Warpipes – Holes in the Heavens [1991]


While playing alongside other artists such as Meat Loaf and Alice Cooper during the late ’70s and early ’80s, underrated and terrific Scottish guitarist Davey Johnstone is mostly known for being Elton John’s main six-string man. Around 1990, Johnstone started his own band named WARPIPES together with singer & lyricist Billy Trudel (later in Public Domain) who went on to sing backup for Elton as well, completing the line up with… two members of Elton John’s band too; keyboardist Guy Babylon and bassist Bob Birch.

In 1991, WarPipes released their only album ‘Holes In The Heavens’ to much critical acclaim on Davey Johnstone’s self-owned label Artful Balance Records. But the label folded not so long after, and the disc become almost impossible to find. Fortunately, this great record was rescued in 2000 by Bridge Records in a revamped re-release simply entitled “War Pipes” (this time separated words). But it was really different from the original.

Three new tracks were added; “Little Persuader”, “Dust On My Boots” and “One Love True”, while the track “Satellite City” from the original edition was deleted. Also features a re-arranged tracklist and completely new artwork.

‘Holes In The Heavens’ / ‘War Pipes’ was the vehicle for Davey Johnstone to rock, and rock intensively. Don’t expect Elton-like poppy tunes here, this is a terrific melodic hard rock album with a bluesy foundation in the vein of Walk On Fire, YA YA or Walk The Wire, this meaning: high quality AORish Melodic Rock of the highest order.

Not only Billy Trudel vocals are pure gold in a Steve Perry / Moon Calhoun style (Trudel was booked by Michael Thompson in an earlier version of MTB), also Davey Johnstone’s toneful, clean, killer sound & pickin’ are to die for. I can’t find a weak song of this superbly produced album, that worth your attention and being a part of your collection…

Band Members
Billy Trudel – Lead vocals
Davey Johnstone – Guitars, mandolin, backing vocals
Guy Babylon – Keyboards
Bob Birch – Bass, sax
Nigel Olsson – Drums, backing vocals

01. Rock ‘N Roll Condition
02. Mr. 2 U
03. Tear Jerker
04. Son of a Loaded Gun
05. Holes in the Heavens
06. Back A’Ma Buick
07. Duty to Dance
08. Divided Heart
09. Satellite City
10. Goodbye Kemosabe


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Warpipes - Holes in the Heavens [1991], 7.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings