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The one that got away from Ozzy,
This review is from: Badlands (Audio CD)
It's a well established fact that Ozzy Osbourne owes much of his success to surrounding himself with the best in the business. That's the main reason that I've always been puzzled by the departure of Jake E. Lee from the Ozzy set-up, but we can be thankful, otherwise this amazing Badlands album would never have graced our stereos.
The explosive intro of "High Wire" gives you just a smidgen of an idea of what lies in store in this Blues/Metal/Southern Rock epic journey.
There's a taste of classic Jake E. Lee on "Jade's Song" with more than a passing glance over his shoulder at the style which made "Killer of Giants" such an Ozzy classic.
And what of the late Ray Gillen? Another example of a great talent lost too soon. The fact that Black Sabbath sacked him and re-recorded the vocal tracks to "Eternal Idol" with another vocalist is just plain crazy. In Deep Purple in the 70s and indeed even on a late Whitesnake album, David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes worked together to produce some of the finest vocal performances of the genre, but Ray Gillen is like a science lab combination of Coverdale/Hughes with a touch of Ian Gillan and Ronnie Dio thrown in. A truly classic voice that carries you through the soft melodies of "Winter's Tale" and rips through your ears on "Rumblin' Train" with equal devastating effect. Lee's song-writing abilities are best expressed in "Dreams In The Dark" where he goes off on a guitar-hero tangent for the middle eight, probably something he'd been itching to do on Ozzy records.
At the time of this album's release, average bands like Warrant and Winger were flying high on success. The fact that this band slipped through the net is one of the great mystery's of the music business. This album is total class!