#541: You’re What I Look For by Glass Tiger
Discovered in the summer of 1984 when a band from Newmarket, Ontario called Tokyo spent two evenings performing before capacity crowds at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens opening for Boy George and Culture Club. Their dynamic original sound captured the moment, and the race to sign them was on. Tokyo, which had become a major force in suburban high schools and the Ontario club circuit, officially became Glass Tiger early the following year when a record deal was finally signed with Capitol Records. The band consisted of Alan Frew on vocals and guitar, Sam Reid on keyboards, Al Connelly on guitar, Wayne Parker on bass and Michael Hanson on drums.
After being introduced to Jim Vallance, who had previously produced albums for Prism and Bryan Adams, Glass Tiger was off to the recording studio to work on their first album. The Thin Red Line set a record for being the fastest selling debut recording in Canadian history, going gold within weeks of its release. To date, this album has received four Platinum records in Canada and earned Gold status in the USA. One of Glass Tiger’s many hit singles “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)” climbed all the way to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, followed by “Someday” which peaked on the US charts at #5. Both songs were written by Jim Vallance and made Canadian history when Glass Tiger won successive Juno’s a year apart for Single of the Year from the same album.
On July 25, 1986, Glass Tiger performed in concert at the Expo Theatre at Expo ’86. Another single from Thin Red Line was “You’re What I Look For”.
“You’re What I Look For” is a song written by the bandmates in Glass Tiger. The song concerns awakening fascination and attraction between two people. With one glance time seems to stand still. The glance is a catalyst for the courage to walk up to each other and say “you’re what I look for.” The person who approaches the other tries to make conversation and smile, but the one who was approached looks the other way. Is this out of shyness? The lyrics tell us “you make situations seem like love affairs.” Does she want the public fact of their conversing in a room with other people to be hushed up? Are there others who aren’t supposed to be alerted to their attraction? And is there someone else she is involved with who would make her flirtation improper? The final bridge in the song tells us “now it’s over.” Much as these two casual acquaintances acknowledged their mutual fascination and interest in each other, it was, apparently short-lived. The person who breaks eye contact, and looks away when the other person smiles at them, seems to be engaged just to tease and not to pursue anything serious.
In an article titled “The Two Kinds of Flirting – Flirting for Fun vs Flirting with Intent,” in marriage.com, the online staff state “flirting can do wonders for your morale boost and self-confidence. Dress up, go to the nearest bar, and just let loose…. when people flirt with zero aim or intention, it can be taken as being a tease. There is no intention of taking the relationship forward.” It seems in “You’re What I Look For” that the person who is approached is just interested in acknowledging that the other person who walks up to them is their type. But they don’t want to do anything about it. They’re just interested in affirming when a mutual attraction occurs, and then on to the next thing.
With five Juno awards and a Grammy nomination under their belt, Glass Tiger was invited as concert openers for Tina Turner’s 1987 European tour. Glass Tiger’s second release Diamond Sun, established Glass Tiger’s reputation as being one of Canada’s better recording artists at crafting a song. Diamond Sun ended up charting four singles into the Canadian RPM Top 30 singles chart: “Diamond Sun”, “I’m Still Searching”, “My Song”, and “(Watching) Worlds Crumble”. The album was awarded Double Platinum status based on its sales. After the album was released drummer Michael Hansen left the band. While Glass Tiger didn’t replace him with a drummer until Chris McNeill in 2000, they had studio musicians who were drummers hired for subsequent album productions.
Glass Tiger’s third album, Simple Mission, sold well and went Platinum in Canada. It featured the hit singles “Animal Heart” and the band’s duet with Rod Stewart on the Celtic tune, “My Town”.
After the Simple Mission album Glass Tiger went dormant, but reformed and began to tour again ten years later in 2003. On January 20, 2006, Glass Tiger performed at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver.
Keyboard player Sam Reid founded his own production company called Willow Music. Alan Frew wrote the 2010 Olympic Broadcast theme song “I Believe”. Guitarist Al Connelly has continued producing and writing new material, as well as performing. And Chris McNeil has been a drummer with Randy Bachman, Honeymoon Suite and Platinum Blonde. As well, McNeil has been a producer. On September 12, 2012, Glass Tiger appeared in concert at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, with Roxette the opening act. Two years later Glass Tiger returned to Vancouver to appear at the PNE Summer Nights Concert series on September 1, 2014.
In 2015 Alan Frew suffered a stroke and was partially paralyzed for awhile.
In 2018 they released their fourth studio album 31. In June 2019 they went on tour with Corey Hart, performing at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver on June 25th.They also released their fifth studio album titled 33. As of October 2019, Glass Tiger has 12 upcoming concert dates between October 2019 and March 2020.
October 23, 2019
Glass tiger bio ~ glasstiger.ca.
“Interview with Alan Frew, Lead Singer of Glass Tiger,” Rediscoverthe80s.com, May 8, 2020.
Karen Bliss, “Glass Tiger Frontman Recovering After Stroke Paralyzes His Right Side,” Billboard, August 26, 2015.
Sue Sadzak Herbert, “Seems Like Yesterday” – An Interview With Sam Reid From Glass Tiger,” Music Life Magazine, April 9, 2015.
“The Two Kinds of Flirting – Flirting for Fun vs Flirting with Intent,” marriage.com, February 12, 2019.
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