Probably one of the coolest bands to grace a stage would be Portland based Black 'n Blue. Jamie St. James on vocals, Tommy Thayer on lead guitar, Jeff 'Woop' Warner on rhythm guitars, Patrick Young on bass guitar, and Pete Holmes on drums proved that they were anything but a one hit wonder. The music lives on today in the hearts of the fans. Probably one of the highest requested back catalogues of the genre.
The album gets started with the heavy track 'The strong will rock'. Kind of an anthem for the 80's generation of rockers. 'School of hard knocks' is a favorite of mine from this album. Instantly memorable choruses made this one very cool. 'Autoblast' picked up the pace a bit and was another favorite of mine. Loved the guitars sound on this one. 'Hold on to 18' was another top tune from this album. Crunchy guitars and in your face vocals. 'Wicked Bitch' keeps consistent with the album so far. How about a cover tune?? 'Action' was covered very nicely by the band. One of the best covers of the song I've heard and I have heard a bunch. 'Show me the night' was decent but not one of my favs. Kind of a different feel from the rest of the album. 'One for the money' is a rocking number with very good sounding rhythms and probably rocked live. 'I'm the king' is the heaviest track in my opinion. 'Chains around Heaven' was another favorite and the album closer. This tune was featured on the first Metal Massacre compilation along with Metallica's 'Hit the Lights'.
This was an awesome debut from the band. There was a magic displayed here. These guys really turned some heads and made their mark in the music scene. This album is kinda hard to find. I was a huge fan of the band and grabbed the first reissue pressing from Japan in the early 90's. There was a secong pressing reissued out of Europe I believe. Graphics were a bit fuzzy. Never picked these up. Wasn't sure how the sound quality would be. We can only hope that there will be a third pressing. I do hear that Jamie is going to provide us with a box set of some form. Let's hope to see it. This album was a gem!
After making their mark with the self titled debut, Black 'n Blue returned with the next album in a series of great albums. Without love was released a year later.
The album continues the progression started on the debut and definitely brings in it's own feel and personality. The album starts out with one of my favorite tracks of the album in 'Rockin' on Heavens door'. This tune has very good choruses with a great consistent rhythm. The title track 'Without Love' is a classic rocker and instantly memorable for me. 'Stop the lightning' was a bit of change in sound and a progression to the future albums. 'Nature of the beach' was a fun party rocker. Good upbeat tune with great chorus lines. 'Miss Mystery' was my favorite of this album. There was video on Mtv for this track. This tune had perhaps the best melodies and choruses the band ever offered. 'Swing Time' is a fun track with it's bouncing rhythms. Very upbeat. One of the most interesting song titles the band came up with was 'Bombastic plastic'. Kind of a moody tune and a bit different for the band. 'We got the fire' is a straight ahead rocker that was a bit average, but decent. 'Strange Things' was a bit different as well. 'Two wrongs (Don't make it love)' give us a bluesy side of the band not shown before. Love St. James vocals on this one. Very over the top. As an added bonus the album featured the bonus track 'Same old song and dance' originally penned by Aerosmith. The guys did a great job on this cover.
'Without Love' was a very good album from the band. The band was reissued at the same times as mention in the debut albums review. Just as hard to find these days as well. The album is still pretty highly requested from collectors.