Outside Edge - 1986 Running Hot

edited August 2 in year-1986


ARTIST: Outside Edge
ALBUM: Running Hot
LABEL: Virgin Records/10 Records
YEAR: 1986
CD REISSUE: 2000, Virgin (Sweden), 7243 8 49956 2 1 * 2013, AOR Heaven, AORHC0024


LINEUP: Tom Farmer - vocals, bass * Eddie Golga - guitar * David Farmer - drums * Pete Giles - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Heartbeat Away * 02 Wait * 03 Louella * 04 Don't Be A Hero * 05 Running Hot * 06 Don't Leave Me Tonight * 07 You * 08 Heartbreaker * 09 Hold On


Many moons ago George reviewed the 2000 release 'More Edge', which was an album originally supposed to be released after 'Running Hot' in 1987, but for some reason was shelved for more than a decade.

In his review George provided an exhaustive history of the bands background, so it seems pointless to rehash it here, but essentially the band rose from the fragments of early 70's hard rockers Blackfoot Sue, with the Farmer brothers and Golga all members of that band.

The band released their self-titled debut in 1984, but in retrospect it barely hinted at the AOR prowess that 'Running Hot' would adopt. The band signed with Virgin Records and procured the services of well-known producer Terry Manning, who helped capture Outside Edge's sound to the fullest.

I think anyone who has caught an earful of 'Running Hot' would place it in the upper leagues of British AOR history, with a delicious album that tops even Def Leppard in my eyes.

What a shame this album and the bands fortunes were indeed an outside edge, with the band being caught behind in resounding fashion!

The Songs

For a complete AOR experience firmly rooted in everything 80's then this is a hard album to look past. Opening with the stunning 'Heartbeat Away' is a stroke of genius, with a chorus Leppard themselves couldn't match on 'Hysteria'.

This is the kind of track which defines AOR, it's that brilliant. That said it's uniquely English, with a complete sound that Airrace or Shy could only dream of. The rest of the album follows suit and it wouldn't be out of order calling this near perfect.

The moody 'Don't Be A Hero' shows the heavier side of the band, very soundtrack oriented, especially with the crunching guitars and synth interplay. The coup de grace is without doubt the title track which takes melody to levels that could be considered obscene, with synth touches that could get even Gregg Giuffria in a sweat such is the intensity. This should have been a ten million seller.

There's more excellence with the non-stop dramatics of 'Don't Leave Me Tonight', a pulsating affair where the Leppard comparisons probably came thick and fast.

Familiar names like Virginia Wolf will probably spring to mind when listening to a song like 'You' but the keyboard work is almost closer to Foreigner than anything. Everything Outside Edge does here is so blatantly melodic that I've often wondered if it's real.

'Hold On' is a tad more American sounding with believe it or not Bon Jovi slipping in as a reference point. The guitar solo on this track is phenomenal.

The band manages to slip some sax in on 'Louella' which along with 'Wait' represent some of the classiest AOR I've ever been fortunate enough to hear.

In Summary

It seems to have taken years to get around to reviewing this album, but with George's summation in his previous review it almost seemed superfluous.

But this is such a high point of the British 80's AOR scene that it would be almost criminal not to. Just how the famed Encyclopedia of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal could describe this album as 'uninspiring' is a total mystery. What were they listening to?

Regardless I'm almost certain most of those reading this has already been initiated to the pleasures of 'Running Hot' but for those who haven't then I'd be running even hotter to catch a blast of this treasure chest of melodic gold.

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