Bernie MARSDEN – And About Time Too ***1/2 Look At Me Now ****1/2
Best known as a founder member of Whitesnake, and with Micky Moody one of the two guitarists during the band’s classic era, Marsden has had a long career. From UFO and Cozy Powell’s Hammer to Walter Trout, Babe Ruth, PAL and the Moody Marsden Band.
He has recorded several solo albums and these are his first two, both featuring a host of guests.
1979’s And About Time Too is largely a much gentler affair compared to Whitesnake, opening with the soft funk rock of You’re The One. Song For Fran is more emotional, and Love Made A Fool Out Me and Here We Go Again pick up the pace. Still The Same is definitely in soft rock territory. Stand out track Sad Clowns is solid, a good melody decent guitar solo too. From rockers to moody instrumentals there are some good tracks here. Drums are shared by Ian Paice, Simon Phillips and Cozy Powell, bass by Neil Murray and Jack Bruce, and keyboards between Jon Lord and Don Airey. Now that’s an impressive CV; Marsden’s often blistering guitar stands out, but his vocals are not so strong.
1981’s Look At Me Now is a heavier affair and certainly more consistent and confident, there are several tracks here that could have made decent Whitesnake tracks. With Murray and Lord on most tracks, Paice and Phillips sharing drums (Cozy does feature on Shakey Ground), there are some real corkers here. The opening title track is a real rocker, and Who’s Foolin’ Who mixes Whitesnake with Stone The Crows. You can sense Cozy Powell’s boost on Shakey Ground too.
Both albums are very well presented, with sleevenotes from Bernien himself, and a bonus b-side on each.
Well worth searching out and an essential part of the collection.
WAYSTED -Vices *** Save Your Prayers ****
Formed by former UFO bassist Pete Way in 1983 (after co founding Fastway and immediately bailing for contractual reasons), their debut Vices also features guitarists Paul Raymond and Ronnie Kayfield, vocalist Fin and former Def Leppard drummer Frank Noon. Sleazy and Night Of The Wolf are great tracks, there are some true gems here.
The band went through several line-up changes before recording their 3rd album. Originally released in 1986, Pete Way is joined by guitarist Paul Chapman (ex UFO), drummer John Diteodoro and vocalist Danny Vaughn, and it’s a solid and heavy yet polished affair.
Hell Comes Home really stands out – catchy, crunchy, good harmonies, and Heroes Die Young matches it after an acoustic start. This is really a wonderful mid 80s album; while the debut album was good, it sounds a little sludgy and clunky compared to this.
Both excellently packaged with bonus tracks and sleevenotes, well worth searching out.
RUSH – 2112 (CD+DVD)
Rightly heralded as one of the greatest prog albums ever, the Canadian trio’s fourth album was their break through and this deluxe edition gives it some decent treatment. The cover, featuring the Starman, is as distinctive as the music.
The title track runs to 20 minutes, a seven part suite, and tells of a futuristic story, a complex one I won’t go into here but the feel throughout is not just classic prog rock but also has a sci-fi feel in places, The guitar, bass, drums and lyrics are all complex and interweave well, and additional synthesiser adds to the sound.
It is easy to lose yourself in the title track alone, while the rest of the tracks (stand alone, not part of the title track’s concept) are all of equal quality,.
The album is essential listening and this package proves it, and does it justice. The remastering is good, even more so on the DVD which gives a full 5.1 surround sound mix. Then there’s the thick booklet, lengthy sleevenotes, lyrics and photos. Superb!
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Featured Albums w/c 14 September (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 PERFECT PLAN Time For A Miracle (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 OVERLAND Scandalous (Escape Music)
14:00-16:00 ANNIE DRESSNER Coffee At The Corner Bar (indie)
Power Plays w/c 14 September (Mon-Fri)
GALLOWS CIRCUS Medicine Man (indie)
ROY ZIV Currents (indie)
NOVATINES Honey (indie)
KILFEATHER Never Stop (indie)
VANILLA FUDGE Immigrant Song (Golden Robot Records)
BROKEN MACHINE Sweet Mary Jane (indie)
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