Album review: DAN REED NETWORK – reissues

DAN REED NETWORK - Slam

UMC [Release date 25.10.19]

For fans, the question for these reissues has to be – firstly – why has it taken 30-odd years to get definitive remasters?  And, secondly, where are the bonus tracks?

OK, the analogue to digital transfer has finally been updated (although you might be hard pressed to tell the difference between these and earlier versions)  but the absence of bonus tracks from the many variant singles that were released at the time is frankly unforgiveable.

But, what do you know, there’s a forthcoming UK tour celebrating the band’s second major label album and so a whiff of cash-in permeates the air in the absence of any new product.

I first became aware of DRN with the album Slam, it was the album they toured as headliners in the UK in 1990 on the back of a world-wide outing with Bon Jovi.  Strangely, at that time, I never thought to investigate its predecessor.

But the eponymous album, released in 1988, is well worth investigating and of course since the band’s revival in recent years spawns a good chunk of their current setlist including such highlights as ‘Get To You’, ‘Ritual’ and ‘Resurrect’.  ****

The band was trumpeted in the contemporary PR blurb for Slam as a rockier version of Prince. The album is a more consistent offering with some real standouts such as ‘Tiger In A Dress’, ‘Rainbow Child’ and ‘Cruise Together’.  A chance too to re-evaluate less exposed tracks such as ‘ Come Back Baby’.  *****

The band’s potent blend of funk and rock was as infectious as it is immediate.  It was a downward trail thereon with 1991′s ‘The Heat’ a somewhat patchy affair ahead of the band’s implosion.

Now, dusted off for a new generation, Dan Reed Network reinstate their earlier credentials and sounding as good as ever.

Review by David Randall

The Big 3-0 Tour – December 2019
9th Bristol – O2 Academy
10th Southampton – Engine Rooms
11th London – O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
13th Wolverhampton – KK’s Steel Mill
14th Norwich – LCR UEA
15th Nottingham – Rock City
17th Newcastle – O2 Academy
18th Leeds – O2 Academy
20th Manchester – Academy 2
21th Glasgow – Barrowland

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