Totally agree with you Nick this was a big disappointment. I've never really warmed to Head East. Even the follow up ' Onward and Upward' whilst an improvement was distinctly average in my book and is no longer in my collection. Buying records back in those days was a bit of gamble. Personally speaking whilst I picked up many an undiscovered gem for a bargain, I've also had my fair share of 'blind buying' purchases which I've regretted soon afterwards...
When I bought this I was bitterly disappointed - in pre-internet days news about HE was hard to come by in the UK music press and I didn't realise that Head East had so many intrinsic members leave. It's still the one album out of them all that just rubs me up the wrong way even now when I play it I have clenched teeth. The songs seem half finished although a couple are OK, the production is...not great and doesn't do the songs any favours - too clean, very dry in parts some of the guitar sounds really bad like on Love Me Now. It has the feel of a very amateur or forced album to me coming off what went before, I much preferred the follow up Onward & Upward I can get on with that, it has a better groove and Choice of Weapons was a real good album. In fact that may be the problem with US 1 it doesn't have any kind of groove going on...I know what I mean! I dunno if Dan Odum was asked to sound like the departed John Schlitt on US 1 but he certainly sounds much more relaxed and puts in a better performance on O&U. I had a similar shock when I bought Prism - Small Change and Henry Tabak and John Hall had gone ...but at least I got to like Small Change - U.S. 1 still leaves me cold.
A great read, Alun. Your Metal reviews inspired me to write the first volume that introduced many debut albums, while this second volume goes more in depth. Ride The Lightning, Beneath The Remains and the usually overlooked South Of Heaven are my favorites from this list, however all are great picks, and the trio of Pantera's albums up to Far Beyond Driven are essential for 1990's Metal at large. Agree, there's room for more volumes.
Dean quit the band in early 1990 after they had returned from Europe with Alice Cooper at the end of 89. They hadn't been able to get on another arena tour so were doing club dates. Dean walked out and formed Blackeyed Susan virtually overnight. The band looked at getting John Corabi in as a replacement but he chose to stick it out in L.A, with Angora. The Angora demo was excellent.
It's boys in the heat of the city looking for action (read 'women'. I had that artwork painted on the back of a leather jacket, which I still own but haven't worn in twenty years. The artist who painted the album cover also worked on covers for the likes of ZZ Top and Johnny Crash.
By the way, the band may have had differences following this record (Dean against the other three) but never management problems.
There`s probably some deep seated, underlying message about men and their dominance over women I`m guessing...give the cover to one of today's snowflakes and they`ll have a field day with it screaming misogyny and such like.
Eleven years later, but never too late I suppose! Glad to find this article as these late 70s early 80s releases were a big part of my introduction to record buying.
Good article... definitely an upbeat album. The major labels were jumping all over to cash in on “new wave”...if only for a short time!
Indeed this was huge in South America back in the day, and deservedly. Being a metalhead, I've always had a place for A-Ha's music since those times. And the cartoon-oriented video for Take On Me was pure genius.
I like the Adam Bomb books too, maybe not the greatest in the literary sense his writing seems a little along the basic lines - but at the end of the day I've enjoyed reading them both. I'm looking forward to the third and apparently final instalment but it seems a long time coming compared to the gap between the 1st book and the 2nd. The Ian Hunter one, like Malc, I've returned to many times as well as Dan Hedges old Yes book and Aerosmith - Walk This Way. The Greg Godvitz book Travels With My Amp I quite enjoyed too and Life in the Bus Lane by Tony Bell about his days in A.O.K. ( Angels or Kings as they reformed as) mainly because I knew/know so many people in it and I recognise so much of the Manchester rock scene therein - it's like a bang on perfect encapsulation of the time and of the people around then. One I missed out on and I could kick myself over and over again for was the Van Der Graaf Generator book, the number of times I had the opportunity to pick that up and now finding it at a price where you don't have to read it with white acid free gloves as if it's a manuscript from the 12th century is nigh on impossible. I suppose downloading it as per Kindle might be the way to go but it's just not the same.
With regards general music books - Last Shop Standing by David Sinclair I thought was a brilliant book about the decline of the record shop, particularly because it deals with U.K. shops.
