Login
Username

Password



Not a member yet?
Click here to register.

Forgotten your password?
Request a new one here.
Latest Comments
Way better than the first...
Guys she's on Facebook, I...
Maybe Franne was friends ...
Rudy was co-written by Fe...
Great album and excellent...
H.E.A.T - 2017 Redefined ...
H.E.A.T - 2017 Eye Of The...
Keldian - 2017 Blood Red ...
No, I'm changing my mind ...
Code Red - 2017 Heat Of T...
Yeah, I quite liked this,...
Midnite City - 2017 Summe...
Target - 1979 Taxman [yo...
Cher - 1982 Rudy [youtub...
Cher - 1982 Games [youtu...
Revolution Saints - 2017 ...
Revolution Saints - 2017 ...
Black Sabbath - 1989 Devi...
Black Sabbath - 1989 Head...
Neal Schon - 1989 Softly ...
Articles Hierarchy
Articles Home » 1986 Articles » Outlaws, The - 1986 Soldiers Of Fortune
 
Outlaws, The - 1986 Soldiers Of Fortune



ARTIST: Outlaws, The
ALBUM: Soldiers Of Fortune
LABEL: Pasha
SERIAL: BF2 40512 (LP), PSH 450135-2 (CD)
YEAR: 1986
CD REISSUE: 2004, Wounded Bird, WOU 512 * 2013, Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY162

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Henry Paul - guitar, vocals, background vocals * Hughie Thomasson - guitar, vocals, background vocals * Steve Grisham - guitar, vocals, background vocals * Chuck Glass - bass, keyboards, vocals, background vocals * David Dix - percussion, drums

Additional Musicians: Randy Bishop - keyboards, programming, backing vocals * Jon Butcher, Bart Bishop, John Townsend, Stacey Lyn Shaffer - backing vocals * Buster McNeil - guitar, backing vocals * Jimmy Glenn - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 One Last Ride * 02 Soldiers Of Fortune * 03 Night Cries * 04 Outlaw * 05 Cold Harbor * 06 Whatcha Don't Do * 07 Just The Way I Like It * 08 Saved By The Bell * 09 Lady Luck * 10 Racin' For The Red Light

WEBLINKS: www.outlawsmusic.com


Background
Much like Doc Holliday's maligned 1983 effort 'Modern Medicine', southern rock compadres The Outlaws also opted for an overblown commercial keyboard laced affair for their 1986 album 'Soldier Of Fortune'. Their last proper studio album was the 1980 LP 'Ghost Riders', discounting their 1982 best of collection 'Los Hombres Malo', and it sounded nothing like this! By 1986, prodigal son Henry Paul had returned to the band, smoothing over the sound with lush melodic radio friendly elements. The keyboard sound is reminiscent of what we heard on the superb China Sky album, though the overall direction of the songs remains rooted in southern rock, rather than commercial AOR. You could liken it to what Van Zant were doing with their music, their LP from the previous year an absolute classic in melodic southern rock/AOR. I wouldn't quite put 'Soliders Of Fortune' in the same category, but for the readership of this site, this album is a good fit, and if (like me) you are a 38 Special fan, then read on. The other notable thing to mention is that The Outlaws had signed to the Pasha label for this release. Considering Pasha were based in California and The Outlaws were in Florida, this made for an awkward arrangement. Remember this was the pre-Internet days too. Adding to the new family arrangement between band and label, Pasha resources such as Spencer Proffer and Randy Bishop also contributed to songwriting, further diluting the true southern sound the band were famous for. Not that I'm complaining, as I'm kinda fond of seeing the integration of melodic elements into a southern rock sound. The 80's saw many examples of this, many of which are documented here at GDAZE.


