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Billy The Kid - 1985 Sworn To Fun

ARTIST: Billy The Kid
ALBUM: Sworn To Fun
YEAR: 1985


LINEUP: Stephen Fredrick - vocals * Billy L'Kidd Murray - guitars, vocals * Jeffrey Velvet - bass, vocals * Randy Delay - drums, vocals

Guests: Pat Regan - keyboards * Liord Nakcor, Jude Cole, Bob Gianetti, Duane Baron, Alex Woltman - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 When Hell Freezes Over * 02 Rock You Up * 03 Fear No Evil * 04 Prelude * 05 Go For Your Guns * 06 Even The Score * 07 Heart Of Steel * 08 Woman Of Sin * 09 Plenty * 10 Off With Her Head

'Sworn to fun' alright! These guys are party metal to a tee. Taking a good dose of King Kobra and mixing it with melodic strains of Malice (albeit a lighter version thereof), the band appeal on a number of fronts. The band, taking their name from their guitarist, started life in the backblocks of Kentucky during 1984, and within a year had secured a deal with MCA Records. Noted producer Duane Baron came in to peddle the dials, and bought in studio hound Pat Regan to round out the sound with keyboards. The band were obviously aiming at the same territory occupied by the likes of Ratt, Autograph, King Kobra and Keel. At the time of its release 'Sworn To Fun' flew so low under the radar you have to wonder whether MCA were doing any promotion for it at all. The same could be said for the criminally under-achieving album on the same label and same year - Fortune!

The Songs
Admittedly this is an album I haven't listened to for a while, and only in the course of this review have I sat down and given it a good 'going over'.. and I come away impressed. Check out the excellent King Kobra riffing on 'Go For Your Guns, probably the best track on the album. Keeping it in a similar vein is the equally riffy 'Even the Score', not unlike Georgia rockers Fortnox. Other good contenders are the commercial metal of 'When Hell Freezes Over' and the stylish 'Rock You Up', containing a flurry of nifty guitar-runs from Billy Murray. Mostly though, if you listen to this as if you were listening to King Kobra's debut 'Ready To Strike', then you'll be in hog-heaven!

In Summary
The album is melodic, full of hooks and energy, and one assumes Billy The Kid would've sounded and looked the part in the live environment. Due to lack of promotion, the album hit the bargain bins very quickly, the band chucking it in soon after. In the where-are-they-now stakes, only Stephen Fredrick has moved onto anything significant; singing with Kenziner and Firewind. For their shortlived status, Billy The Kid is a fun party-metal listen.. Fans of 'Ready To Strike' era King Kobra should snap this up..

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#1 | rkbluez on August 13 2011 02:08:36
Great record would love to see this come out on CD...a perfect candidate for a Rock Candy reissue...this one kick ass and had a great production.
#2 | super80boy on February 07 2015 15:30:54
Agreed as well, this is absolutely a fine contender for a reissue by the excellent Rock Candy label. There's a bunch of riff heavy melodic hard rockers on tap here.

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