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Badlands: Badlands

After having some creative differences with Ozzy Osbourne, Jake E. Lee did a complete about face and released this bluesy and Zeppelin influenced self-titled recording. Culling former members of Black Sabbath (Ray Gillen & Eric Singer) and Steeler (Greg Chaisson), Badlands set out to distance themselves from the hair-metal scene that was dominating the charts at the time and released an absolute classic collection of songs that were probably a little precocious for their time as they were musically and lyrically more mature, emotional and satisfying in every way than the offerings of their contemporaries.

What makes this CD so great is that everybody's individual contribution to the music is truly essential to each track. The playing is electrifying and energy infused in songs like "High Wire" or "Hard Driver" and in those quieter moody moments like "Winters Call" and the very epic "Seasons", they instinctively know how to lay back and compliment each other for the benefit of the song and let their energy gradually build the momentum. Ray Gillen was so soulfully at ease and an absolute powerhouse in the style of Robert Plant or maybe Chris Cornell in his Temple of the Dog days, it's not even funny. Listening to him in the previously mentioned, kind of moody "Rain Song" sounding "Seasons" is a truly mesmerizing experience to say the least. There can be no doubt that he was absolutely the perfect choice to front this project as he pumps a chest-full of life into this and aces every other track he touches. A few words about Jake's playing…For those looking for the "flashy shred" he displayed with the Ozz, you best stick with those efforts for inspiration! When you hear him perfectly channel Stevie Ray Vaughn's influence in "Rumbling Train" it is almost unreal how well he pulls it off! You could almost believe that this was the player that he has always been. As for Eric Singer and Greg Chaisson…They both carry huge impact in their supportive roles and their playing in songs like "Devils Stomp" is convincing evidence of how versatile they are in navigating some tricky rhythms with subtlety, feel and passion.

Incredibly well produced by Paul O'Neil from the Atlantic records stable and damn near perfect, this precious copy of mine is a mint condition cassette that I personally remastered to CD because I missed the Koch reissue a few years back. I sure as hell won't dish out 50 bucks plus when you can do it yourself and many times—to better results!!! Whatever your capabilities, find this one because it's essential listening! Whether you're on the move or just laying back to the groove this has it completely covered. Hella-awesome!!!

Track Listing
1. High Wire
2. Dreams in the Dark
3. Jade's Song
4. Winter's Call
5. Dancing on the Edge
6. Streets Cry Freedom
7. Hard Driver
8. Rumbling Train
9. Devil's Stomp
10. Seasons
11. Ball & Chain

Added: September 11th 2007
Reviewer: Hugh Dark
Related Link: Jake E Lee Website
Hits: 3745
Language: english

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