BADLANDS – Dusk [digitally remastered reissue]
To complete the BADLANDS discography, as requested, now we have here the digitally remastered reissue of “Dusk“, the third and final album by the Jake E. Lee and Co.
“Dusk” is a collection of songs recorded by themselves in 1992-1993, for their 3rd LP.
All songs were recorded live into the studio, in one take. However, it’s a professional 24-track full studio recording to be submitted to Atlantic Records to hear and give the band a budget for the full recording of the same tunes.
They did not like the direction of the songs, arguing the musical climate in the business was changing. Some months later Badlands was dropped from Atlantic.
Vocalist Ray Gillen left Badlands, and while he was replaced by singer John West, the group broke up in 1993.
Titled “Dusk”, these recordings were finally released on December 15, 1998 in Japan only, via Pony Canyon. A European release on UK-based Z Records, with different artwork, followed in 2000.
“Dusk” is rawer than the two previous Badlands albums; it’s a ‘live into the studio’ album.
Ray Gillen had about only 50% of his lyrics together. The rest were what he called ‘Jib-A-Jab’. He would put a word or two on the front of a line and rest were all vowels.
For him to sound like what you hear on the recording one take each tune, still amazes me to no end. When Gillen uses the upper range of his voice, it sends shivers down your spine. His vocals on this disc are spot on all the way through.
I have always enjoyed the guitar work of Jake E. Lee. His playing here is exactly what you would expect. Perhaps the solos aren’t to the point as on a fully produced album, but there’s the charm: “Dusk” features Lee jammin’, like if you were there in the rehearsal room with the band.
That’s in fact the motto of “Dusk”; some people will love it, others will want a little more structure to its songs. I think it sounds pretty awesome. Some of the highlights are the rocking “Healer”, “Sun Red Sun”, or the Hendrix-like “Fat Cat”.
The bluesy “Lord Knows” and “Ride the Jack” sounds a lot like Badland’s material from their first album, in fact, the former was originally written and demoed for the first LP “Badlands”, but ultimately didn’t make it into the final tracklist.
Lee would re-use the main riff in “Sun Red Sun” for the song “Blood Provider” and the main riff in “Walking Attitude” for the song “The Key”, demoed with his post-Badlands group, Wicked Alliance, which featured World War III vocalist Mandy Lion and future Korn drummer Ray Luzier.
And “The River” was re-recorded by bassist Greg Chaisson for his 1994 solo album ‘It’s About Time’ with Rob Lamothe of the Riverdogs on lead vocals.
Badlands was a terrific band. They were capable to create some cool bluesy classic hard rock that seemed to be well beyond its time. “Dusk” carries on where the first two albums left off, less polished and heavier, yet electrifying.
Z Records commissioned a remastering for this reissue, which sounds much better than the original release.If you are a fan of Badlands, you should certainly pick this up.
01 – Healer
02 – Sun Red Sun
03 – Tribal Moon
04 – The River
05 – Walking Attitude
06 – Fire Lasts Forever
07 – Dog
08 – Fat Cat
09 – Lord Knows
10 – Ride The Jack
Ray Gillen – lead vocals
Jake E. Lee – guitar, engineering repairs
Greg Chaisson – bass, engineering repairs
Jeff Martin – drums