BLUE MURDER – Blue Murder [Rock Candy remastered]
BLUE MURDER self-titled album not only it’s one of the best appeared in glorious year 1989, but also one of the best remasters ever done by Rock Candy Records specialists.
Founded by superb guitarist John Sykes in 1988 after being fired from Whitesnake by David Coverdale, Sykes took the reins of his destiny in his hands. He returned home to England, where his mother and stepfather have a studio in Blackpool.
After extensive jam sessions including numerous musicians such as legendary drummer Cozy Powell, great shouter Ray Gillen (of Black Sabbath and later Badlands) and Tony Martin (who, ironically, replaced Gillen in Black Sabbath) briefly worked with Sykes for a possible band line-up.
However the consensus from all those involved with Sykes, including friends, musicians and A&R executive John Kalodner (commissioned by Geffen Records who signed Blue Murder) was that no one they auditioned as lead singer could match the guide vocals Sykes recorded himself on his Blue Murder demos.
Sykes decided to scrap his search for a vocalist and handle the vocal duties himself, completing the band with two terrific cats; Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge, King Kobra) on drums and Tony Franklin (The Firm, Whitesnake) on bass.
The album that Sykes, Appice and Franklin recorded is nothing less than spectacular.
Taking his guitar playing a step beyond his work with Whitesnake, Sykes produced edgy, fluid and explosive guitar rhythms. His solo work on the record is awe inspiring. No one can miss the legato phrasing and vibrato of John Sykes.
The surprise to us all was the voice. No one expected Sykes to be able to stand out as a lead vocalist. Citing Coverdale, Glenn Hughes and Phil Lynott as influences, John Sykes found himself learning the trade from two of rock’s greatest vocalist. His thick British accent gives his vocals a smooth, sensual vibe.
No longer standing in the shadow of Phil Lynott or David Coverdale, Sykes stood on his own as lead vocalist in his own right.
The fret-less bass playing of Tony Franklin highlighted the bass guitar as an instrument. Gone was the straight ahead playing of bassists of the genre to be replaced by harmonic, rolling sounds that were unfamiliar to the listeners. The opening track “Riot” is a prime example of the unique sound and style of Franklin.
With a resume that dates back to the late ’60s, Appice set the foundation for heavy drumming. His unique style provided the back bone for Blue Murder’s music with bone-crushing fills and rolls. Appice’s playing lays the baseline for Franklin’s bass grooves and Sykes’ guitar mastery.
Simply put, every track on this album ROCKS.
There is some controversy with this Rock Candy edition. Many rabid fans of Blue Murder and collectors purchased the CD because in the press sheet, on the back cover and the inside booklet there’s listed as track 5 the song ‘Cold Harbor’, not included in the original 1989 release. It looked as a previously unreleased track.
Truth is it was a typo, a print mistake, such song never existed. The CD features the original 9-track sequence.
Apart from that, this Rock Candy remaster of “Blue Murder” is awesome, punchy, pristine and clear.
This is a great opportunity to re-discover this gem in its full sound dynamics, and if you never heard the album, to purchase this little gem eyes closed.
02. Sex Child
03. Valley Of The Kings
04. Jelly Roll
05. Blue Murder
06. Out Of Love
09. Black-Hearted Woman
John Sykes – lead vocals, guitars
Tony Franklin – bass, background vocals
Carmine Appice – drums, percussion, background vocals
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