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Vandenberg - 1985 Alibi



ARTIST: Vandenberg
ALBUM: Alibi
LABEL: Atco
SERIAL: 90295-1
YEAR: 1985
CD REISSUE: 2002, Wounded Bird (USA), WOU-295

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Bert Heerink - vocals * Adrian Vandenberg - guitars, keyboards, backing vocals * Dick Kemper - bass, backing vocals * Jos Zoomer - drums, backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 All The Way * 02 Pedal To The Metal * 03 Once in A Lifetime * 04 Voodoo * 05 Dressed To Kill * 06 Fighting Against The World * 07 How Long * 08 Prelude Mortale * 09 Alibi * 10 Kamikaze


Background
'Alibi' was the final of the three albums by Vandenberg. At a drop, I would say this release is the patchiest of the three. There are some good ideas expressed here, but the production is not the best. Either that, or the CD mastering is crap. I never owned this on vinyl so I can't compare.. Adrian Vandenberg's guitar sound is pushed back in the mix, the lead guitar sounds very thin in places, while the songwriting and arrangements have tried to borrow from every other contender out there (note: Def Leppard, Krokus, Dokken) at the expense of their own unique approach. This two-bob each way approach typified the band's circumstances at the time - going through the motions is probably the best phrase I can come up with. Also noticeable is the straight-forward drum sound from Jos Zoomer, no high-flying antics we heard on the debut, nor the electronic drum overkill we heard on 'Heading For A Storm'.


The Songs
'All The Way' opens the album, amid street sounds from the urban divide, after a minute's introduction, we are finally underway, with a Leppard meets 80's Slade type sound. Cranking the 'Pedal To The Metal', the band go all out to convince, though the mid-tempo plod sees this song held up in the slow lane for the most part. If the pedal is to the metal, then they must be doing all of 50kmph! 'Once in A Lifetime' is completely sold to the notion of AOR in the mould of John Parr, all memories of their bombastic debut consigned to the memory banks. 'Voodoo' might steal an idea or two from Fifth Angel, but pale insignificantly when it comes to comparing power. 'Dressed To Kill' taps at the party-anthem door of Van Halen and Krokus but comes off sounding like a poor relative of either. Despite the inspirational songtitle, 'Fighting Against The World' doesn't inspire me a great deal. The big wall of vocals on the chorus and thin lead guitar just don't do it for me. 'How Long' is certainly one for all AORsters, a ballad with a smooth taste and pleasant bouquet. It seems positively out of place on the album.. but I like it, and so it stays! 'Prelude Mortale' is another of Adrian's flamenco bursts, which acts as the opening for the title track 'Alibi', which again is Leppard like rock/AOR. Perhaps as a fitting testament, Vandenberg send us out on a blistering instrumental 'Kamikaze'.


In Summary
Up - down. North - south. This album is all over the place. Not markedly bad, just some great tracks coupled with some less than engaging songs. I always enjoyed listening to Vandenberg's material, and it was great that Wounded Bird saw fit to release all three albums on CD during 2002. I would suggest checking up to see if these are available still, if so, go and add them to your collection before they disappear.


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Comments
#1 | super80boy on May 24 2015 17:05:45
A very uneven set, but there are some redeeming moments, like the title track and closing instrumental.
 
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