interview Little Steven but couldn’t get to the Golden City to do it. The said scribe then drew up some questions, gave them to Louw and arranged the meeting from Cape Town. Louw, with a formidable nose for a break, grabbed the meeting, dumped the questions and, on meeting the great one asked: “Will you produce my band?” According to the rumor, he also insisted that Little Steven listen to the tapes. “Er, I’d really like to,” said Little, “but, you see, I just can’t spare the time.”

But we are proud to report that, by this time, our Steve had his teeth firmly in the jugular, expressing his band’s willingness to wait. Realizing his defeat, Mr van Zandt declared that although he couldn’t do it, he could introduce Mr Louw to the co-producer of his album, one John Rollo. Transatlantic phone calls followed, Money was discussed and Music listened to and Mr Rollo winged his way to Cape Town, leaving George Benson waiting nog.

Carefully watched by Louw, he completed the mixing in his New Jersey studio – and voila! More seriously: With local producers coming under a lot of fire recently, the results of their work are going to be carefully scrutinized. Does it really make a difference? You bet. It just leaves local produce miles behind. The sound has presence and immediacy – I have yet to hear a local band sound as good on record as ANR do here. Louw’s vocals are commanding and passionate, the guitars have that gritty edge and the whole appears to be strong chart-orientated stuff.

All Night Radio 1984 (l-to-r): Nico Burger, Rob Nagel, Steve Louw
All Night Radio 1984 (l-to-r): Nico Burger, Rob Nagel, Steve Louw

Cape Times Review (5 October 1984) Exciting Glimpse by Andrew Donaldson

The first single from All Night Radio’s debut album was released last week. The double A-sided rocker, Breaking Hearts, c/w Sea Side Love, is a no-nonsense uncompromising recording debut, and an exciting glimpse of what the group intends to offer on its forthcoming album. Produced in Cape Town by New York-based John Rollo, “Breaking Hearts” is probably the noisiest and freshest-sounding rock single produced in this country to date. Guitarist Nico Burger effortlessly establishes himself as wunderkind here in one neat and fluid solo. ANR think they’re a great group. They probably are. I will be having words with them about this.

Breaking Hearts / Sea Side Love single 1984
Breaking Hearts & Sea Side Love, double a-side single, 1984. Previous Records, PRS1

Cape Times Funfinder (9 November 1984) Music by Andrew Donaldson

Back home, All Night Radio’s The Heart’s The Best Part is a thunderous debut, with its hard-driving snare-drum guitar orientated sound (Springsteen a la mode). Forget the “well-produced, technically perfect” spiel (it is a remarkable album in that aspect) and listen to the songs. Singer Steve Louw displays a talent for crafting songs that are free of obvious and clichéd hooks. They’re energetic, they’re thoughtfully constructed and, what’s important, they have a shelf like that takes you far past the first listening.


Zigzag Rock Etceteras (October 1984)

A return to basics, that’s what Cape Town’s All Night Radio wanted on their debut single so it’s a no-nonsense double A-sided rocker, Breaking Hearts / Sea Side Love. The group – Steve Louw (vocals, guitar), Nico Burger (guitars) and Rob Nagel (bass guitar, harmonica) – wanted to capture their pent-up raucous and emotive energy without compromising their live spirit. ANR needed a state-of-the art quality studio recording and got it. The album, The Heart’s The Best Part, was recorded by New York-based engineer/producer John Rollo (know for his work with The Kinks, Little Steven van Zandt, Stevie Nicks and George Benson), and was completed in 10 days in Cape Town’s UCA Studios with the help of session men Richard Pickett on drums, and Brian Seftel, on keyboards. It was mixed at House of Music in New Jersey and mastered by George Marino at Sterling Sound, NYC.

All Night Radio (l-to-r): Nico Burger, Ronnie Milne, Steve Louw, Rob Nagel, Pitchie Rommelaere
All Night Radio (l-to-r): Nico Burger, Ronnie Milne, Steve Louw, Rob Nagel, Pitchie Rommelaere

ANR met at Stellenbosch University, where a common love for the Blues and Rock ‘n Roll found them playing with David Kramer and Leslie Rae Dowling in various folk-dives and student one-offs. The three split up – Steve Louw heading for New York City and Rob Nagel going to Hamburg. After two more years of sweaty rock and roll dives, Rob and Steve decided to return to Cape Town and, reuniting with Nico in June, last year, use the city as the base for their assault on the record industry. Then came months of all-night rehearsals, live gigs to test the songs, more rehearsals, more gigs, and skeleton studio and live recordings until April this year, when the band felt they were ready to record. Steve van Zandt, former E-Street Band guitarist, put the band in touch with John Rollo, who had just completed the Little Steven album, Voice of America.

On the strength and spirit of ANR’s music on a hissing four track cassette, Rollo decided to pack his bags, fly from New York to the bottom of the darkest continent, and record these South African rockers. Together with Steve Louw, Rollo returned to his home studio in New Jersey, where the album and single was mixed. Rollo then enlisted the support of long-time friend George Merino to master and cut the disc at Sterling Sound. A US distribution deal is currently being negotiated while the band plan to tour in November.

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