Album review: APRIL WINE – First Glance, Harder…Faster

APRIL WINE – First Glance, Harder…Faster

BGO Records [Release date 06.08.21]

Although April Wine had been around since 1969, they only really made in big outside of their native Canada with 1978’s ‘First Glance’, an album that also marked the debut of guitarist Brian Greenway. Between 1978 and 1984 April Wine really hit their commercial peak with continued success in Canada plus the US and UK, including a slot on 1980’s Monsters of Rock festival.

‘First Glance’ (***1/2) sees the band employ their new triple guitar attack to great effect as can be heard on ‘Right Down On It’ and ‘Get Ready For Love’. A song like ‘Roller’ is a timeless piece of 70’s hard rock, plenty of guitar solos and a driving rhythm from bass player Steve Lang and drummer Jerry Mercer. ‘Silver Dollar’ offered something a little different from the band, a five minute song that outdid the Eagles with gorgeous harmonies and stand out vocal from Goodwin.

Myles Goodwin remained the band’s main songwriter with Greenway chipping in one song and bassist Steve Lang co-writing the aforementioned ‘Get Ready For Love’ with Goodwin.

A year later we had ‘Harder…Faster’ (****), quite possibly one of the band’s finest albums alongside ‘Nature of the Beast’. April Wine’s first album to break into the US top 100 album charts, as well as giving the band their highest charting single in the UK, ‘I Like To Rock’, which made number 41. The album went Gold in the US and Platinum in Canada, and reached number 34 in the UK album charts.

Hard rockers like ‘Tonite’ and ‘I Like To Rock’ still sound good today, whilst ‘Say Hello’ showed a more commercial, radio friendly side to the band. Then there is the band’s version of King Crimson’s ‘21st Century Schizoid Man’, which certainly rocks like a good ’un! A good chance for the band’s three guitarists to strut their stuff.

April Wine still tour to this day with Myles Goodwin and Brian Greenway still present, although they have not released a studio album since 2006.

Another pretty darn essential 2-in-1 album collection from BGO.

Review by Jason Ritchie

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