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Articles Home » 1983 Articles » Wildlife - 1983 Wildlife
Wildlife - 1983 Wildlife

ARTIST: Wildlife
ALBUM: Wildlife
LABEL: Swansong
SERIAL: 79-0078-1
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 2009, Wounded Bird, WOU-9078


LINEUP: Steve Overland - vocals, guitars * Chris Overland - guitars * Mark Booty - keyboards * Phil Soussan - bass * Simon Kirke - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Somewhere In The Night * 02 Just A Friend * 03 Surrender * 04 Charity * 05 One Last Chance * 06 Taking A Chance * 07 Haven't You Heard The News * 08 Midnight Stranger * 09 Rock And Roll Dreams * 10 Downtown Heartbreak

This was a short-lived band from London who went onto to bigger and better things later on. Initially a project which saw the lineup of the Overland brothers, Booty, Soussan and original drummer Pete Jupp. Highly melodic in nature, the band's style of polished but typically British melodic rock saw them swing a deal with the Chrysalis label. Wildlife released their debut 'Burning' in 1980, with some heavy influence from Bad Company guitarist Mick Ralphs as producer. After this album, Jupp left to hook up with the band Samson, while his replacement was Ralphs bandmate Simon Kirke. This time around they cut an arrangement with Led Zeppelin's label Swansong for the release of their sophomore effort 'Wildlife'. And it makes for a very good listen too

The Songs
If you can imagine an earthy version of FM crossed with Bad Company's AOR material, then you'd be halfway there. An unusual coupling, but not surprising considering who's involved. We get underway with a hard driven but radio oriented piece called 'Somewhere In The Night'. With this track you can see where the future direction for FM came from. A lovely mid-tempo track called 'Just A Friend' is next. This one has been with me for years, with Steve's vocals the crowning glory. A regularly played track I can assure you. The other highlight on Side A is 'One Last Chance', an energetic romp through AOR territory! Side B sees a variety of songs, some resembling an under-produced A.S.A.P For instance 'Downtown Heartbreak' is a punchy number, with big choruses while 'Rock And Roll Dreams' is killer FM styled AOR.

In Summary
The bands life was relatively short, and they packed it in a year later. Of course most of these guys went elsewhere. The Overland brothers moved on to form the wonderful FM, where they reunited with drummer Pete Jupp. Soussan joined up with Ozzy Osbourne, for the 'Ultimate Sin' gig, and then later on with Beggars And Thieves, while Kirke rejoined Bad Company. I'm sure this is lying around in many bargain bins on vinyl. You'd be wise to investigate it, especially if you are FM fans.

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#1 | Jez on June 27 2009 13:00:59
Brilliant album and one of my fave discs featuring Steve Overland. Just got my Wounded Bird re-issue through the post this morning, so guess what is playing all weekend! Have been waiting for a proper CD release of this for years, so my prayers are finally answered.
#2 | gdazegod on June 27 2009 14:04:25
'Just A Friend' is an essential listen.. hmm.. may need to review their 1980 release too.. to complete the picture..
#3 | Jez on June 29 2009 11:48:23
I bought 'Burning' on vinyl after I had the S/T and was very disappointed with it to be honest. It had a few good bits here and there, Russ Ballards 'Winning' being the highlight, but is nowhere near as good as the 2nd album imo. I have a vinyl rip of 'Burning' so will dig it out again to see if it changes my mind, although I don't think it will.
#4 | rkbluez on May 28 2012 20:49:48
Classic album and it's also one of my favorite CD's featuring the vocal talents of Steve Overland I've been wishing would come out on CD for years...thanks Terry @Wounded Bird for having the brains to put this classic out on CD. I like the warm bluesy hard rockin' sound of this record a lot better than the more synthetic over produced 80's AOR keyboard dominated FM stuff that was also quite good...but give me the Wildlife record anyday.
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