BITE THE BULLET – Bite The Bullet [Rock Candy remastered] (2019) *EXCLUSIVE*
Despite being signed by major label Jet Records (Ozzy Osbourne) BITE THE BULLET‘s one and only album “Bite The Bullet“ didn’t make it big due to the lack of promotion. Considered by many one of the most ‘elegant’ American AOR albums from 1989, it became a collectible as never was reissued until now, completely remastered with a pristine sound.
Founded by songwriter, vocalist and guitarist Mick Benton in the mid-Eighties after being part of hard rockers Mother’s Ruin, musically his aim with Bite The Bullet was completely different: craft smooth AOR tunes plenty of accessible melodies and some rocking approach to appeal wide audiences.
While American based, Bite The Bullet’s sound is quite British, often compared with Dare, Strangeways and FM. I hear as well a ‘Canadian’ touch, that kind of sophistication from acts of this ilk during the ’80s (Honeymoon Suite, Boulevard, etc).
Opener “Change Of Heart” worth the album alone; pulsating bass lines, clean guitars, pristine vocals from Benton, synth flourishes and a heavenly multi-harmony layered chorus. This tune would’ve worked perfectly for the Top Gun soundtrack! Think Boulevard meets Dare.
Follower ‘Finished With Love’ is another winner, with a FM / Overland feeling and that unique 1989 ‘atmosphere’. love the delicate synths, the strong guitar riff and that ‘big’ chorus.
With ‘Edge Of The Rain’ the band’s smoothness appears in all its glory, a midtempo AOR oozing class all over with a lovely keyboard arrangement. Not exactly a ballad, ‘Cold Surprise’ could have been composed by Darren Wharton and included into any early Dare albums.
Strangeways-like melodies are the core of ‘Running To Stand Still’, then ‘Dark Age’ surprises with the aforementioned rocking approach via its strong guitars and quite punchy delivery, same with closer ‘Watershed’, yet more radio-friendly.
For years impossible to find, “Bite The Bullet” belongs to your collection if you love that ’80s magic, polished melodies and pristine production.
Refined, distinguished, elegant smooth songs – no filler in my opinion – is what you get here, a varied collection of tunes with clever arrangements. They don’t make albums like this anymore.
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01 – Change Of Heart
02 – Finished With Love
03 – Edge Of The Rain
04 – Faith Healing
05 – Cold Surprise
06 – Running To Stand Still
07 – Dark Age
08 – Playing At Love
09 – Big Mountain
10 – Sailors Song
11 – Watershed
Mick Benton – lead vocals, guitar, bass
Malcolm Jones – guitar
Graham Cowling – drums
Eric Hine – keyboards, midi magic
Phil Longden – keyboards
Jim Denley – alto saxophone
Dan Priest, Gill O’Donovan, John Payne, Nobby Port, Suzie O’List – backing vocals
BUY IT !