April Wine - 'First Glance' & 'Harder...Faster' / 'The Nature Of The Beast' & 'Power Play' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 16, 2013    
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Two twin album packages.

English reissue label BGO has done an excellent job bringing out these six April Wine albums across three twin album packages. April Wine is one of Canada’s greatest hard rock exports and while they may not have achieved the sort of worldwide popularity and longevity given to Rush they have made some truly great albums.

With the addition of third guitarist and fifth member Brian Greenway in 1977 April Wine refined their killer guitar attack whilst giving mastermind Myles Goodwyn the opportunity to play keyboards for the band’s obligatory ballads. April Wine had already had success in their native Canada with the Top 10 hits ‘The Whole World’s Goin’ Crazy’ and ‘Forever For Now’, but with ‘First Glance’ the band would break into the international market giving them their first Billboard 200 album in the States.

Released in 1978, ‘First Glance’, their seventh studio album, contains the fantastic radio hit ‘Roller’ as well as the truly awesome arena rock staples ‘Hot On The Heels Of Love’ and ‘Get Ready For Love’. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable hard rock album and with the success of ‘First Glance’ in the States April Wine found themselves on tour with Styx, Journey, UFO and Rush. The snobs at Rolling Stone magazine may loathe April Wine and their ilk but dammit, this is one album that has stood the test of time. Meanwhile, ‘Harder…Faster’ saw the band further their hard rock sound. Released in 1979, it hit Number 64 in the States proving that the band were well on their way to hard rock superstardom. ‘I Like To Rock’ was a big hit for the band while ‘Ladies Man’ is equally as strong with some fine guitars. ‘Before The Dawn’ sees Greenway showcasing his guitar skills with Goodwyn taking a backseat while the AOR thrills of ‘Say Hello’ and ‘Tonite’ are toe-tappingly good fun. There’s also a cover of King Crimson’s ‘21st Century Schizoid Man’.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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If ‘Harder…Faster’ was a step up from ‘First Glance’ then 1981s ‘The Nature Of The Beast’ is the band’s all-time fully-fledged rock masterpiece. By this point April Wine had become recognised outside of their native Great White North but with ‘The Nature Of The Beast’ they would gain international praise. The hit album contains a stream of awesome songs from the smash hit single ‘Just Between You And Me’ to the cover of Lorence Hud’s ‘Sign Of The Gypsy Queen’. The opening track ‘All Over Town’ houses some exemplary guitars while ‘Bad Boys’ and ‘Crash And Burn’ show the harsher side of the band’s sound. Assisted by the now legendary Mike Stone – who would become a superstar producer later in the decade thanks to Guns N’ Roses – Myles Goodwyn truly excelled himself with this album, so much so that after the mammoth tour in support of the album the band took a well-earned break. ‘Power Play’, the band’s tenth studio album, was released in 1982 and while sales and chart positions were high, critics did not greet the album with as much enthusiasm as they had its awesome predecessor. Nevertheless, despite the overall blandness of the album there are some terrific songs such as ‘Enough Is Enough’ and ‘Anything You Want, You Got It’. There’s even a cover of The Beatles ‘Tell Me Why’, which you can take or leave. 

Fans began to ask questions such as had the band peaked? Had mastermind Myles Goodwyn exhausted himself? Though the band were disappointed with the reaction to ‘Power Play’ after the staggering success of the previous albums, it didn’t stop them from going on their biggest and most elaborate world tour to date ...

Click HERE to read the review for April Wine - 'Animal Grace' & 'Walking Through Fire'

Neil Daniels

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