Mr Hillage is someone I admire very much. The `L` album, and the live album featured here (his version of The Beatles `It`s All Too Much` is ace) as well as his ground breaking work with the likes of The Orb and System 7 are all quite splendid. I first encountered him as support to Queen at their free Hyde Park gig in `76.
Tell me if I’m wrong... I swear that version of ‘she can’t wait’ in the video is different than the one on the album. The vocal is different i am fairly certain.
Also— both FM and DFP have keyboardists with receding hairlines and minimal camera time in the video. Add Fitz from night ranger for a balding keyboardist hat-trick!
(I’m okay to make this observation, I share their pain...!)
Haha! Live Herald - brilliant I had it on vinyl years back but it got so bashed about from lending it to mates rather than listening to it myself, I thought at the time it was too sappy. I finally got into it years later after I had to rebuy it on CD as my vinyl was pretty much goosed - only to find the CD didn't have side 4 on (the studio side...just like Kiss Alive II ) and was most disappointed. Hillage was/is such an ace guitarist fusing spaced out music with amazing guitar riffs and jams - astral projection given musical form .....something the Ozric Tentacles would borrow heavily from in the future.
I will never forget the first time I heard Teds Double Live Gonzo, I was hooked. I played it to death along with Weekend Warrior. As much as I hate Ted Nugent and for what he stands for today, I still play the live album.
I remember Geoff Barton reviewing the UFO in Sounds, I saw them at Hammersmith in 1979, with Lair supporting, fabulous concert. I saw them a year later with Girl in support and it was like a different band, Phil Mogg was so drunk he couldn’t remember the words to the songs.
When I lived in South Norwood, I used to see Phil Mogg in my local Chinese takeaway with a can of special brew in his hand.
Have never seen that Spys video before, so that was a great surprise. With regards to the Rock Candy reissue of the Aviator album, all four members contributed to the essay. Some great anecdotes of how the band came together. Sad to say their progress was hampered by Tommy Motolla's decision to take his meal ticket Hall And Oates away from RCA. The album stood no chance from that point on.
I could never get into Giuffria's second album 'Silk And Steel'. The great man himself isn't a fan of it either thanks mainly to the choice of producer.
Pamela Des Barre's follow up book, where she interviews fellow groupies such as Lori Maddix and even Elvira, is excellent as well. Ken Sharp's book on Cheap Trick has been on my wants list for years but is ridiculously expensive. It wa reprinted a couple of years ago but even that was in the region of £100 to obtain from the States.
I've just been reading the second book in Adam Bomb's trilogy of autobiographies. Some of his former band mates have said they are just the rantings of a drug addict. Apart from one surreal episode in Hawaii that he recounts I think there's a lot of truth in the very detailed pages.
Love DFP, just epic, brought my copy with long box at Shades, only visited the shop just a couple of times. Excellent article George......my biggest regret not going to see Giant at the Woughton Centre, Milton Keynes, although did see Drive She Said, supporting FM there, didn’t realise how good it was, add in Crown of Thorns, Shotgun Symphony, Love Hate, Jagged Edge, Heartland, Dare, Gun, Slide,Kiss ofthe Gypsy, Tyketto, Even Tony Mills with Siam, of course add in Gods Of Aor, and that little old prog band....Dream Theater, part of the Images and Words tour....never had it so good
The Riot release may never had gone ahead had the Hagar tour been rescheduled. Sammy Hagar was due to tour with April Wine as support, but Hagar postponed the tour with the excuse his son was ill. Having read his autobiography it seemed he had major relationships issues at the time. April Wine still came over and played but with Angelwitch and Sledgehammer in support. Hagar then rearranged the tour with Riot now added as support. Prior to the Hammersmith gig, Neil Kaye invited the band to the Bandwagon Soundhouse, I remember Kip, Sandy and Rick headbanging with the rest of us. I have been a huge Riot fan since I heard Neil play Warrior. When they played that gig at the Hammersmith there were a number of people in the crowd shouting out for Warrrior. Riot were one of the best support bands I ever saw, unfortunately their performance at Port Vale lacked the power they showed at Hammersmith. They did however manage to bring it back on the subsequent tour with Saxon in support of Fire Down Under.
