BADLANDS – 1989 Heavy Metal Debut Album Still Reigns Supreme
Badlands was a Heavy Metal band that I caught onto the instant they released their debut/self titled album – Badlands, (on Atlantic Records), back in 1989. I purchased this Badlands cassette at Strawberries Records & Tapes, located right around the corner from Central Connecticut State University on New Britain Avenue. I was a student at CCSU back in 1989, very much broke to the Metal wind. Therefore, my Heavy Music purchases were not abundant, I chose quality over quantity. With so little funds to buy music as a college student back then, being choosy was a necessity. Badlands with their classic and ultra talented lineup of musicians became a necessity for me. From the very first listen through of this album, (in my case cassette), to say that Badlands left an earthshaking mark on me is the understatement of the decade. The Heavy Metal onslaught of cool and psyched out vibrations, that this Badlands album gave me back in 1989, has once again reintroduced me to that same experience this past weekend.
My best buddy – a.k.a. – best Metal buddy – a.k.a. – Scott, well, he remembered just how much Badlands and their debut album resonated with me back in the day, therefore Scott landed me a CD copy of Badlands. Scott was my roommate at CCSU, my best man at my wedding and if anyone knows my Metal tastes and background… it is him. Thank you Scott, for this Metal gift of Badlands this past Saturday. Getting Badlands on CD in the mail was like experiencing Christmas Day on this cold, dank and rainy day in October. F’n unbelievable surprise.
It is an unreal great feeling to have this Badlands CD finally in my collection. I have never let go of my Badlands cassette since 1989… and I never will. To the best of my Metal research, this Badlands CD is extremely hard to find at retail. Out of print perhaps? Badlands is definitely one of my favorite Heavy Metal albums that I have ever listened to. I only wish this band was able to stay together forever, yet lead vocalist Ray Gillen was called to heaven a little early, on December 1, 1993 at the age of 34. The unreal great guitarist – Jake E. Lee and Ray Gillan on vocals may be the two main musical focal points of Badlands, yet Eric Singer on drums and Greg Chaisson on bass make for an ear bending and jaw dropping rhythm section – stuff of legend. Anyone that knows and enjoys Old School Heavy Metal can certainly identify with Badlands, this band is from that mold. Jake E. Lee proved with Badlands that there was definitely a Heavy Metal life for him away from Ozzy Osbourne.
The eleven songs on Badlands encompass the melodic driven side of Heavy Metal enormously, with the late Ray Gillen’s unique vocals surpassing many of his peers of that time, when it came to harmony and range. I include the late Ray Gillen in with Tony Martin, Jeff Scott Soto, Gary Barden, Jorn Lande and Joe Lynn Turner when it comes to lead vocals status in Old School Heavy Metal. He belongs with this select group of singers. (I definitely left out some names here, yet I think my point is made). If not for his passing away at age 34, I am convinced Ray Gillen would have been a top tier Heavy Metal and/or Hard Rock vocalist to this very day. With so many new vocalists coming out of the woodwork in all of the Metal genres since the 1990′s, too many of them sound like each other or have little regard for originality. This is why I can never tire from the late Ray Gillen’s vocal talent.
My favorite song on Badlands is Dreams In The Dark, I played it six times over, very loud the other night and it served me right. Yes, I acted very silly jumping around in my basement like a psyched out kid, while this song and the rest of Badlands cranked. As the ultra great Blackie Lawless would say… I don’t need no doctor. All I need is to delve back into the Metal world of Old School Heavy Metal, (on a very consistent basis), turn on some Badlands and let the bull crap of the world around me, wallow in it’s own decrepit stank. I don’t look back upon Badlands as a supergroup, instead I look upon them as a fabulously talented Heavy Metal band that was too short lived. Long live the legacy of Badlands – their Heavy Metal still reigns supreme for me.
Track List For Badlands:
Dreams in the Dark
Dancing on the Edge
Streets Cry Freedom
Ball & Chain – (this song is not on the vinyl record version of Badlands)
This entry was posted on October 26, 2009 at 12:14 am and is filed under 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal hits, 1980's hard rock bands, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1980's metal music, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's hard rock bands, Album Review, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal, classic heavy metal albums, classic rock, collecting heavy metal albums, cool album covers, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential heavy metal songs, guitar legends, hard rock music, hard rock vocalists, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1989, heavy metal drummers, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1989, heavy metal vocalists, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, rock guitarists, rock music, rock vocalists, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands, vintage heavy metal songs with tags Heavy Metal, Music, classic rock, heavy metal music, heavy metal album review, 1980's hard rock music, vintage heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal albums, old school heavy metal, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal songs, metal odyssey, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal guitarists, eric singer drummer, strawberries records & tapes, jake e. lee guitarist, badlands, badlands heavy metal band, badlands debut album, badlands hard rock band, ray gillen vocalist, greg chaisson bass guitarist, badlands album 1989, dreams in the dark song, badlands track listing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.