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XYZ: Forbidden Demos-1985/1991

XYZ is one of those bands that arrived on the late-80s Hollywood music scene with a slew of sound-alike, hairspray-fueled pop-metal outfits and simply got lost in the fray even though Don Dokken produced the band's 1989 self-titled debut. Still, XYZ released some cool songs over the years, including "Inside Out," "Souvenirs," "When I Find Love," "Face Down in the Gutter," "Off to the Sun" and "Letter to God."

Now, XYZ vocalist Terry Ilous has released some more cool songs in the form of Forbidden Demos-1985/1991. A few songs here found their way onto the debut the ballads "Souvenirs," which should have been a massive hit, and "After the Rain," plus the bluesy "Follow the Night" and the single "Inside Out" but in different forms. Many tracks, however, will be new to at least casual fans. Apparently, Ilous decided to release these songs after original guitarist Bobby Pieper put some of them on an unauthorized CD. (More details are in the tactfully worded liner notes.)

These 18 tracks (even though only 17 are listed on the packaging) are almost equally split between rockers and ballads with better-than-expected audio quality. ("We spent every dime we had demo-ing those songs," Illous says.) Those songs, however, would have been more effective arranged in a chronological running order that traced the evolution of the band. For example, European-born Ilous sang with a considerable French/Spanish accent early on, and both Pieper and his replacement, Marc Diglio, can be heard on different versions of the same tracks. The songs themselves, as you might expect, sound lke they were written and recorded between 1985 and 1991. But I'll take this over an L.A. Guns album anyday. All that said, Forbidden Demos could have been a lot worse. Cheers to Ilous for making this a listening session worth experiencing more than once.

Track Listing:
1) Can't Get Over You (1990, previously unreleased)
2) Inside Out (1988, demo)
3) High Life (1988, with Marc Diglio)
4) Follow the Night
5) You Got Me Wrong (1988, live)
6) After the Rain (1987, demo)
7) Souvenirs (1988, demo with Marc Diglio)
8) Made For Love (1986)
9) It Could Be You (1986)
10) Seventeen (1986)
11) Just A Friend (1985)
12) Lonely Without You (with Marc Diglio)
13) Missin You (with Marc Diglio)
14) Rainy Days (with Bobby Pieper)
15) Lonely Without You (with Bobby Pieper)
16) Never Too Late
17) Souvenirs (with Bobby Pieper)
18) High Life (with Bobby Pieper)

Added: October 12th 2005
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official XYZ Web Site
Hits: 4221
Language: english

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