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Xavion - 1984 Burnin' Hot



ARTIST: Xavion
ALBUM: Burnin' Hot
LABEL: Asylum
SERIAL: 60375-1
YEAR: 1984

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Dexter Haygood - vocals * Kevan Williams - guitars * Johnnie Woods, Derwin S Adams - keyboards * Skip Johnson - bass * Michael Tucker - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Eat Your Heart Out * 02 Burnin' Hot * 03 Don't Let It Go To Your Head * 04 Self Built Hell * 05 Tell Me * 06 Love Games * 07 Can't Get My Connection * 08 You're My Type * 09 Get Me Hot


Background
If the 'Artist Formerly Known As Prince' (Prince Nelson to you and I) was ever to explore his 'Purple Rain' style again, and display his chops, then his first reference call would be this lot.. Xavion. A hard rock band with Black Americans in the personnel, these guys are hardly as wimpy as De Barge, nor as heavy as Sound Barrier, but they do look kinda cool on the back cover, if slightly unorthodox. With two keyboardists in the band the arrangements come across as hi-tech, the drums in particular have that cursed Phil Collins/Genesis 80's electronic flavour. A victim of the 80's huh? Signed to Asylum (part of the Elektra family), Xavion secured the services of Chris Lord-Alge to produce the album, so no expense has been spared.



The Songs
'Eat Your Heart Out' is the first track, and is a great introduction. Big sounding, a recurring keyboard theme, and a stinging solo from Kevan Williams. That Prince comparison kicks in on the chorus of the title track 'Burnin' Hot', but the heavier application that Xavion give it (particularly the dive-bombing and fret tapping antics of Williams), makes that a fleeting comparison at best. The drum sound you last heard on that Fierce Heart album reappears on 'Don't Let It Go To Your Head'. 'Self Built Hell' is one of the least interesting tracks here, with 'Tell Me' not far behind. The latter is high on zany keyboards and an over-use of percussion, but the brief solo from Williams lifts it a notch. When the keyboards take prominence, a track like 'Love Games' comes across as AOR. On the other hand, when the drums and percussion are blasted into hyperdrive as with 'Can't Get My Connection', it is a stark reminder of what over-produced 80's rock was all about. 'You're My Type' is similar hi-tech hi-jinks, with the robotic effects. The voices in a heavily accented British upper-class style is a bit of a hoot in this song. The album finishes up with the ironically named 'Get Me Hot' which unfortunately is only lukewarm..


In Summary
Predictably this didn't get very far (didn't even get into the ghettos I would suspect..). Back then, Black Americans playing hard rock would seem as ludicrous as Borat posing nude for Penthouse (perish the thought!!!). Notwithstanding, the band had talent and earned a few brownie points in the International HM Encyclopedia, though the comparison to Mothers Finest is a little bit off-beam. Xavion come well recommended. Seek it out if you can.


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This article has been tagged
Tags: Xavion 
 
Comments
#1 | rkbluez on July 11 2013 01:42:29
Always liked this album...black or white these guys rocked...did this one from vinyl.
#2 | gdazegod on July 11 2013 02:38:26
Gotta love the moustaches huh? lol!@
 
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