BRIGHTON ROCK – Young, Wild And Free [Remastered 30th Anniversary Reissue]

BRIGHTON ROCK - Young, Wild And Free [Remastered 30th Anniversary Reissue] (2016)full

Another ’80s little gem screaming for a proper remaster was without a doubt “Young, Wild And Free”, the full length debut by Canadian rockers BRIGHTON ROCK. I said was, because the band just released “Young, Wild And Free 30th Anniversary”, remastered by no-other than talented Harry Hess, frontman of Harem Scarem.

Brighton Rock are still alive & kickin’ 2016 with all the original line-up intact rocking Canadian venues. To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of “Young, Wild And Free” original release, this celebrated album finally see its reissue with a fresh remastering.
Frontman Gerry McGhee said; “Just listened to the remastered version of Young, Wild And Free; it sounds like it was meant to be. Special thanks to Harry Hess (Harem Scarem) for his awesome job.”

After a promising indie EP, Brighton Rock got a contract with major label WEA and recorded “Young, Wild And Free” in 1986. Unlike most the high quality bands active in Canada at the time (Honeymoon Suite, Triumph, Loverboy for example) which delivered stylized melodic rock, Brighton Rock played fairly straightforward Hollywood-style hair metal / hard rock.
However, their style has more in common with acts such as early Cinderella / Britny Fox than the pop-metal.

The selling feature of Brighton Rock for me was the incredible voice of Gerry McGhee. Back in 1986, I’d never heard screaming like this before! At least not from a Canuck act. But it’s not gratuitous; McGhee throws-in screams strategically at key points, always in control, to blow you to the wall.
Not that McGhee is the only talent in Brighton Rock. Also notable is guitarist Greg Fraser, who ended up in Helix in 1993, and today fronts the Frase Gang with Brighton Rock bassist Stevie Skreebs.

And then you have the songs… 10 killer hard rock tunes with quite elaborated passages, not just verses / chorus / solo. Opener is the title track ‘Young, Wild And Free’, a rocker full of fire and it’s the perfect teenage anthem.
‘We Came To Rock’ is edgy and heavy with all the Eighties magic, same with ‘Assault Attack’, which as the title implies is a combat zone of hooky guitars and thunderous toms. ‘Barricade’ also rock hard, and has a really cool and tricky sounding guitar solo by Greg Fraser.

‘Can’t Wait For The Night’ is a superb semi-ballad and a highlight, as well as ‘Change of Heart’, the more melodic hard rock oriented track on the album.
Songs like ‘Nobody’s Hero’ and the haunting nature of ‘Jack Is Back’ are where Brighton Rock delivers the more elaborated passages mentioned above, original arrangements with the keyboard work accentuating the melody.
‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Kid’ ends the album in fine rocking attack plenty of bite with an anthemic format.

On “Young, Wild And Free” the outstanding songwriting makes this work stand out head-and-shoulders above many of its contemporary offerings. The chord changes and writing are simply visionary. Songs simple enough to be considered hair metal, yet stunning in their melodic arrangement and execution. Chord changes are smartly written, not just I-IV-VI-V standard block changes so common in today’s insipid, repetitive offerings, but actual 7th chord variations off the tonic, beautiful melodic music to your ears.

BRIGHTON ROCK - Young, Wild And Free [Remastered 30th Anniversary Reissue] (2016) back

Despite of being produced by renowned Michael Wagener, “Young, Wild And Free” never sounded good, on vinyl LP nor CD. I think the problem, mostly, was the mix.
Now with the expertise hands of Harry Hess behind the desk all feels much, much better with the instrumentation finding room to breathe.
Brighton Rock’s music still remains pretty unknown by many, and this really good remastered reissue gives the chance to discover this terrific band / album in all its potential.

You’ve seen it first here, at 0dayrox


01 – Young, Wild And Free
02 – We Came To Rock
03 – Change Of Heart
04 – Can’t Wait For The Night
05 – Assault Attack
06 – Jack Is Back
07 – Save Me
08 – Nobody’s Hero
09 – Barricade
10 – Rock ‘N’ Roll Kid

Gerry McGhee: lead vocals
Greg Fraser: guitar, backing vocals
Johnny Rogers: keyboards, backing vocals
Stevie Skreebs: bass, backing vocals
Mark Cavarzan: drums



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1 Response

  1. Rayv says:

    Saw these guys in a bar and they were great. Rock stars even though they weren’t.

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