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Wagner, Dick: Full Meltdown

Dedicated classic rock aficionado's who have done their homework by poring over album credits know who Dick Wagner is, and that over the course of his forty plus years in the business the Detroit native has either written songs for, and or performed on well over a hundred and fifty albums for such high profile artists as Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, Meatloaf and Kiss to name just a few. While he continues to recover from the effects of a near fatal heart attack suffered back in 2007 Dick decided to comb through his archives and as a result he's come up with a stellar collection of fifteen songs he's christened Full Meltdown.

In the words of the man himself "If balls out rock music with melodic and lyrical songs are your cup of tea, then Full Meltdown should go down easily and leave a pleasant afterglow". Now I 'm not necessarily sure I can improve on something as eloquently put as that but I'll try. These tracks were basically culled from a handful of different sessions recorded in 1979, 1988, 1991 and 1995. Whether he's choosing to rock out on the ballsy "Steal The Thunder", putting together a couple of melodic sing along anthems with "Another Twist Of The Knife" and "Insatiable Girl" or serving up a veritable trifecta of tender ballads with "I'd Take The Bullet", "She Said" or the solo piano performance on "These Days" it all comes together brilliantly.

It's certainly no secret that Dick is one hell of a guitar player, and his trademark chops and infectious sounding melodies are all over this record, but some fans might be surprised by just how strong his vocals are here as well. Songs like "Motor City Showdown" "Feel It All Over", "Modern Times" and "I Might As Well Be On Mars" all have such a distinct theatrical element to them it's like he decided to roll the vocal stylings of Alice Cooper, Meatloaf and Todd Rundgren all into one and what you get on the other side is a fabulous amalgamation of all three.

One thing about Full Meltdown that I still have trouble understanding is why it took this long for him to release this excellent and varied collection of songs, because there literally isn't one bum track to be found anywhere on this album. Who knows he might have even found himself with the odd hit or two on his hands had some of these songs appeared within the time frame in which they were recorded. That being said, in the wake of recent events we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that it's just a real blessing that we are even able to enjoy these songs at all. Better late than never indeed! Here's hoping Dick will be well enough to get back in the saddle again soon. Until that time Full Meltdown should be more than enough to tide you over. Crank it up and enjoy!

Track Listing
1) Still Hungry
2) Blue Collar Babies
3) Insatiable Girl
4) I'd Take The Bullet
5) Another Twist Of The Knife
6) Stagger Lee
7) Ecstasy
8) She Said
9) These Days
10) Modern Times
11) I Might As Well Be On Mars
12) Steal The Thunder
13) Darkest Hour
14) Motor City Showdown
15) Feel It All Over

Added: May 19th 2010
Reviewer: Ryan Sparks
Related Link: Dick Wagner
Hits: 5175
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Wagner, Dick: Full Meltdown
Posted by Ron Jones on 2010-12-16 10:11:44
My Score:

Dick Wagner...One Hell of a Guitar Player.......

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