Brian McDonald Group – Desperate Business [1987]


Need to write a review? Not at all… Any serious AOR / Melodic Rock fan MUST have this one, but for those who don’t have it lets take a briefly review.
Brian McDonald has released three albums as a solo artist. “Desperate Business” is the first out of these releases and was originally released in 1987 via Sony Music. This album impressively reflects the AOR sound of the 80s and awakens memories on the great Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and Winger in the early years.

The rest of the band composed by Will Hodges on guitars, drummer D.W. Adams and bassist Andrew G. Wilkins, while Brian used his keyboard skills in this work. Majestically produced by Beau Hill, with guest appearance of Winger’s Reb Beach on guitar solos and Fiona singing backing vocals on “These Are The Good Times”. Catchy rhythm songs, suberb choruses, fantastic melodies and a keyboard driven sound are the trademarks of this album.

The light and yet very catchy “No Control” opens this record giving you a first taste of what will follow. I already feel a lively sense of the era. From the second track “These Are the Good Times” it gets more hardrockera the style of the above groups, with great guitar riffs and impressive depth of chorus. “This Lonely Heart” is a power ballad piano enters the prelude with a fantastic melody. In fact that song has to be an all time great AOR tune. Its a little similar to the Winger debut but with more keys. The cool and rockin’ “Life Is a Desperate Business” is a mix of pop and hard close to Def Leppard style with a great guitar solo in the miidle. Feel of being made well though out.

Mood is a glamorous royal road in “Back Home Again” with nice and power chorus while on “Rockin’ With the Boys” the Def Leppard style shows for once again, but catchy enough that you still with it. My personal anthem has a name and that’s “Just Imagination”. Tons of keys, great melody with a powerful and very catchy chorus will take your heart away, and the ballad “Stay With Me” is the icing on the cake. Is such a sweet song that almost make you feel he is whispering it into your ear. On “Everynight” although the song is close to pop style, has an impressive and exhilarating catchy chorus. Then comes the pure sound close to Van Halen “Highway Desire”, where guitars and keys merge well with big hooks and powerful vocals. Youth are feeling me.

If you’re looking for a long-lost AOR gem from the 80s then you’ve just found it. An Amazing album…this is the kind of releases that you need to have in your collection no matter what!…

Band Members
Brian McDonald – Vocals, keyboards
Will Hodges – Guitars, vocals
D.W. Adams – Drums, percussion, vocals
Andrew G. Wilkins – Bass

Additional Musicians
Reb Beach – Guitars
Fiona – Backing vocals

1. No Control
2. These Are the Good Times
3. This Lonely Heart
4. Life Is a Desperate Business
5. Back Home Again
6. Rockin’ With the Boys
7. Just Imagination
8. Stay With Me
9. Everynight
10. Highway Desire



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Brian McDonald Group - Desperate Business [1987], 10.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings