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Badlands is the follow up band for former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Jake E. Lee. After taking a break from music following his abrupt firing from Ozzy's band, Jake began playing with various metal veterans. This search led him to singer Ray Gillen, fresh off a brief stent with Black Sabbath. The two shared a love of the blues-based hard rock of the 70's including Free and Humble Pie. After recruiting bassist Greg Chaisson and future KISS drummer Eric Singer, the two recorded an album combining the glam metal of the time with the blues-based rock they loved. The band did respectfully with fans and critics, but began having internal struggles after the release of their second album. After giving interviews trashing each other, it was clear Gillen and Lee's partnership wouldn't last long. In a legendary incident, the two frontmen nearly came to blows early in a show, settled down read more...
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BADLANDS Badlands album cover 4.26 | 10 ratings
Hard Rock 1989
BADLANDS Voodoo Highway album cover 4.45 | 10 ratings
Voodoo Highway
Hard Rock 1991
BADLANDS Dusk album cover 4.50 | 3 ratings
Hard Rock 1999

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BADLANDS Voodoo Highway

Album · 1991 · Hard Rock
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After their underrated eponymous debut that's cheered by traditional hard rock fans, Badlands continued on the same path with "Voodoo Highway" but this time, they recruited Jeff Martin from Racer X to fill in the drummer spot after Eric Singer left the band to join Kiss. At that time, only a few knew that Ray Gillen had a dispute with Jake E. Lee regarding their musical style which Gillen wanted them to be more commercial while Lee insisted to stick to their bluesy root. Later we found out that "Voodoo" favored Lee's intention and Gillen was fired soon after.

If you like 70s driven bluesy rock with 80s wild-and-wacky jam, influenced by Led Zeppelin, early Whitesnake, Aerosmith, and Bad Company, you'll love this album for sure. Lee's guitar sound even sounded vintage like this record belongs in the 70s. The album was fired off with a straight forward burning hard rock, "The Last Time". This is my favorite song along with other fantastic numbers such as "Soul Stealer" with flaming intro, Zeppelin-esque riffings, and Gillen's signature scream, "Silver Horses" with awesome guitar charge, outstanding cover of James Taylor's "Fire And Rain", and "Heaven's Train" with the Lee's top-notch riffin' and Gillen's AeroTyler's rappin' style.

Probably you still remember Bo Bice from American Idol who surprisingly pick Badlands's song, "In A Dream", years ago. Now you can hear the original version with Gillen's magical voice here accessorized by Lee's lazy dobro pick. "Three Day Funk", "Whiskey Dust", and "Show Me The Way" are another well-composed songs that's worth checking out as well.

Since I'm not really a big fan of blues and it seems they don't have anything commercial offering that fits into a Billboard chart (which I think is still an important aspect), this record is something that I only enjoy occasionally, depends heavily on my mood. Sadly, Gillen passed away too fast too soon, "Voodoo Highway" altogether with their debut, is an early 90s essential record for fans of genuinely talented band whose rooted deeply to the classic rock ground.


Album · 1989 · Hard Rock
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After being fired from Ozzy Osbourne’s band guitarist Jake E Lee set about forming Badlands. Ironically two of his new recruits came from brief stints with his former employer’s previous band Black Sabbath. Drummer Eric Singer had played on the Seventh Star and The Eternal Idol albums and vocalist Ray Gillen though not appearing on any official albums with Sabbath was a fine singer in the classic seventies heavy rock mould. Completing the line up was bassist Greg Chaisson.

Musically Badlands were far removed from the traditional/hair metal vibe of The Ultimate Sin, the last Ozzy album to feature Lee. Inspired by their seventies musical heroes Badlands combined a more contempory metal approach with a seventies bluesy hard rock style with easily identifiable nods to the likes of Led Zeppelin, Bad Company and Free amongst others. Of the three albums including the posthumously released Dusk their 1989 eponymous debut is the best, but only just as all three featured songs of much merit.

Songs range from the more traditional metal of Hard Driver, a brief acoustic interlude in Jade’s Song, the Free-esque groove of Rumblin Train to the Zeppelin swagger of High Wire and album highlight Winter’s Call, a track starting with a light and shade acoustic introduction before piling in with a powerhouse of a riff and some fine Bonham style drumming from Singer.

Badlands never achieved the success they deserved for such a fine band, Singer shortly jumping ship for Kiss. After a major bust up, mainly between Gillen and Lee, Gillen was fired and sadly died in 1993 of an Aids related illness making any chances of a reformation impossible. Fortunately the three albums, this one in particular, that we do have are a fitting testament to one of the finest heavy rock/metal bands of the time.

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