#33 | melodiapositiva | ? at June 04 2019 19:01:45
No there is not,I do not like it much either.All the others are classics.Although I like more Time to burn from Giant and the first one from Balance instead of In for the count.
Out of these ten beauties, I bought four of them abroad, three at a local CD store in Buenos Aires and Foreigner 4 at the short-lived Tower Records Buenos Aires. All in the early 2000's. Need to get the LRB, some hi-tech there. Great list this third and counting.
dtabachn - I didn't take it that you were playing down the E.P. at all mate, many get confused between the E.P. and the live album it doesn't help using the same cover twice really haha! For those who want to check out the E.P. on silver disc though it can be found as the extra tracks on the High Vaultage release of Restless Breed. Not sure if has appeared on any other versions as well.
I really appreciate Dave's, Nick's and David's comments. I just wanted to address the common confusion between the two Riot Live albums, and didn't mean to turn down Rhett's one whatsoever, great album with his powerful bluesy vox, he's sorely missed. Amazing how many albums were left for future volumes, Hendrix, Frank Marino, The Romantics, Kayak, Al Jarreau, Styx among others; and now The Godz added to the list. The Riot Live was so special for me that my mom handcrafted the Mighty Tior that's pictured in the article per my request many years ago, a great memory.
I second that with Daves comments regarding Riot. I was at that show at Hammersmith, and was completely blown away by Riot. I love the Teaze live in Japan. I have never heard the Thundertrain live but do have Teenage Suicide in my collection.
Agree with Reyno - Both those Riot Live's are worth grabbing. It was nice to see the Thundertrain album turn up - brilliant album. On a slightly biased side one of my favourite live albums that gets passed over is The Godz - Greatest Hits Live, (funny calling it Greatest Hits though) it's a real sparky live album that bristles with raw energy.
Great list, really enjoyed spending time with it. Agreed that we would all have different ‘unsung’ choices... and that’s why this was fun to read. We can always praise the big releases, but these diamonds in the rough are always the most fun to come across!
What is there to say about this album that hasn't already been said previously! A seminal AOR classic I never tire of listening of and another one of my desert island discs. The theme of 'Peace of mind' is just as relevant today over 40 years later (perhaps even more so) and something to aspire to...
Along with Grand Illusion possibly my favourite Styx album and the whole band are at the top of their game here - JY in particular is on fire. Just listen to him on "Queen of Spades' and 'Renegade'. The powerful message conveyed on the title cut just as relevant today many years later... It also contains 'I'm Okay' which is one of my all time favourite Styx tracks. Easily finds a place on my list of desert island discs...
Another great list there. Riot, with Guy Speranza, were one of the best live bands I've ever seen. The live mini album with Rhett Foresster certainly shouldn't be ignored either though.
The Teaze album is definitely one if the greatest unsung live records. Had a lot to do with those guys recently and they are fantastic people to deal with and it's wonderful to have them back performing again.
I always thought The Runaways performing a song entitled 'I Wanna Be Where The Boys Are' was certainly proof of Fowley's influence over them more than anything else.
Some great shouts with Mr Mister (one of the best produced albums of the decade?) and Gamma in particular. The Jordan album has so far eluded me in terms of trying to get one as cheaply as possible but have found patience is the key.
After working with the editing and upload of this article, I too had to give serious consideration to similar Unsung Albums in my collection. Problem is, I think I have written most of mine up in GDM already
David. Your last paragraph in the `Background` section sums up this collection perfectly. I would choose 10 very different albums for exactly the same reason, and therein lies the beauty of our musical tastes.
This was one of the first rock albums I got, way back in early fall of 1981 (a bit later than its release). So it holds a special place in my heart. I played it a bunch, and it set the bar for the band so high that the next two albums just couldn't reach it. I haven't gotten into their material prior to this album, other than the hits that were on the radio and their greatest hits album I had. I found it amusing that 'Tough Guys' had some profanity in it - to a 15-year-old guy in 1981, that was bold. I differ from George in that I really like 'I Wish You Were There'.
I'm really liking this one, even more than the long-ago debut. I didn't discover that first one until maybe a dozen years ago, so it wasn't one I played during my formative years. If that first one came out in 1985, this one sounds like it could have come out in 1987. It's impressive how similar-sounding they are, at least to my old ears. I've mixed the songs from both of them in the ol' queue, and there is not much difference in the overall sound. I think for most people, the opinion they have of this one will be very similar to the one of the first one. Except me - I like this one better
Here is some email feedback from Steve Craven, re: my comment about a back story for the song 'Better Off Dead'.
