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David Byron Band: On the Rocks | FESTIVALPHOTO
 

David Byron Band: On the Rocks

 Betyg

Review553_DBB_On_the_Rocks

Angel Air/Border

In 1976 vocalist David Byron left URIAH HEEP. He had featured on ten albums and tasted the ups and downs of success. The first sign of life after his defection was ROUGH DIAMOND, then a solo album, “Baby Faced Killer”. His will to play music in his own name continued in 1981 with this album. The other players were; guitarist (and producer) Robin George, sax man Mel Collins, keyboardist Bob Jackson, bassist Roger Flavelle and drummer John Shearer (bonus tracks recorded with Stevie Bray on drums). The band seemed to have a solid future but everything ended in February 1985 when David prematurely died.

1981 with a clear seventies touch is offered in opener “Rebecca”. The band worked up the energy needed and both Mel´s sax and Robin´s guitar are important to the sound. The co-op between keys and guitar raises “Bad Girl”, a track that creeps up on the listener with its stable beat. David´s convincing voice highlights “How Do You Sleep?” as well. Robin´s guitar is rather brilliant and always well up in the mix. If you can´t handle the seventies sound or laidback songs you can stop reading now. The entire band gets going in the intense “Start Believing”, it´s so evident it´s tangible. The guitar solo in “Never Say Die” is proof of Robin as a guitarist that expresses feelings, a favorite of mine of the album. There are too many mid-paced songs on offer; and from “King” on I start to get fed up. I don´t think David was aiming at his old fans from his previous career. In with Stevie Bray on drums and on with the bonus tracks. Things get rockier, as I hoped for, from “Fool for a Pretty Face” onwards. Fact is that I find the bonus tracks better than the average original album track. There are hints in the booklet that there are more unreleased songs lying around. David was born an entertainer, anyone can tell. But here the overall impression suffers a bit from the time passed and (probably) David´s problems at the time.

Track List
Rebecca
Bad Girl
How Do You Sleep?
Start Believing
Never Say Die
Piece of My Love
King
Little by Little

Bonus Tracks
Fool for a Pretty Face
Safety in Numbers
One Minute More

www.angelair.co.uk www.david-byron.com

Writer: Mikael Johansson
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