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Articles Home » 1982 Articles » Alkatrazz - 1982 Radio 5
 
Alkatrazz - 1982 Radio 5



ARTIST: Alkatrazz
ALBUM: Radio 5
LABEL: RCA
SERIAL: RCA LP 3066, PL 25414
YEAR: 1982

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Craig Stevens - vocals * Bob Jenner - guitars, vocals * Gary Bevan - bass * Nicko Parsons - drums, percussion, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Blinded * 02 Blame It On The Night * 03 Long Time No Love * 04 Halfway There * 05 Short Change * 06 Think It Over * 07 Communication * 08 Save My Heart * 09 So Hard * 10 Miles Away


Background
I'm ashamed to say I have never heard the Alkatrazz debut 'Young Blood' which seems to be widely considered an NWOBHM classic. Personally I find it hard to believe listening to this, the group's second album 'Radio 5' that Alkatrazz could find themselves in the same league as Iron Maiden, Angelwitch, and Samson, although the band found themselves on the road with the latter group in support of the first album, guilt by association perhaps? I'll look around for a copy of 'Young Blood' and it will all make sense I hope, but in the meantime, let's listen in on 'Radio 5'- one of the better early 80's British AOR albums.


The Songs
How can you criticize a band that has the good taste to cover Fandango's 'Blame It on the Night?' That's right, and while it's a bit rougher than the original version, it's a decent effort. 'Long Time No Love' and 'Half Way There' will have Grand Prix fans taking notice and really the only track that bears any similarity to the scene the band are so often lumped in with is 'Short Change', a fast paced rocker with similarities to Gaskin and Praying Mantis. 'Side two's 'Think It Over' has a huge hook and should have been released as single. If not, shame on RCA! The final tune 'Miles Away' is the real surprise on 'Radio 5'. Here the band go completely pop and quirky complete with sax solo, a good indication of where their hearts probably were. Alkatrazz were definitely not part of the denim and leather crowd and 'Radio 5' is a keeper for melodic rock fans of all stripes.


In Summary
Supposedly Alkatrazz recorded a BBC session, but by this time the band were on their last breath and split up a short time later. It was a bit surprising this record never made a domestic U.S release, although the album was pretty easy to find as an import which was how I secured my copy. It would be nice to see a CD reissue of this gem, it's certainly worthy and maybe the BBC sessions as bonus tracks please?


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Comments
#1 | rkbluez on July 07 2012 11:13:09
Another killer UK melodic hard rock band that had it all...good songs ...good production...it is hard to believe this one was never officially released in the US...I scored and import copy and play it to death...agree with Eric fans of bands like Grand Prix and even Tobruk will find something to like here...this one has Rock Candy written all over it...over to them.
#2 | super80boy on February 27 2016 17:21:46
'Blame It On The Night' and 'Blinded' are excellent songs along with the rocking 'Short Change', which has that catchy as hell chorus and big riffing guitars - a solid way to end Side 1. Totally agree on the single worthy 'Think It Over'. Another standout has to be 'Communication' with the added sound effects for good measure. Closer 'Miles Away' does definitely change things up with the employment of a saxophone and a power pop vibe, but stays in the AOR wheelhouse. A great album all around.
#3 | dangerzone on August 31 2016 16:58:13
'Young Blood' has some excellent moments, a good mixture of traditional heavy metal with more melodic inspired fare that sounds .38 Special inspired. A shame they never followed through on the promise of these albums.
 
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