"There has been a couple of comments on Charlie's singing for Better Off Dead. Maybe we should have explained that this is one of 4 songs ( same as the debut cd ) that are connected with the 'Assassin' . Charlie gets into character as he becomes the assassin. Causing death and destruction as he kills everyone in his sight! But it's cool. He's really into it when we play live and has a great outfit as he becomes the assassin on stage."
Great album and band...some cool bluesy retro rockin' stuff with a touch of glam...love the use of Hammond in Weeping Tree and the harp on some of the other tunes...it gives them a unique sound as does their singer.
This band just keeps improving and getting better...looking forward to picking up an original copy when it's released.
Brought this many years ago, and never really played it, definitely never made it to track 9, simply called I, what an excellent track, and it’s only listening to Heaven & Hell live album this week, that only just picked up on it.
I didn't get this back when it came out. Not sure whether it was because I didn't know it was out or that I wasn't impressed with the first single "Talk To Me", which I honestly can't remember hearing back then, as it really didn't even make a dent in the charts. But I've been able to stream it for many years. It is a very decent effort, but quite a bit more hi-tech in sound than the first album and most of the second one. Not nearly as much sax, which is what made a huge impression on the first album. I can cherry-pick some songs from here that work well as a continuation when I play the first album. And now that the second one is available digitally, I can put together a nice playlist for when I'm in the mood for some Quarterflash.
Hmm, I'm sure I would have commented on this album sometime in the last 12 years, considering that it has been a favorite of mine for over 37 years (wow). Being a sax player myself, I was always a huge fan of hearing sax in rock songs. And with Rindy Ross being a fine sax player who sounded a lot like Pat Benatar, I was hooked. I was a good enough sax player to figure out the licks (not super difficult, but not simplistic), and I'd play along with the album occasionally. The radio songs got enough airplay that I'd hear them (especially "Harden My Heart" ) throughout the 80s. This album has a great flow, and each track has something to offer both musically and lyrically. "Williams Avenue" is a very ambitious song that I've always loved, and it is the perfect way to close this album. I play this several times a year straight through - it's great for late-night hanging out. Unfortunately, they couldn't match this album. There are some good songs on the next two, but even cherry-picking the good ones from them wouldn't quite be as good as this album.
I understand the not-so-favorable review, but I always kind of liked this one. It is indeed icy, and I’m a sucker for those cold synth sounds. I always prefer candy-O to the debut, and this album is kind of an extension of that sound.
I’m thinking you’re joking about ‘down boys’... this one has nothing to do with the warrant song!!?!
Regardless, thanks for reviewing the album. Cars were a big part of my musical upbringing!
I was such a fan of the debut that I was really excited to get this one when I heard the lead single and saw the album at my local record store. Somehow in 1983 it didn't capture my attention quite as much as the first one did. Part of it was that I'm a sax player, and the sax parts really grabbed me. This album didn't have as many cool sax licks, and that played a part. I don't think my musical taste had changed that much between late 1981 / early 1982 and whenever this came out in 1983 (I can't find a specific date, but I think it was summer).
I still have the LP, but I haven't had a working turntable in 20 years. I never got this on CD either. And, it had never been available on any of the streaming services whenever I checked. I'm positive I had checked sometime in the past two years, possibly even within the last year, on Google Play, to no avail. Some of the songs made it onto a greatest hits album that I've streamed a few times over the years, so at least those were fresh in my mind. After reading this article, I checked again, and this album is finally there.
After streaming it and hearing many of the songs for the first time in probably 30+ years, I think I can pinpoint where this one didn't stick with me as much. Part, as I mentioned, was that it had a lot fewer memorable sax licks, and the sax parts are what differentiated the debut from much of the other music of the time. But the debut had a great flow to it, where I never felt the need to skip anything. Not so much with this one. The first four songs are all very nice, and "It Don't Move Me" is OK. But back in 1983, I would have to get off the couch and flip the record. "Shakin' The Jinx" is a nice song, but "Make It Shine" kinda kills the momentum. "One More Round To Go" wasn't good enough to justify playing side 2, and I'd forgotten that "Nowhere Left To Hide" is a really really good song. And it ends on a whimper with that last song. So this album got lost in the shuffle back then. Glad I can now get a couple of those tracks I mentioned and put them into a Quarterflash playlist at least.
