FRANK MARINO & MAHOGANY RUSH – What’s Next [Rock Candy remastered] (2017)
Rock Candy Records have just ‘Remastered & Reloaded’ four of the most celebrated FRANK MARINO & MAHOGANY RUSH albums. “What’s Next” is one of my favorites from this Canadian band that had great success in the USA touring with bands such as Aerosmith, Ted Nugent and Heart.
The band is perhaps best known for Marino’s soaring lead guitar which bears a strong resemblance to the playing of Jimi Hendrix. Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush bluesy hard rock is the definition of the genre from the late ’70 / early ’80s, with Marino being acknowledged as one of the best and most underrated guitarists of the era.
“What’s Next” was Frank Marino & Co seventh studio album in almost as many years, an accomplishment made even more impressive by the amount of live work that he had stashed under his belt. Marino had become a notorious road dog, playing everywhere and anywhere, helping to establish him as one of the great showmen of the era.
“What’s Next” was an important milestone in Frank’s career, not only because the music was getting far more precise but because the band had expanded to a four piece after years working as a power trio. And it wasn’t any old expansion either, with Frank enlisting his brother Vince on rhythm guitar, lending the unit a far broader appeal – bigger, bolder and effortlessly streamlined, to take advantage of the changing times.
Produced as usual by Frank himself and originally issued in 1980, the album made a strong impact attracting healthy reviews and a solid placing on the all important Billboard top 100 chart. It also featured some of Frank’s most impressive playing thus far.
What really pushes “What’s Next” into ‘instant classic’ territory is its incredible sense of upbeat, no-compromise, pedal-to-the-metal determination that forms its backbone.
It starts with Frank’s shout of ‘yeah!’ at the beginning of track one (“You Got Livin'”), climbs to a heady crescendo in “Something Is Coming Our Way,” and doesn’t let up until the final tag of “Mona”. The harmonica in “Roadhouse Blues” is a perfect addition to the mix – Jim Zeller’s playing is brilliant and gutsy and breathes new life into the tune.
The wah-wah pedal is perhaps the most widely-misused guitar effect in existence, but the point roughly 3/4 into “Something Is Coming Our Way” where Marino kicks in the wah is absolutely sublime. It’s like an unspoken order to other guitarists to just throw their wah pedals on the scrap heap.
That track alone is ample reason to get this disc, but that’s definitely not a statement to downplay the others – “What’s Next” is top-notch from start to finish.
Fank Marino was in peak form on this album – you get the distinct impression that he was having a blast recording it – and the result sounds like one of those rare, single-take live sets that succeed in capturing fully the intensity of a concert.
However, this is one of the best produced records from the band with a precise studio work ,and this Rock Candy remaster comes fully pristine out of the speakers.
They don’t make albums like this anymore…
01 – You Got Livin’
02 – Finish Line
03 – Rock Me Baby
04 – Something’s Comin’ Our Way
05 – Roadhouse Blues
06 – Loved By You
07 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame
08 – Mona
Frank Marino – Guitars, Vocals
Vince Marino – Rhythm Guitar
Paul Harwood – Bass
Jimmy Ayoub – Drums
Jim Zeller – guest Harmonica on 5
thanks to Robert for this one!
BUY IT !