The Songs
So what of the songs? I'm happy to say many of these are very appealing, but I would say that being a melodic rocker. Then again, the songs feel kind of shallow too. You can't win really. I'll also say that true die-hard southern Confederate fans used to hearing 70's classics such as 'Hurry Sundown' might not be feeling the same love as before. So we have divided camps, but I'm on the fence as both genres have proven to be winners for me over the years. Upon hearing the opening tones of 'One Last Ride', I remember saying 'crikey, this could be China Sky on any other day!'. It's very AOR-like, not an ounce of traditional Outlaws influence to be found. The title track 'Soldier Of Fortune' tries to bring it back to the fold, but it's still far too commercial when matched up against the Outlaws yesteryear material. 'Night Cries' sneaks across the nocturnal environment, much like the wildlife creeping and crawling across the mesa at midnight. This is a better representation of their southern origins. What better way to appeal to the masses than a track named after yourselves. 'Outlaw' attempts to do just that, but it's far too homogenized. Ok, if you're a 38 Special fan, but not the real deal from their Arista heyday. 'Cold Harbor' for me is the most interesting track. A war track based around the events of the U.S Civil War during 1864 and in particular the Battle of Cold Harbor (you can read about it here: click here..). Henry Paul wraps a narrative in the form of a ballad. 'What'cha Don't Do' is mainstream rock, so too 'Just The Way I Like It' with a party vibe. The co-writes incidentally are Spencer Proffer and Aussie rocker Billy Thorpe, who was also involved with the label previously. Jon Butcher also has a songwriting credit for 'Saved By The Bell' along with Randy Bishop. So you can see this late in the album, the outside writing influence is starting to kick in. 'Lady Luck' rollicks along with not a hint of southern rock in the mix and by the end of the album, you're wondering if Dixie has a chance of rebirth and resurrection with 'Racin' For The Red Light'. Sadly, not a chance. The General Lee has stalled at the intersection!


In Summary
The overly melodic and commercial direction of this album is admirable, but really the band should've taken matters into their own hands rather than be subjugated to other peoples material. The fact is, The Outlaws have a long and worthy history and should have written all the material on this album. Comparing this to their last studio effort 'Ghost Riders' is like lining up Secretariat to the farmers stable horse in the back paddock! Look, I'm a big fan of bands of this quality combining melodic rock elements, but not to the detriment of throwing their entire back-catalogue out the window in the process. As expected, this album went nowhere, a measly #172 in the Top 200 Billboard Album Charts. The band would disappear off the map until 1993's 'Hittin' The Road (Live)' CD. Thankfully, not all is lost, as the band have rediscovered their southern roots in the 21st century, and are planning a comeback. Let's wait and see.


All written content on this website is copyrighted.
Copying of material without permission is not permitted.


 
This article has been tagged
 
Comments
#1 | Eric on May 07 2012 17:23:55
Always loved the cover art on this one. Simple but effective. Accurate review too and very much overlooked.
#2 | Ralfster on May 12 2012 11:38:14
Yeah, great album, regardless of their back catalogue. Managed to grab a used copy of the orginal 1986 japanese CD pressing (which surely isn't worth much anymore now since the Wounded Bird reissue is out). Still I wonder if the Wounded Bird one sounds better. Does anybody have both versions and could compare maybe?
Cheers
Ralfster
#3 | gdazegod on April 25 2013 03:25:14
Let's not forget the recently Rock Candy reissue too (2013).
 
Post Comment
Please Login to Post a Comment.
 
Ratings
Rating is available to Members only.

Please login or register to vote.

No Ratings have been Posted.
 
Articles Cloud
Scooter - 1981 One By One, Derringer - 1977 Sweet Evil, Chameleon - 1983 Balance, Overland - 2009 Diamond Dealer, Bratz - 1980 Bratz, Bitter Suite - 2005 Crime Of Love, Cassle - 2011 Cassle, Hagar, Sammy - 1981 Standing Hampton, Zed - 1981 Zed, Urban Tale - 2003 Signs Of Times, Enid, The - 1983 Something Wicked This Way Comes, Bad Boy - 1984 Electric Eyes, Asia - 1994 Aria, Urban Tale - 2001 Interview with Erkka Korhonen, Nelson - 1999 Life
Tags©
Jesse Brady Rupert Holmes Iain Ashley Hersey Eddie Money Rock Candy Records Code Lion Runner (USA) EP Paul Waroff The Buckinghams Rockicks ZZ Top EP Hogjaw Cheap Trick Cheap Trick Marmalade Grand Illusion Morgan The Great Kat Sahara (Sweden) Cintron Teer Black N Blue Survivor Brian McDonald Yesterrock Judie Tzuke Fingerprint Limousine Keats Rock Candy Records Michael Bolton Merry N Holly Knight Device
All Tags
Search DDG