I’ve written about these albums previously on this blog and I’ve also written about individual songs from these albums. So in other words, these three albums complete a perfect trilogy.
The debut album.
It was released August 2, 1986.
A few days ago it had its 34th birthday and it’s stood the test of time. It came out and competed with Bon Jovi, Europe, Ratt and Poison.
“Nobody’s Fool” hooked me in because it reminded me of “Bringing On The Heartbreak” from Def Leppard. “Night Songs”, “Shake Me” and “Somebody Save Me” are all favourites. So is “Hell On Wheels” and “Back Home Again”. The whole album is a favourite depending on my mood.
And there is a cast.
Jon Bon Jovi does backing vocals on a few tracks, drums are played by someone else and even the guitar leads are played by someone else on a few tracks. Recording took place at 5 different studios with Andy Johns in the producers chair. For a debut album, it was an expensive product.
I called this album “AC/DC on glam steroids” back in the day, but hearing it back throughout the decades its more Aerosmith and Bad Company.
Long Cold Winter
The follow up.
The blues rock riffage is amped up.
Andy Johns was back again in the producers chair and he still didn’t let Fred Coury play drums on the album, with Cozy Powell and Denny Carmassi providing the drum tracks this time around.
Keifer brings out the slide on “Fallin’ Apart At The Seams” setting up a barroom Thorogood style of song.
“Gypsy Road” is built around a repeated blues lick turned into a riff and “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)” is an excellent song.
And my favourite is the bluesy “Long Cold Winter” which also paved the way for more artists to experiment with the old blues style to great success. Black Crowes built their business playing the blues, while Gary Moore had his biggest success with “Still Got The Blues”.
I’m including this because I had the CD but with all of the house moves it was in a box that got lost or stolen.
The title track got me hooked immediately and it completes a perfect 4 track opening.
“The More Things Change” was a carbon copy of “Fallin Apart At The Seams” as that same slide riff appears at the same time in both songs.
“Loves Got Me Doin’ Time” brings out a bluesy single note riff like “Gypsy Road” but it’s all funked up. “Shelter Me” is one of those tracks that resonates regardless of style or genre because its theme of trying to find a love to shelter us and keep us warm is universal. Like most of the songs that David Coverdale wrote for Whitesnake.
And problems existed, which the fans didn’t know about. Keifer had vocal throat issues which would require a few surgeries, the label guys who signed them did not work for the label anymore and the new guys just didn’t seem interested. Another album would come out, “Still Climbing” but it never really came out in Australia as the stores didn’t stock it.
Then I read a Metal Edge news roundup story that they had a deal with John Kalodner’s label which Kalodner got up and running to specialise in Hard Rock in the 90’s when most labels abandoned the genre. But spending almost 2 years writing and recording led to a bitter ending between the band members and the label.
They reunited for a few tours here and there, with no new music.
And Keifer eventually resurfaced as a solo artist with new music and I’m glad he did.