STEVE STEVENS ATOMIC PLAYBOYS (Rock Candy remaster)
STEVE STEVENS, one of my favorite guitar players of all time, gets his first album with the “Atomic Playboys” reissued and remastered by Rock Candy Records. This, together with the one Stevens did with Vince Neil, are without a doubt among the best guitar-driven hard rock albums ever recorded.
Steve Stevens reputation was so high in the mid-to-late eighties (‘the guitar power behind Billy Idol’ and Top Gun soundtrack) that the debut solo album from the six-stringer with hair as impressive as his playing was littered with top class names from the music business.
Released by a major label, executively produced by Ted Templeman, cover art by the iconic H.R. Giger, drums played by (Idol bandmate) Thommy Price and secret KISS member Anton Fig, guest vocals from Fiona and co-produced by the legendary Beau Hill, you only could expect a superb record.
Stevens wanted Ray Gillen or someone like Ian Astbury as lead vocalist, and Perry McCarty (ex Warrior singer) was selected for the job. At first glance it could seems a curious choice for sure, Warrior being way more metal than Stevens dare contemplate, but McCarty’s impressive pipes work like a charm adding power to the songs.
“STEVE STEVENS Atomic Playboys” is a killer album. Period.
A polished, crisp, kickin’ collection of rockers like the hooky opener “Atomic Playboys”, the sci-fi monster cover of Sweet’s classic “Action”, the hair metal impact of “Pet The Hot Kitty” or the arena-ready “Crackdown”, are mixed with the funk-fuelled “Power Of Suggestion” and “Evening Eye” featuring a master class of rhythm guitar.
Talking about Stevens’ mastery, he shines on the instrumental “Run Across Desert Sands” and on the David Lee Roth / Whitesnake Steve Vai-era inspired rocker “Soul On Ice”.
Stevens’ guitar playing is as exquisite throughout as you would imagine, even his vocals too when takes the mic on the catchy “Woman Of 1,000 Years”, raw and ready enough to shine like a diamond in the rough.
Oh yes, and we have a torch ballad on “Desperate Heart”, the song featuring famed ’80s songstress Fiona (garnering her a songwriting credit too), a melancholic power ballad that would have settled nicely into a Heart album from the same decade.
I don’t know if “STEVE STEVENS Atomic Playboys” needed a remaster – as the original is stupendous. However, this Rock Candy’s reissue is a must-have.
Not only the fully remastered 24 BIT audio sounds great, this release is expanded with a couple of bonus tracks; “‘Warm Female”, previously only available with the Japanese version of the album, and a fantastic ‘promo remix’ of “Action”.
I love this one. HIGHLY Recommended
01 – Atomic Playboys
02 – Power Of Suggestion
03 – Action
04 – Desperate Heart
05 – Soul On Ice
06 – Crackdown
07 – Pet The Hot Kitty
08 – Evening Eye
09 – Woman Of 1,000 Years
10 – Run Across Desert Sands (instrumental)
11 – Slipping Into Fiction
12 – Warm Female
13 – Action (promo remix)
Steve Stevens: guitar, bass, vocals
Perry McCarty: vocals
Thommy Price, Anton Fig: drums
Phil Ashley: keyboards
Produced by Beau Hill and Steve Stevens
BUY IT !