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.