I thought 2017 was a very solid year, and this one one of the albums that, while not a standout to me, gave that year a lot of depth. It would probably be a top-ten contender for many of the years of the decade.
I've finally managed to buy at a decent price a sealed CD version of "Down To The Bone" on the (probably bogus canadian) Blast From The Past label. The non LP track Moon Rider was the B side of the german edition of the (again non album) single "Walk away Renee", while in UK - where it came without a ps - the flip side was another unreleased tune "You And Me". All these rare songs were produced by the legendary Manny Charlton! The CD is nicely done with lyrics, 6 page booklet and the picture sleeve of the WAR single. Inside there's some colour photos of Vic "the stick" band too, picture CD too.
A very enjoyable album kudos for reviewing it Eric. The 1982 release 'Now you see me, now you don't' is also very good too. It flirts with the lighter side of AOR even - unsurprising really given the time frame. 'Thief in the night' would have slotted in nicely on an album by John O'Banion or David Roberts for that matter..
It cost me £2.99 new...I had my heart in my mouth as most albums were retailing at the local shops for £3.25 after a recent price rise and I thought I wouldn't be able to afford it...that would have been unbearable my fave band at the time with a new album out that day and me without enough cash, but because it was a new release it was at a lower price. Talk about relieved - I thought at the time it was quite a lavishly packaged album, it even had a poster, custom labels instead of the regular Asylum label. All cool, still love the album and the band, although as I have said many times before after Meisner had left Eagles lost something vital.
I was thinking the same thing you were regarding Boston's debut and Frampton's "Comes Alive" and this album. They indeed were the three big ones and rightly so. I still enjoy listening to this one. I'd put "Leftoverture" and Van Halen's debut in the mix too.
Maybe one of the best German metal albums ever.I will never forget the first time I listened Michael Kiske on the first song ,after a lot of years avoiding Metal his voice shines again like the old days ,it was exciting...
Another reason to refuse to review "Ignition" is that the recording quality is terrible. I thought the songs were good, but it's a painful listen due to the overall sound. I haven't played this album in a while, but I need to throw it in the queue. I remember that I liked it quite a bit. I have it as my top album of 2000, although there is not much competition for that year.
Finally got this on CD with obi and all inserts for the price of £4.99. Bargain. Great record too. Seem to recall Kyoji hanging about in Shades on occasion in 1982 when Bow Wow were over in the UK touring and playing at Reading. The Marquee gig was fantastic. Bob was always in Shades well past his days in Alaska too.
Just so happens mrs bpdp3 is a former Liverpudlian. When visiting the in-laws was able to find a vinyl copy at a Syracuse record shop. Was not cheap, but I’m glad to have snagged it.
This is terrific AOR and I agree they gave Loverboy a run for the money...just the right blend of 80s guitar, keys and catchy songs. A diamond in the rough to be sure.
Also, the Australian release by the Powderworkx record label was called 'Breakout' 85'. Interesting that only the Australian and Japanese markets were the only countries to release this back in the day, and no one else, not even the UK! Lol.
....and here we go, the changing opinions of ...well me! I commented on this a few days ago on a thread - but I thought I'd check Youtube and see if it was as bad as I remembered - jeez, I found it palatable in fact a lot better than I recalled, but I heard some of the Live at the Agora and that sounded pretty good. Long and short of it - I ended up picking up the Agora disc on eBay - I played it the other evening and it's a pretty cool listen, I really like it, the songs from the original album just cook that bit more . It's a pity the live wasn't released outside a promo. ..sadly (or maybe not) I ended up picking up the s/t again and the Change of Face album for knockdown prices....can it hurt?
Agreed, what a video, what a pout......, what an era, Britny Fox, Cinderella, Bullet Boys, Dirty Looks, House Of Lords, Vinnie Vincent, Celtic Frost with Cold Lake.....?, still love Cherry Orchards........