Overview: A blatant stab at commercialism, this is nonetheless an album full of
excellent, catchy tunes. The problem, however, is that the songs are generally too
lightweight for most Heep fans (and sales reflected that). There are only 3 hard rock
songs and 1 progressive piece. Still, this is a vastly underrated album. Grade: A-
This is also the last official album to feature this lineup, although they would make one more stab at an album, the infamous Five Miles sessions. Four of the at least eight songs from those sessions have now been released and are reviewed below.
note: John Lawton would reunite with Box, Bolder and Kerslake for the 1995 tour (with Phil Lanzon on keys) when Bernie Shaw went down for throat surgery. It's a shame no official live recordings have been released with that lineup. I've heard bootlegs and band's performaces were fabulous!
note: Below is the original European order. The US order that I'm using for the review is superior. For you collectors, the first printing of the remastered CD lists the US order but the songs are actually in the European order! That mistake has been corrected for future printings.
1. One More Night - A fun li'l rocker featuring a blistering solo by Mick and some outstanding walking bass work by Trevor. This would've fit in well on any of the mid-70's albums by Heep, although it's a little lightweight. Grade: A-
2. Falling In Love - Another rocker that features some of the best harmonies on the album. Lots of energy but still lacking some punch. Grade: A-
3. Woman Of The Night - The first true hard rock song, this features a powerful riff over the top of some outstanding rhythm work by Lee and Trevor. Grade: A
4. I'm Alive - The hardest piece on the album and the band's best performance. John sings his lyrics with conviction while Lee and Trevor crank it up. Mick's riffing is full of emotion and really sustains the energy. Grade: A+
5. Come Back To Me - An outstanding love song, one of their best ever. John's soulful vocals and the emotion that Mick wrenches out of his guitar make this song work. Even Paul Rodgers couldn't have sung this one better! Grade: A+
6. Whad'ya Say - Heep does disco! Before I scare you off, let me say that if all disco had sounded this good, I would have a great deal of it in my collection. Full of tight harmonies and rhythms, it's Ken's synthesizer flourishes that give this piece the color it needs. Grade: A-
7. Save It - This song starts with a great percussive riff then quickly degenerates into a second-rate rocker. Too bad, as it wastes some outstanding guitar and piano work by Ken. There is a wonderful bridge featuring some great tradeoffs by Ken and Mick ala Free 'n' Easy but it's way too short. Grade: B+
8. Love Or Nothing - This song is very much in the mold of Demons & Wizards or The Magician's Birthday. Lots of acoustic guitar mixed with electric, a powerful hard rock melody, excellent harmonies. The only thing it's missing is mystical lyrics. Grade: A
9. Put Your Lovin' On Me - A great hot, sweaty ballad that predates songs like Def Leppard's Pour Some Sugar On Me or Bon Jovi's Lay Your Hands On Me by a decade. Grade: A
10. Fallen Angel - One of the best songs this lineup ever did and the only progressive piece on the album. Similar in feel and style to the title track off Firefly. Nice mix of acoustic and electric and some great harmonies. John's falsetto work at the end compares with the best of Byron's. Grade: A+
Cheater - (Bonus track - 'B' side of Come Back To Me) Nice synthesizer intro leads into a song that would've fit in great on Innocent Victim. Classic Hensley minor/major format that heavily features Ken on both acoustic guitar and synthesizer. This should've been on the original album. Grade: A
Gimme Love (Struttin') - (Bonus track - 'B' side of Love Or Nothing) After a decent rockin' opener, this song settles into a funk/rap piece(?)! Not bad, with some good harmonies and a few excellent guitar fills but the lyrics are horribly stupid. Grade: B-
A Right To Live - (Bonus track - unreleased 'B' side) Why Gimme Love was released and not this song boggles my mind (although I'm sure royalties had something to do with it). This is a great hard rock/funk stomper and features Mick's best solo from the entire session. Grade: A
Been Hurt - (Bonus track from the uncompleted Five Miles sessions) See my review on the Five Miles page.
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