21 Guns – Salute [1992]

21_GUNS_SCountry USA          

Style Hard Rock

Rating 91/100

Band Members Leif Johansen – Bass,Keyboards,Backing Vocals, Mike Sturgis – Drums,Percussion, Scott Gorham – Guitars,Backing Vocals, Thomas La Verdi – Lead Vocals

Tracks 01. Knee Deep (4:06), 02. These Eyes (4:18), 03. Walking (3:46), 04. Marching In Time (4:07), 05. The Rain (4:30), 06. Little Sister (4:14), 07. Pays Off Big (4:25), 08. Just A Wish (4:11), 09. Battered And Bruised (3:12), 10. Jungleland (5:11), 11. Tell Me (4:25), 12. No Way Out (4:28)

Profile 21 GUNS was the project of ex-Thin Lizzy excellent guitarist Scott Gorham, which started under the Western Front name in the second half of the eighties. During his recording contribution to Project Phenomena, Gorham met bass/drum players Leif Johansen and Mike Sturgis (ex A-Ha, Far Corporation) and 21 Guns finally get glued. For the singer slot, Sturgis called the wonderful Tommy La Verdi (ex-A440, a cult lite AOR band) who impressed him years before when A440 opened for A-Ha in one of their American tours.

Signed by a major label, 21 Guns debut “Salute” arrived in 1992 delivering a fantastic slice of polished Melodic Rock / AOR. This CD is among my Top 50 favorites of all time in these genres, a true GEM. No fillers, just killers: just listen the kickin’ opener “Knee Deep”, the huge “These Eyes” or the melodic jewel “Marching In Time”. If you like high class ballads you have the grandiose AOR of “Tell Me”, and then “Just A Wish” is just PERFECTION with Capitals. I love this tune, it’s simply irresistible. If you need more uptempo hard rockers, Gorham gets loose on “Battered And Bruised”, “Little Sister” and “Walking” for good measure. Oh, and I can’t forget another pearl: the midtempo “Jungleland” is bloody awesome, remembering another band who released other delicious album that year; Neal Schon’s Hardline.

The Japanese edition of this golden recording includes two bonus tracks; “Cold Heart” and “Blood Gone Bad”, both from the final recording sessions and with the same glossy, first class production. These tracks were later included in the second album of the band, but in demo versions.  In short: “Salute” is Essential…

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