APRIL WINE
Hard Rock • Canada

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April Wine is a Canadian hard rock act. Formed in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1969, they contributed to the proto-metal sound. In the 80s, they acquired a more melodic 80s metal sound.
Thanks to Time Signature for the addition and siLLy puPPy for the updates

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The Nature of the BeastThe Nature of the Beast
Capitol Records 1991
Audio CD$6.93
$2.27 (used)
Classic Masters [Remastered]Classic Masters [Remastered]
Import · Remastered
Capitol 2002
Audio CD$7.96
$4.98 (used)
April Wine -  Nature Of The Beats/Power PlayApril Wine - Nature Of The Beats/Power Play
Remastered · Import
BGO 2015
Audio CD$11.55
$8.99 (used)
April Wine Boxed SetApril Wine Boxed Set
Box set · Import
Imports 2016
Audio CD$27.04
April Wine -  First Glance/HarderFasterApril Wine - First Glance/HarderFaster
Remastered · Import
BGO 2015
Audio CD$14.12
$8.17 (used)
The Hits..Over 60 Minutes WithThe Hits..Over 60 Minutes With
Import
Aquarius 2008
Audio CD$14.38
$12.91 (used)
On RecordOn Record
Import
Unidisc 2008
Audio CD$10.59
$10.58 (used)
Power PlaysPower Plays
Import
MASSACRE 2017
Audio CD$13.03
Electric JewelsElectric Jewels
Import
Unidisc Music Inc. 2008
Audio CD$10.55
$10.54 (used)
Harder FasterHarder Faster
Capitol 1991
Audio CD$6.98
$6.97 (used)
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APRIL WINE - HARDER.......FASTER - 1979 SLEEVE ART PRINT T SHIRT- BLACK- XXXL- APRIL WINE - HARDER.......FASTER - 1979 SLEEVE ART PRINT T SHIRT- BLACK- XXXL- USD $16.75 Buy It Now 3h
April Wine: Forever For Now; 1993; Aquarius Records April Wine: Forever For Now; 1993; Aquarius Records USD $3.99 (1 bids)
3h
April Wine: First Glance: Capitol Records; 1978 April Wine: First Glance: Capitol Records; 1978 USD $5.50 (5 bids)
3h
April Wine: The Nature Of The Beast; Capitol Records;  1981 April Wine: The Nature Of The Beast; Capitol Records;  1981 USD $1.99 (0 bids)
4h
April Wine The Nature Of The Beast Original Vinyl April Wine The Nature Of The Beast Original Vinyl USD $2.79 (1 bids)
5h
APRIL WINE Power Play [Vinyl LP] EMI AGR-533 Sealed Mint APRIL WINE Power Play [Vinyl LP] EMI AGR-533 Sealed Mint USD $9.45 Buy It Now 5h
April Wine: Walking Through Fire; 1993; Aquarius Records April Wine: Walking Through Fire; 1993; Aquarius Records USD $2.99 (1 bids)
6h
VINYL RECORD ALBUM, CASTLE DONNINGTON RAINBOW SCORPIONS APRIL WINE SAXON VINYL RECORD ALBUM, CASTLE DONNINGTON RAINBOW SCORPIONS APRIL WINE SAXON USD $7.19 Buy It Now 6h
Live by April Wine (CD, Oct-2010, Unidisc) Live by April Wine (CD, Oct-2010, Unidisc) USD $11.64 Buy It Now 7h
APRIL WINE: Say Hello 12 (dj) Rock & Pop APRIL WINE: Say Hello 12 (dj) Rock & Pop USD $10.00 Buy It Now 8h
7 7" April Wine - - Just between you and me 81 Barbados USD $2.99 (0 bids)
8h
APRIL WINE - Harder Faster - Deleted 1979 UK Capitol LP APRIL WINE - Harder Faster - Deleted 1979 UK Capitol LP USD $12.57 Buy It Now 8h
April Wine - Power Play LP VG+ ST-12218 Capitol 1982 USA Vinyl Record April Wine - Power Play LP VG+ ST-12218 Capitol 1982 USA Vinyl Record USD $10.00 Buy It Now 9h
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April Wine - Power Play LP Vinyl 1982 st 512218 ST512218 (With Shrink) April Wine - Power Play LP Vinyl 1982 st 512218 ST512218 (With Shrink) USD $2.50 (0 bids)
11h
APRIL WINE - Power Play - LP STILL SEALED  WITH HYPE STICKER APRIL WINE - Power Play - LP STILL SEALED WITH HYPE STICKER USD $16.99 Buy It Now 11h
April Wine : Harder Faster CD April Wine : Harder Faster CD USD $7.37 Buy It Now 11h
Monsters of Rock - Rainbow Scorpions Saxon April Wine Riot Tough Japan LP Monsters of Rock - Rainbow Scorpions Saxon April Wine Riot Tough Japan LP USD $2.99 (0 bids)
13h
Brian Greenway  Serious Business  CD    - Rare April Wine  1988 Atlantic Records Brian Greenway Serious Business CD - Rare April Wine 1988 Atlantic Records USD $45.99 (0 bids)
USD $59.99 Buy It Now
13h
APRIL WINE This Could Be The Right One 1984 Promo 12 inch vinyl record single APRIL WINE This Could Be The Right One 1984 Promo 12 inch vinyl record single USD $6.99 Buy It Now 14h
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Coney Hatch - Friction  RARE ORIGINAL (Carl Dixon, Triumph, April Wine) Coney Hatch - Friction RARE ORIGINAL (Carl Dixon, Triumph, April Wine) USD $12.56 Buy It Now 18h
APRIL WINE power play (uk & inner) LP EX-/VG+ EST 12218 pop rock capitol 1982 APRIL WINE power play (uk & inner) LP EX-/VG+ EST 12218 pop rock capitol 1982 USD $22.12 Buy It Now 20h
19 ALBUM  ADVERT 12X10 APRIL WINE: FIRST CHANCE 19 ALBUM ADVERT 12X10 APRIL WINE: FIRST CHANCE USD $16.76 Buy It Now 21h
APRIL WINE - On Record - AudioCD APRIL WINE - On Record - AudioCD USD $12.99 Buy It Now 22h
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APRIL WINE THE NATURE OF THE BEAST EMI 1981 APRIL WINE THE NATURE OF THE BEAST EMI 1981 USD $7.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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APRIL WINE PROMO EMPTY BOX Japan mini lp cd APRIL WINE PROMO EMPTY BOX Japan mini lp cd USD $24.99 (1 bids)
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APRIL WINE APRIL WINE "YOU COULD HAVE BEEN A LADY" 45 RPM USD $2.09 Buy It Now 1 day
The Whole World's Goin Crazy by April Wine (Cassette) The Whole World's Goin Crazy by April Wine (Cassette) USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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April Wine Walking Through Fire 1985 Vinyl LP Capitol Promo Record Excellent April Wine Walking Through Fire 1985 Vinyl LP Capitol Promo Record Excellent USD $10.00 Buy It Now 1 day
April Wine - Harder Faster - 1979 April Wine - Harder Faster - 1979 USD $5.00 Buy It Now 1 day
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Lot of 17 APRIL WINE 7 Lot of 17 APRIL WINE 7" 45RPM w/Pic Sleeves: Just Between You And Me, Sign Of... USD $24.95 (0 bids)
1 day
APRIL WINE-POWER PLAY -JAPAN MINI LP SHM-CD Ltd/Ed G00 APRIL WINE-POWER PLAY -JAPAN MINI LP SHM-CD Ltd/Ed G00 USD $26.99 Buy It Now 1 day
April Wine vinyl LP album record Power Play UK ST-12218 CAPITOL 1982 April Wine vinyl LP album record Power Play UK ST-12218 CAPITOL 1982 USD $16.69 Buy It Now 1 day
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USD $19.99 Buy It Now
1 day
April Wine - Power Play: Limited [New CD] Japanese Mini-Lp Sleeve, Shm CD, Japan April Wine - Power Play: Limited [New CD] Japanese Mini-Lp Sleeve, Shm CD, Japan USD $30.00 Buy It Now 1 day
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April Wine Animal Grace 12 April Wine Animal Grace 12" Vinyl Record Album ST-12311 1984 NM Condition USD $9.39 Buy It Now 1 day
APRIL WINE MANCHESTER APOLLO TICKET JAN 21 1981 UK APRIL WINE MANCHESTER APOLLO TICKET JAN 21 1981 UK USD $9.08 Buy It Now 1 day
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APRIL WINE - I LIKE TO ROCK - 7 APRIL WINE - I LIKE TO ROCK - 7" VINYL SINGLE USD $1.38 (0 bids)
1 day
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April Wine - Power Play - VG+ Vinyl LP - Classic Hard Rock April Wine - Power Play - VG+ Vinyl LP - Classic Hard Rock USD $4.48 Buy It Now 2 days
