SPYS – Behind Enemy Lines [Rock Candy remaster]
If we talk about classy AOR era, specially coming from America, the 1982-1987 period is the gold grail for the genre. Rock Candy Records specialist are stalwarts to rescue these gems and remaster them in all its glory.
And this is the case with both SPYS albums, must haves in your collection. “Behind Enemy Lines” was the band’s second, and final excellent effort.
Although SPYS debut album wasn’t a fully fledged commercial success it did, however, elevate the band to hot-property status, courting richly deserved reviews and igniting a buzz amongst radio programmers as an act that could write decidedly catchy tunes yet rock with the best of them. The fact that they featured two ex members of Foreigner didn’t hurt either.
Rushed back into the studio after the completion of a US tour supporting .38 Special, Spys were suddenly expected to quickly write and record a follow-up album in order to capitalise on the their fast rising reputation.
For Spys the pressure was greater than they imagined, not helped by the fact that they opted to self produce.
Inevitably, chinks in the armour appeared, resulting in internal friction and a gradual disintegration of the band (guitarist extraordinaire Bob Kulick joining them towards the end).
Externally there were also problems with their label, EMI America, giving way to a change in management. Out with the old and in with new.
“Behind Enemy Lines”, originally released in 1983, and despite the highly pressurised atmosphere surrounding the recording, is a masterfully crafted album of superior AOR / Melodic Rock with a contemporary edge that suggested the band could’ve taken their place next to giants of the era such as Loverboy or Def Leppard.
If fact, this second record is even better than the already awesome debut in some aspects, with a more ‘bombastic’ production.
Just listen the first opening tracks ‘Rescue Me’ and ‘Midnight Fantasy’ and you’re sold: this is premium quality AOR.
The anthemic title track ”Behind Enemy Lines’ – filled with synth stabs – follows, ‘Reaction’ is rich in harmonies akin ArcAngel, and ‘Race Against Time’ is smooth and sweet.
The disc ends with the Pomp AOR glory of ‘Can’t Stop Us Now’, a huge song among my favorites from the band.
As said on the previous post about Spys self-titled, “Behind Enemy Lines” is a must have too.
These albums encapsulate all the magic from the genre’s best moments, if we speak about US AOR / Melodic Rock.
01 – Rescue Me
02 – Midnight Fantasy
03 – Behind Enemy Lines
04 – Sheep Don’t Talk Back
05 – Reaction
06 – Heartache
07 – Race Against Time
08 – Younger Days
09 – Can’t Stop Us Now
John Blanco – lead vocals
John DiGaudio – guitar, vocals
Ed Gagliardi – bass, vocals
Al Greenwood – keyboards, vocals
Billy Milne – drums, vocals
Bob Kulick – additional guitar
BUY IT !