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Articles Home » 1989 Articles » Beck, Robin - 1989 Trouble Or Nothin'
Beck, Robin - 1989 Trouble Or Nothin'

ARTIST: Beck, Robin
ALBUM: Trouble Or Nothi'
LABEL: Mercury
SERIAL: 838 768-2
YEAR: 1989


LINEUP: Robin Beck - lead vocals * Guy Mann Dude, Steve Lukather, John McCurry, Jeff Miranov, Ira Siegel - guitars * Hugh McDonald, Seth Glassman - bass * Greg Mangiafico, Alan StJohn, David Garfield, Chuck Kentis, Robbie Kondor - keyboards * Brandon Fields - saxophone * Bobby Chouinard, Gavin Spencer, Steve Ferrone - drums * Louise Merlino, Lani Groves, Myriam Valle, Maria Vidal, Joe Pizzulo, Gary Falcone, Bobby Donati, Tom Kelly, Ellen Shipley, Michael Anthony, Terry Brock, Desmond Child, Guy Mann Dude, Richard.T. Bear, Paul Stanley, Brad Parker, Robin Beck - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Hide Your Heart * 02 Do't Lose Any Sleep * 03 If You Were A Woman * 04 Hold Back The Night * 05 Save Up All Your Tears * 06 In A Crazy World Like This * 07 Tears In The Rain * 08 A Heart For You * 09 Sleeping With The Enemy * 10 First Time (Coca Cola Theme Song)


A Brooklyn NY girl does good, it would seem. An undoubted talent, Robin Beck sits high in the pecking order of female melodic rockers! Born in New York, raised in Florida, Ms Beck picked up the of science of vocal performance and singing through informal and impromptu training, and years of paying dues on the road and in clubs. 1979 saw the release of her debut album 'Sweet Talk' - a disco oriented effort appropriate for the times but a dud as it would turn out. Back in New York, Beck worked in the jingle trade, and by 1988 and through her efforts with Coca Cola, saw her jingle with the song 'First Time' reach #1 on the British Charts for two whole weeks! Hurried into action, Beck turned up on Top Of The Pops that year to support it. Buoyed by the success, Mercury/Polygram turned up with a record deal, and hence 'Trouble Or Nothing' was the result. A pretty impressive line-up is assembled for the album. If my memory serves me correctly, Beck secured quite a lot of press attention (particularly in the UK press, no doubt due to the success of 'First Time'), with features in many of the top mags of the day. Metal Forces rated this as a 95/100, so, this album garnered much acclaim, though understandably, one could see Beck's management having a great part to play in all of this.

The Songs
Many of the songs here you will have heard elsewhere. Most of them provided to her from the likes of Desmond Child, Alice Cooper, Diane Warren, Billy Steinberg, Tom Kelly, Holly Knight, Paul Stanley and Neil Giraldo. All big names in the biz. 'Hide Your Heart' the opener on this album was written primarily by Desmond Child and Holly Knight with Paul Stanley for KISS and their 'Hot In The Shade' album, but admittedly, this version by Robin sounds much more streamlined and AOR-like. By default, I prefer this to the KISS version.. lol! 'Do't Lose Any Sleep' has been covered by a few artists (Jim Jidhed, John Waite, Starship) but this one from Robin is the pick of the bunch. 'If You Were A Woman (And I Was A Man)' was first sung by Bonnie Tyler three years earlier, and though Robi's version is harder rocking, I was kinda bought up on Bonnie's version (complete with the silly video) so that one kinda does it for me! 'Hold Back The Night' was a co-write between Desmond Child and Alice Cooper. It's one of the better songs here, and I do't think it's been used elsewhere. 'Save Up All Your Tears' is a song that was originally sung by Bonnie Tyler, and also covered by Cher. Out of all of them, I think I prefer Robi's version - the video you can see below. 'In A Crazy World Like This' - was previously heard by Swedish temptress Tone Norum on her 1988 album 'This Time'. I do't actually like this song a lot (either version), not one of Steinberg/Kelly better songs unfortunately. 'Tears In The Rai' is another Diane Warren composition. Emotive and heartfelt, Robin's vocals are a great foil for this song. It was also sung by Jennifer Rush as well. 'A Heart For You' is the first of two co-writes with song-writing compadre Jeff Kent (who would go on to become the House Of Lords bassist. The other is 'Sleeping With The Enemy'. Both are great hardened but melodic rockers without the formularized approach from the aforementioned song-writing machines. 'First Time (Coca Cola Theme Song)' - a stunning song and well worthy of a #1 in the UK and elsewhere around the world. It holds the essence of youth, promise and hope.

In Summary
Many rate this album right up at the forefront of female fronted AOR. I'm not convinced.. sorry. It's good, but it's pretty contrived, considering the circumstances in which the album was constructed (on the back of a successful jingle), and the fact that there are a heap of cover songs on-board here. Despite the quality, it still doesn't ring my bell. I have no doubt that Robin deserves her place in the melodic rock scheme of things, and to her credit she has released a brace of better albums since this one. Now married to House Of Lords singer James Christian, it's great that she's still in the business, still performing and releasing great music. You go girl!

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#1 | jeffrey343 on January 01 1970 01:00:00
I find this to be a very nice album, near the top of female AOR. I got a copy a couple of years ago. I've seen this go for rather high prices by Amazon retailers - not sure I'd spend megabucks on it, but it is pretty good. Robin was born in 1954, making her 35 when this was released. I don't know that I would have had that much perseverance to stick it out in the music business.
#2 | george_the_jack on August 14 2008 11:34:11
A great album! Maybe my personal favorite female fronted Hard rock release.I Believe that 'If you were a woman' version is a real diamond! This is an unbelievable performance of a Desmond Child written anthem, far better than Bonnie's original.
#3 | rostoned on August 17 2008 15:02:08
'Crazy World Like This' was initially recorded by Pat Benatar on his 'Tropico' LP in 1984 and later covered also by Eric Martin on his 1987 album 'I'm Only Fooling Myself'. IMO this album is full of cliched, plastic sounding, soulless and aor-by-numbers commercial AOR. Here she plays the same game that both Heart and Cher were doin at the time but the US actress had way better songs and production and the Wilson sisters, well, are in another league. Overrated. thumbs down
#4 | reyno-roxx on August 17 2008 16:25:39
LOL, when did Pat have a sex change Filippo????
#5 | gdazegod on August 17 2008 22:11:22
Actually, I bought Tropico on CD this weekend for a measly 4 bucks. Noticed that 'In A Crazy World Like This' was on it, given that Neil Giraldo co-wrote it. Haha Dave.. Pat as in Patrick? lol!
#6 | george_the_jack on August 18 2008 16:23:52
???? This is overrated? OK.I'm going to release a real gem the next days that will shake the rock/AOR stage all over the world if this is a bad album or a mediocrity
#7 | gdazegod on November 19 2013 01:47:22
I just found out she released an album called 'Sweet Talk' ten years before this, also on the Mercury label. So 'Trouble Or Nothin' ain't her debut album after all!
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