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Blackfoot - 1983 Siogo



ARTIST: Blackfoot
ALBUM: Siogo
LABEL: Atco
SERIAL: 90080-1
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 2002, Wounded Bird, WOU 9080

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Rick Medlocke - lead vocals, guitars * Charlie Hargrett - lead guitars * Greg T Walker - bass * Jakson Spires - drums * Ken Hensley - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Send Me An Angel * 02 Crossfire * 03 Heart's Grown Cold * 04 We're Goin' Down * 05 Teenage Idol * 06 Goin' In Circles * 07 Run For Cover * 08 White Man's Land * 09 Sail Away * 10 Drivin' Fool

WEBLINKS: www.blackfootusa.com


Background
It had taken Blackfoot more than ten years to reach the levels of success that 'Strikes', 'Tomcattin' and 'Marauder' had bought. However their management thought Southern rock was dead and metal was the new thing, encouraging them to hire a keyboard player and change their musical direction. Medlocke did just that and chose ex Uriah Heep man Ken Hensley, after initially wanting Jon Lord (Deep Purple). 'Siogo' shifted course into broad hard rock range, with slight hints of their previous sound. Hensley's keyboards seemed happy in the background, hardly alienating the overall effect. 'Siogo' hit 28 in England, based on their famous appearance at the Donnington rock festival in 1981. In the US sales were paltry. Hardcore fans weren't buying the new image and direction.


The Songs
'Send Me An Angel' opens to a salvo of synths and organ, a clear indication of the changes at hand. The lyrics are more reality based, no 'rattlesnake rock 'n' roller' ones. The melody is AOR based, but still heavy. 'Crossfire' makes the grade with an unrelentingly melodic chorus and hard main riff. The guitar work centers on basic rock riffing rather than the southern boogie of yesteryear. 'We're Goin' Down' is one of 'Siogo's heaviest moments, with an opening assault of organ and brutal riffing. It leads to a Purple styled Hammond organ vs guitar solo later on. The lone Southern throwback 'White Man's Land' creates a stir. It fits with the sound of 'Marauder', the boogie riffs bringing back fond memories. 'Sail Away' is a moody, dense epic with a brief hint of Van Halen-ish guitar overtones. This lasts for mere seconds. Closer 'Drivin' Fool' cranks it up to eleven, full throttle rock and roll that rates with the best AC/DC material. Superlative.


In Summary
Obscenely more discussion raged over what 'siogo' meant. Allegedly it means closeness in native Indian, but in reality it stood for 'suck it or get out', a phrase coined by Blackfoot's roadies (hey what about 'Vertical Smiles'.. have a guess what that meant!! Ed). After this Hargrett quit, frustrated by the new sound. 1984's 'Vertical Smiles' fared even more dismally and the band split. Medlocke revived the name in 1987, 1990 and 1994 but the magic was gone. As for 'Siogo' I can't find any fault with it, a vehicle of hard rock perfection. Nowhere near as bad as many have claimed. Newly released on CD, 'Siogo' deserves another chance.


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Comments
#1 | jeffrey343 on January 01 1970 01:00:00
I got this in high school based on 'Teenage Idol'. I played it quite a bit in the mid-80s and always enjoyed the more AOR tunes more than the songs that sounded more like their earlier stuff (of which I was not familiar). I bought this on iTunes a couple of years ago. The first three tracks, plus 5 - 7, are pretty darn good southern AOR, and the other ones have grown on me. Pretty good album overall.
#2 | Jez on June 13 2008 08:39:21
After the superb 'Marauder' album, Blackfoot bring in Ken Hensley on Keys and produce another excellent album, albeit a change in sound. There are some blistering Suvvvvern moments on this disc (some of Rickie's guitar playing is awesome) check out 'We're Goin Down' or 'White Mans Land' mixed in with some very commercial rock tracks 'Goin In Circles' (a definate Rainbow/Russ Ballard rip off). The rest is very good with special mention going to 'Send her an Angel'probably the best track on here.
#3 | sabace on August 03 2008 18:32:25
You can't beat Strikes, Tomcattin, Maurader & the Live LP.
#4 | sabace on January 24 2012 12:31:04
apparently the band told record execs that ' SIOGO ' was an old indian word, but in truth was based on a banner on the tour bus ' Suck it or get out '! which caused problems later on when the execs found this out!
#5 | dude24 on April 08 2016 18:02:56
Great songs and a solid production. Didn't mind the addition of Ken H's keyboards at all. Never understood the negativity surrounding this album. The last quality Blackfoot release.
 
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