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Accept: Breaker (Platinum Edition) / Restless and Wild (Platinum Edition)
In the early 1980s, Accept hit a creative and musical peak. With these reissues, fans can catch the band's first four albums in fancy "Platinum" editions. They can also discover (or rediscover) what made Accept such a big deal in those days. Those new to Accept might know them best for their music since 2009 when they returned to the scene with Mark Tornillo on vocals. I caught this Accept a couple of years ago in Salt Lake City and they put on a great show. For older fans like me, though, the band will always be the version from the 1980s. I know Dirkschnieder himself is tired of talking about Accept but, let's face it, these early albums are great fun.
For my review, I'm following my colleague Simon Bray's lead by combining these two reissues together in one. That way I won't repeat myself as I wax nostalgic about a band I've loved for over thirty years. I'm mostly going to talk about the great tracks on these albums so I'll be brief about the bonus content here. These two releases include two live tracks that sound good but aren't necessarily essential listening. Still, these are worth getting to fill out your Accept catalogue.
With Breaker, Accept wanted to make something that was tough, something that pushed against trends and felt independent. The result was a strong album that definitely foreshadowed killer albums like Restless and Wild and Balls to the Wall. On its own,Breaker is a heavy, playful, and occasionally angry album that (mostly) stands up as iconic 80s metal. Even the album art, a sexualized riff on British Steel still has a shocking, if slightly campy, quality.
As for the music, "Starlight" and Breaker" are probably the best tracks. "Midnight Highway" is pretty good, too, even though it's surprisingly conventional. "Son of a Bitch" is another standout tracks, probably because it's the kind of angry rant people think of in certain situations. In 1981, the lyrics to "Son of a Bitch" were a bit too much for some audiences so the band released an alternative version called "Born to be Whipped." I'm not sure which is worse. It would have been interesting to have both versions available here but I doubt most fans would want it anyway. The rest of the album is good, even though tracks like "Breaking Up Again" remind us that Accept should let other bands do the ballads.
If Breaker is good, Restless and Wild is great. The opening track, "Fast as a Shark" has one of my favorite openings ever—the scratching sound of a record playing a German folk song that quickly gets interrupted by fast, pummeling, and intense heavy metal. When I was a teenager, this was one of the fastest songs I'd heard until I discovered thrash. "Fast as a Shark" is classic Accept, one of the band's best tracks. "Restless and Wild" is another great track, as is "Ahead of the Pack." Those songs alone make this album awesome even though songs like "Neon Nights" and "Flash Rockin Man" are also pretty good. By the way, is it just me or does "Flash Rockin Man" sound like Iron Maiden's "Two Minutes to Midnight?" Check out the similarities. Anyway, one of my favorite tracks here is "Princess of the Dawn," a fantasy song in line with Lord of the Rings. Hearing it again after 15-20 years, I find myself falling in love with it all over again. This album is one of the soundtracks to my life. As popular as Balls to the Wall is, I suggest that Restless and Wild is the better album.
3. Run if You Can
4. Can't Stand the Night
5. Son of a Bitch
8. Midnight Highway
9. Breaking Up Again
10. Down and Out
11. Breaker (Live)
12. Midnight Highway (Live)
Restless and Wild
1. Fast as a Shark
2. Restless and Wild
3. Ahead of the Pack
4. Shake Your Heads
5. Neon Nights
6. Get Ready
7. Demons Night
8. Flash Rockin Man
9. Don't Go Stealing My Soul Away
10. Princess of the Dawn
11. Flash Rockin Man (Live)
12. Neon Nights (Live)
Added: April 10th 2017
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
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