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Articles Home » 1978 Articles » Lucifers Friend - 1978 Good Time Warrior
Lucifers Friend - 1978 Good Time Warrior

ARTIST: Lucifers Friend
ALBUM: Good Time Warrior
LABEL: Elektra
SERIAL: 6E-159
YEAR: 1978
CD REISSUE: 2007, Elektra, 6E-159


LINEUP: Mike Starrs - vocals * Peter Hesslein - guitar, backing vocals * Peter Hecht - keyboards * Dieter Horns - bass, backing vocals * Herbert Bornhold - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Old Man Roller * 02 Meet You In L.A * 03 My Love * 04 Good Times * 05 Little Dancer * 06 Sweet Little Lady * 07 Gamblin' Man * 08 Warriors

Over the years, German rockers could hardly be accused of one dimensional. Since their 1970 origins, the band have chopped and changed styles like a supermodel at a fashion shoot. They could hardly be described as fashionable either, their sound making it difficult for fans to grasp onto. Their earlier years were a mix of British styled HM a la Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep and Led Zeppelin. Their next few albums during the early-mid 70's were a hash-mash of psychedelic, progressive and jazz fusion styles. Acclaimed vocalist John Lawton left the band in 1976 to take a role with Uriah Heep, appearing on their 'Innocent Victim' LP in 1977. Lucifers Friend bought in former Colosseum II singer Mike Starrs, and thus began a new phase in LF's fortunes. For the late 70's period, the band moved into a commercial environment, mixing radio rock, AOR and pop - perhaps similar to what Uriah Heep were trying to achieve. Radio was an interesting beast back in the era, with bands changing tack to sail upon the winds of the AM/FM frequency.

The Songs
1978's 'Good Time Warrior' and 1980's 'Sneak Me In' were the result of LF's move into melodic climes, and though it may have sold earlier fans down the proverbial 'dunny', it picked up many newer fans from the pop, radio and hard rock fraternity. Much has been said of Starrs replcaing Lawton, but IMO he suits the music well. It's late 70's radio fodder, mixing up the likes of Brits Charlie and fellow Germans Lake to a tee! Opening out with 'Old Man Roller', it's a fun time jaunt, probably like nothing they've ever done before! Venturing further down the 'pop' road is the sunny sounding 'Meet You In L.A'. By now, long time fans are holding their head in their hands.. what on earth is going on here? lol! 'My Love' is the archetypal ballad on the album, with Starr doing a good job with his soaring vocal. The Supertramp meets Charlie pomp rock of 'Good Times' is a winning combination for me. The energetic 'Little Dancer' is a nifty pop rocker with a certain boogie quota added in for good measure. Peter Hecht gets the synths and keys cranked up on 'Sweet Little Lady' taking his queue from Heep's Ken Hensley and Manfred Mann's Earth Band. A great song! High rollers are on the prowl, as 'Gamblin' Man' plays to win.. musically speaking. Another pure 70's era rocker. 'Warriors', at a touch over 10 minutes is the longest track here, and is quite a pleasant musical experience, despite the lyrics talk of war. Actually, it sounds like a tale of olde worlde pirates, because they talk of sailing (through the night), the Spanish Main, and having won and lost many battles. Hmmm.. As the song wafts through several contrasting passages, it does eventually lift up it heels. The gang busting chants through the middle sound rather Cossack like, one wonders whether this is a bunch of pirates having a good ol' jolly sing-a-long down at the nearest Port Royal Pub!

In Summary
The band would continue on in this commercial style for the next few years. Even 1981's 'Mean Machine' contained elements of their melodic stance, but by this stage Starrs had moved on with Lawton returning to resume the vocal duties he exited five years earlier. Lawton had actually released a solo album in 1980 called 'Heartbeat', which may as well be considered a Lucifers Friend LP, as the band lineup on 'Sneak Me In' played on the album. The band split up in 1982, Lawton going on to another German/British combo called Rebel. They did reform in the 90's for the excellent 'Sumogrip' album. Lucifers Friend are a good band, with their three albums during 1978-1981 (include also the 'Heartbeat' LP from Lawton), along with 1994's 'Sumogrip' being compulsory additions to the collection. Their earlier stuff is also worth checking out, though you may need to keep an open mind considering the variety of styles on display.

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#1 | Eric on May 26 2008 13:58:49
Nice to see this here, a good record. Not surprising that Mike Starrs has now found a home in Lake!
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