APRIL WINE APRIL WINE " THE NATURE OF THE BEAST " VINYL ALBUM 1981 USD $6.97 (0 bids)
2 days
APRIL WINE LP The Nature of the Beast 1st US PRESS VG+ CONDITION HARD ROCK APRIL WINE LP The Nature of the Beast 1st US PRESS VG+ CONDITION HARD ROCK USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2 days
APRIL WINE - HARDER FASTER (CAPITOL)  WITH INNER SLEEVE APRIL WINE - HARDER FASTER (CAPITOL) WITH INNER SLEEVE USD $6.98 Buy It Now 2 days
April Wine - All over town Bw Crash & Burn - 7inch vinyl  Metal 1981 - mint mint April Wine - All over town Bw Crash & Burn - 7inch vinyl Metal 1981 - mint mint USD $22.33 Buy It Now 2 days
APRIL WINE - I Like To Rock - Excellent Condition 7 APRIL WINE - I Like To Rock - Excellent Condition 7" Single Capitol CL 16121 USD $5.57 Buy It Now 2 days
April Wine - The Nature Of The Beast [CD] FREE SHIPPING!!! B02 April Wine - The Nature Of The Beast [CD] FREE SHIPPING!!! B02 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2 days
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Rock Lp April Wine The Nauter Of The Beast On Capitol Rock Lp April Wine The Nauter Of The Beast On Capitol USD $7.99 Buy It Now 2 days
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APRIL WINE: This Could Be The Right One / Same 12 (dj, title sticker on sleeve) APRIL WINE: This Could Be The Right One / Same 12 (dj, title sticker on sleeve) USD $8.00 Buy It Now 2 days
APRIL WINE APRIL WINE " THE NATURE OF THE BEAST " CASSETTE USD $2.99 Buy It Now 2 days
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APRIL WINE  APRIL WINE "The Hard & Heavy Collection" NEW (CD, 2009) USD $12.99 Buy It Now 2 days
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HEAVY METAL LOVE CD Judas Priest*Vixen*Rainbow*Kiss*April Wine*Great White*Helix HEAVY METAL LOVE CD Judas Priest*Vixen*Rainbow*Kiss*April Wine*Great White*Helix USD $6.96 Buy It Now 2 days
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April Wine The Whole World's Goin Crazy London LP Record PS 675 April Wine The Whole World's Goin Crazy London LP Record PS 675 USD $6.99 (0 bids)
2 days
APRIL WINE - First Glance - 1978 German Vinyl 12'' Lp./ VG+/ Hard Rock Metal APRIL WINE - First Glance - 1978 German Vinyl 12'' Lp./ VG+/ Hard Rock Metal USD $17.99 Buy It Now 2 days
April Wine - Stand Back - 1975 Big Tree Vinyl 12'' Lp./ VG+/ Prog Hard Rock April Wine - Stand Back - 1975 Big Tree Vinyl 12'' Lp./ VG+/ Prog Hard Rock USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2 days
April Wine Attitude - CD Compact Disc April Wine Attitude - CD Compact Disc USD $15.92 Buy It Now 2 days
APRIL WINE FIRST GLANCE lp vinyl 1978 Rock APRIL WINE FIRST GLANCE lp vinyl 1978 Rock USD $1.00 (1 bids)
2 days
April Wine Guitar Tab Software Lesson CD + FREE BONUSES April Wine Guitar Tab Software Lesson CD + FREE BONUSES USD $4.81 Buy It Now 2 days
Harder...Faster by April Wine (CD, Jul-1991, Capitol/EMI Records) Harder...Faster by April Wine (CD, Jul-1991, Capitol/EMI Records) USD $11.92 Buy It Now 2 days
Harder Faster - April Wine (CD Used Very Good) Harder Faster - April Wine (CD Used Very Good) USD $7.51 Buy It Now 2 days
April Wine~Just Between You And Me (fold out poster sleeve, 7 April Wine~Just Between You And Me (fold out poster sleeve, 7"@45) 1981 USD $1.38 (0 bids)
2 days
April Wine Harder Faster  1979 press advert Full page 28 x 39 cm mini poster April Wine Harder Faster 1979 press advert Full page 28 x 39 cm mini poster USD $12.56 Buy It Now 2 days
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More places to buy metal & APRIL WINE music

