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Articles Home » 1981 Articles » Slick, Grace - 1981 Welcome To The Wrecking Ball
Slick, Grace - 1981 Welcome To The Wrecking Ball

ARTIST: Slick, Grace
ALBUM: Welcome To The Wrecking Ball
YEAR: 1981
CD REISSUE: 1991, Great Expectations, PIPCD 029


LINEUP: Grace Slick - vocals * Scott Zito - lead guitar, vocals, harmonica * Danny Gulino - rhythm guitar * Phil Stone - bass * Bobby Torello - drums * Paul Harris - keyboards * Joe Lala - percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Wrecking Ball * 02 Mistreater * 03 Shot In The Dark * 04 Round & Round * 05 Shooting Star * 06 Just A Little Love * 07 Sea Of Love * 08 Lines * 09 Right Kind * 10 No More Heroes

Having just reviewed Grace's 'Software' album, and having read Eric's article on her 1980 LP 'Dreams', I thought it might be good to complete the picture by reviewing her 1981 set 'Welcome To The Wrecking Ball'. Well, aren't I glad that I did, because this is a storming set of hard rock, with Grace delivering a near flawless rockin' performance up front, ably supported by multi-instrumentalist Scott Vito. This album is a huge surprise to me. It is nothing like I thought it would be, that is: half-arsed folky, psychedelic, aimless pop/rock. Oh no, '..Wrecking Ball' is probably the album she needed to make, from a hard rock perspective, and it's damned entertaining Let's put it this way, Miley Cyrus might've have sung about a 'Wrecking Ball' during 2013, but the lady who owns Miley and the Wrecking Ball is Grace Slick. She did it 32 years ago and still has the bragging rights to prove it!

The Songs
Just take a listen to about every song on this LP, and you'll come away (like me) absolutely gob-smacked! Is this really the same woman? Yep, sure is, and she's melting the vinyl/plastic as she goes about destroying all and sundry with that powerhouse voice. Not only that, but she looks hot and damned sexy on the cover jacket. Forget Pat Benatar. Grace and Ruby Starr is where it's at for me! The title track leads off, and amid sounds of jackhammers and Scott Vito's hot guitar work, you're in for a treat. Grace sings with determination and power, the whole thing is exceptional. AORsters should enjoy the pumping tones of 'Mistreater', a rollicking track that makes Jefferson Starship look like a one-trick pony. 'Shot In The Dark' is razor sharp rock, if you like it somewhere within cooey of Spider or Shakin' Street, then you're in luck. 70's hard rock buffs should enjoy the entertaining 'Round & Round', but for mine, the pick of the bunch is the epic ballad 'Shooting Star', it builds up nicely to about the 3 minute mark, before tripping the electric switch. Vito is tearing up the solos to make this one a winner.

I'm at the halfway mark, and I can't believe how well this album is standing up! 'Just A Little Love' is next, a crunching rocker with Grace providing vocal gymnastics. Vito's solo goes for maximum impact. 'Sea Of Love' is another to appeal from a commercial perspective, with big drums and lots of vocal melodies. This one reminded me of Dragon's version of 'Celebration' (refer 1989 'Bondi Road'). The most off-beat track on the LP is the reggae flavoured 'Lines'. No doubt we can blame The Police for this inclusion, probably the least interesting song here. We're back into it for the power pop/AOR effort that is 'Right Kind'. The piano tapping on the choruses, tight guitars etc gives this one an Airraid meets 707 with female vocals! Yes indeedy! To finish up, 'No More Heroes' is a song about war and conflict, with plenty of voice-overs and effects. This type of lyric is right down Grace's alley, demonstrations about politics and the impact of war.. a tale that still stands the test of time at the end of 2013 (as I write this).

In Summary
As mentioned, and as you've probably read, this is a really good LP. Completely unexpected, and totally blowing away anything she did before and after. Grace recorded this LP in Miami and New York City, and in so doing, got completely away from California. Kudos goes to guitarist Scott Vito for being Grace's lightning spark, and to producer Ron Frangipane for giving her a bit of leash. The album hasn't officially been reissued by RCA, but the Great Expectations label did reissue this in 1991, though by now it's probably way out of print. The original LP came as a gatefold release, and is a bit of a collectors item. It's a pity that the rampant energy expressed on this album wasn't repeated for the next album, 1984's 'Software', which is meek and mild by comparison. Of all the Grace Slick material to have in your collection, 'Welcome To The Wrecking Ball' is the one.. by a country mile.

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This article has been tagged
#1 | gdazegod on December 28 2013 09:25:26
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#2 | gdazegod on December 28 2013 09:27:17
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