It’s not even on Spotify. I guess when the hard core fans classed this album as the weakest album of the April Wine catalogue, the band took notice. Then again there was no band when this album was recorded. Read on.
“Walking Through Fire” is album number 12. It is listed as being released in 1985 and in 1986. Remember those days when albums would have staggered releases based on geography.
As the Wikipedia page for the album states, it was essentially a contractual obligation to the band’s record label, to whom they still owed one album. And the label made sure that they would never recoup this album, getting songs from outside songwriters and booking expensive studio time.
By this time, the band had broken up, and the album features only Myles Goodwyn and Brian Greenway from April Wine’s “classic line-up” with some session musicians. For those wondering, Myles Goodwyn is on lead vocals and guitar, Brian Greenway is on guitar, Daniel Barbe is on the keys, Jean Pellerin is on bass and Marty Simon is on drums.
Rock Myself to Sleep
A lifeless opener and the first single released from the album, a tune written by two members of Katrina and the Waves in Kimberley Rew and Vince De la Cruz. It failed to make the charts.
Wanted Dead or Alive
This is a great Melodic AOR Rock. Press play to hear the Chorus.
Written by Jeff Cannata and Michael Soldan when they were in band Arc Angel together.
The song was actually released on their self-titled first and only album in 1983 on CBS Records. For those interested, a number of session musicians performed on the album, like, James Christian, Jeff Bova and Hugh McDonald. If you follow hard rock music, those names would be familiar to you. Of course, their brand of AOR Melodic Rock proved very popular in Europe but did nothing in the US as their brand of rock was dismissed by music writers as a Boston/Kansas clone.
Beg For Your Love
Clichéd song written by Canadian songwriter Eddie Schwartz.
You probably heard his song “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” getting a lot of air time courtesy of Pat Benatar recording it.
Half of the songs he recorded for his solo album, “No Refuge”, released in 1981 have been covered by other artists like “Hearts On Fire” by Honeymoon Suite on their self-titled 1984 debut and “All Our Tomorrows” by Joe Cocker on his “Unchain My Heart” album from 1987 to name a few.
Love Has Remembered Me
A ballad written by Myles Goodwyn. It was a minor hit and time has been kind to it.
Written by Myles Goodwyn, it’s a skip for me.
Open Soul Surgery
Written by Jim Vallance, who has got a certain hard rock and roll sound and it’s the best track on the album.
You Don’t Have to Act That Way
Written by Myles Goodwyn, this track is a skip for me and I had an uneasy feeling that the rest of the album would follow this vibe. But I was wrong.
Written by Myles Goodwyn this song is a hit, however it wasn’t promoted at all. Press play to hear the AOR Chorus.
All It Will Ever Be
Written by Myles Goodwyn rocks hard in the verses while it goes all major key “Life Is A Highway” like in the Chorus. It’s an underrated cut in my book.
Wait Any More
Written by Myles Goodwyn it’s got this summertime major key vibe which I like.
I grew up in the 80’s and this album can compete with a lot of albums that came out during this time. It’s basically a few good songs surrounded by filler, like most of the albums.
If you are interested, start with “Open Soul Surgery”, then go to “Wanted Dead Or Alive” and finish off with “Hold On”.
A band called Dungeon is opening for Megadeth in Sydney. I knew of the name, but never heard any of their music. The band name just didn’t do it for me. It was my mistake. I listened with my eyes instead of my ears. Well that was to change.
After the gig, Dungeon was definitely on my radar and I did purchase a few of their albums. And as soon as I got into them, they called it quits.
You see, Lord was originally started as a side project for Dungeon guitarist/vocalist Tim Grose, which was meant as something different from his main band sound. Lord’s first album was released in 2003 and it wasn’t so different from Dungeon. After Dungeon disbanded in 2005, Lord just became a continuation of Dungeon’s sound with new members. You could even purchase Dungeon albums at shows Lord did.
“Set in Stone” is the third album released in September 2009 by the band’s own label Dominus in conjunction with Riot! Entertainment. The album was recorded in my home town of Wollongong, Australia. A small foot note in history, is that a band I was in at the time opened up for Lord when they played Wollongong touring on this album.
The band is Tim Grose (also known as Lord Tim) on vocals and guitars, Tim Yatras on drums, Mark Furtner on guitars and Andrew Dowling on bass.
Spectres of the Ascendant
48 seconds of sound effects to introduce “Redemption”.
Written by Tim Grose and drummer Tim Yatras, who would depart the band after the album was completed.
Its face melting speed metal.
Another Grose and Yatras track.
It’s hard rock, with a major key Arena melodic rock Chorus.
Co-guitarist Mark Furtner gets a co-write with Grose and Yatras.
