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Articles Home » 1982 Articles » Thorpe, Billy - 1982 East Of Edens Gate
Thorpe, Billy - 1982 East Of Edens Gate

ARTIST: Thorpe, Billy
ALBUM: East Of Edens Gate
LABEL: Pasha
SERIAL: Pasha4, FZ 38179
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 2013, Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY189
SPONSOR: Rock Candy Records


LINEUP: Billy Thorpe - vocals, guitars, synthesizers * Earl Slick - guitars * Frankie Banali - drums * Jim Johnson - bass * Pat Regan - synthesizers, keyboards * Bill Cuomo - synthesizers

TRACK LISTING: 01 East Of Edens Gate * 02 Edge Of Madness * 03 Hold On To Your Dream * 04 While You're Still Young * 05 No Show Tonight * 06 Can't Stand It * 07 Nite Rites * 08 Crusin' (The Town In The Heat Of The Night) * 09 Dogs Of War (Flesh And Blood)


He's a bit of a legend down under in Australia. The late Billy Thorpe was a gifted singer and guitarist who certainly kept relevant over the decades, and changed musical styles and image to suit the era. The 80's was a different environment for Billy, quite a lot different to his 60's and 70's heyday with his Australian based band The Aztecs. Working in this decade, Billy spent a lot of time in the USA, and hooked up with Spencer Proffer, head of Pasha Records (Quiet Riot etc) to record two albums, before dipping his toes into soundtrack music. Thorpe had tried valiantly to break the US market, but his attempts at trying to fit square pegs into round holes didn't convince the punters stateside. Moving from boogie rock, to melodic progressive rock and then onto FM radio styles didn't help his cause, but then again, that could be attributed to many Australian acts trying to break into the US where the Yanks 'just didn't quite get it'!

The Songs
'East Of Edens Gate' was the last of four attempts to crack America. 'Children Of The Sun', 21st Century Man' and 'Stimulation' (between 1979 and 1981) all went before it with varying results. There's quite a bit of pompy keyboards to be found on this one, not the least on the opening title track. It's a progressive meets AOR crossroad with more keys than guitars to be honest. 'Edge Of Madness' has an 80's Nazareth sound, the verses are very restrained but Billy lets loose on the choruses. I like the chugging riffs of 'Hold On To Your Dream', the highly melodic nature of this song coupled with Billy raw guitarwork makes for an unusual mix. 'No Show Tonight' is a song I didn't quite get; the synth bass, intrusive synth layers and lack of any distinctive guitar parts spoilt it for me. 'Can't Stand It' was another unusual fit, with a labourious tempo and delayed vocal effects adding an endorsement to the songtitle. 'Nite Rites' has a stomping backbeat with some nifty rhythms. A track appropriate for the 1982 year me thinks, so too the mid-paced rocker 'Crusin' with Thorpe allowing his guitar some breathing space. The final track is the apocalyptic lament 'Dogs Of War'. Not an out and out rocker, but a subdued and reflective war song.

In Summary
I too am of the opinion that Thorpe's move to melodic rock was a hard sell for the general public. Whether it was record label politics or Billy's own unique approach to his music and lyrical themes; it just didn't seem to catch on in much the same way as his previous blues rock with The Aztecs did; especially Australian audiences. There was one more attempt to ride the wave; 1989's 'Children Of The Sun Revisited', which featured a remix of tracks from 'Children Of The Sun' (1979), three tracks recorded in 1987 plus a rehash of 'East Of Edens Gate', released again on Spencer Proffer's Pasha label, but by this stage, I'm not sure if anyone was listening. As Eric mentioned in one of the other articles, Thorpe returned home to Australia in the mid 90's and worked on various projects up to the time of his passing in 2007.

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