APRIL WINE Discography

APRIL WINE albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
April Wine
Hard Rock 1971
.. Album Cover 3.05 | 2 ratings
On Record
Hard Rock 1972
.. Album Cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Electric Jewels
Hard Rock 1973
.. Album Cover 4.02 | 2 ratings
Stand Back
Hard Rock 1975
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Whole World's Goin' Crazy
Hard Rock 1976
.. Album Cover 3.75 | 2 ratings
Forever for Now
Hard Rock 1977
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
First Glance
Hard Rock 1978
.. Album Cover 4.75 | 2 ratings
Harder.....Faster
Hard Rock 1979
.. Album Cover 3.99 | 6 ratings
The Nature of the Beast
Hard Rock 1981
.. Album Cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Power Play
Hard Rock 1982
.. Album Cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Animal Grace
Hard Rock 1984
.. Album Cover 1.50 | 1 ratings
Walking Through Fire
Hard Rock 1985
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
We Like to Rock
Hard Rock 1988
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Attitude
Hard Rock 1993
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Frigate
Hard Rock 1994
.. Album Cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Back to the Mansion
Hard Rock 2001
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Roughly Speaking
Hard Rock 2006

APRIL WINE EPs & splits

APRIL WINE live albums

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live!
Hard Rock 1974
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
One for the Road
Hard Rock 1985
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
King Biscuit Flower Hour: April Wine
Hard Rock 1999
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Greatest Hits Live 2003
Hard Rock 2003

APRIL WINE demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

APRIL WINE re-issues & compilations

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Greatest Hits
Hard Rock 1979
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best of April Wine Rock Ballads
Hard Rock 1981
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
All the Rockers
Hard Rock 1987
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Hits
Hard Rock 1987
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The First Decade
Hard Rock 1989
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Oowatanite
Hard Rock 1990
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The April Wine Collection
Hard Rock 1991
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Champions Of Rock
Hard Rock 1996
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Classic Masters
Hard Rock 2002
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Best of
Hard Rock 2003

APRIL WINE singles (0)

APRIL WINE movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

APRIL WINE Reviews

APRIL WINE The Nature of the Beast

Album · 1981 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
voila_la_scorie
If my introduction to the music of April Wine had not been through the polished pop rocker “This Could Be the Right One” in 1984 but instead just about any song off “The Nature of the Beast”, I’m certain my cassette collection would have experienced a different evolution back then. It’s only this year that I have become enamoured with the music of April Wine in a big way and most of my favourites are from the first half of the seventies. But this album here really kicks hard rocking ass better than anything else I have heard of April Wine thus far. Oh, sure there are some killer rockers on older albums, but this album just nails it for greatest number of hard hitters on a single disc.

