STRANGEWAYS – Native Sons [Rock Candy remaster +2]
This Rock Candy Deluxe Remastered Edition of STRANGEWAYS “Native Sons” is the definitive version to one of the best albums from the burgeoning ’80s British AOR scene. This was requested many times on the blog, and here it is in all its glory.
After the short tenure of vocalist Tony Liddle in the first Strangeways album, the Stewart brothers (guitar / bass) and Jim Drummond (drums) went back to the drawing board and decided to have another shot at convincing their first choice singer to come over and join the band, with American vocalist Terry Brock finally doing just that.
So perfect was the fit that Brock ended up co-writing a majority of the record with the previously autocratic Ian Stewart, and with new keyboard player David ‘Munch’ Moore replacing Alan Thomson they went back to the familiar surroundings of Powerplay Studios in Zurich with producer John Punter and proceeded to take the AOR / Melodic Rock world by storm, or at least the section of it that were in the know.
Nothing I could write about “Native Sons” could come close to expressing the pleasure it’s given me since I picked it up on the day of its release back in January 1988, and never more so than listening to this splendid remaster.
There’s the irresistible drum groove and guitar riff of ‘Dance With Somebody’, the sheer melody of ‘Only A Fool’, Terry Brock’s voice breaking through the stratosphere on ‘So Far Away’ and Ian Stewart’s masterful guitar on the dynamic ‘Where Do We Go From Here?’, all with brilliant arrangements that build each track into a masterpiece.
The Brock written ‘Goodnight L.A.’ is another soaring ballad that proves he was listening to a lot of Steve Perry at the time, whilst the brooding ‘Shake The Seven’ is one of many tracks that highlight the amazing musicianship in the band, with a drum beat and bass line to die for beneath Ian Stewart’s inventive guitar parts and ‘Munch’ Moore’s outside-the-box keyboard punctuation.
The upbeat ‘Empty Streets’, the hypnotic ‘Never Going To Lose It’ and the haunting ‘Face To Face’ make up the rest of this perfect album, along with the out and our rocker of the album; ‘Stand Up And Shout’.
The latter is an adrenaline rush that never fails to get the heart racing, and does so twice here because the bonus track is a great live version that morphs into ‘Breaking Down The Barriers’ from the debut, which sounds especially good with a Terry Brock vocal.
As usual the great remastering by Jon Astley breathes new life into what was already a genre classic, and with the bonus track and Dave Ling’s enlightening essay, This Rock Candy reissue is the definitive version of possibly the best British AOR album of all time.
A MUST HAVE CLASSIC
01 – Dance With Somebody
02 – Only A Fool
03 – So Far Away
04 – Where Do We Go From Here?
05 – Goodnight L.A.
06 – Empty Streets
07 – Stand Up And Shout
08 – Shake The Seven
09 – Never Going To Lose It
10 – Face To Face
11 – Stand Up And Shout (Live)
12 – Breakin’ Down The Barriers (Live)
Terry Brock: vocals
Ian Stewart: guitars
David Stewart: bass
Jim Drummond: drums
David Moore: keyboards, synths
BUY IT !