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Badlands
s/t
July 2001
Released: 2001, Koch Records
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: Pete

In case you didn't know, Badlands was a band formed in the late 80's which featured the talents of former Ozzy guitarist Jake E. Lee, vocalist Ray Gillan, bassist Greg Chaisson and drummer Eric Singer. Hyped as a "super group" in some parts due to the caliber of musicians (rightly so, I might add),1989 saw the release of this s/t album, now seeing the light of day for all to re-discover thanks to Koch records.



From the opening riff of "Live Wire" and it's vocal exercise, to the closer "Ball And Chain" (which was not available on the vinyl at the time, for us 'old school' guys), Badlands was a blueprint of hard edged blues-based rock and roll in a time of "the Revlon revolution." Perhaps this is why this cd was so appealing in '89, as it offered something different. "Dancing On The Edge" with it's opening riff and one-two punch, as Mr. Gillan proceeds to steamroll thru the the song with power and intensity. "Dreams In The Dark" (the first single) exposed the radio/video folk to this band, but the true gems were elsewhere on this baby. Instrumental "Jade's Song" (inspired by Jake's daughter) is 1:24 of acoustic bliss, only to ease into "Winter's Call", a powerhouse all in itself. "Rumblin' Train" is your typical blusey number in which Singer and Chaisson really keep it together. "Devils Stomp", while a little over the top in it's delivery, has a Zeppelin-esque feel to it.

A top-notch lesson in musicianship complimented by emotion-soaked vocals, Badlands was a breath of fresh air. Unfortunately they would only issue 2 albums (89's"Badlands" and "91's "Voodoo Highway") before going their separate ways. There were rumors of a reunion, but this would never come to light,as Ray Gillan passed away in 1994. "Dusk", a Japanese release, surfaced in '99 containing songs to have been used on a third Badlands release. http://www.kochentertainment.com
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