Of course, being April Wine, there’s a stadium rock / poppy edge to some of their songs. The opening track “All Over Town” sounds like classic Cars gone over the hard rock fence with a hot-diggity-dog pop hard rock riff and some strong melodies as the band is known for. It quickly became a favourite of mine. “Tellin’ Me Lies” is more of the typical song type; nothing remarkable but good enough to keep the feel so far. “Sign of the Gypsy Queen” is a step toward something that attempts to have more meaning and a more serious tone. It was a hit single as I recall and I recognized the song once I played the CD. “Just Between You and Me” is a typical and well-done April Wine power ballad. From what I have heard in recent months, April Wine could well have been the kings of the power ballad in their heyday. “Wanna Rock” is another typical April Wine song that carries over from their previous two or three albums, and “Caught in the Crossfire” is, from a lyrical perspective, a seemingly unnecessary and out of place song about refugees on a space craft caught in a space battle. But even still, the album has made it this far with some great catchy hard rockers and some memorable melodies.

From here though, alongside more standard hard rock tunes “Big City Girls” and “Bad Boys”, come two numbers that hit really hard, heavy, fast, and furious. “Future Tense” has some heavy riffs and some excellently sung lyrics about uncertainty of the future. But it’s the ripping thundering track “Crash and Burn” that could nearly put April Wine into heavy metal. In fact, they usually have one song per album that makes them sound as though they are warning us that they may just jump the fence and land in metal territory.

The closing track features more of the party hard rock sound that almost reminds me of Slade in one part (though I really don’t know about Slade very much). This is a real party closer with some terrific fist-pumping rock, a great encore piece at a concert for sure.

The album isn’t perfect and there are at least three songs, maybe four, that I can skip. But the rest of them round this out to one darn fine piece of hard rocking work. So far, out of 10 April Wine albums in my collection now, this one ranks among the top three along with “Electric Jewels” and the very different debut, though the classic “Stand Back” does have its share of memorable tunes.

APRIL WINE Electric Jewels

Album · 1973 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
voila_la_scorie
"Electric Jewels" is April Wine's third album and was released in 1973. As far as album covers go, it's an improvement. The debut featured a pair of dirty feet and the sophomore a black vinyl disc with the band's faces dully reflected and a plain white background. Here we have a lovely red glam rock guitar all sparkly and with some peculiar buttons that I have never seen on a guitar before. Artistic lisence or a throwback from the seventies?

The line up changed once again with the Henman brothers departing, leaving Myles Goodwyn as the sole founding member after only two albums. Newbie Jim Clench and Goodwyn decided to keep the band going and brought in ex-Mashmakhan drummer Jerry Mercer and guitarist Gary Moffett.

The new line-up went for a harder rock sound. The last shreds of psychedelia were brushed aside and the band upped the intensity of its music without sacrificing creativity. The opening track "Weeping Willow" has become my favourite April Wine song. It begins with simple and light acoustic guitar but soon a superb electric guitar distortion sound turns the song into an awesome hard rock number. The band hits really hard here and the frequent lead guitar work reminds me of Uli Jon Roth on the Scorpions album "Fly to the Rainbow". I highly recommend checking out this song. What a sound! What a rocker!

"Just Like That" is an intense and speedy blues rocker with a great punch. The title track slows down and comes in three parts: a slow electric intro followed by a short acoustic section and then a slow but heavy and melodic instrumental outro. The following song "You Opened Up My Eyes" is the only song I don't really care for. It's a country western-tinged ballad with harmonica sung by Jim Clench. It reminds me of something that might have been on Nazareth's "Exercises" album. Honestly, Clench isn't a top rate singer but when he sings hard rock it works. Here he warbles a bit. On the other hand, when Goodwyn became the sole lead vocalist the band lost some of its diversity and charm.

After this though the album mostly follows a hard rocking coarse but with some pleasant surprises. "Come On Along" begins as a simpler number but a catchy hand-clapping hard rock tune with vocals split between Clench and Goodwyn. But the music isn't quite that simple and features a few different riffs. It changes into a blues-based rock number and then a melodic hard rock song before switching into a simple hard rock song again. And that's just the chorus. For the close, the song becomes a blues-based rocker.

"Lady Run, Lady Hide" is an acoustic ballad with strings, and again I can't help think of Nazareth but without Dan MacCafferty's raw vocals. It's a pretty enough piece and it was a single.