Fast, Malmsteen like from the “Marching Out” album. The solo is very Vinnie Moore like, running through different scalar patterns.
Set in Stone
Another track written by Grose and Yatras.
My favourite song on the album. The intro riff is a brilliant mix of Classic NWOBHM and American metal. Judas Priest and Maiden come to mind, with vocals bordering between a cross between Dickinson and Tate at their classic metal best.
There is this “wo-oh-oh” chant after the solo. I can imagine thousands of people chanting it at a gig.
Someone Else’s Dream
Written by the band.
An 80’s sounding synth and a syncopated guitar line set the foundations. At stages it feels like it’s a song from the Gothenburg metal scene, but the Chorus is huge and melodic.
It’s almost Maiden like with a lot of musical influences from the “Fear of The Dark” album.
I play air guitar to the harmony guitars.
Written by Tim Grose, Tim Yatras and Andrew Dowling.
The lyrical theme is pretty clear. Boy falls in love, gets rejected and goes all Michael Douglas “Falling Down” on the girl and the world.
The guitar playing in the lead break is brilliant.
Beyond the Light
Written by the band.
Judas Priest and UFO “Lights Out” era comes to mind, vocally and musically. It’s a great song to sing along to.
The End of Days
Written by Grose and Yatras.
It’s like a thrash metal song, with the vocals being a cross between Rob Halford and Tom Araya (in the verses).
Staying true to its title it ends with a nuclear bomb going off.
Be My Guest
Written by Tim Grose, Tim Yatras and ex Dungeon bassist Brendan McDonald.
This is like “Stars” on guitar with a lot of guest solos.
It’s an instrumental track featuring guest solos from Craig Goldy of Dio, Glen Drover from Eidolon, Olof Mörck of Dragonland, Yoshiyasu Maruyama of the Japanese thrash band Argument Soul, Angra’s Felipe Andreoli, the former Enter Twilight member Richie Hausberger, Chris Porcianko from Vanishing Point, Chris Brooks and former Dungeon members Stu Marshall and Justin Sayers.
Written by Grose and Yatras. It’s your typical power ballads.
Pete Lesperance from Harem Scarem plays a solo on this.
On a Night Like This
A Kylie Minogue cover as the bonus track.
The fact that the band would attempt such a cover shows the versatility of the members.
Reviews for Australian artists are difficult to do as I want to highlight influences of their sound without making them sound like copyists, and if people from other continents want to check them out, my aim is to give them a reference point as well.
If you haven’t dabbled in the power metal genre, then let Lord be your entry point.
It’s easy really.
Just press play on the melodic rock tracks first like “100 Reasons” and “Beyond The Light”.
If you like em, then press play on the classic metal track, “Set In Stone”.
If you like that, press play on the more ambitious tracks like “The End Of Days” and “Forever”.
Then you are at the fast speed metal with “Redemption” and “Eternal Storm”.
I liked the 80’s Stones. They were like a pseudo melodic rock band. But Keith Richards hated it.
You see, Mick Jagger had just released his first solo album, “She’s the Boss” in 1985 and Richards saw this as a betrayal. Richards believed that Jagger’s first priority should be the Rolling Stones and not to pursue a career as a pop star.
“Dirty Work” was released on 24 March 1986. Produced by Steve Lillywhite, he didn’t have an easy job to do as he had to call in various other musicians to get the album done. It was also rare that all the band was in the studio at once.
The band for the album is listed as Mick Jagger on vocals, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood on all things guitars, Bill Wyman on bass and Charlie Watts on drums.
Jagger was often absent from the sessions while Richards recorded with Ronnie Wood, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts.
Jagger added his parts after.
And Charlie Watts was addicted to heroin and alcohol so Steve Jordan and Anton Fig played drums on some tracks (uncredited) and Ronnie Wood on others.
One Hit (To The Body)
It’s that “Rockin In The Free World” vibe in the verses that hooks me.
The song is written by Jagger, Richards and Wood and Jimmy Page also plays on it. The best song on the album.
This is old Stones, with 80’s production and I like it. The song is written by Jagger, Richards and Wood.
This sounds like Mick and Keith turned up to a Blues whiskey bar and started jamming with the house band and I like it.
You can feel the soul and blues drip off every note and every melody. It’s a cover from Bob & Earl, written by Bob Relf and Ernest Nelson.
This Jagger and Richards cut feels like a mess.
The only thing that isn’t a mess is the metronomic drumming from Sir Watts (RIP). Then again I don’t know if it was him or the other uncredited drummers.
It feels like a track from the “Cocktail” movie or a Beach Boys track.
