RHETT FORRESTER – Even The Score ’88 [remastered reissue] (2023) HQ *Exclusive*
High Roller Records is reissuing 2023 RHETT FORRESTER‘s album, 1988’s ”Even The Score”, with audio mastered and restored by Patrick W. Engel. “Even The Score” (originally released on US label Rampage Records in 1988) was the second and last official solo album by the legendary American vocalist. Forrester was shot and killed in a robbery in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 22nd 1994 at the age of 37.
When Rhett left New York’s RIOT after their cult 1983 ‘Born In America’ album, it didn’t take long for him to start work on his first solo album. ‘Gone With The Wind’ was originally released in 1984 and recorded with THE RODS rhythm section, plus Paul Kayen on guitar.
The partnership of Kayen and Forrester blossomed over the years, and the proof of that was ”Even The Score”. The duo penned nine of the ten tracks (one being a MOTT THE HOPPLE cover) not metal-like as the 1984 debut, but melodic hard rock with a commercial feel according 1988.
”Even The Score” showcases a strong singer performing strong songs, both which are nothing but a blueprint of slick melodic hard rock with a massive Eighties DNA. Tracks like ‘I Might Be Crazy’, ‘You Will Be Mine’, the title track or the power ballad ‘See You In My Dreams’ transports you back in time to when MTV showcased videos from WARRANT, FIREHOUSE, WINGER or RATT all night long.
”Even The Score” was recorded in a variety of New York studios. About the raunchy hard rock numbers like the fiery ‘Burning Heart’, the more melodic and catchy ‘Assume The Position’or the sharp rocker ‘You Will Be Mine’, Rhett Forrster commented in 1988: “I’m a rhythm ’n’ blues rock singer. My forte is singing rock ‘n’ roll and that’s what this record is. Good, hard, melodic rock with hooks and melody. The record flows through a gamut of emotions. Paul Kayen and I put some great rock tunes together, as well as a ballad called ‘See You In My Dreams’ that I am really proud of.”
This second solo album by the legendary ex-RIOT singer was much better received than the debut. The English metal bible Kerrang!! awarded ”Even The Score” four out of five K’s.
Dave Reynolds beamed in his review: “Finally the former Riot frontman begins a new assault on a solo career. This time, his second attempt, Rhett is really going’ for it and has come up with a really happenin’ album. ”Even The Score” is a monumental metal attempt to thrust his talent back into the limelight. With a record of this quality, let’s hope that Forrester, one of metal’s true characters, can get the massive recognition he’s always found so hard to obtain.”
Unfortunately, the English journalist’s wish was not to be fulfilled. Rhett Forrester did continue to record but there was no official third album to come out as a result before his untimely death in 1994.
”Even The Score” is pure second half of the ’80s, a much needed remaster of this rocking & melodic album.
You’ve seen it first at 0dayrox
01 – You Will Be Mine
02 – Even the Score
03 – Ready For Love (Mott The Hoople Cover)
04 – Assume the Position
05 – I Might Be Crazy
06 – Burning Heart
07 – Payin’ the Price
08 – See You in My Dreams
09 – Leading Me On
10 – Last Fair Deal Going Down
Rhett Forrester: Lead and Backing Vocals
Paul Kayen: Guitars
Chris Pati: Bass, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Programming
John Tabacco: Keyboards