STRANGEWAYS – Complete Recordings Vol.1 1985-1994 [4CD Box Set] (2022)

STRANGEWAYS - Complete Recordings Vol.1 1985-1994 [4CD Box Set] (2022) full

Cherry Red Records / HNE are doing a very well deserved retrospective release of Glasgow’s Melodic Rock / AOR favorites STRANGEWAYS. Titled “Complete Recordings Vol.1 1985-1994“, this box set packs the first four albums from a band who took their musical cues from across the pond, making melodic AOR style-rock inspired by bands such as Loverboy, Foreigner, Night Ranger and Journey.
The Box Set covers STRANGEWAYS output from 1985 to 1994 with a host of bonus tracks, live and demos. Question is; we already have the wonderful Rock Candy Records remastered resissues of these golden albums… we need this “Complete Recordings Vol.1 1985-1994”?
Answer is; Yes! There’s more bonus tracks available here (including a lovely ‘AOR Mix’ of ‘Dance With Somebody’). And getting 4 discs / albums for the price of 2 is a good deal.

Formed in 1985 by brothers Ian Stewart (guitar) and David Stewart (bass), joined by Jim Drummond (drums) and singer Tony Liddell, they released their critically-acclaimed self-titled debut album in 1985. Produced by Kevin Elson (Lynyrd Skynyrd, Journey and Mr Big), they were championed by Kerrang! whose rave review reckoned that, “‘Breakin’ Down The Barriers’ has American Number One hit single written all over its baby face,” assuring us that, “This band still possess that unmistakably British flavour… I predict a big success.”
Further plaudits in Kerrang! stated that, “Strangeways are a British band playing British rock with the additional elements of American-style professionalism and attention to detail… They have made an album that sounds truly magnificent when it comes out of your speakers.” And if that wasn’t enough, it confidently proclaimed that it was, “the greatest and most preciously perfect AOR album of all time”.

American Terry Brock replaced Tony Liddell as vocalist, joining Dave Munch Moore on keyboards for the John Punter-produced ‘Native Sons’ in 1987, arguably their greatest commercial success. Described by Kerrang! as, “Absolutely stunning and without doubt the best AOR album of the last six years,” assuring the reader that it was, “a time bomb of an album… it will blow every mind and lughole that comes into contact with it.”

The same line-up released the third album ‘Walk In The Fire’ in 1989. Featuring the single ‘Every Time You Cry’, the album was co-produced by guitarist Ian Stewart with John Lee and mixed by Mike Shipley (Whitesnake, The Cars, Def Leppard).
This is without a doubt among the greatest AOR albums of all time.

The story on this collection ends with fourth album, ‘And The Horse’, from 1994, by which time guitarist Ian Stewart had also taken on lead vocal duties. With grunge being the order of the day (as far as the fickle rock press were concerned, at least), the album saw Strangeways moving away from their original AOR sound to one that was more bluesy, jazzy and almost progressive in nature, with hints of Pink Floyd, while still remaining resolutely melodic.
Key tracks include ‘Precious Time’ and ‘Out Of The Blue’ plus the near ten minute ‘Some Of Us Lie’.

Now, our opinion: “Complete Recordings Vol.1 1985-1994” absolutely worth the purchase.
However there’s a drawback; Strangeways (1985) and Walk In The Fire (1989) are remastered versions, the other two albums not. It’s ok with And The Horse (1994) – we don’t need a remaster, it sounds fine already – but Native Sons (1987) not remastered? A shame.
Additionally, some of the bonus tracks for Native Sons (1987) appear for the first time on CD, so these were ‘newly mastered’, but not the main album?
Anyway, the music packed inside “Complete Recordings Vol.1 1985-1994” is so awesome that you need it into your collection.


DISC ONE – Strangeways (1985)
1 The Kid Needs Love
2 Hold Back Your Love
3 Close To The Edge
4 Heartbreak Zone
5 Cry Out
6 Power Play
7 Breakin’ Down The Barriers
8 Now It’s Gone
9 More Than Promises
10 Hold Tight
11 All The Wrong Reasons (Demo)
12 Hold On (Demo)
13 Close To The Edge (Demo)
14 Breakin’ Down The Barriers (Demo)
15 Streets On Fire (Demo)

DISC TWO – Native Sons (1987)
1 Dance With Somebody
2 Only A Fool
3 So Far Away
4 Where Do We Go From Here
5 Goodnight LA
6 Empty Streets
7 Stand Up And Shout
8 Shake The Seven
9 Never Gonna Lose It
10 Face To Face
11 Stand Up And Shout / Breaking Down The Barriers (Live)
12 Dance With Somebody (Live)
13 Never Gonna Lose It (Live)
14 Only A Fool (Single Edit)
15 Goodnight LA (Single Edit)
16 Dance With Somebody (AOR Mix)

DISC THREE – Walk In The Fire (1989)
1 Where Are They Now
2 Danger In Your Eyes
3 Love Lies Dying
4 Every Time You Cry
5 Talk To Me
6 Living In The Danger Zone
7 Modern World
8 Into The Night
9 Walk In The Fire
10 After The Hurt Is Gone
11 Jackie’s Gone (Demo)
12 Big Tom (Demo)
13 Liberty (Demo)
14 The Last Chance (Demo)
15 So Far Away (Live)
16 Where Do We Go From Here (Live)
17 Every Time You Cry (Single Edit)

DISC FOUR – And The Horse (1994)
1 Precious Time
2 Mans Maker
3 Out Of The Blue
4 Through The Wire
5 The Great Awakening
6 Wonder How
7 Head On
8 Some Of Us Lie
9 Over You
10 On



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2 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great to see this released. The audio quality on the rock candy versions is far superior.
    Still it’s great to hear all the extras on the discs. Keep up the good work.

  2. Scupp says:

    Kind of a pointless release then. But great post as always

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