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Articles Home » 1978 Articles » Bay City Rollers - 1978 Strangers In The Wind
Bay City Rollers - 1978 Strangers In The Wind

ARTIST: Bay City Rollers
ALBUM: Strangers In The Wind
LABEL: Arista
YEAR: 1978
CD REISSUE: 2007, 7T's Glam, CD 45 (with bonus track)


LINEUP: Leslie McKeown - lead & background vocals * Eric Faulkner - guitars, vocoder, background vocals * Alan Longmuir - synthesizer, guitars, background vocals * Derek Longmuir - drums, background vocals * Stuart 'Woody' Wood - bass, sax, background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Another Rainy Day In New York City * 02 All Of The World Is Falling In Love * 03 Where Will I Be Now * 04 Back On The Street * 05 Strangers In The Wind * 06 Love Brought Me Such A Magical Feeling * 07 You Were My Woman * 08 Every Tear I Cry * 09 Shoorah Shoorah For Hollywood * 10 When I Say Love You (The Pie)


With a major and moderately successful North American tour behind them you would think the Bay City Rollers would have capitalized on their new found momentum, but it wasn't to be. As always this was a band in constant turmoil in part due to the shenanigans of manager Tam Paton as well as the band members own egos compounded by poor decision making and none worse than hosting the children's television series 'The Krofft Superstar Hour' which found the band lip-synching to their hits with life-size characters created by Marty Knofft. Hammered by the critics, the show was brutal to watch and the final straw for vocalist Les McKeown who left the Rollers after the show's final taping. Of course, none of this helped the band's current album at the time 'Strangers In The Wind' which also took its share of critical pounding as 'MOR dreck', eventually finding its way into cut-out bins for years to come.

The Songs
Listening to this album as I have over the years, I find it far more enjoyable than I did 32 years ago, but if we want to place blame for the group's softer sound, a wagging finger can be pointed to Arista head Clive Davis. As Davis has done so many times with his signings he meddled with the music to the point where the Rollers were unrecognizable as the same band. Case in point, at Clive's prompting the decision was made to bring in outside writers most from the Arista stable. For better and in most cases for worse, those songs make up half the material here and 'Another Rainy Day In New York City', like much of the album is drenched in syrupy strings and a sax solo with no excitement whatsoever. Released as a single to radio stations only, it understandably tanked. The Beatles styled 'All The World Is Falling In Love' is much better and the up-tempo 'Where Will I Be Now' reworks the groups disco swishy Top 40 hit from the previous year 'You Made Me Believe In Magic'. Borrowing bits and pieces from the Starz classic 'Cherry Baby', 'Back on the Street' makes an attempt the Rollers of old power pop sound, but again it's so smothered in orchestration it never reaches it's full potential and the same can be said for the remaining album which includes two of the worst Roller songs on record - the funky 'You Were My Woman' and the unbelievably horrendous 'Shoorah Shoorah For Hollywood'. No wonder McKeown left.

In Summary
The tartan party was over with 'Strangers In The Wind' and none too soon for the band's detractors. Hitting bottom the band regrouped and with the addition of South African guitarist Duncan Faure (Rabbitt) to the line-up and shortening their moniker to The Rollers, the newly minted band offered up some of their best work with 1979's classic 'Elevator', the rarities and outtakes album 'Voxx' and 1981's excellent 'Ricochet' all of which belong in any serious melodic rock collection worth its salt.

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#1 | jefflynnefan on January 28 2010 18:08:55
Yep, Strangers was a disappointed. Because after "It's A Game" you just knew the next one was going to be the one but it wasn't.
#2 | Tom Redmond on May 25 2012 09:43:30
I have always been of the opinion that the Rollers self written songs were far superior to the cover tracks with the odd exception. They did a great cover of The Raspberries "Let's Pretend and The Beach Boys "Don't Worry baby amongst others. But this album has to be the worst they have ever released with the exception of Breakout in1985.
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