It’s also a cover from Half Pint, a Jamaican Reggae artist who released the song (called “Winsome”) on his 1984 album. Lead vocals are handled by Richards on this and drums are played by Ronnie Wood.
It’s also a skip.
It’s a Jagger and Richards composition. Musically, it’s got a bass riff which is like a 12 bar blues, but the soul feels like a soul rock track.
Back To Zero
It’s a funk rock tune, written by Jagger, Richards and Chuck Leavell who was a member of The Allman Brothers during their 70’s heyday. A bit different, but by this stage, the album is more filler than killer.
The tempo is increased and the band is rocking out of the gate. The song is written by Jagger, Richards and Wood.
Had It With You
A 12 bar blues track, bringing back their 60’s output into the 80’s. Aerosmith is another band that would write tracks like this in the 80’s and well into the 90’s. The song is written by Jagger, Richards and Wood.
A ballad written by Jagger and Richards, which feels like a jam at a Roadhouse Bar late at night when everyone has had too many drinks. Lead vocals are handled by Richards on this and drums are played by Ronnie Wood.
In the end, the first three tracks set the bar high, the title track joins them and the rest of the tracks are there as filler.
And because of the animosity between members, there was no supporting tour for this album. Jagger would later say that it was Watts’ personal state as one of the reasons he vetoed a tour but Richards reckons it was vetoed so that Jagger could start working on his second solo album, “Primitive Cool”. The way Richards saw it, they toured in worse states previously.
The critics panned it, however the album sold well.
In Australia it was a number 2 album, going Platinum on the backs of the singles.
It was a Top 10 album in Austria, Canada, Holland, France, Germany, New Zealand, Japan, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K and the U.S.
It was also certified Platinum in Canada, New Zealand and the U.S. It was certified Gold in France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.
If you haven’t heard it, give it a listen. If you’ve heard it, give it a re-listen.
“Change of Address” came out in 1986 and its listed as album number 9 for Krokus.
The band for the album is Marc Storace on Vocals, Fernando von Arb on Lead Guitar, Mark Kohler on Rhythm Guitar, Tommy Keiser on Bass and Jeff Klaven on drums. Paul Fox and Jan Winding contribute keyboards.
Production is handled by Tom Werman as Producer and Mixer, with Duane Baron as the engineer and von Arb as Co-Producer.
A special mention to the outfits on the back cover. The 80’s are well known for the wardrobe choices of artists. And Krokus play into this as well.
Check em out in jump suits that mechanics would wear at a Formula 1 race. But they are in a bunker, to highlight the demolition of a building that looks like the White House.
Now (All Through the Night)
Written by Fernando von Arb, Jeff Klaven and Marc Storace.
How good is the Chorus?
It’s like Journey vocally and melodic hard rock musically.
One of my favourite tracks on the album but the midi drum sounds bother me.
You can blame ZZ Top for this, but at least when ZZ did it, it was still sounding like it belonged in the rock domain, whereas, the drum sound here feels like it belongs on a Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine album.
Hot Shot City
Written by Tommy Keiser, Mark Kohler, Jeff Klaven and Marc Storace.
I’m not sure what’s happening with this song.
It’s like they wanted to bring in influences from Robert Palmer and Huey Lewis into their sound. It could have worked.
This is like old school Krokus and after hearing AOR Krokus on the first two tracks, this is a welcome relief of rock and roll.
For those that don’t know, this is a cover of the classic Alice Cooper cut.
But it’s also not necessary to have this on the album. Then again, most 80’s album had a cover of a 60’s or 70’s track on it. For some bands it was pure filler and for others, it was their biggest song.
Let This Love Begin
Written by von Arb and Klaven.
An acoustic guitar arpeggio riff starts it all off, very Malmsteen like with a bit of Vinnie Vincent and “I Still Love You” from Kiss. Once the distorted riffs kick in, its more Foreigner than Malmsteen.
Check out the lead break, bluesy and emotive, which reminds me of Jimmy Page and “Stairway To Heaven”.
Burning Up the Night
The side 1 closer is written by von Arb and Storace.
Its AC/DC “Long Way To The Top” like in the verses and the Chorus could have come from a REO Speedwagon album.
Side 2 opens up with this track, written by Fernando von Arb, Jeff Klaven and Marc Storace.
At 5.18, its length shows that it wasn’t written for radio. It has this reggae feel in the verses which I like and the backing vocals remind me of “Black Diamond” from Kiss.
The major key Chorus is like those major key Power Metal choruses.
This is the side to listen to first if you are a Krokus fan. There isn’t a bad song on this side.
And if the intro riff sounds familiar, it should as it was used by Krokus on “Tokyo Nights” from the “Metal Rendezvous” album.
