BRIGHTON ROCK – Take A Deep Breath [Canadian reissue] + Brighton Rock EP [RARE]
We have featured here a couple of BRIGHTON ROCK albums; the first (the only remastered so far) and their third. Now it’s time for their second CD, “Take A Deep Breath”. While not remastered, after many years out of print the record was officially re-released two years ago by WEA Canada including 2 bonus tracks. Unfortunately, it went sold out soon, but we found this limited edition released by the band themselves few years ago. And there’s more; we added the very hard to find ‘Brighton Rock‘ self-titled debut EP, released in 1985 only in vinyl.
Originally released in 1988, “Take A Deep Breath” an excellent ’80s US Melodic Hard Rock album, with unusual quality. Everything you loved about ’80s rock is here.
These Canadians rocked hard with their major label debut ‘Young, Wild And Free’, but for the second album, the label and the current sound – Europe’s explosion and Whitesnake’s polished ‘1987’ LP – required a more melodious, radio friendly approach.
Brighton Rock’s original sound was different from the crop of hair metal bands at the time. They always had a classier feel in their commercial rock. Witness, from the first LP, “We Came to Rock”. The synth strings made it different, a little more refined.
Johnny Roger’s tasteful keyboard parts have always provided an interesting background texture to their vocal and guitar melodies. Gerald McGhee’s vocals were emotional and he had a powerful range. On this album, he doesn’t scream, but he soars. It works out fine with these songs. His voice is strong enough, he didn’t need to show off how high he could go.
The keyboard driven ‘Hangin’ High ‘n’ Dry’ proved to be a successful single, as well as the midtempo ballad ‘One More Try’, both pure AOR from the era. More in vein with the first album, opener ‘Can’t Stop The Earth From Shakin’ is a classy hair metal upbeat rocker, while ‘Rebels With A Cause’ feature upfront guitars, a cool groove and more elaborated arrangements then your regular glam tune.
‘Outlaw’ is one of my favorites, dark and moody but with great keyboards providing background texture, then
‘Power Overload’ is another guitar rocker with a great shout-chorus.
Other highlights – the entire album is excellent – is ‘Who’s Foolin’ Who’, quite original in its riff and even including some fretless bass, and the fantastic semi-ballad “Love Slips Away”, no-sugary for sure.
The regular edition closes with ‘Unleash The Rage’, another more rocking, metallic song that sounds more like the rockers on the first album.
As bonus track there’s ‘White Christmas’, a song Brighton Rock recorded for the holidays and quite hard to find, and as special feature we have “Brighton Rock EP”, a 4-track recorded & released in 1985 before they got signed by a major label.
“Brighton Rock EP” includes 3 tracks that were later re-worked for the band’s first full length Young, Wild and Free, plus, the fourth track ‘The Fool’s Waltz’ remains unreleased anywhere else.
Here you can hear a more rawer, heavier version of Brighton Rock, which actually reminds me of early Cinderella.
This EP never was released on CD, so this is a vinyl rip greatly done (and cleaned) by a collaborator of this blog.
Mixing second half of the AOR with melodious hard rock and a polished production, “Take A Deep Breath” is a terrific listen. There’s a plus in Brighton Rock’s music, and not minor for sure: they wrote very good songs, and all are fantastic musicians / performers.
This Canadian ‘not on label’ release by the band themselves in arrangement with the original label, is pretty rare. There’s no barcode, no serial, but the sound quality is awesome. Seems it was released 2013 and it sounds much, much better than the original CD press, according to modern transfer technique with a fuller output (not saturated and clear).
Very are, and very very good… in fact “Take A Deep Breath” is among my favorite American AOR / MHR albums from 1987/88.
A MUST HAVE
01 – Can’t Stop The Earth From Shakin’
02 – Outlaw
03 – Hangin’ High ‘n’ Dry
04 – One More Try
05 – Ride The Rainbow
06 – Rebels With A Cause
07 – Power Overload
08 – Who’s Foolin’ Who
09 – Love Slips Away
10 – Shootin’ For Love
11 – Unleash The Rage
12 – White Christmas (bonus track)
Brighton Rock EP (1985)
01 – Young Wild and Free (1985 Recording)
02 – Assault Attack (1985 Recording)
03 – Barricade (1985 Recording)
04 – The Fool’s Waltz
Lead Vocals – Gerald McGhee
Guitar, Backing Vocals – Greg Fraser
Keyboards, Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals – Johnny Rogers
Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals – Stevie Skreebs
Drums, Percussion – Mark Cavarzan
Backing Vocals – Jerry Rogers
Out Of Print