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Articles Home » 1989 Articles » Tangier - 1989 Four Winds
Tangier - 1989 Four Winds

ARTIST: Tangier
ALBUM: Four Winds
SERIAL: 791 251-1 (LP), 791 251-2 (CD)
YEAR: 1989
CD REISSUE: 2008, Wounded Bird, WOU 9125 * 2013, Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY218


LINEUP: Bill Mattson - vocals * Doug Gordon - guitars, vocals * Gari Saint - guitars, vocals * Gary Nutt - bass, vocals * Bobby Bender - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Ripcord * 02 Mississippi * 03 On The Line * 04 In Time * 05 Four Winds * 06 Fever For Gold * 07 Southbound Train * 08 Sweet Surrender * 09 Bad Girl * 10 Good Lovin'

Tangier, despite the name, are as far removed from North Africa as George W Bush is from reality. The band originate from Philadelphia, and were weaned on the same circuit that bands such as Cinderella, Britny Fox, Network and Hit The Ground Runnin' were. Through their lifetime, the band released three albums. The very hard to obtain self titled 'Tangier' LP from 1985 (released on Wolfe Records), this one 'Four Winds' which came out four years later on Derek Shulman's Atco Records, plus 1991's 'Stranded' also on Atco. Tom Keifer from Cinderella was a friend of the band and helped initiate some interest on their behalf. The band changed their sound and their lineup during these six years - perhaps changing style to suit the trend of the day, or maybe unsure as to what they wanted to be. Having listened to all three albums, I can say that the direction they pursued on 'Four Winds' was a winning combination. The transition from AOR to a melodic hard rock with a blusey twinge was an inspired move.. only really matched by Memphis outfit Tora Tora and New Jersey rockers Saraya at the time of its release. Twas a pity that the record/CD buying public of 1989 didn't quite pick up on these guys. My guess was they were still drunk on an excess of Def Leppard, Bon Jovi and Guns N Roses. From that earlier 1985 effort, only Bill Mattson and Doug Gordon remained, bringing in Gari Saint, and a new rhythm section of Gary Nutt and Bobby Bender. Noted British engineeer Andy Johns came in to produce the album. The connection to Tom Keifer and Cinderella was another obvious clue.

The Songs
The opening pulses of synthesizer makes way for the solid southern rock of 'Ripcord'. It's followed soon after by the smoky blues rocker 'Mississippi', another tremendous track. Some of you will have seen the video to 'On The Line', a great track for sure, allowing Mattson's Coverdale-esque voice to shine through. With a straight-forward and simplistic structure, 'In Time' is both compelling and effective, as is the title track 'Four Winds' which could be a doppleganger for an epic Molly Hatchet tune! The slide guitar is prominent on 'Fever For Gold', a tale of gold prospecting back in the day. 'Southbound Train' was the other video clip from the album, and you can see why as this one has a commerical edge. Tangier take on a different swing with 'Sweet Surrender', moving into fast-paced boogie territory. More good time rock n roll is displayed on 'Bad Girl', and to complete the album, a fantastic hard rocking tune called 'Good Lovin' is delivered with vim and vigour.

In Summary
'Four Winds' made it to 91 on the Billboard charts but that didn't exactly equate to a success story. By the time 1991's 'Stranded' made it out onto the streets, Bill Mattson and Gari Saint had departed for greener pastures. Tangier bought in Mike LeCompt as lead singer and guitarist, and despite another solid effort, the record buying public weren't convinced. For the history books let it be said that 'Four Winds' in the genre that it belongs in, is a terrific collection of tunes which combines melodic hard rock and blues to great effect. Though it isn't Whitesnake nor Pat Travers Band in their heyday, there is enough to suggest that if Tangier had been operating in this style ten years earlier, their destiny may have been quite a lot different.

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#1 | super80boy on January 01 1970 01:00:00
Tangier's line up and sound was revamped for this album. Their s/t private press debut is more straight ahead melodic rock focused. The adoption of commercial bluesy and Southern rock elements is a welcome change
#2 | bassdrum on January 29 2007 09:01:09
Awesome album. One of the best ever made. Fantasic vocal of Bill Mattson. Were is he now? What more has he done ? Fantastic southern, rock groove! Never tired of listning .The follow-up was a disappointment. Too much mainstream AOR .
#3 | Jokerdean on January 10 2008 20:48:13
Pretty good stuff here...a different slant on the Hair Metal sound..
I have all three of their releases and this is the best by far..
#4 | gdazegod on May 18 2013 08:32:55
Still give this album big wraps! Fantastic southern rock from Phillie!
#5 | reyno-roxx on May 08 2016 17:12:56
Prior to Tangier Bill Mattson was the frontman for the Dead End Kids, the most influential Philadelphia hard rock band of the late 70s/early 80s. He was pushed out of Tangier thanks to the same kind of label politics that had occurred just after Cinderella got signed.
#6 | gdazegod on May 10 2016 21:56:37
The Phillie scene was very active during the late 80's. Obviously Cinderella, The Hooters, Network, Heavens Edge, and a band called 18 Names, which featured female singer Karla Goldman, who went onto a solo album with Sisapa Records (also Paul Cotton) in 1990. A bloke called Scott Bender was also in 18 Names, I think he maybe related to Tangier's Bobby Bender..
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