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Articles Home » 1986 Articles » Virginia Wolf - 1986 Virginia Wolf
Virginia Wolf - 1986 Virginia Wolf

ARTIST: Virginia Wolf
ALBUM: Virginia Wolf
LABEL: Atlantic
SERIAL: 782274
YEAR: 1986
CD REISSUE: 2010, Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY069
SPONSOR: Rock Candy Records


LINEUP: Chris Ousey - vocals * Nick Bold - guitars * Jo Burt - bass * Jason Bonham - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Are We Playing With Fire? * 02 Make It Tonight * 03 Only Love * 04 It's In Your Eyes * 05 Waiting For The Love * 06 Livin' On A Knife Edge * 07 For All We Know * 08 Don't Run Away * 09 Take A Chance * 10 Goodbye Don't Mean Forever

Virginia Wolf were an English band, originating from Manchester. Initially starting out with founder Nick Bold as far back as 1977. Bold hooked up with singer Chris Ousey, and over the space of several years, developed the Virginia Wolf concept as a quality melodic rock band. Modelling their style on the likes of US heroes Foreigner and Bad Company, Virginia Wolf's strengths lay in well developed songwriting capabilities. The last two members to join the fold were bassist Joseph Burt and Jason Bonham (son of Led Zeppelin legend John Bonham), who had previously come off a stint with the highly promising but ultimately disappointing (and disappearing) Airrace.

The Songs
The debut which was released in 1986 was co-produced by Roger Taylor (the drummer from Queen), and David Richards. Without doubt it contains some classic moments. Tell me that 'Living On A Knife Edge' is one of the best AOR songs ever to come out of the UK during the eighties? You can tack on 'Only Love', with a superb bridge and chorus section, with some memorable lead-in lyrics..'we've been down this road so long.. so many times, we've been here where angels fear to tread..' As well as that, we get many other highlights.. 'Are We Playing With Fire?' for example, is full of youthful exuberance, followed soon after by the melodically driven but regimented beat of 'Make It Tonight'. It's In Your Eyes' is the sort of dreamy ballad ideal for radio. Another of my fave tracks is the booming 'Waiting For Your Love', love those drums Jason! 'For All We Know' is another pitch at pure AOR, with guest musician Spike Edney's keyboards all over this one!

In Summary
In support of the album, the band toured the US with The Firm, then ended up in San Fransisco recording their follow-up album 'Push'. Released a year later, 'Push' was another underrated effort, smooth AOR with Kevin Elson at the helm. Some wonderful material abounds on that effort too. The sound was slightly different than the first, a more mature approach taken. However, as history shows, the people at Atlantic were less than accommodating, hoping instead for a continuation of the material from the debut, Hence Virginia Wolf were denied any chance of a continued record deal. Despite that though, this LP would eventually see a substantial CD reissue in 2010 thanks to Rock Candy Records.

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#1 | george_the_jack on June 01 2008 16:59:27
All time Classic! Pure majesty! My words are poor here! This album is a living experience of traveling into time and melody.Maybe my all time favourite album! Listen to ''Are we Playing with fire'', ''Knife Edge''(AOR Hymn), ''Make It Tonight'' A whole 10 OUT OF 10 and a special place in my heart!!
#2 | Jez on June 13 2008 11:27:56
Classic 80's Brit aor featuring the mighty Chris Ousey on vocals and Jason Bonham on drums and a smooth production by Queens Roger Taylor. Loved this album when it first came out and still love it to this day.10 brilliant songs and not one filler, which is a rarity in itself these days.Top tracks for me are 'Make It Tonight' 'Livin' On A Knife Edge' and the mega 'Goodbye Don't Mean Forever'.
#3 | george_the_jack on June 24 2008 00:25:58
Chris Ousey is the man. One of my best -5 rock voices of all time. His career did not grow as he deserved because of the circumstances. A seriously overlooked rock throat!
#4 | reyno-roxx on July 21 2008 13:59:28
Saw them live a few times. Very good band. Much better than the bunch of jokers with the same band name who released a couple of singles a few years earlier. They were one of the most odd bands I'd ever seen.
#5 | rkbluez on December 13 2009 23:56:50
Great album I agree with everyone else here...classic aor rock as good as it gets...both albums (CD's) are essential collectors items IMO.
#6 | rostoned on January 07 2010 18:01:22
much better this than the follow up 'Push', which apart for 2 great songs (one outstanding!) was a lacklustre, wimp radio friendly pop rock with mediocre songs and a production by Kevin Elson done probably with his left hand. this instead is turgid aor/melodic rock chock full of excellent songs and sporting an amazing production by Roger Taylor and David Richards.

All in all IMHO Jason Bonham should have never played AOR or light melodic rock like Airrace or Virginia Wolf, it just doesn't suit his Bonhamesque sound, but I understand musically this was the soup of the day before the resurgence of Led Zeppelin influenced hard rock at the tail end of the 80s. Then he 'exploded' with Bonham...then imploded....Frown
#7 | george_the_jack on July 02 2013 20:00:48
I've been revisiting this beauty the last couple (or three days) and all I have to say is that it still remains my very favourite AOR record ever and second to none! The day before yesterday, I got myself to see Chris Ousey live fronting Snakecharmer. At last a dream came true for me and I wish you all to get to see this guy performing live one day if you haven't yet. He left me speechless and I was expecting he would. He doesn't seem to have lost any magic throughout the years. You really can't believe this POWERFULL voice comes from the inside of that little man... In all honesty,he puts Coverdale of the last couple of decades to shame especially when it comes to any Whitesnake song from the early days. World Class singer by all means!
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