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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fans of LA Guns/80s metal are sure to enjoy, December 11, 2005
Daniel Maltzman (Arlington, MA, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Black List (Audio CD)
While most fans consider vocalist Phil Lewis to be the original voice of the LA Guns, he was actually the band's fourth singer, preceded by Axl Rose, Michael Jajosz, and Paul Black. While the Rose and Jajosz recordings remain scant, the band recorded many demos with Paul Black. Black was actually instrumental in the band's formative years. His constant touring with the band helped the LA rockers build a buzz and a following. Black also helped co-write many of the band's songs that were later re-worked and re-recorded with his replacement Phil Lewis.

Any traces of the Black years have remained scarce, until now. This new CD, fully titled "Paul Black's L.A. Guns: Black List" is a collection of demos from Paul Black's tenure with the band. Some of these songs, like "Show No Mercy" and "One More Reason to Die" were later re-recorded with Lewis for the band's 1988 self-titled debut. Most of these songs, however, haven't been heard in years and have just been made available now with this new CD.

The L.A. Guns lineup on this disc includes Black, (vocals) Tracii Guns, (guitar) Robert Stoddard, (guitar) Nickey Alexander (drums) and Mick Cripps (bass). It is interesting to note that none of the musicians on this disc are currently in the band or played on the band's most recent offering "Tales from the Strip" (2005).

While the quality of the recordings is pretty good, these definitely sound like demos, although the quality is still good enough to warrant a release. Paul Black's voice is far grittier, more rough-around-the-edges than the smooth styling of Lewis. Black's voice actually fits the music quite well. The band sounds down-and-dirty and the music is the real deal. "Black List" is a CD of unadulterated, sleazy, LA rock n' roll. It isn't a retro-sounding album that tries to recapture a sound long gone, but rather serves as a testament to a bygone era. "Black List" really captures the LA Guns in its infancy, when the band was at its edgiest, rawest, and hungriest. The band's trademark melodic sing-along choruses had not yet been firmly realized, so the songs lean more towards metal than pop-metal. But the songs are still very well written with great hooks, so this is an album that's very easy to get into.

You really get your money's worth with this CD. It's eighteen tracks, with almost an hours worth of music. The accompanying booklet is quite cool, with detailed liner notes and cool photos. The track "The Devil in You" performed by Black's post LA Guns band "Black Cherry" is a nice bonus.

If you are a fan of the L.A. Guns and 80s metal in general, make sure to check this album out.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A-List Listening, December 19, 2005
This review is from: Black List (Audio CD)
Since one of the other reviews covers the background, I'll stick to the run-down:

--Lots of previously unheard material that fans of the band's self-titled debut should enjoy

--Paul Black's voice works very well for this style of music.

--The sound quality is exceptionally good, especially considering these are 20-yr old demo tapes being cleaned up.

--IMO some folks are overplaying the sleaze factor of this material. Sure, the LA glam/sound is there, but remember this stuff was recorded very early during that movement. Alot of the tracks showcase influences from the Punk and hardcore scene moreso than the emerging glam scene. that's not to say the music is very punky, but you can tell the band had some roots in that genre.

--All in all, a worthwhile listen for fans of the band and the genre
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars INTERESTING RELEASE ?, December 1, 2005
Tim J. (Houston, TX) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Black List (Audio CD)
If you've always liked this band, then this is worth the money. There are different versions of some of L.A.Guns early stuff here before Phil Lewis rerecorded the vocals for what would become the self titled debut from the band. The original versions are good and they do hold up against the Phil Lewis renditions. Also, there is a great version of Winters Fool here as well as many other gems. I have to say that this release is much better than some of the other similar releases from both L.A. Guns and other bands who release early recordings.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars L.A. Guns Best record ever, February 11, 2006
Rick olsen (Seatle, WA, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Black List (Audio CD)
Although L.A. Guns have put out many records, there has not been anything good since the the first two. Black List gives the answer to why this is so. By all means this should have been the first record. It's apparent that L.A. Guns first two records were derived from the sound and songs created by L.A. Guns first line up with its founding singer Paul Black. In fact many of these songs are what made the 1st two records. Aditionally there are many more hits on Black List that have never been released until now. This is a great record! The inside booklet tells the story about how this music has been burried for the last twenty years and the master tapes from these sessions are being held hostage by there former record label. The sound might have suffered a little since these recordings are 4th 5th or 6th ?? generation cassette copies that have been restored, but it really doesn't matter. They still sound great. Plus, It's kind of cool to know that the original musicians got together after all these years to release a record of their original recordings which have been kept in their closets despite record labels efforts to keep this music hidden. The overall sound of the band is more trashy and the vocals by Paul Black have a cool soulful rasp to them. It's also interesting because it's apparent that Phil Lewis was influenced and derived his Style from orinal vocalist Paul Black. You don't have to be an L.A. Guns fan to enjoy this record. You just need to love rock "n" roll!
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Black List
Black List by L.A. Guns (Audio CD - 2005)
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