Now we are ready to rock the rest of the way through without interruption. "I Can Hear You Calling" has an almost punk but desperate feel that reminds me of the Ramones being serious. Again Goodwyn and Clench share the vocals. The chorus is more uplifting. But I love that hurried feeling in the verses.

The last two tracks are different again with "Cat's Claw" being a slower tempo-ed heavy/hard rock number while the optimistic "The Band Has Just Begun" is quick, charging track and an excellent close to what I feel is April Wine's best album. Oh, sure the follow-up "Stand Back" is possibly their best known album of the seventies, but "Electric Jewels" has such a killer guitar sound and really hits hard while still bringing different flavours to the table. Its important to note that Goodwyn sang lead on only a few songs, just as he did on the previous two albums. While I like his voice, I appreciate the contrast by having two lead vocalists. This was lost later in their career, most unfortunately by 1984's "Animal Grace".

In my opinion, this is one fine piece of Canadian hard rock during a time when Canadian hard rock was really coming in to its own. A masterpiece of early seventies hard rock.

APRIL WINE On Record

Album · 1972 · Hard Rock
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For their second album, April Wine took a big step away from their debut, which was a interesting blend of early hard rock, heavy psych, folk, and prog, and release an album with more stripped back songs. Though still a diverse and creative album, each song adheres more closely to a style instead of abruptly changing or mixing tempos and atmosphere to the extent that some songs on the debut did. Also gone is bassist Jim Henman and instead Jim Clench, who would be an important contributor as a song writer and vocalist, joined the band. Of the original line up, the Henman brothers David and Ritchie (cousins of Jim Henman) and Myles Goodwyn remained. Perhaps a note of interest is that Terry Brown, who would later produce Rush, engineered this album.

This album is a bold transition from the 1971 version of the band and the mid-seventies hard rock act into which April Wine would evolve. Their cover of Hot Chocolate's "You Could Have Been a Lady" and the Elton John / Bernie Taupin-penned "Bad Side of the Moon" gave the band two hits that still rotate on classic rock radio. "Work All Day" features the band's heavy and hard rock side along with some of the fast-fingered lead guitar playing that appeared on the debut.

Other songs of interest to hard rock fans are "Drop Your Guns", "Refuge", and "Carry On". The remaining songs are mellower or more acoustic but in that way make the album interesting through variety.

The album, though only beginning to approach their later output, is a good blend of guitar-based music. The rhythm section holds up well with some of that good early seventies percussion and some ear-catching bass parts here and there. When the band goes acoustic, it works as effectively as any skilled seventies band could make it work. If I have any complaint it's the strange organ and piano parts that come in at the end of most tracks. Perhaps meant to be a connecting thread between songs, I find it unnecessary and intrusive. After one song would have been enough. It doesn't work and it comes across as a throwback from bigger psychedelic days.

On its own, this is rather a good album. I hesitate to compare it to Led Zeppelin because they styles are quite different. However, the mighty Zep never ploughed through an album with heavy rocker one after another and neither do April Wine. If you are interested in early seventies bands with a hard rock foundation but freely explore the possibilities of their talents, I suggest checking out April Wine's first three albums. Actually their first five are recommended by me but I like best the sounds and styles of their first three.

APRIL WINE April Wine

Album · 1971 · Hard Rock
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Debut albums are often both the beginning and the end of a chapter in a band's career. The band forms and spends the next year or two or more doing cover songs and writing their first songs. They perform in small venues and test their material. Then they finally get that recording contract and choose what songs they'll commit to recording history. The album is released to moderate success and there's a single in the top 100. The record company takes notice and step in to get that band on the road, opening for big established acts and encouraging - even demanding - a new album and single. One or two of the founding members might quit, unhappy about playing the larger venues, the pressure of the big time, or having his songwriting skills dictated from above. By the time the second album comes out, there is a new line-up, the recording was rushed, and the band finds itself struggling between capitalizing on the success of the debut format and working at taking the music in a new direction.

