Badlands: Badlands(1989)


Yo Friends…It’s been a real long time since I featured a few posts in a row on one particular band! Well that’s changing starting NOW! I have decided to feature Three yup Three Reviews on Badlands to explain to you all that they were a Great Band that should have been huge but…….

Here We Go!

So Guitarist Jake E Lee after getting Ozzy Osbourne back on track with some splendid Songwriting and Guitar Playing on Oz’s Bark at the Moon (1983) and The Ultimate Sin(1986) gets the heave-ho from Oz and Sharon Osbourne. You know the good old “Thanks for coming out!” speech.

Well as Rock fans know that Jake co wrote all the music on the Bark album but Ozzy said he wrote everything himself!

BAHAHAHAHA! Yeah ok!

Jake though put together a throwback 70’s powerhouse Supergroup  in the late 80’s that basically smeared all of Poison’s mascara right off their faces as the cats in Badlands could play there Friggin instruments with some serious chops!

The Late Ray Gillen was a superb vocalist who was actually in a mid 80’s version of Black Sabbath when they were rotating  lineups quicker  than a stripper rotating on a pole!

Rounding out Badlands was Bassist Greg Chaisson and on Drums Eric Singer!

So in May of 1989 in the midst of Hair Metal Mania comes Badlands with their no-nonsense sound  and look. The 10 songs that make up this debut (11th song called Ball & Chain was added if you had the cassette tape) are just a phenomenal display in musicianship and that’s perhaps why these guys didn’t make it big time as they were too good in a time when the charts had acts like Poison and  Britney Fox selling us Powder Puff Rock in which at times I succumbed too! (Yeah I can admit it!)

But heres Ray/Jake/Greg and Eric lifting off with opening number called Highwire. Jake begins the track with a huge ball of Riff Rock and were off and if you want Riff Rock it’s all over the place.

Thats the thing throughout this album. Badlands in the year of 1989 delivered a Big Throwback 70’s piece of Hard Rock! Badlands made the grooves stand out on this album as many a time the guitars and bass just lock horns and soar!

You want hard-driving straight ahead rock tracks? Songs like Dancing on the Edge/Hard Driver deliver it a no-nonsense fashion.

If you want the Blast From The Past huge Arena Rock to the throwback to another time in the style of Bad Company and Led Zeppelin. Tracks like Winters Call/Streets Cry Freedom/Rumblin’ Train/Devils Stomp fit the bill brilliantly!

Now if you think Badlands were clones of Bad Company or Zep not really its just to give you the reader an idea in the direction on how I heard these tune.

The first single from Badlands was the brilliant Dreams In The Dark which too is a straight head rock track but man its soooo good! Love the solo where Jake pulls off a little bit of that stuff he did in Ozzy’s band. This song should have rocked to the top for these guys but it was hard for a band who didn’t have the “Look” of the day to elbow through.

Heck even the song titles are just plain cool!

The chops of Jake/Greg and Eric are top-notch. Shit these cats could swing some serious riffage and rthyms throughout.

Ray Gillian sang live like he did in the studio and the word I would use would be Phenomenal! Look no further than the live clip I posted below…

What a voice man….

Check back in a couple of days for the follow up post to Badlands…

18 thoughts on “Badlands: Badlands(1989)”

    1. Yes..for for my Voodoo Highway review I linked your review of that show…its such an amazing writeup u did as the band basically imploded right infront of u..
      Its cool that Chaisson commented as well as …

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This was a great record. I didn’t get into it until about 4-5 years ago. I also didn’t realize Eric Singer was in the band until that time. I was a little late to the show, but glad I finally made it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great write up Deke.

    Pmsl at
    The Late Ray Gillen was a superb vocalist who was actually in a mid 80’s version of Black Sabbath when they were rotating  lineups quicker  than a stripper rotating on a pole!

    But in all seriousness this album has got great songs and great riffs

    Liked by 1 person

  3. a 3-parter sounds good to me!
    I’m fascinated by the hockey teams that almost were (the ’93 Leafs, ’94/’96/’98 Team Canadas) and so I’m intrigued to hear more about this group that almost was as big as they should’ve been

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice play on the Hockey….thanks for joining along…..
      Geoff I will tell u a great story about the 93 Leafs.
      When they were playing the Kings I bet a lady at work 20 bucks on that series with me taking the Kings.
      The game 7 finale I told her that day at work that Gretzky would score a hat trick. HAHAHA…and he did!
      I was just lipping off yet I looked like a genius! well for a few days after that was….

      Liked by 1 person

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