4 out of 5 Stars!
Upon first hearing this album back in ’89, it became crystal clear to me that ace guitarist John Sykes had learned a university’s worth of musical insight from working with not only Tygers of Pan Tang and Thin Lizzy, but also Whitesnake on its self-titled and best-selling album from 1987.
Indeed, when Sykes left David Coverdale to go “solo” and subsequently formed his own “supergroup” Blue Murder with bassist Tony Franklin (The Firm) and drummer Carmine Appice (Cactus/King Kobra/Vanilla Fudge/etc.), and electing to perform the vocals and (of course) all the lead and rhythm guitar tracks himself, the band’s resulting debut album was nearly as impressive as the previous Whitesnake disc.
This collection features top-notch songwriting and musicianship (look no further than outstanding tracks such as “Billy,” “Valley of the Kings,” “Riot,” and “Ptolemy”), and a production quality (thanks to famed producer Bob Rock) that proved awesome, as near to flawless as one might expect of a group that possessed finances and connections beyond compare, and again easily rivaling the Whitesnake album on which Sykes had appeared.
Therefore, fans of Hard Rock, guitar aficionados, and (especially) lovers of Whitesnake’s 1987 album will likely not be disappointed in this release, which is perhaps not only one of the best platters to have emerged in the late ’80s, but in Sykes’s entire catalogue of work.