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Articles Home » 1985 Articles » Widow - 1985 Rock It
Widow - 1985 Rock It

ALBUM: Rock It
YEAR: 1985


LINEUP: Karl Van Der Velden - lead guitar * Jay Boone - bass * Geoff Saddler - drums * Robin Taylor - vocals * Kevin Dillon - guitars

TRACK LISTING: 01 Little Darlin' * 02 Don't Turn Me Away * 03 New Romance (It's A Mystery) * 04 This Flight Tonight * 05 Talk Is Cheap * 06 Too Late For Love * 07 Fatal Mistake * 08 Victoria * 09 Bitter End

I could never figure out Widow. Seattle based, Mike Flicker produced and a major label contract and yet both albums were pocked with cover tunes. Were they a popular bar band that just got lucky or were blessed with above average management who knew whose back to scratch? Hard to say and although their 1984 debut 'Gone Too Far' contained a kick-ass version of Lydia Taylor's classic 'Bitch'; the album really didn't move me to spin it more than a couple times and was later sold in a regrettable LP purge during the early 90s.

The Songs
Their follow-up 'Rockit' is more of the same although I like the cover art concept, which is probably why I've kept it. Lead vocalist Robin Taylor was a cutie with average rock pipes and paired up with guitarist Karl Van Der Velden who was no great shakes either, Widow still managed to turn out a passable album although I have to say- without any real personality. Of the originals 'Don't Turn Me Away' is the best, sort of Quarterflash meets Pat Benatar and with typically '80s bigger-than-life production it's an impressive track and yet nothing on the entirely self-penned second side comes close really although 'Talk Is Cheap' is quirky pop rock with a catchy new wave-ish chorus. The two Spider covers 'Little Darlin'' and 'New Romance (It's A Mystery') pale on the classics and I just don't understand their motives behind doing such a thing. Joni Mitchell's 'This Flight Tonight' has been covered many times before most notably by Nazareth which is arguably the definitive version, but Widow's take is just plain boring sounding woefully thin with a weak drum sound and set to a pace that doesn't do the song justice. Yuk.

In Summary
Where they are now, who knows? I'm sure many readers will rate the Widow albums but for this reviewer it's the type of mediocre paint-by-numbers AOR I've heard a zillion times before and certainly don't need to hear again.

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#1 | gdazegod on August 30 2011 07:03:16
Paint by numbers is true. They looked great, but the music isn't that flash too be honest.
#2 | rkbluez on August 31 2011 11:40:34
Gotta agree on this one...their first album was much better...this one has a slick production but the performances of some of the songs especially the cover tunes have no energy...a big step down from their first lp...which was a lot better to my recollection.
#3 | super80boy on March 10 2014 00:48:56
So these guys definitely changed direction on this sophomore effort. This is more of an AOR synth rock keyboard fest. Yes, it can be derivative, but there are some high points, 'Don't Turn Me Away', 'Fatal Mistake' and 'Victoria'. Interesting front and back cover artwork and pictures.
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