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April Wine: Live in London 1981 (DVD)

Always had a soft spot for this hard working Canadian band, who really peaked in 1981 with their hit album The Nature of the Beast, especially here in the US, where, oddly enough, hard rock and metal had yet to fully engage the general public and New Wave was the genre of choice. Had they come out with that album a few years later, there's no doubt that FM sleeper "Just Between You and Me" would have been one of the power ballads of the decade. At any rate, April Wine took their three guitar army and blend of styles, which at times hint at such acts as Thin Lizzy, Tigers of Pan Tang, early Def Leppard, UFO, and Molly Hatchet, to venues all across the globe, stopping at London's famed Hammersmith Odeon for a two-night appearance in January of 1981 where this footage was shot. Some might remember this concert being played on late night cable television back in the day (USA Network if I remember correctly), and despite the fact that the camera techniques, effects, and overall quality is pretty dated, the band really was on fire and it's quite enjoyable to watch. There are many highlights, including a stellar "Sign of the Gypsy Queen", the crunchy "All Over Town", the metallic, almost heavy metal stomp of "Crash and Burn", the anthemic "I Want to Rock", and the surprising cover of King Crimson's "21 Century Schizoid Man". Band leader Myles Goldwyn is spot on vocally, and he and his other two axe mates deliver some tasty guitar riffs and solos throughout this set. At times the band borders on some bizarre New Wave of British Heavy Metal meets Southern Rock vibe, the three guitar harmonies raging away while catchy, hard rock riffs and tight rhythms provide the foundation for these melodic yet rockin' songs. It's a shame that April Wine never really became the true superstars they probably deserved to be, but Live in London 1981 is a true testament to the solid legacy of material that they created over the first half of their career (the band reformed in the late 80's and still performs and records to this day.) Although there are no bonus features on the DVD, it's a concert you'll want to have in your collection if you are at all a fan of the band or solid hard rock from the golden era.

Track Listing

  1. Big City Girls
  2. Crash and Burn
  3. Telling Me Lies
  4. Future Tense
  5. Ladies Man
  6. Crossfire
  7. Sign of the Gypsy Queen
  8. Just Between You and Me
  9. Bad Toys
  10. One More Time
  11. 21st Century Schizoid Man
  12. Roller
  13. I Like to Rock
  14. All Over Town
  15. I Want to Rock

Added: June 14th 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 3181
Language: english

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