World on Fire
My favourite track of the album at 6 plus minutes long, written by Fernando von Arb, Jeff Klaven and Marc Storace.
While the riffs are metal and hard rock like, the vocal delivery in the verses is very Robert Plant like and I like it.
If you want to press play on a track from this album, start with this track.
Hard Luck Hero
Written by Fernando von Arb, Jeff Klaven and Marc Storace it feels like it’s a cross between Bryan Adams, Night Ranger, early Foreigner and Autograph.
And I like it.
There is this section just before the solo, when Def Leppard also comes to mind.
Long Way from Home
5 plus minutes long and written by Fernando von Arb, Jeff Klaven and Marc Storace.
It’s another Krokus classic song, rooted in their past and perfect to move with into the future.
The Chorus has this Kiss feel which I like and Allan Holdsworth also does the guitar solo a fusion of string skipping and whammy bar madness.
The album did decent business in Switzerland and Sweden, but in the U.S it was up against some decent competition and it failed.
The band would later admit the change in style and sound was due to the label Arista not approving the recording until they heard more radio friendly songs.
But this wasn’t a problem tied to Krokus alone.
All of the bands during this period had albums that sounded radio friendly.
Judas Priest and “Turbo”.
Quiet Riot and “QRIII”.
To name a few.
Overall, the album still sounds like a hard rock album once you get past the first two tracks.
Werman has copped some flak from artists he’s worked with, but one thing is certain. The bands he produces, sound good. Even though I don’t like the midi drum triggers, the album still sounds good.
And if you purchased a Krokus album expecting to hear Shakespearean lyrics, well, it ain’t going to happen.
Enjoy Krokus for what they are, a hard rock band trying to survive in an ever changing market place.
And Krokus does change well.
When all the rage in the scene was about the NWOBHM and AC/DC they gave us “Headhunter” and “The Blitz”.
And when the rage shifted to AOR and midi triggers and synths, well they gave us “Change Of Address”.
In 1983 and 84, it felt like there was “Pyromania” and then there was everything else.
Quiet Riot didn’t have the same success in Australia that they had in the U.S and Motley Crue was a few years away from their “Home Sweet Home” fame in Australia.
The Lep’s wanted to be on top of the pop charts. That was their mission. The rise was slow but gradual.
If you like rock and metal music, you would like this album. If you like pop and other forms of music, you would still like this album.
The “Pyromania” story begins with “High ’N’ Dry”.
The album didn’t sell what the band and the label expected it to sell. And their UK headlining tour had them selling 25% of the tickets. In other words, they were pulling in between 400-500 people in 2000-seat theatres.
Def Leppard was then given a supporting slot on the European Leg of the “Point Of Entry” tour by Judas Priest. But they never had a chance to make an impact, coming on second after Accept, who had massive momentum with “Balls To The Wall”.
The tour finished in December, 1981.
But the band was busy writing riffs on the road and man, they sure had a lot for new songs. They also revisited some older songs and rewrote em lyrically or rearranged em musically.
“Medicine Man” wasnt good enough to make the “High ‘N’ Dry” album but it was beefed up and retitled “Rock Rock (Till You Drop)”. With new lyrics, it became the album opener.
There was another unfinished track which was described as “a dual-guitar pop song” by Joe Elliot in an interview at TeamRock.com. Well that song was also finally completed, and it became known as “Photograph”.
Producer Mutt Lange, was also on board, being listed as a co-writer on all of the album’s 10 tracks which bothered Willis as he believed that wasn’t the case.
When the band was given the green light to record, the budget was tight. Two albums in, the band was in debt to their label to the tune of £700,000, and each band member was on wages of £40 a week.
A cold hard truth on the realities of the recording business and the creative accounting of the labels is that the bands incur debts that could last forever.
The album finally hit the streets in January 1983.
The album was selling slow in the U.K. A showcase gig at the Marquee Club in London on February 9 had a very small attendance.
But in North America, it was a different story.
MTV put the songs “Photograph,” “Foolin’” and “Rock of Ages” on constant rotation.
Suddenly rock and metal bands changed the way they recorded. NWOBHM bands started to sing more melodically and with multi-layered backing vocals.
Joe Elliot once said that he wanted the power of AC/DC mixed with the variety of Queen for Def Leppard. That equals “Pyromania”.
I had the vinyl but it was also in the same box that went missing during a house move however I picked this up on CD.
Rock Rock (Till You Drop)
It’s a sound and groove that Cinderella and Kix and many other U.S acts would put to good use to build careers’ on.
But it was guitarist Pete Willis who wrote the riff to “Rock Rock (Till You Drop)” however he’s not credited.
Willis and Lange didn’t get along at all, constantly clashing with each other in the studio which then also led to tension with the other members.
