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Articles Home » 1987 Articles » Roberts, Kane - 1987 Kane Roberts
Roberts, Kane - 1987 Kane Roberts

ARTIST: Roberts, Kane
ALBUM: Kane Roberts
SERIAL: MCA-5787 (LP), MCAD-5787 (CD)
YEAR: 1987
CD REISSUE: 1991, Victor (Japan), MVCM-21030 * 2012, Yesterrock Records, 3257872


LINEUP: Kane Roberts, vocals, guitar * Steve Steele - bass * Victor Ruzzo - drums * Brad Buxer, Paul Horowitz - synthesizers

TRACK LISTING: 01 Rock Doll * 02 Women On The Edge Of Love * 03 Triple X * 04 Gorilla * 05 Outlaw * 06 If This Is Heaven * 07 Out For Blood * 08 Full Pull * 09 Too Much (For Anyone Tto Touch) * 10 Tears Of Fire * 11 A Strong Arm Needs A Stronger Heart


Nothing personified the late 80's more than Kane Roberts; his impressive physique and Rambo inspired image was the perfect foil for Alice Cooper's theatrics during the 'Constrictor' and 'Raise Your Fist And Yell' period. Underneath the muscle and machine gun guitar was a formidable songwriter however and this led to Roberts obtaining a solo deal of his own. Many AOR pundits rate Roberts 1991 'Saints And Sinners' as the superior of his two mainstream solo efforts and while it is a classy release it doesn't have the attitude of this self-titled effort, an exercise in glorious melodic hard rock. Why I've never heard this until now I cannot fathom. But with then production wizard Michael Wagener at the helm and songwriting assistance from fellow Alice Cooper crony Kip Winger on several tracks, how could this fail?

The Songs
This album captures a sound you might expect from the likes of Icon or even Lion on their material from the same period. Relentless melody packed with aggressive guitar work is the norm on this album, with some tremendous stabs at AOR 'Rock Doll' is typical party rock, big raunchy riffs and provocative melodies, but much more palatable than the myriad of hard rock pretenders who littered the scene back then. Roberts takes a stab at 'Women On The Edge Of Love', which first appeared on Pat Travers 'Hot Shot' in 1984. Interestingly the song was actually written by Robbie Dupree and while Roberts' version doesn't deviate much from the Travers one, the synths are much more prominent, giving it an AOR sheen that the original lacked to some extent. The AOR anthem 'Triple X' is a contender for one of 1987's best; this blows away Stan Bush's work that year and is seriously brilliant. 'Gorilla' is an odd instrumental showcasing the skill of Roberts on guitar, leading promptly into 'Outlaw', classic 80's metal with shades of W.A.S.P and Agentz. More vintage AOR follows with 'If This Is Heaven' which stands tall with the best of Silent Rage, a dazzling track packed with more melody than you would think possible. 'Out For Blood' could be nothing but metal and the riffs here are deadly, right up there with Icon's debut. This is unbelievably heavy stuff with mammoth chants upping the ante twofold. 'Full Pull' doesn't let up either, another amazing slice of melodic rock with the Lion comparisons coming into focus in plain view. 'Too Much (For Anyone to Touch)' is yet more class, with the synth touches in the intro verging on legendary. It has to be said that Roberts' vocals are supreme throughout this song and entire disc. Winger gets in on the songwriting act on 'Tears Of Fire,' with the 'fire' and 'desire' combo repeated for perhaps the fifth song on the album. Regardless it's a stirring power ballad and clearly a made for radio epic. Ending the album on a high is 'A Strong Arm Needs A Stronger Heart', with both Winger and Wagener helping co-write. It's another huge AOR statement that could only have been made in 1987.

In Summary
Where has this album been my whole life? This is so good it should be considered essential, which shows how it's been overlooked. Further investigation reveals some cynical reviews pegging this as '80's hair hokum' or 'poodle pop-metal' by some typical misinformed posers who probably consider U2 the epitome of 1987's best. Roberts though would split from Cooper soon after and following the 1991 album disappeared for a period, with the odd songwriting credit. He has been more proactive as of late, with a set of unreleased tracks 'Unsung Radio' being made available just last month. 'Kane Roberts' was reissued by the Yesterrock label earlier this year and deservedly so; it's one of 1987's best, no question.

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#1 | gdazegod on November 05 2012 21:10:30
Rambo rock!
#2 | Nick C on November 06 2012 13:24:41
My mate played me this years ago during one of our "biscuits and beer" evenings around each others houses and I remember at the time being pretty impressed by it, wonder why I never bought it...probably because I never heard it or any further tracks off it again. Completely forgot about it.
#3 | gdazegod on September 11 2014 22:45:52
here's another one t hat's been on the death-deck this week. This is pretty damn good, great guitar playing. True 80's heavy rock!
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