RAVEN – The Complete Atlantic Recordings; ‘Life’s A Bitch +1’ [Wounded Bird remasters 2019] *EXCLUSIVE*
Reputable reissue label Wounded Bird Records has just remastered all RAVEN Atlantic Recordings from the 80s, taken from the original master tapes. With origins in the early British metal movement, by 1984 Raven had passed under American management and secured a deal with Atlantic Records.
Released in 1987, “Life’s A Bitch” was the last Raven album for Atlantic, and while still featuring glammy hard rock hooks, it’s plenty of edgy riffs and some of the attack of the band’s origins.
By 1987 at the record label were convinced that Raven needed a much more heavier sound, as old, faithful fans were asking for. On “Life’s A Bitch” gone are the synth guitars, the pop metal leanings, the bubble gum of the previous album.
Of course production on “Life’s A Bitch” still is extremely polished according to the era, but the songs are more biting, guitar driven. “Wings of an Eagle”, “Iron League”, and “Overload” are all melodic metal barnstormers in the US style, sharp as a razor’s edge but still accessible.
I scratch my head when I read in many magazines / articles that this album is mentioned as a big influence for late ’80s thrash metal bands. I mean, the guitar work is fairly technical – and stupendous if you ask me – and the leads and solos intense, soaring. However, this is hard rock, hard n’ heavy if you prefer, with a little of the band’s NWOBHM original vibe, but just a little.
Anyway, “Life’s A Bitch” rocks. Hard.
The first three tracks “The Savage And The Hungry”, “Pick Your Window”, and the title track are among the best songs Raven has written. If you’re going to listen or even buy this album, it’s worth it for the first 3 songs alone.
The mentioned “Overload”, “Your A Liar”, “Playing With A Razor”, and “Only The Strong Survive” will have your head all day.
“Trigger” (originally titled ‘Finger on the Trigger’) was a bonus track originally only included on the cassette version of the album. Raven never released the same album during the ’80s: all sound different. This underrated and great band deserved better luck for sure.
These Wounded Bird remasters are excellent, fortunately not saturated.
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01 – The Savage And The Hungry
02 – Pick Your Window
03 – Life’s A Bitch
04 – Never Forgive
05 – Iron League
06 – On The Wings Of An Eagle
07 – Overload
08 – You’re A Liar
09 – Fuel To The Fire
10 – Only The Strong Survive
11 – Juggernaut
12 – Playing With The Razorç
13 – Trigger
Lead Vocals, Bass – John Gallagher
Guitar, Vocals – Mark Gallagher
Drums, Drums & More Drums – Wacko