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Doc Holliday - 1986 Danger Zone




ARTIST: Doc Holliday
ALBUM: Danger Zone
LABEL: Metal Masters
SERIAL: METALP 113
YEAR: 1986
CD REISSUE: 2001, Halcyon Music, 4042588 00006

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Bruce Brookshire - vocals, guitars * Ric Skelton - guitars * John Samuelson - bass * Eddie Stone - keyboards * Tony Cooper - piano * Jamie Deckhard - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Danger Zone * 02 Ready To Burn * 03 Redneck Rock n Roll Band * 04 Run To Me * 05 Southern Girls * 06 Automatic Girl * 07 Tijuana Motel * 08 Thunder And Lightning, Into The Night * 09 All The Right Moves * 10 Easy Goin' Up * 11 Redneck Rock n Roll Band (Live) * 12 Rollin' And Tumblin' (Live)

WEBLINKS: www.dochollidayband.com


Background
After an excellent pair of pure Southern records in 1980 debut 'Doc Holliday' and 1981's 'Doc Holliday Rides Again', Doc Holliday disappointed their loyal fanbase by including AOR elements to third album, 1983's 'Modern Medicine'. With other artists like Blackfoot, .38 Special and Molly Hatchet doing the same thing at this point in time Doc Holliday could hardly be criticised for this musical switch. Having not heard this particular album it's hard for me to speculate whether the change in direction worked, but titles like 'No Relation To Love', Rock City' and 'You Turn Me On' suggest it did! (err.. no it didn't unfortunately Alun.. Ed) However the albums failure caused the band to split for several years, the majority of critics and fans feeling the band betrayed themselves. When they returned in 1986 elements of the AOR style remained, gloriously so, while the Southern sound returned in unanimous fashion. This time the results were positive from all sides, the album a critical success and a time capsule of 80's melodic precision.


The Songs
The albums prime AOR cut is reserved for the opener, the title track, a superior slice of desperate AOR, with typical lyrics about the threat of nuclear war, so common during the period. This track actually makes the album worth picking up alone, an indicator of how memorable it is. 'Ready To Burn' sees Brookshire adopting some Billy Idol like vocals, a strange twist, and as a whole the song is modeled after Idol, only more pure in its hard rock approach than his new wave musical backing. 'Redneck Rock And Roll Band' is a return to the bands Southern roots, with Lynyrd Skynyrd influenced backing vocals and piano work the crux of the track. Personally the AOR takes my fancy more than this. Mixing up both genres is 'Run To Me', although the melody is more AOR pronounced. 'Southern Girls' speaks for itself, but it constantly reminds me of 80's pop hit 'Futures So Bright (I Gotta Wear Shades)'. That's not entirely bad.....'Automatic Girl' is a standout AOR piece, leaning towards Ricky Medlocke vocals and Blackfoot's 1987 period, which would indicate Medlocke may have copied Holliday! 'Thunder And Lightning/Into The Night' is a seven minute onslaught, with a slow first three minutes that evolves into Whitesnake based hard rock with a brisk pace. Brookshire's Coverdale vocals are dead on and again I suspect old David may have borrowed this style for '1987'! Equally as impressive is the bold 'All The Right Moves' with a chorus that Warrant surely nicked for 'Cherry Pie', it's that similar! This is party rock on a grand scale, far better than many of the acts who consciously pursued that genre. 'Easy Goin' Up' is a short Southern number with shades of Point Blank's more gentle acoustic moments of the 1976-77 years. A shame this was kept short as the atmosphere is stifling.


In Summary
'Danger Zone' has been available for a few years on CD now, and believe me you could do a lot worse. The band continues to this day, with Brookshire, Sameulson and Stone from this lineup, with the band in huge demand in Germany, who seem more receptive to classic Southern rock than most countries. The bands AOR days have been numbered since 'Danger Zone', but this gives an insight into some remarkable ability at constructing tight melodies and hooklines. The band obviously felt it wasn't their natural calling, but weren't the 80's all about slick arrangements? This doesn't prevent 'Danger Zone' from being occasionally very heavy either. Highly recommended.


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