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Articles Home » 1983 Articles » Rage (UK) - 1983 Run For The Night
 
Rage (UK) - 1983 Run For The Night



ARTIST: Rage (UK)
ALBUM: Run For The Night
LABEL: Carerre
SERIAL: 66046
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 2015, Rock Candy Records, CANDY262

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Dave Lloyd - vocals * Mick Devonport - lead and rhythm guitars * Terry Steers - rhythm guitars * Keith Mulholland - bass * John Mylett - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Cry From A Hill * 02 Fantasy * 03 Can't Say No * 04 Light Years * 05 Ladykiller * 06 No Prisoners * 07 Run For The Night * 08 Badlands * 09 Never Before * 10 Rock Fever

RATING:


Background
In my younger days, Rage had always been on my radar, after hearing them on the 'Tommy Vance Friday Rock Show' and adding the excellent tune 'Can't Say No' to my homemade compilation tapes. Other than that, just a little 7 inch picture disc of the song 'Bootliggers' my father brought back for me after a visit to the local WHSmith shop, (managed at the time by Dave Lewis, renowned Led Zeppelin biographer). My father would frequently visit the store on a Monday morning and pick up latest released picture discs knowing I would enjoy any if the group had shoulder length hair. It's a shame that the use of these limited editions have all but disappeared. This album released in 1983, was their third and final, and the feeling was that they were in the last chance saloon for the success. Released on the French label Carrere, where of course you could find Saxon and Stingray. Originally this UK group came from the ashes of the 70's favourites Nutz, which have already been covered by Eric and can be found in the 1974 reviews. It has always been difficult for British bands to succeed in the AOR territory, especially during the period this was released, the press being obsessed with Iron Maiden, anyone daring to offer anything new or melodic usually got a caning, remember the decline of Saxon and the pounding Def Leppard took when they set sail for the US. Although Rage was given every chance, they managed to secure a support position on the Meatloaf tour on the back of this album. However after this release and the subsequent tour, the group disappeared into the night. Seems they returned for a short tenure as Spitfire but I have drawn a blank if any output was released. Of course Dave Lloyd reappeared as a duo with Mark Thomas, to front 2AM, and released the highly rated 'Every Second Counts', in fact they also managed to secure a place on a UK tour supporting Chris Rea.


The Songs
Off and running with 'Cry From A Hill' (if I am to be honest it's more of a slow jog really), which would appeal to John Farnham followers and is similar to his biggest tune, 'You're The Voice'. You get the feeling that a battalion of Scots pipers are going to sound off, but thankfully we are spared the bagpipes. It's a somewhat brave beginning and still sounds good today. What's strange is that this track was written by Devonport, whilst this style would be taken further by Dave Lloyd with 2AM.

While 'Fantasy' has a real ring of Aldo Nova to it, and not just in the choice of song title, it contains a plectrum of keyboards and whilst the opening track was a quiet stroll, 'Fantasy' is much more straightforward AOR, bristling with delightful verses and a positive chorus. Melody displayed with pinpoint precision.

This just gets better with 'Can't Say No', as mentioned earlier, appearing on my homemade C60 cassette tape. (When radio was the only source of hearing new music). I feel this was the best song Rage ever committed to vinyl. You can see where fellow AORsters Tobruk got some of their ideas from, and may I be so bold as stating it was better than anything FM ever produced (bit of a low blow there!). However the group should not get all the credit, many of the best tunes here feature Steve Morris, he of Heartland, Export, Gillan and Shadowman fame. Actually Steve did his own version of this tune on the 1986 Export album 'Living In Fear Of The Private Eye'. Back to the track, well it dips and dives, providing all the hallmarks of an AOR classic. It sprints through every AOR clich‚ and has all the finer points to achieve a fine AOR moment.

'Lightyears' has a remarkable Roadmaster guitar opening and is very American. The pomp sound remains throughout the tune and is a change in style with more penetrating keyboards and a very relaxed feel. An excellent tune but like the whole album, it would benefit from a 'Rock Candy' remastering.

The good songs are spreading like wildfire and further eloquence is revealed, because next we have 'Ladykiller', clean cut opening with quality backing vocals that have been projected well, mixed with glacier clear guitar riffs. Quality is never amiss here, an absorbing tune throughout.

