BB Steal was Australia’s entry for world domination in the hard rock movement. But did the world need a new Def Leppard.
Their association with the band wasn’t just inspiration. They opened up for Def Leppard during the “Adrenalize” Tour and Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen produced the title song on their “Heartbeat Away” EP and co-produced their first full-length album “On The Edge”, which also features a version of the song “Heartbeat Away”. Collen also played some guitar and sang backing vocals on the album, but is not credited.
BB Steal (otherwise known as Beg Borrow Steal) was spawned from the NWOBHM sounding “Boss” band. In typical Australian hard rock fashion, they lived in development EP hell for at least 4 years before the album came out. 4 years is a long time in the music and recording industry.
And the album definitely racked up the bills as recording took place in Los Angeles and Montreal with various engineers and studio players.
Formed in 1987, they released the 4 song EP “Heartbeat Away” in 1988. The title track of this EP set the tone for the sound and feel the band would pursue. The Def Leppard “Hysteria” album sound.
So, “On The Edge” was released in 1991. It’s one of those should have and would have and could have stories. It should have done better commercially, and it would have if Grunge didn’t come, and it could have done great numbers if it came out a few years earlier.
If you love Def Leppard then you will love BB Steal. Critics praised em and also drilled em, calling em a poor version of Def Leppard. But the band was a lot more than the Def Leppard comparisons.
“On The Edge (Lizzy Town)” has this “Led Zeppelin III” acoustic vibe before it moves into a Def Leppard like groove and vocal.
“Big On Love” is probably the best song not written by Def Leppard that sounds like it belonged on “Hysteria”. At one stage I thought it was “Animal”.
Then “Hysteria” starts. Wait, it’s called “Ride On”. They are similar but derivative enough to stand on its own.
“Suffer In Silence” is another track which is very Def Leppard like.
“Live It Up” has a guitar intro that could have come from a Van Halen album, before it goes into an AC/DC like groove. The vocals of Craig Csongrady on this album are just too much like Joe Elliot, in the same way that Marc Storace from Krokus was too much like Bon Scott.
“Shot Full Of Love” feels like a cut from Babylon AD. “Precious Love” has that “Stand Up” vibe.
“Don’t You Love Me and Leave Me” is an AC/DC song musically, with a bit of The Cult added in vocally and musically.
“Heartbeat Away” is from the Phil Collen produced EP, released in 1988 and “Troubled Child” closes the album, with a Journey like feel musically and a Joe Elliot like vocal.
In the 2019, re-issue, it comes with three songs from the original 1988 EP in “I Believe” (very Journey like), “Hold On” (has a guitar hero solo moment) and “Heartbeat Away” (the Phil Collen produced and the song which set the stone for the album to come a few years after).
And when the album did nothing commercially, the band disappeared along with thousands of other hard rock bands.
But in 2012, they returned with a new album called “Resurrection”. But that’s for another day and another “Australian Method Series” post.
6 thoughts on “Australian Method Series – BB Steal”
Love the album cover – and the album isn’t too bad- have it on CD. Got the Boss album on vinyl. But unless you were southern sons or indecent obsession – pretty hard to get any kind of decent label support in Australia
Lol Indecent Obsession. You had to bring em up didnt ya. But you are right, the large portion of the Australian media hated hard rock so they did their best to make it irrelevant.
Interesting. The Lep comparison does mean they deserve a listen especially knowing Phil was involved. I don’t like what Phil did to Tesla’s sound on their new album. I hope this is better.
When you hear this album you will think you are listening to Def Leppard. Give it a listen.
Cool stuff Pete. Will check out.