Readers of this site know that, in many cases, two types of songs which find themselves forgotten by radio after their initial release are one-hit wonders and power ballads. I suppose it goes without saying that a song that is both is more likely still to be forgotten. Add to that the fact that the song was released in 1990, a mostly forgotten year in pop music, and you very nearly have the perfect storm. Such was the case for the one hit for the hard rock* group Giant.
In addition to its one hit, Giant itself appears to have been largely forgotten. The band’s website is defunct as of this writing but archived here, and even what little website the band once had had nothing really to say about the history of Giant.
With that said, Giant’s origins begin with two brothers, Dann and David Huff, who had previously both been members of the Christian rock group White Heart in the early 80s. Dann left that group to become a session musician, playing on songs running the gamut from Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again”** and Michael W. Smith’s “Go West Young Man”. David, who was the original drummer for White Heart, ended up touring with Michael W. Smith. In the meantime, Alan Pasqua was also a session musician who also co-wrote one of the themes to the CBS Evening News. Eventually, in 1987, Mr. Pasqua and Dann Huff formed Giant, with David Huff joining on drums, along with Mike Brignardello on bass.
Giant’s first album, Last of the Runaways, was released in 1989. According to one review, the album would have been a better fit in the early 80s; the same review compares the sound of Giant to that of Loverboy.
(Last of the Runaways peaked at #80 on Billboard’s Top Pop Albums chart. Album ℗1989 A&M Records. Photo courtesy Amazon.com.)
The first single from Last of the Runaways was entitled “I’m a Believer”, though it had nothing to do with the Monkees song of the same name. It was a very minor hit, peaking at #56 on Billboard’s Hot 100, though it fared better on the Mainstream Rock chart, as did the follow-up, “Innocent Days”.
It was the third single, “I’ll See You In My Dreams”, which was the group’s biggest hit by far. A power ballad about love gone wrong, the song was co-written by Mr. Pasqua and singer/songwriter Mark Spiro. The 7″ single version, to its detriment, fades the instrumental breakdown at the end of the song about 25 seconds early for reasons I don’t comprehend.
“I’ll See You In My Dreams” debuted on the Hot 100 rather inauspiciously at #93 for the week ending March 24, 1990 (chart). While it shot into the top ten of the Mainstream Rock chart, its peak on the Hot 100 was at #20 for the week ending June 9 (chart). Despite its relatively low peak, the single stuck around on the chart for a respectable 20 weeks. It wasn’t quite enough to make the year-end Hot 100, but it lasted as a recurrent on some top 40 stations for at least a year after its peak.***
Following the release of Giant’s second album, Time to Burn, in 1992, and that album’s subsequent lack of appreciable success, Giant broke up, with Dann Huff and Alan Pasqua going in quite different directions. Alan Pasqua, who has never rejoined Giant during any reunions, has moved mostly into jazz, while Dann Huff, who has sporadically reunited with the remaining members of Giant, mostly spends his time as a country music producer. Giant has released two more albums and an EP after reuniting, but those also have not made much of a dent on the charts.
As with a lot of the music from the early 90s, “I’ll See You In My Dreams” has pretty much disappeared from terrestrial American radio. It could still be a good fit on either a classic hits or a classic rock station today.
* From what I have read, Giant’s subgenre is also referred to as melodic hard rock. Also from what I have read, “melodic hard rock” could be a bit of a pejorative term.
** That would be the 1987 7″ version of that song. The distinction is necessary, seeing as Whitesnake released no fewer than three versions of “Here I Go Again”. And yes, I linked to the correct one.
*** No source for this one except the cassette tape on which I recorded it off a DXed radio station in July 1991. Just trust me on this one.
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