Album review: Various Artists, Axe Masters–Legends of Rock Guitar

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 19, 1985

By Steve Newton

Now this is more like it–heavy metal with class. But then any album that features the playing of metal martyr Randy Rhoads can’t lose.

Rhoads is included via Ozzy Osbourne’s first solo hit “Crazy Train”. And he’s in good company. “Axe masters” K.K Downing and Glenn Tipton riff off on Judas Priest’s breakthrough “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming”, and “Terrible Ted” Nugent raises supreme heck on “Dog Eat Dog”.

But there’s more than just raunchy HM on this disc. Rockin’ bluesman George Thorogood delivers “Delaware Slide” and Stevie Ray Vaughan goes ape on Hendrix’ “Voodoo Chile”. And there’s good old rock ‘n’ roll standards like “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (Johnny Winter’s early ’70s version) and “Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo” (by Rick Derringer). Also impressive is Toronto guitar hero Rick Santers’ “Can’t Shake You”, but it’s nothing compared to the Blue Oyster Cult’s luscious “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper”.

I’m not too crazy about the contributions from Anvil (“March On”), Kick Axe (“Heavy Metal Shuffle”), and Peter Frampton (“I’ll Give You Money”). Still, nine out of twelve’s not bad!

Another reservation: the album’s blatant attempt to sell Lado guitars. A Lado guitar (a nice blue one) is pictured on the front cover; on the back is the claim, “Today’s axemasters play Lado guitars”. Come on, everybody knows they play Les Pauls and Strats. Don’t be fooled, kids.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.