Bay City Rollers - Breakout

edited December 2022 in Year-1985


ARTIST: Bay City Rollers
ALBUM: Breakout
LABEL: Polydor (Japan)
SERIAL: L28P-1218
YEAR: 1985
CD REISSUE:2019, Bodyguard Records (Japan), CRCL4268 (different track order, extra track 'No Freedom')

LINEUP: Les McKeown - vocals * Eric Faulkner, Stuart Woods, Pat McGlynn - guitars * Alan Longmuir - bass * Derek Longmuir, George Spencer - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Breakout * 02 Heartbreaker * 03 Groovy * 04 Make My Body Work * 05 When You Find Out * 06 Lost Without You * 07 I Know (I'm The Man For You) * 08 That's The Way* 09 Could This Be Love * 10 Emotion

WEBLINK: Site Link


Over the past few years I've accrued so much music, I barely know where to start with it all. In fact I have so many potential classic albums to review, the possibilities are endless.

So you might ask yourself, why would I review this nondescript, forgotten album? Well when you stumble across an album this horrific, it's hard not to commit fingers to keyboard.

I certainly don't claim to be an expert on the Bay City Rollers at all, not really my cup of tea as the saying goes. But when I noticed they made an album in 1985, I assumed it would be a shot at the AOR market, so I took a punt on it.

The result is surely one of the most blatantly uninspired and insipid albums of its kind, inferior and weak high-tech AOR that was so prevalent at the time.

This was a reunion for the band after a few dormant years and they'd go back into hiding after this embarrassment.

The Songs

'Breakout' opens with the requisite funky bass and synth parps that represented AOR back then, the band clearly riding with the musical flavor of the day. Melodically it's dull and mechanical, the template for the entire album.

I suppose when trying to compare this to anyone, the likes of Go West or Mr Mister spring to mind, only this is far inferior.

'Heartbreaker' follows the same routine, made for radio cannon fodder, surpassed in mediocrity by the horrendous 'Groovy.' The poorly titled 'Make My Body Work' is another replica of this monotonous sound, the band trying to get raunchy, clearly forcing themselves to plow through this mess.

The bass is on overkill on every song, including 'When You Find Out' and its flat melodies. A drum machine is heard on 'Lost Without You' which further dilutes this processed, computerized slop.

'That's The Way' sounds like John Farnham during his glorious AOR years in the 80's, only far worse of course. Predictably the sax makes an appearance on the 'sultry' 'Could This Be Love.' This one plays it cool and smooth, undercover lover bollocks tripe. 'Emotion' is a carbon copy of the nine previous songs and thankfully ends this bomb.

In Summary

This album represents the worst of the high-tech AOR boom and was a total flop for the one time boy wonders. This was surely nothing more than a total cash grab by the struggling punters.

I'm sure someone will dispute my opinion and claim this isn't that bad, but if so, I'd like to know how? But in 1985 AOR was going in the wrong direction and this album is proof of just how far it was sinking.

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  • Reading Eric's review of 'Strangers in the Wind' he mentioned a few albums of the band when they renamed themselves The Rollers, namely 'Elevator' and 'Ricochet.' These are classic AOR efforts as Eric suggested, not sure why it took me so long to check them out. They remind me of Trickster in places. Definitely more palatable than 'Breakout.'

  • One of the worst efforts from 1985.

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