April Wine formed in 1969 with the brothers David and Ritchie Henman, cousin Jim Henman, and Myles Goodwyn. Their self-titled debut was released in September of 1971. Though the band would climb to stardom as a hard rock act through the seventies, this first effort offers a glimpse into what April Wine had sounded like in the early days. This album is a bit like the Scorpions' "Lonesome Crow" or Judas Priest's "Rocka Rolla" as the songs and the style are very different from what would ultimately bring the band to fame.

Given the year, it's no surprise to find a variety of styles on this album, often combined in a single track. There's hard rock in a rudimentary format with some hard hitting on the guitar chords and the drums and April Wine's early vocal harmonies. But there's also some psychedelic leftovers from '69, a bit of folk, a touch of jazziness in a spot or too, some eastern scale guitar soloing, and a progressive approach to some of the longer songs.

Though April Wine's later material is certainly easier to get into, I personally find this album an enjoyable listen. It seems to me that April Wine started out with such a wide range of material and weren't afraid to explore musical possibilities. As the seventies wore on, the band streamlined their sound toward catchy stadium rock hard hitters and a few power ballads. Thus, many people will not like this album (and what's with the dirty feet on the cover anyway?). You have to think of this almost as a separate band. Indeed, Myles Goodwyn - the only founding member to still be with the band consistently and who would soon become the primary songwriter and vocalist- has only two self-penned contributions here: "Fast Train" and "Listen Mister". Listeners would be better of considering this first and only recorded incarnation of April Wine as a heavy psych / proto-metal band with progressive tendencies.

After this initial vinyl offering, cousin Jim would leave the band, and the second album would see a progression in sound and style, though still with some psychedelic and folk influences lingering on. The Henman brothers would then also leave, and under the leadership of Myles Goodwyn the band would really begin to emerge as a hard rock act.

I personally rate this album higher for its creativity and uniqueness; however, fans of April Wine and seventies hard rock might not be as impressed as me. So three stars for MMA.

APRIL WINE Stand Back

Album · 1975 · Hard Rock
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I bought this album on CD probably some 15 years ago because I was into homegrown (Canadian) bands and I loved the sweet melodic power chord semi-slow, "Tonite is a Wonderful Time to Fall in Love". I was delighted at the time to discover another song I knew from classic rock radio, "Cum Hear the Band" with has a beautiful dual guitar solo. I think I didn't give this album much thought past those two songs and eventually left it to sit in a box of CDs that got shipped to me years later in Japan.

The other week, inspired by Thundermug's album which I reviewed here, I began researching other Canadian hard rock bands from the seventies and I recalled metal writer Martin Popoff saying that April Wine was one of his favourite bands. April Wine? Metal? Rock to be sure, non? So out came the CD and in it went to iTunes and onto my phone. And wow! What an album!

This was a pleasant surprise. It's actually a much harder rocking album than I first believed. "Oowatanite" is a typical hard rock song about spending a night together. But "Don't Push Me Around" and "Victim for Your Love" have a really heavy, buzzing distortion sound that sounds great loud. Especially "Victim for Your Love" is quite a heavy rocker.

Another song that I can't believe I didn't notice before is "Highway Hard Run" which actually begins like a metal tune before going back to hard rock. And "Wouldn't Want Your Love (any other way)", though it has a catchy chorus, also features some pretty heavy rocking guitar.

"I Wouldn't Want to Lose Your Love" is a sweet nearly ballad which was also a hit song off the album. Other songs include "Not for You, Not for Rock N Roll" which is a catchy upbeat hard rock tune and "Slow Poke", a song about exactly what your dirty mind has conjectured. I'm sure bassist Jim Clench is singing this one otherwise Myles Goodwyn is taking care of most of the lead vocals. "Baby Done Got Some Soul" sounds a little closer to a seventies dance number but the hard rock guitar still muscles its way in aplenty.

Since being blown away with this hard rock/rock collection I've been trying to find what other April Wine albums might be so good. It seems that their second and third albums are the best bet but "Electric Jewels" (the third album) is not easy to find except on iTunes. It sounds pretty good though. The two albums after "Stand Back" don't sound as hard rocking. I'll keep checking out April Wine anyway.

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