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Legs Diamond - 1984 Out On Bail

ARTIST: Legs Diamond
ALBUM: Out On Bail
LABEL: Music For Nations
YEAR: 1984


LINEUP: Rick Sanford - vocals * Jim May - guitars * Mike Christie - bass * Jeff Poole - drums * Michael Prince - keyboards, guitars

TRACK LISTING: 01 Out On Bail * 02 Fugitive * 03 Walkaway * 04 Doomsday Flight * 05 Find It The Hard Way * 06 Nobody's Fool * 07 Seems Like A Dream * 08 One Way Ticket


Despite glowing reviews for all three late 70's releases things never worked out for Legs Diamond, as their respective labels Mercury and Cream ignored the band, their poor promotion causing the band to come to a standstill following 1978's 'Firepower'. According to Michael Prince guitarist Roger Romeo was writing new wave influenced hard rock, which didn't go down to well with the others. Romeo left and was replaced by Jim May in 1980. After recording some demos, a lack of label interest ground Diamond to a halt temporarily. Thanks to a DJ in San Antonio constantly plugging the band, Legs reformed in 1983 sans original bass player Michael Diamond, replaced by Mike Christie who took the place of Greg Chaisson, ever so briefly, as the bassist. The comeback LP was on a par with the much heralded 70's output, with an obviously updated 80's sound, mainly in the keyboard department.

The Songs
A hard as nails band for sure, the title track proves no steps had been lost, a gritty affair with no keyboards, harsh riff based hard rock in the manner expected from the band. 'Fugitive' might lead you to think this is a concept album, but only this time a fugitive from love of course. Starting out as mega AOR things toughen up as the chorus hits, the guitars chugging away to some atmospheric synth work. It's almost impossible to top the masterful AOR of 'Walkaway', as good as any from 1984, and in contrast 'Doomsday Flight' is 70's based hard rock, with the organs flailing in true Jon Lord fashion. Shifting once again to AOR with 'Find It Out The Hard Way', the results are even more jaw dropping, with just the right amount of heaviness erasing any wimp tag. This style is continued with 'Nobody's Fool', although the opening riff to 'Seems Like A Dream' is the best moment of all, the real deal in US hard rock, surging pace and host to deadly harmonies in that killer hook. At seven minutes 'One Way Ticket' is somewhat epic, the keyboard stabs at the 2:38 mark enough to make the heart race!

In Summary
A significant piece of music, followed up by 'Land Of The Gun' in 1986, another impressive outing which saw a further lineup change, this time Jonathan Valen on drums taking original Jeff Poole's position, although Valen was ousted by Dusty Baker shortly after the albums release. Since this period Diamond have continued to exist in one form or another, 1990's 'Town Bad Girl' worth investigating, featuring the return of Roger Romeo. Whether or not Diamond ever complete their long awaited studio album is uncertain, but they can feel under appreciated again with 'Out On Bail', another forgotten gem from one of hard rocks premier hard luck acts.

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#1 | Jez on January 27 2007 11:33:30
Had this on vinyl, then the 2on1 with the mighty 'Land Of The Gun' album, now the re-issue with the 3 bonus track, being a LD Completist. Always loved this album (despite the electronic drums) as some of the songs on here are some of the best the band has done. Highlights (of which there are many) 'Walkaway', Fugitive' & the magnificent 'Nobody's Fool'. The follow up album, the aforementioned 'Land Of The Gun' is another must have aswell.
#2 | gdazegod on June 20 2007 03:38:00
All of Legs Diamond's material are a must-have, even the 'so-so' 2005 release 'Diamonds Are Forever'. Great album this one.. MFN did well to land this fish back in the day..
#3 | Eric on June 20 2007 22:33:16
Agree, this is one of Legs Diamond's best, although I was never too crazy about the drum sound here, but still a fine effort. 'Town Bad Girl' wasn't that great from what I remember. Interesting cover though..Thumbs Up
#4 | AOR Lee on February 07 2012 15:26:54
Very accurate review and one of my most cherished bands. For a hard rock band (by reputation) they could deliver AOR with the best of them. This album probably wins as fave by a head. Great live version of Walkaway on the live album as well
#5 | Explorer on March 14 2014 21:35:05
A cracking album.Walkaway is an absolute classic, but then again so is most of their material.
#6 | aaasreg on August 06 2014 19:37:45
Oh my god, the drums destroy all. Could be really a good album but as said before, the drum sound. What I don't understand, when you drive too fast, you must pay or get arrested but the producer of this album has to fear nothing.

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