Album review: WILDLIFE – Burning (reissue/remaster)

Rock Candy Records [Release date 12.02.21]

FM and Steve Overland have bona fide legendary status in the annals of UK Rock’n'Roll. It began with Wildlife in the late seventies. Overland and the Jupp brothers, Chris and Pete, were the core of the band, and would later become the core of FM.

Discovered by the late Adam Faith, the band recorded Burning (1980), which has now been reissued in remastered form by Rock Candy Records.  Produced by Rupert (Rush/ Saga) Hine, it’s a buoyant, focused debut, with writing and/or co-writing credits attributed to Eric Troyer, founding member of ELO II and much sought after backing vocalist; and Mark Booty, well known keyboard player of the time, as well as the band.

They started as they meant to continue. The songs and the production are clearly influenced by US AOR. The title track, ‘Too Close To The Heart’ and ‘If The Night’ are high calibre material. But despite its quality, it was tough for a UK band to make a mark in the genre. So, many people passed on it.

Embryo FM fans focused instead on the self titled follow up, which gained additional interest due to the production and writing involvement of Free’s Simon Kirke and Mick Ralphs.

As in the case of their other reissues, Rock Candy are clearly stepping up the value add. Thick volumes of “how the album was made” booklets are included with each expertly remastered CD reissue.  ***

Review by Brian McGowan

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