Eighties Top Albums: The Adventures - The Sea Of Love


Drowning In The Sea Of Love
Broken Land
You Don't Have To Cry Anymore
The Trip To Bountiful (when the rain comes down)
Heaven Knows Which Way
Hold Me Now
The Sound Of Summer
When Your Heart Was Young
One Step From Heaven

The Adventures was a Northern Irish rock band founded in Belfast in 1984 by singer Terry Sharpe and guitarist Pat Gribben. They already knew each other from the punk band The Starjets. At their first concert in February 1984, the band further consists of Gribben's wife Eileen (vocals), Gerard Murphy (guitar, percussion, vocals), Tony Ayre (bass) and Paul Crowder (drums). The group manages to score a record deal with Chrysalis, moves to London, and after four singles, all of whom have reached the lower reaches of the UK Singles Chart but do not make a major breakthrough, the group debuts in 1985 with the album Theodore And Friends. It is released in a period that the band is on the world tour of Tears For Fears as support act. Although the album gets favorable reviews, it does not produce significant sales. 

After a two-year hiatus, the group returns via Elektra Records with the album The Sea Of Love, which features new keyboardist Jonathan Whitehead. The single Broken Land seems the breakthrough and gains place 20 in the UK Singles Charts while The Sea Of Love reaches the top 30 place in the UK Album Charts and stays in the charts for ten weeks. In America, the album manages to reach place 39 in the Billboard list. The successive singles Drowning In The Sea Of Love and One Step From Heaven do not succeed in continuing the success of Broken Land. Also the albums Trading Secrets With The Moon (1990) and Lions And Tigers And Bears (1992) no longer deliver the success that was achieved briefly with The Sea Of Love. Polydor, in the meantime their new record company, dropped the group in 1993 after a lack of success, after which the group decided to call it a day shortly afterwards. In 2007 and 2009 The Adventures regroups for a few concerts, although there is no reunion. Since the death of bass player Tony Ayre on December 20, 2009, it is silent around The Adventures.

The Sea Of Love is a polished feel-good album full of soothing and strong harmonies, pleasant guitar playing and spherical keyboard parts. It vibrates with freshness and unadulterated finesse, with the openers Drowning In The Sea Of Love and Broken Land relying heavily on a symphony of gorgeous voices, where Broken Land can not ignore a comparison with Burt Bacharach and Jimmy Webb. The rough musical edges are kept for songs like Hold Me Now and When Your Heart Is Young. The musicality on the album is top class, although the unwavering optimism of The Sea Of Love will probably not suit cynics. Highlight are Sharpe's melancholic vocals on Broken Land, which catch the sufferings caused by the violent, religious conflicts in Ireland, Sharpe's homeland. Accompanied by commendable keyboards and solid drums, he sings with deep sadness, observing the destruction around him and asking for peace. The warmth and clarity of his voice are not only a comfort to the ears, but also to the heart.

In 2017 Cherry Red released an expanded version of the album including eight bonus tracks.


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