As a founding member, Willis didn’t believe he could be removed or fired. But removed he was.
There is no denying the riff. It’s as good as any of the classic riffs that guitarists play in guitar shops and so forth. Structurally, the song goes all AC/DC style riffing in the verses and pop rock like in the Chorus.
Rick Savage came up “Stagefright”.
It’s got this Sweet “Action” vibe merged with metal riffage in the verses and a pop chorus.
Too Late For Love
As soon as this song starts off, I swear I’ve heard it somewhere else.
Die Hard The Hunter
You feel the sadness as soon as the Emadd9 clean tone arpeggios kick in and it gets even sadder when Joe starts singing “Let’s toast”. Then it goes into a riff that Queensryche used when they wrote “Revolution Calling”.
That section from 4.05 to 5.05 always gets me to stop what I’m doing and start paying attention.
The opener to Side 2, with that majestic guitar part.
The magic is in the arpeggiated intro and the eventual build up with the layered backing vocals singing “Is anybody out there?”.
This song stands the test of time.
The lead break begins with a call and response. It reminds me of “Over The Mountain” from Randy Rhoads and Ozzy.
Rock Of Ages
The first time I heard em.
Yeah, it’s better to burn out / Yeah, than fade away
A rock and rollers creed.
Rise up, gather ’round / Rock this place to the ground
Burn it up, let’s go for broke / Watch the night go up in smoke
Rock on (rock on) / Drive me crazier / No serenade, no fire brigade / Just the pyromania, come on
This is the embryo of “Pour Some Sugar On Me” and they take inspiration from Queen, by using songs like “We Will Rock You” and “Another One Bites The Dust” as influences for the verse delivery/structure.
When the Chorus comes in after two verses, it’s well worth the wait. “Don’t Stop Believin’” from Journey also used this kind of song structure.
Rock of ages, rock of ages / Still rollin’, keep a-rollin’
Rock of ages, rock of ages / Still rollin’, rock ‘n’ rollin’
You won’t be able to stop yourself from singing along with the chorus.
Comin Under Fire
This song is a must for any guitarist. It merges 70’s classic rock, with the NWOBHM sound with Scorpions Euro Metal.
The intro alone has it all.
Arpeggiated guitar lines hook you in and then the pedal point riff blasts through the speakers.
When the verses come in, we are greeted with volume swells that outline the different chords.
Like the pre-chorus of “Foolin”, the chorus of “Comin Under Fire” has excellent layered backing vocals. Lyrically, it’s not the best, but musically, it rules.
Billy’s Got A Gun
Steve Clark was a Jimmy Page fan, so it was no surprise that he was the one who created this Zeppelin-influenced epic.
Never underestimate the ability of a song to paint a picture.
This is my favourite Def Leppard cut and it has so many good bits.
The verse bass riff reminds me of “Heaven and Hell”. The backing vocals are so layered, melodic and operatic. The overall drum groove reminds of “Kashmir”. And I guarantee you that Chris DeGarmo, Geoff Tate and Michael Wilton all had this album and paid particular attention to this song as the “Operation Mindcrime” album is musically influenced by “Billy’s Got A Gun”.
And you get an unbelievable solo and an ending that makes you press play again, so you hear the album over and over and over again.
As time marches forward, the greatness and power of this song is being forgotten.
And it’s like the band made a crossroads deal to achieve fame. The success of this album put the band members on different paths than the previous ones they were on and that would lead to different outcomes for them.
On New Years Eve, 1984, Rick Allen went to overtake a car and failed to negotiate the bend. He lost part of his left hand in the accident and surgery to reattach it, led to an infection and then eventual surgical amputation.
And no one knew it at the time, but it was going to be long wait for the next album.
On a side note, Trevor Rabin and Mike Slamer are both thanked in the credits.
Those two dudes are very well known session guitarists, so I’m asking the question; did they actually play on this?
Slamer was used by producer Beau Hill on most of the records he produced in the 80s. If you have an Alice Cooper, Kix, Winger, Streets, Warrant, Fiona, Europe, Twisted Sister and Ratt album, then there is a high chance that Slamer played on it.
“QR III” or “Quiet Riot III” is actually the fifth studio album from Quiet Riot if you can the “QRI” and “QRII” albums with Randy Rhoads.
It was released in 1986 on Pasha/CBS and it is the last album to feature lead singer Kevin DuBrow until the 1993 album “Terrified” which got a zero skull review in an Australian mag and the word “Terrible” as part of the review.
It’s produced by Spencer Proffer again with John Purdell.
A funny thing was happening in 1986. For some strange reason, artists who had massive sales in 1983 and 1984, struggled to match those sales a few years later.
