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Little Angels: Don't Prey For Me

After having impressed with their independent EP Too Posh To Mosh, Scarborough, UK outfit Little Angels were picked up by Polydor with a view to putting out their debut full length release in 1989. Around the time the UK Rock scene seemed to be on the verge of a real renaissance, with the likes of The Almighty, Terrorvision, Gun, The Wildhearts and Wolfsbane covering eclectic bases with real style. However for Melodic Rockers, there was only one band coming through who mattered and that band was Little Angels.

The five piece, consisting Toby Jepson (vocals), Bruce John Dickinson (guitars), Jimi Dickinson, (keyboards), Mark Plunkett (bass) and Michael Lee (drums), had already hit the ground running with their new label through the Big Bad EP, before handing Polydor an amazingly mature and assured set of songs in the shape of Don't Prey For Me. Some suggested LA were mere Bon Jovi clones, others, The Who reborn! The truth? Well that lay somewhere in between. Either way the album was a mighty statement, and one which stands loud and proud to this day, "Do You Wanna Riot" pulsating, "Kick Hard" and "Kicking Up Dust" anthemic, all three sitting comfortably alongside the beautiful acoustic led "Don't Pray For Me" (note the difference in spelling between the album and song titles) and heart tugging "Broken Wings Of An Angel". Impressively however the less celebrated moments on DPFM have also stood the test of time, "Big Bad World" and "No Solution" positively bursting with energy, "When I Get Out Of Here" nodding to a Classic Rock heritage, "Promises" taking that idea step further.

In Jepson what the LA's had was a singer of real force, but also stunning precision, great range and captivating presence (if this band were great in the studio, catching them live really was something special), while in guitarist Bruce John Dickinson, Little Angels possessed one of the least appreciated but most talented six stringer the UK had produced for many a year. Drummer Michael Lee went on to have successful stints with The Cult and Robert Plant, amongst others, before his untimely death in 2008, with his ex-band mates maintaining to this day that the percussionist was actually the most talented lad in the band. Unfortunately Lee's departure from Little Angels a few years down wasn't on the best of terms; something the rest of the band only really began to reconcile at the drummer's funeral, an occasion which proved to be the catalyst for an all too brief reunion during 2012-13. Proof that at least some comfort can come from tragic circumstances.

This Lemon Records reissue not only presents the Don't Prey For Me album in its original ten track glory, but also adds a further seven bonuses. "Pleasure Pyre", which is a little run of the mill, featured on the cassette version (remember them?), while the superb standalone single "Radical Your Lover" (co-written by Dan Reed!), also featured on later versions of the CD version of the album. So did the phenomenal "She's A Little Angel" from the Big Bad EP, which, along with the other three tracks from that release also features here ("Sex In Cars" still being a tongue (and maybe other things...) in cheek masterpiece). The extras excellently rounded out by "Don't Love You No More" from the Get Radical EP. There are numerous other, excellent b'sides that could have been added to this release, but with interesting and informative liner notes and seventeen songs of Little Angels goodness, could you really ask for more?

Little Angels would go on to have many top 40 hits in the UK, amazingly, a million selling number 1 album and a farewell show at The Royal Albert Hall. However there's an irresistible energy and charm to this first outing and I'd suggest that if any UK Rockers delivered a debut of this class in 2014, we'd be raising them on our shoulders and proclaiming them as the new messiahs of Rock. If only more of us had done exactly that in 1989...

Track Listing
1. Do You Wanna Riot
2. Kick Hard
3. Big Bad World
4. Kicking Up Dust
5. Don't Prey For Me
6. Broken Wings Of An Angel
7. Bitter & Twisted
8. Promises
9. When I Get Out Of Here
10. No Solution
11. Pleasure Pyre
12. She's A Little Angel
13. Don't Waste My Time
14. Better Than The Rest
15. Sex In Cars
16. Don't Love You No More
17. Radical Your Lover

Added: February 15th 2014
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Little Angels Online
Hits: 2526
Language: english

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