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Articles Home » 1977 Articles » Billion Dollar Babies - 1977 Battle Axe
Billion Dollar Babies - 1977 Battle Axe

ARTIST: Billion Dollar Babies
ALBUM: Battle Axe
LABEL: Polydor
SERIAL: PD-1-6100
YEAR: 1977


LINEUP: Michael Bruce - lead vocals, guitar * Mike Marconi - lead guitar, vocals * Bob Dolin - keyboards, synthesizers, vocals * Dennis Dunaway - bass, vocals * Neal Smith - drums, percussion, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Too Young * 02 Shine Your Love * 03 I Miss You * 04 Wasn't I The One * 05 Love Is Rather Blind * 06 Rock N Roll Radio * 07 Dance With Me * 08 Rock Me Slowly * 09 Ego Mania * 10 Battle Axe - Sudden Death * 11 Winner

Three members of the Alice Cooper Group say bye-bye to mister nice guy and attempt to go it alone with a half baked hard rock album while still attached at the hip to Cooper's manager - Leo Fenn who in the end would be part of their downfall. Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway and Neal Smith certainly had some good ideas with a conceptual stage design and a screenplay written with the album in mind (by Fenn no less), but the record sold less than zero and heading out on the road topping the bill with UFO and Charlie as support lasted just a week with a handful of dates before the band split never to be heard from again. Never believe your own hype.

The Songs
Don't get me wrong, there are some good tunes here and side one starts out promisingly with 'Too Young' and 'Shine Your Love', both fine period rock tunes typical of '77, but from here on 'Battle Axe' heads south rather quickly and it becomes apparent the production isn't what it should be. In fact, I absolutely hate the guitar sound on this record. Thin and painful to the ears, guitarist Mike Marconi seriously needed his riffs beefed up and vocalist Michael Bruce who sounds like he's singing in the studio basement at times doesn't do much for me either. Although I can probably lay both issues at the feet of producer Lee DeCarlo (Foot In Cold Water, Kenny Loggins, Quiet Riot), I wonder if the band were even present during the mix and if so, what were they snorting? Side two never rises from the muck either although the sub standard Uriah Heep meets Styx influenced title track does have its moments in an endearing 'Spinal Tap' way, it's by no means good enough to save this lackluster record.

In Summary
It appears I am in the minority when it comes to 'Battle Axe' since scanning the web reveals there is plenty out there who don't share my opinion. The label Burning Airlines whose releases were questionable at best, put out a three CD set a few years back with new artwork, the original album, demos and out takes as well as a live recording from the first date of their disastrous tour in Flint, Michigan. Out of print, it goes for silly money on eBay for those who are gluttons for punishment I imagine.

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#1 | gdazegod on January 02 2010 13:29:38
This album was released as a Russian bootleg in 2004, on a label called COE Records.
#2 | super80boy on January 20 2013 19:51:18
Just picked this one up based on the obscurity value of it. Also, pretty cool album jacket artwork. Not too bad with some decent melodic hard rock moments as you pointed out above. Worth the modest prices it now commands.
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