TANGIER – Four Winds [Rock Candy remaster]
Originally released in 1989 on major label Atco Records (thanks in part to the band’s support from Cinderella’s Tom Keifer), “Four Winds” was the second album from Philadelphia based rockers TANGIER, greatly ‘Remastered & Reloaded‘ by Rock Candy Records.
Turns out that Tangier, named after the ‘party town’ in Morocco, had actually released a proper underexposed album in the mid-eighties on Wolfe Records, a Melodic Rock / AOR affair that drew Foreigner comparisons.
For this second record, Doug Gordon, the band’s mainman, and vocalist Bill Mattson would let go of the rest of the band and recruit a new trio of rock ‘n’ rollers to help them down that dusty road to the rootsier, bluesier melodic hard rock that they claimed to have really loved all along.
Enlisting bassist Garry Nutt, guitarist Gari Saint and Bob Bender on drums, Tangier signed to ATCO in the wake of the success of fellow Philly outfits Cinderella and Britny Fox, and began work on “Four Winds” with the hugely-respected producer Andy Johns on board, and Bob Rock engineering.
With these talented cats behind the desk, “Four Winds” resulted into an awesomely slickly-produced record, a terrific collection of polished rockers with a winning combination of melodic hard rock with a bluesy foundation hugely benefited from the strength of vocalist Bill Mattson’s gravelly David Coverdale / Paul Rodgers / Jimmy Barnes-esque tones.
Starting with a synthesizer line, opener “Ripcord” soon turns into a solid steady rocker with a slightly southern feel, followed soon after by the smoky slow burner “Mississippi”, another tremendous track.
Some of you will have seen the video to “‘On The Line”, a great semi-ballad with a brooding stadium-bluesy Whitesnake quality, allowing Mattson’s Coverdale-like vocals to shine through.
With a straight-forward skeleton the harder “In Time” rocks great, as do the title track “Four Winds” which moves from a slow start to a more lively pace as the lead vocals grow throughout the song from restrained to powerhouse by the end.
The slide guitar work akin Cinderella is remarkable on “Fever For Gold”, while “Southbound Train” (the other single from the album) is both commercial and melodic. According to Rock Candy’s essay in the booklet, producer Andy Johns was particularly enthused with “Southbound Train”. This song is one of the more overlooked tracks on the disc with an exceptionally well done chorus in both the lyrical and musical phrasing.
Tangier take on a different swing with “Sweet Surrender” moving into fast-paced hard rockin’ boogie territory, and more feel-good rock n roll is displayed on the awesome groove of “Bad Girl”.
To complete the album, a fantastic hard rocking tune called “Good Lovin” is delivered with passion and vigour.
Although Tangier “Four Winds” sold fine and even charted on Billboard, it was not the success that the record label expected as the ‘new’ Cinderella.
This a wonderful album on all aspects: all songs are killer, the musicianship is top notch and the production, absolutely fantastic. The Rock Candy remaster is on par with the quality od the master tapes: everything sounds crisp with a great dynamic range.
I love this record, and while it’s unlikely that “Four Winds” will now attract the kind of sales Atco were hoping for back in ’89, it will continue to garner admirers aplenty. And rightly so.
01 – Ripcord
02 – Mississippi
03 – On The Line
04 – In Time
05 – Four Winds
06 – Fever For Gold
07 – Southbound Train
08 – Sweet Surrender
09 – Bad Girl
10 – Good Lovin’
Bill Mattson – lead vocals
Doug Gordon – guitar, backing vocals
Gari Saint – guitar, backing vocals
Garry Nutt – bass, backing vocals
Bobby Bender – drums
BUY IT !