Badlands - Badlands
Hard Rock / Heavy Metal
11 songs (49:45)
Release year: 1989
Reviewed by Jeff

It was back in 1989 during my college years at the campus radio station when I received a four song sampler of Badlands. This cassette was only a small piece of what would become a much bigger pie. The Badlands debut was an album that caused more talk, hope and excitement at that time than any other album in recent years among the Atlantic Records industry, fans and band members themselves.

This album features Jake E.Lee. Although the guitar style is more blues-rock oriented, Jake's rhythm and lead playing smokes all over the album. Ex Black Sabbath vocalist Ray Gillan fits in perfectly with the rhythm section of bassist Greg Chaisson and drummer Eric Singer (Kiss).

Badlands sounds like a mix of seventies bands like Whitesnake, Free, Bad Company and Led Zeppelin but still play distinctly and originally enough to stand out among the crowded world of hard rock and heavy metal.

The strongest tracks on the album are "Winter's Call", "Dreams In The Dark", "Highwire" and "Hard Driver", all of which were included on the four song advanced cassette sampler. All of these tracks are up-beat, rocking tunes meant to be played on ten! Gillen hits notes like I've never heard him sing before and Chaisson's bass playing along with Singer's drum beating gives the album much power and energy on the bottom end. But these four tracks were only a taste of what was to come. There's a pretty acoustic piece called "Jade's Song" and a slow bluesy ballad called "Season", very similar to Zeppelin's "Ten Years Gone".

"Badlands" was a very fine debut for a promising band in the following years that would come. The production is excellent with a good mix. I would recommend this album to anyone who loves Guns N' Roses, L.A. Guns, Aerosmith and any of the aforementioned bands. I also recommend checking out there second release, Voodo Highway, a good follow up that concentrated even more on the bluesy rock sounds.

Killing Songs :
High Wire, Dreams In The Dark, Winter’s Call, Hard Driver
Jeff quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Badlands that we have reviewed:
Badlands - Dusk reviewed by Danny and quoted 60 / 100
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