Twisted Sister had big sales in 1983 and 1984 and they played to half empty venues on the “Come Out And Play” tour in 1985 and by 86, no one really cared about em and by 87 they had broken up.
Judas Priest had declining album sales by 1986, but still proved to be a big drawcard on the live circuit.
Ratt couldn’t match the success of their 1984 debut and by 1986, “Dancing Undercover” was just a blimp on the charts.
And then we have Quiet Riot.
Following the massive success of “Metal Health” and the more modest reception of “Condition Critical”, sales of “QR III” were even lower and it did not achieve any certification.
This Quiet Riot album is also the first album to feature Chuck Wright, formerly of Giuffria, on bass as an official member replacing Rudy Sarzo.
Wright joins Kevin DuBrow, Frankie Banali and Carlos Cavazo.
Before I get into the album, it’s worth mentioning that I never understood the argument put forward about bands rocking less when keyboards are involved. This album has a lot of keys but it still rocks.
It’s a songwriting committee of Carlos Cavazo, Frankie Banali, Kevin DuBrow, Spencer Proffer, John Purdell and Chuck Wright.
They keys are prominent and the track could be mistaken for a Styx or Toto track.
The Wild and the Young
The song is written by Proffer, Banali, Cavazo, DuBrow and Wright.
Behind “Bang Your Head”, “The Wild and the Young” is the next best original.
The drum groove from Banali starts things off. Then the guitars and the keys play in unison until Cavazo overdubs a memorable little lead.
And the vocals start. While DuBrow is more miss with his lyrics, on this song he’s perfect with his message and delivery.
The music video for the song wasn’t cheap as it shows a dystopian future under control by a totalitarian militarist government and they are trying to round up anyone who is listening to rock music.
Written by Wright, Banali, Cavazo, DuBrow and Proffer. I was drawn to this song immediately because it was different musically.
Down and Dirty
Written by Dubrow, Banali, Cavazo and Wright. It’s written as “Dow And Dirty” on Spotify. It’s typical hard rock and of the times.
Rise or Fall
Written by Dubrow, Banali, Cavazo and Wright.
I dig the opening riff on this. And Cavazo goes to town on the lead break.
Put Up or Shut Up
Written by Dubrow, Banali, Cavazo and Wright.
CC DeVille would have been listening to this as the main riff sounds like something that DeVille tweaked for “Nothin But A Good Time”.
Still of the Night
It’s written by the same songwriting team that wrote “Main Attraction”.
The cut is excellent, a soft rocker but so far removed from the “power ballad” formula.
Bobby Kimball from Toto performs backing vocals on the track, however the “backing” vocals are really cranked up in the Chorus, so it’s safe to say that Kimball was brought in to be the lead vocal there.
It’s an Instrumental written by Wright and all bass. For a minute length, I’m not sure why this is here.
Written by Banali, Cavazo, DuBrow and Wright. It’s an attempt to capture “The Stroke” from Billy Squier.
I’m surprised that this song hasn’t been sampled by the rappers as it’s got a lot of good bits in it.
Slave to Love
The mighty Stan Bush is here as a songwriter, along with the committee of Banali, Cavazo, DuBrow, Proffer and Wright.
Musically it’s excellent. It’s almost melodic Metal The melodies are also excellent. Lyrically it’s crap.
Written by Dubrow, Banali, Cavazo and Wright. It’s an underrated cut with a heavy 70s influence with a killer lead by Cavazo.
While a lot of people were off the QR train by the time this album hit the streets I wasn’t one of em. I was hooked by the music video for “The Wild And The Young” and when I saw the High Syme cover I was happy to part with my money.
Musically it’s a very mature album and an album that’s aged well.
If you watched “Rocky IV” in the 80’s, you would have heard it’s melodic rock soundtrack.
At its essence, the “Rocky IV” movie is a combination of music videos segments.
The “Apollo vs Drago” pre fight has 4 minutes devoted to “Living In America”. There are two training scenes, with “Hearts On Fire” and “Training Montage” taking up 8 minutes in total. Then there is the final fight scene, which takes up another 4 minutes.
There is also a scene in the movie, which involves Rocky driving his sports car, with the song “No Easy Way Out” playing and various scenes of Rocky’s time with Apollo flashing before his eyes. It happened at a pivotal time in the time, with Apollo dying in the ring, Rocky then organising a fight against Drago (Apollo’s killer) and Adrian telling him, “you can’t win”.
Close to 30 minutes of a 90 minute movie is devoted to musical scenes.
So it was only a matter of time before an album came out from Robert Tepper.
But before that, another Stallone movie came out in 1986 called “Cobra” which had the song “Angel In The City”, another Tepper cut.
