Aafter bouncing around the Toronto market for a few years, the demise of Mannequin after one album left singer Brian Maloney and guitarist Jim Huff looking for a new project.
After Huff was done filling in with Teenage Head for a few months, Mannequin was briefly reformed, but eventually called it quits for good. One of the songs they’d recorded, “What Rules My Heart” was used by Triumph for their SPORT OF KINGS album in ’88.
“It was released as a B-side of their first single (“Take A Stand”), the album went gold as was usual with everything they did at at the time,” Huff laughed. “This resulted in Brian and I getting a call from John Redmond who was head of publishing at A&M/Rondor Music, that’s what got the A&M ball rolling so to speak.”
They hooked up with keyboardist Stuart Zaltz and began writing some material while shopping for a record deal, and caught the attention of reps at A&M, who subsequently shipped them off to Miami in the spring of 1989 to work with producer Tom Allom (Judas Priest, Def Leppard, Black Sabbath). They hired session musicians bassist Klyph Black, drummer Paul Marangoni, and Ed Calle on saxophone. Once recording was done, the three actual band members flew back to Toronto and began auditioning players to round out a touring group.
By the time their debut album, FROM OUT OF NOWHERE, was in the stores a few months later, bassist Tim Harrington and drummer Scott Lucas had been added to the lineup. They made their rounds around the Toronto circuit, including The Diamond Club while “Dancing On A Wing” was released as a single and a video was shot to support it. Although the single got fairly good airplay in pockets across the country and the video got some airplay on MuchMusic, the label wasn’t doing much to help out. Other noteable cuts included the single’s b-side “Miss Perfection,” the harder edged “Wild Reaction,” “Slave To The Thrill,” and “Love Is A Dangerous Weapon.”
Some dates around Ontario were assembled, but with little support from A&M, and the market having already been polluted with keyboard-driven rock bands (Haywire, Honeymoon Suite, and Harem Scarem – to name a few just from Canada), the band folded by the end of the year.
Malone, Huff, and Zaltz retreated out of the spotlight for a couple of years while working out a new gameplan. They returned in 1992 on Island Records under the new name of Wall of Silence, not to be confused with a Russian group that popped up a decade later. Produced by Mike Slamer (House of Lords, City Boy, Streets, Steelhouse Lane), they released one album called SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM. The music itself was much in the same vein as The Works, melodic guitar-oriented rock with keyboards accents. One single was released, “Addicted,” but although the critics again praised the music itself, the three actual members again drifted off to do other projects within a year.
Malone became a studio musician in Toronto. Huff moved to LA, working as a producer, songwriter, and composer, working with the likes of Edwin, The Mudmen, Holly Brook, and others. He’s also composed a resume that includes TV and film work, including shows on The Discovery Channel, NBC movies of the week, and “Days of Our Lives,” and worked on the HBO feature film “Under Heavy Fire.” Zaltz formed a short-lived group called Any Day Now for one album in the mid ’90s, then did some studio work in classical and AOR, then formed a duo with Chris White. Harrington joined Honeymoon Suite in the mid ’90s and toured with them for a couple of years.
In the mid ’00s, both The Works and Wall Of Silence albums were released as a two-on-one CD collection.