As with so many albums, the second side seems to lack a bit of bite. Although 'No Prisoners' is a fairly good melodic track with Foreigner style backing vocals that are quite pleasing that crop up at strategic points.

The title track is really the first ballad on this release. It's a rambling piece, initially led by piano but rarely catches fire. The album benefits from a pinch of variety but the saxophone solo drags the song down further till we reach mediocrity levels. It does remind me of another lost UK band, Kiss Of The Gypsy.

The final offerings may be beginning to show a lack of ideas, take a look at the titles to show the unimaginative tone, obviously a thesaurus was lacking or placed on the top shelf, gathering dust and out of everybody's reach.

'Badlands' is a low point, not just in songwriting but the structure and even the playing. The guitar screaming over the solo is the biggest culprit with the very simple drum patterns. It edges on Status Quo and Slade territory when really another AOR stomper positioned slap back in the middle of America is what's called for.

'Never Before', actually gets to the airport in an attempt to make the trans-atlantic crossing, but is more Huey Lewis inspired tahn anything else. The song is different and adds a nice break in the chorus (which actually has been popping in my head during the day a number of times!) that helps it being quite individual. It's just that the southern feel doesn't assist in reaching an optimum point, thus an average result again I'm afraid.

Bringing up the rear is 'Rock Fever', see what I mean about the titles, obviously Rage have been in discussions with Saxon. Quite ironic really as it has their label mates similar opening and continues as a NWOBHM track. While much of the bands early creative energies are on the wane, it's a more encouraging way to finish, a typical British attempt.


In Summary
'Run For The Night' is an album that showed a lot of promise, especially with the first six tracks, but didn't have enough real depth to push the group to the next stage. There are glimpses of quality but reminders of stagnation too (maybe I am being a bit harsh here). However I would have hoped, even at their age, that this album may have helped push them forward, building on this solid foundation to produce an amazing fourth album. Of course this wasn't to be. Many groups have used outside writers in the past and as a result the essence of the band has been lost, but in this instance the introduction of Steve Morris (just look at his contributions, 'Fantasy', 'Can't Say No' and 'Ladykiller') had a real positive effect, this could have been the catalyst to use similar inputs and give the rewards to the group that they deserved. Maybe not a classic, but one that has been lost in the appreciation that was born in the UK, perhaps in the same bracket as Tygers of Pan Tang album 'Burning In The Shade', considering both were criminally ignored.


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Comments
#1 | gdazegod on September 15 2009 00:09:29
Yeah I quite liked this at the time. For me, it reminds me a lot of Airrace and Baby Tuckoo.
#2 | Eric on September 15 2009 03:06:43
Yup, agree with George. Love the racey Rage covers too!
#3 | Eric on September 15 2009 22:38:42
I also remember a slightly different version of the cover pictured here...hmm!
#4 | englandashes on September 15 2009 23:12:02
I think their second album, Nice N' Dirty had two covers also, they weren't advertising washing powder either.
#5 | george_the_jack on September 16 2009 18:19:40
Don't know this but I love the Brit sound. So, it definetely worths checking out!
#6 | GSpar77491 on September 19 2009 01:42:27
I love all three Rage albums. I always thought that "Never Before" would have been a great single, I really like the use of the Sax on that song. Anyone know if Dave LLoyd is still in the business? I thought he had a great voice..
#7 | englandashes on September 19 2009 13:59:17
Spotted a little myspace page, under myspace.com/nutzrage, unfortunatley no further news about the whereabouts of Dave Lloyd, but does fill in some gaps on the whole story.

Also seems Nutz supported Queen in the early 70's.
#8 | Eric on September 19 2009 18:10:37
That would be the 1974 Queen II tour. If I remember right, Nutz did all but 2 or 3 dates on the tour that had it's share of problems and rock 'n roll craziness, including a riot at one gig. Queen were still playing colleges, ballrooms and even clubs at the time including 'Barbellas' in Birmingham which is where City Boy paid their dues in thier early days.

I would have given my left 'nut' to have seen one of those shows....Yes
 
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