So Tepper had momentum with the soundtrack songs, released the album and nothing. Back when sales was the metric of success, the album stiffed and charted low.
But it doesn’t mean the album is crap. It’s actually very good melodic rock album.
First check out the studio band, as it has some experience.
While Tepper does the vocals, Dan Huff and Guy Marshall play the guitars.
Myron Grombacher is on drums.
Tim Landers on bass and a range of keyboardists in Kim Bullard, Alan Pasqua and Richard Gibbs.
You can Google their names and see their body of work as band members and session musos.
Let’s get to the album.
“No Easy Way Out” was released in 1986 by Scotti Brothers Records.
And it’s no surprise, that the album starts off with the two soundtrack songs.
No Easy Way Out
The bass riff to start it off is iconic. The feel of it reminds me of the bass riff in “Living On A Prayer”.
The vocal melody from Tepper is emotive and how good is the outro solo.
There’s no easy way out There’s no short cut home
Truth right there.
Angel Of The City
The bass groove is simple, yet memorable as it drives the song with the synth chords.
The song will always bring back memories of the”Cobra” movie. Brigitte Nielsen is doing a photo shoot while “The Night Slasher” and his entourage get ready to kill another victim.
Whip it cracks just like thunder Some survive her, most go under
The lyrics deal with the survival of the 9 to 5 grind by looking for some mythical Angel to save us.
Don’t Walk Away
Another classic. Latin like but with a bit of New Wave and a whole slab of melodic rock. It basically could be on a melodic rock, a Duran Duran album or a Ricky Martin album.
Once we had a purpose Once, once we had a song Once the feeling disappears It’s all gone
Can love ever come back if disappears?
Your Love Hurts
It has this “Purple Rain” vibe which I like.
Press play to hear the synth melody.
It’s got this Bruce Springsteen spirit which I like.
A restless spirit Looking for a chance In this restless world
Aren’t we all.
It’s like mid 80s Rush and I like it.
It’s a favorite. Very pop rock like.
Check out the arpeggios in the Intro which also reappear in the Chorus.
My soul survivor Without you, what do I have left My soul survivor Cannot make it by myself
Press play to hear the vocal melody in the Chorus. It reminds me of the band Gun.
If That’s What You Call Lovin’
The balladeer career of Michael Bolton would be proud of this one.
The song fits on the album however I’m not a huge fan of songs like these.
Almost soul funk rock. Mid 80s Rush definitely comes to mind.
After the second album “Modern Madness” (1988), Tepper got put on ice by his label. They weren’t interested to release any new music from him, nor did they want to release him from his contract.
He finally got out of this deal in the mid 90s and his third album came out in 1996.
“Stormbringer” came out about 9 months after “Burn”. In the space of a year, Deep Purple were busy writing and recording frequently.
What a novel idea.
Try and tell that to a lot of acts, who want to record an album every three to five years. And the usual argument of ‘no money from recordings’ doesn’t work, because even back in the 70’s, the acts were getting ripped off on the sales part. So they had to tour to make coin. Then again it was normal in the 70’s to release an album a year. It was expected.
The album cover also has a story, about a tornado in a U.S town during the 1920s which was photographed and added to the Copyright free archives, which allowed the image to be used.
And the same photograph was used for Miles Davis’ album “Bitches Brew” in 1970.
And Siouxsie and the Banshees’ album “Tinderbox” in 1986.
MK3 Deep Purple is Ritchie Blackmore on Guitars, David Coverdale on Vocals (except “Holy Man”), Glenn Hughes on Bass and Vocals (except “Soldier of Fortune”), Jon Lord on Organ and Keys and Ian Paice on Drums.
Its Produced by Deep Purple and Martin Birch again.
Another thunderous opener written by Blackmore and Coverdale.
If there wasn’t a Heavy Metal movement before, well there was one now. By 1974, each major rock act like Led Zeppelin, Free, Bad Company and Black Sabbath had a heavy song or two on each album that young blue collared youths would take and run with to create even heavier tracks.
I like the exotic flavouring in the solo. It’s not fast, but goddamn, it sounds progressive.
Love Don’t Mean A Thing
Written by Blackmore, Coverdale, Glenn Hughes, Jon Lord and Ian Paice.
This is the whole funk blues soul jam that Glenn Hughes brings. In saying that, the riffs here work so well within the Deep Purple sound.
The Bad Company/Free brand of hard rock had caught on and suddenly Deep Purple was doing a cut that wouldn’t be out of place on the first two Bad Company albums or Free albums.
If the intro sounds familiar, it should, as it’s a common progression used throughtout the 70s, but it went missing a bit in the 80s and came back in the 90s.
