STRANGEWAYS – Walk In The Fire [Rock Candy remaster +4 +2 extras]
Not only “Walk In The Fire” confirmed STRANGEWAYS as one of the best British AOR acts of all time, but also on this, their third record, the band reached their creative peak. This Rock Candy Records remastered reissue sounds fabulous, including 4 bonus tracks. As extra, we added 2 tracks Live tracks exclusive to the Majestic Rock Records reissue.
Recorded in Switzerland, “Walk In The Fire” was produced by band leader Ian Stewart and John Lee, the engineer who had already worked on the previous album, and mixed in England by Def Leppard associate Mike Shipley.
This album is more upbeat and less moody than its predecessor, the sound is bigger and Terry Brock had come out of his Steve Perry period and was singing in the much earthier range that we now know him for. His performance is indeed brilliant.
Yet again the songwriting was stellar, with bassist David Stewart getting three co-writes along with his brother & Brock, and the instrumentation was always interesting and never relied on the usual clichés of much of its ilk.
Pointing out the best tracks is senseless as all of them are GEMS. Numbers like “Where Are They Now”, “Love Lies Dying”, “Living In The Danger Zone” or “Walk In The Fire” still remain among the finest of all time in the AOR genre.
As usual, the Rock Candy treatment on “Walk In The Fire” is superb, but we have more to enjoy here; four juicy bonus tracks.
The likeably upbeat “Jackie’s Gone” is by far the best. It’s a demo from the album sessions with Terry Brock singing much deeper than his regular style, while the other three all feature his replacement Charles Bowyer on demos for a proposed fourth album.
Whilst Bowyer co-wrote them and his voice is pleasant enough, the dynamic of the band had already changed. One of the songs is “Liberty”, which of course appeared on their comeback album in 2010 (but this is the original demo version).
The other two being “Big Tom” and “The Last Chance”, both really worth hearing if somewhat lacking compared to what had gone before. But c’mon, all “Walk In The Fire” is almost insuperable by any, even by themselves.
It’s a remarkable fact that the first three Strangeways albums don’t contain a single filler, and how many bands can you say that about?
All are must-haves, and “Walk In The Fire” is a crucial, awesome album.
01 – Where Are They Now
02 – Danger In Your Eyes
03 – Love Lies Dying
04 – Every Time You Cry
05 – Talk To Me
06 – Living In The Danger Zone
07 – Modern World
08 – Into The Night
09 – Walk In The Fire
10 – After The Hurt Is Gone
11 – Jackie’s Gone (Demo) *
12 – Big Tom (Demo) **
13 – Liberty (Demo) **
14 – The Last Chance (Demo) **
* Demo recorded for the ‘Walk In The Fire’ sessions
** Demos recorded with Charles Bowyer for projected 4th album
15 – So Far Away (Live) [Majestic Rock bonus]
16 – Where Do We Go From Here (Live) [Majestic Rock bonus]
Terry Brock – lead and backing vocals
Ian J. Stewart – guitar, backing vocals
David Stewart – bass, backing vocals
Jim Drummond – drums, backing vocals
David Moore – keyboards
Charles Bowyer – lead vocals on **
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