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Equator

March 1985

Equator cover
Lineup:

Overview - A decent album, but their worst effort of the 80s. The recently-released CD (Sony-Holland) improves the sound dramatically, filling out the bass end, but this is still primarily 80s pop. It also contains the worst lyrics in Heepstory. Worth getting if you're a Heep completist like me, or you enjoy good 80s pop. Grade: C+

1. Rockarama - Basically, an attempt to merge Gypsy with Yes' Owner Of A Lonely Heart. Interesting but not nearly as good as either of those songs. Mick's solo is great but too short. Grade: B

2. Bad Blood - Rockarama at double speed and with really dumb lyrics. Good harmonies. Grade: B-

3. Lost One Love - Typical 80's ballad but with some unusual chord changes. Weak instrumentation lowers grade. Grade: B+

4. Angel - Heep does Phil Collins. This may be the worst Heep song ever. David and Gary must be rolling over in their graves. Grade: D+

5. Holding On - Heep does Journey. Does it pretty good, too. Nice harmonies and arrangement. Best song on side 1. Grade: A-

6. Party Time - Good music. Really dumb lyrics. This is a fun rocker but the lyrics make Spider Woman look deep. Grade: B-

7. Poor Little Rich Girl - One of the two songs worth owning. Haunting ballad with Poor Little Rich Girl cover nice harmonies, lyrics and arrangement (especially the beginning and ending). Mick turns in some nice fills. Too bad the effort that went into this couldn't have been put into more of the songs. Grade: A+

8. Skool's Burning - Worst Heep lyrics ever. John turns in some nice keyboard work but Mick's guitar is just plain wimpy. Grade: C-

9. Heartache City - More dumb lyrics but much better music. Good rocker with a hint of progression, but still a far cry from the inventiveness of early Heep. If you want to hear how this song should've sounded, pick up the Live In Moscow reissue. Grade: A-

10. Night Of The Wolf - Classic Heep! The best song they did in the 80's! Eerie lyrics that hark back to their heyday of magic and mystery and a dark arrangement that would've fit well on side 1 of Return To Fantasy. Grade: A+

Split Image - (Bonus track from Time Of Revelation) Good rocker with a nice arrangement and harmonies but the cheezy keyboards and the drum machine ruin what could've been a great song. Grade: B

Back Stage Girl - ('B' side of Rockarama) One of the best rockers from the sessions with some pathetic lyrics ala Rainbow's All Night Long. The most progressive arrangement of the sessions. Why this didn't get on the album and Rockarama did... Grade: A-

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