GARY MOORE – Wild Frontier [Japan SHM-CD miniLP remastered +3] (2023) *HQ*
Fortunately the excellent SHM-CD format used in Japan is not dead, and now Universal Music Japan is reissuing in 2023 masterpieces from GARY MOORE in a miniLP / cardboard sleeve cover artwork, and the latest remastered sound, plus bonus tracks.
“Wild Frontier” is one of Gary Moore more “80s sounding album”, melodic and with lots of keyboards according to the era (1987), but still his killer guitar chops are present all over the record.
By 1987, Gary Moore was a well established and experienced guitarist, known for his recordings with Thin Lizzy, Colosseum II and many others, as well as his solo career which by then was going quite well worlwide.
Since about ’83, though, he had been going through the motions, releasing a couple of very commercial sounding LP’s. However, in 1986, his friend and musical soulmate Phil Lynott passed away, and the devastation triggered Gary’s inspiration. He decided to go back to the Irish-tinged hard rock of his Lizzy days, and dedicate his next record to Phil. This turned out to be quite a successful experiment.
Gary took the melodies and harmonies of Thin Lizzy, spiced them up with his own blinding guitar skills, and framed it all inside a typical, reverb-heavy 80s-style production.
The songs on here range from dramatic, storytelling epics, to pop metal, to bleeding instrumentals and even pure Irish inspired music.
“Wild Frontier” contains the impossibly epic hit “Over the Hills and Far Away” which reached #20 in the UK, as well as a cover of the Australian band The Easybeats’ hit of the middle of the 1960s, “Friday on My Mind”, done in quirky mid-Eighties vein plenty of synths.
“Strangers in the Darkness” is prime a ’80s AOR midtempo, “Take a Little Time” is a heartbreaker melodic rocker with a unique Irish feel, while the pumping title track carries – dare I say- the greatest Moore’s melodic guitar line ever.
“Thunder Rising” is one of the most devastating hard rockers ever, while the mega-emotional “The Loner” – penned by Max Middleton and originally recorded by Cozy Powell – was substantially altered by Moore for his own recording, thus he was credited as a co-writer.
“Johnny Boy” is probably the most touching farewell Philip Lynott ever got after his passing, and now considered a Gary Moore classic.
Originally, the album packed 8 tracks. But the CD edition included two awesome versions of “Over the Hills and Far Away” and “Wild Frontier”, both extended 12” mixes, something common around in 1987 and a pure delight for ’80s suckers.
Additionally, there’s an additional gem: “Crying In The Shadows”, one of the most elegant, atmospheric and pure AOR tunes ever recorded by Gary Moore. A must.
But wait, there’s more in this remastered reissue; an extended mix of “The Loner” (killer), a 12” version of “Friday on My Mind”, and a hot live recording of “Out in the Fields”.
Many times criticized for the use of programmed drums (come on, this was 1987!) and too many keyboards, “Wild Frontier” is a great ’80 product by Gary Moore. If you love the Melodic Rock / AOR sound of the era, you must own this CD. You simply can not beat the catchy choruses, the sharp guitars, the harmonies and the lyricism on this album.
The sound on this SHM-CD is top notch and it’s sold pretty cheap so hurry up, it’s a limited release.
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ＷＩＬＤ ＦＲＯＮＴＩＥＲ / ゲイリー・ムーア
01 – Over The Hills And Far Away
02 – Wild Frontier
03 – Take A Little Time
04 – The Loner
05 – Friday On My Mind
06 – Strangers In The Darkness
07 – Thunder Rising
08 – Johnny Boy
09 – Over The Hills And Far Away [12” Version]
10 – Wild Frontier [12” Version]
11 – Crying In The Shadows
12 – The Loner [Extended Mix]
13 – Friday On My Mind [12” Version]
14 – Out In The Fields [Live]
Gary Moore – vocals, guitars
Neil Carter – keyboards, backing vocals
Bob Daisley – bass