Archive for black ‘n blue

Some “Comeback Albums” Should Go Back Home; While Others Are Welcome To Stay

Posted in classic rock, Hard Rock, hard rock albums, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal news, Music, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , on May 21, 2012 by Metal Odyssey

Dud Exhibit A: Sledge Leather – Imagine Me Alive

Let’s face it, not every band that hibernates for a number of years (or decades) is going to have a successful comeback. (I’ll get back to this momentarily). I have written numerous album reviews that involve successful comebacks. At least I think they were successful. Trixter and Mr. Big have both released above amazing comeback albums, in my Metal opinion. Tyketto really surprised and psyched the living daylights out of me, with their new (and memorable) comeback album: Dig In Deep.

My open letter to any past successful band and/or musician thinking about recording a comeback album includes some realistic thought. With the Rock, Hard Rock and Metal markets saturated with bands of all generations, all vying for the same money and audiences; many very good new album releases do get lost in the shuffle, regardless if they kick ass. Therefore, a “comeback album” has to consist of unreal quality music with unreal memorable songs. Using smoke and mirrors while resting on laurels doesn’t work anymore. Period. Without quality songs and non-rusted musicianship, any comeback album will fall flat on its face.

Dud Exhibit B: Black ‘n Blue – Hell Yeah!

A once famous “name” isn’t a guarantee of fortune and fame. Lita Ford found that out back in 2009 with her comeback studio “effort” called: Wicked Wonderland. The once popular 80’s Hard Rock band Black ‘n Blue released a mammoth dud with their comeback album from 2011: Hell Yeah! Whoa, it’s a dud. Here in 2012, we have Sledge Leather making a magical comeback. Their new album, Imagine Me Alive, is not that good. As a matter of fact, it sounds like it was slapped together in 3 or less days. Structurally, the songs on Imagine Me Alive lost me and It’s all a complete mess.

I will be the first to admit, in recent years, with the 80’s Hard Rock and Heavy Metal resurgence, many old school bands have Rocked my face off with their comeback albums. Hello KISS and Whitesnake. Then you have the Doobie Brothers and Iron Claw releasing albums of 100% Rockin’substance; both of their comeback albums I still can’t get enough of. Anthrax released an unbelievably grand comeback album with Worship Music; plus they play unquestionably kick-ass live today as they did during the 80’s.

Not all comeback albums are pretty and yet many are gems. Sample songs on the internet and read a few album reviews before you make a comeback album purchase. Metal be thy name.





Posted in 1980's hair metal albums, 1980's hair metal bands, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, current heavy metal bands, Hair Metal, hair metal albums, hair metal bands, hair metal music, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1988, heavy metal bands, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1988, heavy metal vocalists, metal odyssey, Music, new heavy metal music, old school hair metal bands, old school heavy metal, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

I made a rediscovery of a Heavy Metal band and album. Black ‘N Blue is the band, In Heat is the album. Just last week, I was in my 2000 Ford Tauras running errands. Realizing that my urge to hear some Heavy Metal was peaking, I began to rummage through the car glove compartment for some cassette tapes… that is cassette tapes – you just read. Understand that I was not rummaging for a cassette tape while I was driving, the car was in park. This car of mine does not have a CD player, (back in 2000, the auto industry was not regarding CD players as part of any standard equipment, obviously). So, instead, my trusty 2000 Ford Tauras has a built in cassette player instead. That is… a cassette player – you read. I have not listened to this Black ‘N Blue cassette for quite some time, so it proved to be quite a cool listen.

While I have listened to In Heat a few times since last week, I cannot help but be grateful for not getting rid of my Hard Rock and Heavy Metal cassettes. Quite a bit of titles are rather pricey on CD nowadays, being imports or out of print altogether. In Heat is selling for around $27 on Amazon Music as an import CD… now that is reason enough for me to hold onto this cassette and play it on my car stereo and combo home stereo – until it wears out. Gee whiz… import regardless, sometimes the prices out there for Heavy Metal CD’s border on the outrageous.

Black ‘N Blue released In Heat back in 1988, I do remember seeing their videos on the MTV rotation… and of course, Headbangers Ball. Call Black ‘N Blue a Hair Metal Band or just good ol’ Heavy Metal, it makes no difference to me. This band made an album that is loud, melodic, riff and groove laden and infused with every flamboyant aspect of late 1980’s Heavy/Hair Metal. While I listen to In Heat, the thought comes to my mind of just letting it’s good time sound and feel take over any negativity that is currently weighing in on me. The Metal pluses are numerous with In Heat, here is a breakdown of why I feel this way:

#1 Reason why Black ‘N Blue and this album, uh, cassette Rocks hard is – Tommy Thayer on lead guitar. KISS was in his future then… who would have predicted that?

#2 – Genes Simmons produced In Heat. Believe me, you can tell… song structure and power.

#3 – Jaime St. James on vocals. He doesn’t whine when he sings and the flamboyancy and bad boy image of Heavy Metal just resonates from his voice. In other Metal words… a classic front man.

#4 – There are no sappy songs to be heard on In Heat. Stranger is about as close as it gets here… and I really like this song, a power ballad that, uh, Rocks.

#5 – Each song is saturated with enough hooks and grooves that it is flat out – ridiculously great.

#6 – Did I mention Tommy Thayer on lead guitar?

#7 – It’s all about the songs, man. Infectiously good songs all, on In Heat.

#8 – How can I not get enthusiastic about a song as good as – Get Wise To The Rise?

In a Metal nutshell, In Heat should be considered as a late 1980’s Heavy Metal listening experience of dual guitars, anthems and power slick songs. Riffs abound on In Heat… for all of you riff addicts out there. Woop on guitar proved to be no slouch either. Patrick Young on bass guitar and Pete Holmes on drums make for a dominant rhythm section, very good at what they do on In Heat. Listening to Black ‘N Blue on In Heat, gives me the impression that they had a real good time making this album. Hopefully that was the case.

If you are looking for a patented good time Heavy Metal album… well then it is In Heat. Black ‘N Blue made a name for themselves for sure, rediscovering their sound again and listening to In Heat makes this Metalhead… Metal content.

Track listing for In Heat:

Side One:

Rock On

Sight For Sore Eyes

Heat It Up! Burn It Out!


The Snake

Side Two

Live It Up

Gimme Your Love

Get Wise To The Rise

Great Guns Of Fire


* Check out Black ‘N Blue’s official myspace music page: Black ‘N Blue – MySpace Music Page

Black ‘N Blue is currently planning to finish and release a new album, titled: Hell Yeah!

Look For This New Black ‘N Blue Album In 2010!

The current 2009 Black ‘N Blue band lineup:

Jaime St. James – vocals

Jef Warner – guitar

Patrick Young – bass

Pete Holmes – drums

Shawn Sonnenschein – guitar

This is what the Import CD cover of In Heat looks like . My cassette front cover only has the band logo that you see in this import version, (no band photo).

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