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Wildlife - 1980 Burning

ARTIST: Wildlife
ALBUM: Burning
LABEL: Chrysalis
SERIAL: 511 288
YEAR: 1980


LINEUP: Steve Overland - vocals, guitar * Chris Overland - lead guitar * Pete Jupp - drums * Bob Skeat - bass, keyboards * Mark Booty - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Burning * 02 Playing It Too Close To The Heart * 03 Alena * 04 Misplaced Love * 05 If The Night * 06 The Incredible Shrinking Love * 07 I'm Winning * 08 That Diamond * 09 Too Late

There are many FM (UK) fans here at GDM, but everything started with the very first Wildlife album 'Burning' back in 1980. Considering this was the primetime NWOBHM era, the American sounding tunes delivered by Steve Overland and the Wildlife boys must have seemed positively alien to all the metal fans in England; particularly London where Wildlife orignated from. Wildlife's second LP is reviewed here already at GDM (see link below); and that's because the Swansong label LP managed to get a worldwide release for it, which is where I picked it up in little ol' New Zealand during 1983.

The Songs
'Burning' sounds a bit dated when I listen to it all these years later, but at the time, I'm sure these boys truly believed in what they were doing. Given some label backing, it's not hard to see where they were heading. Signed to Chrysalis, the label had heavyweights UFO and Robin Trower on the roster, but in hindsight, there was no way that Wildlife's lighweight AOR was ever going to cut it in the NWOBHM era. Still, there were some interesting moments, but nothing to indicate how good their follow-up 1983 album would be, not discounting the 1986 'Indiscreet' album from FM (UK) which finally put UK AOR on the map for good. There is no real indication of the Bad Company styled sound heard four years later on 'Burning'. The keyboard work probably dominates too much here, as you can hear on tracks such as 'Playing It Too Close To The Heart', 'Misplaced Love' and 'Too Late'. 'If The Night' throws a dart in the direction of early Shooting Star, and while the song-title of 'The Incredible Shrinking Love' might sound a tad daft, it sounds ok, if not for the regimented tinker soldier arrangement.

In Summary
As mentioned, the best was yet to come with this band, and though it sits as a bookmark in the 1980 history books, it also acts as a support-beam for the 1983 'Wildlife' LP, along with the legacy of FM (UK) that was to follow. [word count 342]

Related Articles
Wildlife - 1980 Burning
Wildlife - 1983 Wildlife

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