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Articles Home » 1994 Articles » Wetton, John - 1994 Battle Lines
Wetton, John - 1994 Battle Lines

ARTIST: Wetton, John
ALBUM: Voice Mail (Battle Lines)
LABEL: JWL/Cromwell
YEAR: 1994


LINEUP: John Wetton - vocals, bass, accoustic guitar, keyboards * Bob Marlette - keyboards, grand piano, snythesizers * Michael Landau, Steve Lukather, Robert Fripp - guitars * Claude Gaudette, Jed Leiber - keyboards * Robbie Buchanan - grand piano * Simon Phillips, Michael Cartellone - drums * Dave Boruff - alto saxophone

TRACK LISTING: 01 Right Where I Wanted To Be * 02 Battle Lines * 03 Jane * 04 Crime Of Passion * 05 Sand In My Hand * 06 Sea Of Mercy * 07 Hold Me Now * 08 Space And Time * 09 Walking On Air * 10 You're Not The Only One


Here is a guy who I admire tremendously for his contribution to the melodic and progressive rock spectrum (or is that spectra!), both as a bassist and as a singer. John has a great sense of melody and his voice hits the right spot for me. Some people have called his voice very one-dimensional, but I can tell you, those people probably have one-dimensional hearing, or they're listening to someone else! For this incredible slice of AOR he went over to the States and hooked up with some of the best in the biz. 'Battle Lines' as an album has more in keeping with his work with Asia, rather than any leanings toward his progressive roots. The whole affair is very radio oriented, and when you have guys like Bob Marlette, producer Ron Nevison and mixer Chris Lord-Alge at the helm, you just know there are gonna be no 7 minute stretchmarks onboard. No siree, just full on AOR.

The Songs
For starters, the opener 'Right Where I Wanted To Be' is a great way to fire up. When you get to listen to 'Jane', you know this album is gonna be something special. An awesome piece of AOR. You'd have to say 'Sea Of Mercy' is very close to perfection too. However, my own personal favourites are the pair of 'Space And Time' and the keyboard-tastic 'Walking On Air', ooh this is me!! The super ballad 'Hold Me Now' is about as impassioned as you can be without buying the entire share float for the Snowtex Tissue Company! Bruce Turgon (Warrior, Shadowking, Foreigner) contributes a co-write with the catchy 'Sand In My Hand', with an especially rich chorus. The title track 'Battle Lines' is heartfelt to the point of being patriotic, while the last track 'You're Not The Only One' is the closest to being similar to an Asia track.

In Summary
During the 90's John has released a handful of albums, including 'Sinister', 'Arkangel', and 'Live - Chasing The Dragon'. I'm sure a lot of us are keenly interested in his discography, and for US readers in particular who may not be aware of this album, you should be looking for it now.

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#1 | rostoned on April 28 2008 14:22:25
Superb release, great great songwriting and production on this. His best since Asia's debut and some tracks on 'Astra'. Classic stuff
#2 | Jez on June 14 2008 16:18:35
A great great album and without a doubt JW's best studio album (amongst the millions of live albums). Straight down the line AOR is what you get here, slickly produced and played by a list of musos to die for (The God Lukather is on here, so it must be good). Hard to pick a favourite on this one, but if you force me 'Sea Of Mercy' just nicks it by a whisker. Following albums were good (except the very average 'Sinister') but nowhere near this one. Mighty mighty fine my friends.
#3 | roadrunner158 on September 06 2011 11:42:40
One word: amazing!
#4 | dude24 on August 18 2017 22:04:18
My favorite solo album by John. Great songs and production.
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