I recall Motley Crue using it for “Misunderstood”.
And Blackmore was not the main writer anymore as this song was written by Coverdale, Hughes and Lord.
The funk blues rock in the verses grooves and the Chorus is like Soul Rock Music. Blackmore again is missing from the song writing credits, with Coverdale, Hughes, Lord and Paice listed as the writers.
Coverdale and Hughes share vocal duties here and Blackmore brings out his rockabilly Chuck Berry licks which gives way to a Jon Lord solo.
Lady Double Dealer
It’s that fast blues rock that Deep Purple was known for and something that David Coverdale would do a fair bit with the early versions of Whitesnake.
There is a cool Blackmore solo as well.
You Can’t Do It Right
Play that funky blues music white boys.
High Ball Shooter
I like the Intro as it always reminds me of another song which I can’t thing off right now.
The riffs on this are metal like, but the way Blackmore delivers em, it’s almost progressive like, with a fusion of blues, southern rock and metal like grooves.
Soldier Of Fortune
A great acoustic ballad to end the album, something which David Coverdale would recreate with “Sailing Ships”.
The long jam sessions from the past had disappeared. Replaced with a more structured song arrangement. It’s a bridge between this album and their next album.
Blackmore obviously didn’t like this new direction and left after the tour. And he wasn’t one to keep his thoughts to himself, so he publicly declared his dislike for the funky direction the band was taking and made it clear that was the reason why he left.
But Scandinavian Melodic Rock and Metal was being born with the MK3 albums as they did big business in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. Austria and Germany also liked this era, along with the UK, France and the U.S.
Dare was formed in 1985 by keyboard player Darren Wharton after Phil Lynott dissolved Thin Lizzy.
By 1987, they got a record deal with A&M and “Out Of The Silence” was released in 1988.
The line-up for this album consisted of Darren Wharton (vocals/keyboards), Vinny Burns (guitars), Martin ‘Shelley’ Shelton (bass), James Ross (drums), and Brian Cox (keyboards) better know these days as Brian Cox, the physicist and TV star!
A keyboard riff that reminds me of soundtracks starts it off and then the guitars kick in. It’s a great piece of AOR rock.
Into The Fire
Press play to hear the verses on this which are better than the Chorus.
Nothing Is Stronger Than Love
It’s hard to describe this song. It’s heavy on the keyboards but it has some cool guitar bits.
Jonathan Waite comes to mind when I think of the keyboard riffs and Boston comes to mind when I think of the cool guitar bits.
A great melodic rock song which reminds me of Rick Springfield.
Under The Sun
My favorite song on the album.
As soon as the keyboard arpeggio riff and vocal melody started I was thinking of Marillion. And then I was thinking of Pink Floyd.
Another great song which reminds me of the Celtic influenced work that Gary Moore did on his last few hard rock albums of the 80’s.
King Of Spades
This song wouldn’t be out of place on the “Days Of Thunder” soundtrack. Stick around for the harmony guitars.
It’s also a tribute to Phil Lynott, who had died two years before the album was released.
This song is a hit.
And it should have been.
But their label was shit. Terrible at promoting and marketing hard rock acts even though they had some good ones.
Return The Heart
It’s a skip.
Don’t Let Go
An early ASIA like track which also wouldn’t be out of place in the “Cocktail” movie.
In the end the sound is dominated by the double keyboards but there is enough guitar to make it rocked
The follow up album “Blood From Stone” was more hard rock but the label advertised it as “Hair Metal’. Another shit decision by A&M. And when it didn’t sell, they dropped the band.
But Dare survived and is still in the game, touring and releasing new music.
Dare is an English rock band, formed in 1985 and fronted by former Thin Lizzy keyboard player Darren Wharton.
The “Real Love” single was the first thing I purchased from Dare in 1991. I liked it a lot, so I purchased the album before it, “Out Of The Silence” released in 1988 (and that review is next) but not the album “Blood from Stone” released in 1991, the single was on.
Because the album wasn’t readily available in Australia upon release. A&M Records wasn’t really renowned for their excellent release strategies. And the album isn’t on streaming services either. Go figure.
Back to the single, you get one album track in “Real Love” and two B sides, in “Killer Lover” and “Rideaway”.
It’s a ballad.
The melodic lead in the Intro which also appears in the Chorus is excellent. Very singalong like and Wharton’s raspy/throaty voice adds the right emotion to it.
It’s a generic hard rock track in the style of artists like Winger and Steelheart.
This is a great melodic rock track.
And I always wonder why some songs break through and become popular and some don’t.
“Real Love” has all the right ingredients to be a monster song, but it never came to fruition. But it got me interested to check out the debut album.